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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  since 1983
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I do apologize if this question does not fall under business

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I do apologize if this question does not fall under business law. It seems to be the only category that seemed to fit.

I sometimes eat at a local fast food restaurant when time does not permit me to take a normal lunch. The always give fresh fruit with the meals whether you order the fruit or not. Above the register is a sign that states fruit fruit included in every meal. I have always thought it was just included in the meal. I have never ordered the fruit, it was just given to me when I picked up my food.

A couple of days ago the restaurant got my order wrong so I looked at my receipt to see if they entered it wrong. (yes they did)But to my surprise I was charged extra for the fruit. It was not included in the normal price of the food. I have never looked at the receipt before this, and to be honest I rarely look at my receipt at fast foods restaurants.

I went back the next day a reread the sign. "fresh fruit included in all meals", ordered my meal (did not order the fruit) and was charged on my receipt an extra $1.50 for fresh fruit.

Obviously this is bad business practice but is this legal and is their anything I can do about it?

Thank you for your time,
I am sorry to hear this.

What you described is a classic example of false advertising.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 708-871
(1) A person commits the offense of false advertising if, in connection with the promotion of the sale of property or services, the person knowingly or recklessly makes or causes to be made a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial number of persons.
(2) "Misleading statement" includes an offer to sell property or services if the offeror does not intend to sell or provide the advertised property or services:

(a) At the price equal to or lower than the price offered; or

(b) In a quantity sufficient to meet the reasonably- expected public demand, unless quantity is specifically stated in the advertisement; or

(c) At all.

(3) False advertising is a misdemeanor.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 480-2
(a) Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful.
(b) In construing this section, the courts and the office of consumer protection shall give due consideration to the rules, regulations, and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts interpreting section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)), as from time to time amended.

(c) No showing that the proceeding or suit would be in the public interest (as these terms are interpreted under section 5(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act) is necessary in any action brought under this section.

(d) No person other than a consumer, the attorney general or the director of the office of consumer protection may bring an action based upon unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by this section.

(e) Any person may bring an action based on unfair methods of competition declared unlawful by this section.

You can get a free consultation from some of the consumer protection attorneys listed by location at

Please follow up on this with a local attorney.

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
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