Vending machines now accept credit, debit, or prepaid cards as payment. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that some of them, including the machines of Compass Group USA, Inc. in California, charge extra for the use of cards but do not warn potential customers of this.

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The class for this action is all persons who, within the statute of limitations and up to the certification of the class in this action, bought an item from a Class Vending Machine using a credit, debit, or prepaid card and who were charged more than the price displayed for the item. The Class Vending Machines are those that at the time of the purchase (a) were owned or operated by Compass, (b) were located in California, and (c) did not disclose the amount of the additional charge for the use of the card.

Compass does business as Canteen Vending Services, including in California. Its machines sell soft drinks, water, and snacks, and each item has a price next to it. The complaint shows images of the machines in question, and the items they offer with the price next to each.

Only one price is shown for each item; no disclosure is made of a different set of prices for different payment methods.

Plaintiff James Jilek used Canteen’s vending machines twice with a credit card. On July 26, 2019, he bought a soda. The price shown for the soda was $1. However, when he got his credit card statement, the amount shown was $1.10.

Similarly, he bought a package of Skittles candy on August 14, 2019 with his credit card. The price displayed by the vending machine was $1.25, but Jilek’s credit card statement showed that the price he’d been charged was $1.35.

The complaint alleges several things. The first is breach of contract: The vending machine offered the items for sale at a certain price, and Jilek “accepted offer by paying for the items in the Class Vending Machine at the prices displayed for those items.” This, the complaint says, constitutes a “payment agreement.” However, the company violated the agreement by taking more for the items than the payment agreement specified.

The complaint’s second count involves California’s Unfair Competition Law, claiming violations of its unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent prongs.

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Finally, the complaint alleges violations of the state’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, because the company advertised the items in the vending machine at prices different from those at which it sold them.