For Immediate Release - May 31, 2011

Piano Man Faces Lawsuit for Advertising Multiple Going Out of Business Sales

BOSTON - A Hanover piano store faces legal action for enticing customers into buying merchandise with multiple false "going out of business" sales. Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit today against the owner of "Roger's Piano" for advertising since at least 2007 that he is "going out of business" or liquidating, when neither is true. In the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, AG Coakley alleges that Roger Shaffer also duped consumers by falsely advertising deep discounts. The Attorney General's Office is seeking penalties against Shaffer to address his wrongful conduct.

"Repeatedly advertising that you are going out of business when you are not, or overstating discounted prices, is not fair to consumers, and it's not fair to competitors who are playing by the rules," Attorney General Coakley said today. "When consumers want to be smart shoppers and research a big ticket purchase, they have a right to know that a merchant is giving them honest information."

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Shaffer violated Massachusetts law by running newspaper advertisements with false statements such as "store-closing," "bankruptcy," and "liquidation" sale. Mr. Shaffer also allegedly touted steep discounts off prices that were never offered in violation of Massachusetts retail regulations.

AG Coakley is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Mr. Shaffer from engaging in these unfair and deceptive advertising practices. A hearing on that request will be held on June 9, 2011, before Judge Frances McIntyre.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General David Monahan of Attorney General Coakley's Consumer Protection Division.