Wilson Class Action Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by g_desilva, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    If the only thing Wilson did was paint the racquet the same color, but did not make any express representations that it was Roger's racquet, they would be fine. What puts them on the hook here are those representations. The paint job is just further evidence of a pattern of deception on Wilson's part.
     
  2. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    First off.. thanks for sharing your opinions on this site. Can you comment on the two common industry practices below if the companies are on the hook?

    1) Putting "X players choice" (e.g. Roger's choice) on the website

    2) Putting a picture of the player in question on the packaging of the racquet holding what looks to be the same racquet.
     
  3. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    The whole racquet endorsement thing is disingenuous. The pros are just paint job endorsers. They should just give a refund.

    A lot of people wanna use the same gear as their idols.

    I believe Federer wanted to release a stick with his actual specs.
     
  4. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Here's a good tip for buyers before buying on claims by sellers.

    1. caveat emptor -buyer beware
    2. My faith is in short supply
    3. Is there independent 3rd party verification of claims(good house keeping ect)
    4. Other peoples reviews who are not paid spokesman.

    Claims of new technology that take Atomic Spectroscopy to prove whether these elements are there and the high powered vacuum electron microscope and x-ray diffraction to see how there configured is a bit beyond the normal buyers comprehension.
    E=MC**2 anyone.

    Lol.
     
  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a different matter entirely. I hope a separate lawsuit is brought about that - hyping technology which may be implemented in such minute amounts as to make practically no difference.
     
  6. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    Anyone remember the Merino wool guy
     
  7. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Difficult to say in the abstract. These things are quite contextual once you move away from express representations. As to your first example, I don't see a problem with Roger Federer being featured on Wilson's website (i.e "Roger Uses a Wilson Racquet to Win XXX Tournament") so long as (a) he does use a Wilson racquet and (b) they didn't specifically link him to a model available for consumer purchase that wasn't what he used.

    As to the second example, that's a more difficult case. How informed is the average consumer about a racquet's looks? Does the packaging have any text linking the player to the racquet? Has the company made representations elsewhere, in press releases, television spots, player interviews, etc. that suggests the specific racquet is linked to the player?

    Most of this analysis proceeds in a holistic manner. Although an individual instance can be an "act" under California UCL, courts are most bothered by schemes or patterns where a business has created or supported a misrepresentation using various platforms. This is why the complaint in the Wilson case references the paint job, the press releases, player statements, etc. The plaintiffs want to create the appearance that the defendant not only made the express misrepresentation, but also created a pattern of deception to back it up.
     
  8. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    Ok just to clarify.

    Example #1 - I clicked on the Wilson Pro Staff 90 on their website (won't link it since its a competitor and I REALLY want this discussion to go on) and under product details it says "Rogers choice and Wilson legendary Pro staff updated with new amplifeel handle.....". Nothing in the website really says the Roger uses the racquet. Just more ambiguous language.

    Example #2 is this
    [​IMG]
     
  9. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Yes Wilson does say Federer uses the Pro Staff 90 BLX
    "Roger’s choice and Wilson legendary Pro Staff updated with new Amplifeel handle system providing an even cleaner feel."
    http://www.wilson.com/en-us/tennis/r.../pro-staff-90/
    "Playing with his Wilson Pro Staff 90 racket, Federer reclaimed the world no. 1 ranking last July, after his historic 17th Grand Slam title win, defeating Murray in the Wimbledon Gentlemen's final. Federer has won six ATP titles this year."
    http://www.wilson.com/en-us/tennis/n...er-number-one/
    Wilson career player and all-time Grand Slam record holder Roger Federer, continued his record-setting run with his 17th Grand Slam victory at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Andy Murray in four sets (4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4) for the gentlemen’s singles title. Playing with the Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 90 racket, Federer marched his way to today’s victory reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking and adding a record 32nd Grand Slam semifinal berth to his respected place in tennis history.
    http://www.wilson.com/en-us/tennis/news/1218792/
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Pro Staff Six.One 90 can be regarded as a series, though. N90, K90, BLX90 etc could be the members of this series. It can be claimed that Fed just used a special member of the series.

    Does it say anywhere that he used any of the specific models?
     
  11. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    ^^^N90, K90, BLX90 were neither labeled nor marketed with the Pro Staff moniker.
     
  12. iceman_dl6

    iceman_dl6 Rookie

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    How about Djokovic and Murray's racquets then? They are not even the same mold as retail, at least Federer's model is the same mold as retail. Therefore, I don't see the point for her to sue Wilson.
     
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The lawsuit is not about what others do (unless it is directly relevant as an accepted marketing practice - even then all of them could be eventually held liable).
     
  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    It appears to a couple of times - namely in marketing surrounding his Wimbledon win last year.

    I have nothing against endorsements such as having Federer/Nadal etc on multiple models of the brand which sponsors them. The issue is, as this class action tried (poorly) to outline, when they make a specific make/model/variant claim which isn't true - as could be argued happened with some of the "Pro Staff Six.One 90" marketing.

    Another aspect of this that people may not have considered is where that marketing happened. Not all countries have the same commercial laws and exactly where the marketing was used does matter. I don't know how online stuff is handled but there will be precedents set on this somewhere.
     
  15. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    ^^^speaking of precedents, if this isn't really spongebob's racquet

    [​IMG]

    i've got the next class action lawsuit!
     
  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You think everyone who works in a slaughterhouse is a vegetarian?
     
  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Of course not. But I'd bet if you worked in a slaughterhouse, you'd look at that steak in front of you differently. And I'd bet most people prefer not to work in a slaughterhouse and rather just eat that steak without knowing how it gets there.
     
  18. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. The rest of your strawman argument is not relevant to the point I was making.
     
  19. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Even if there are merits to the claim, and there is a finding in favor of the class, what would the damages be? Would it simply be a punitive fine to prevent Wilson from doing it again? I can't see individual players getting much at all, maybe the cost of a replacement racquet at most.
     
  20. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    I think the lawyers get the most out of this, and that's why they seek out plaintiffs.

    But its a step in the right direction of racquet companies are banned from deceiving customers
     
  21. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    I currently own 16 90's total, including nearly all variants. That could be a hefty check from Wilson if the plaintiffs win. I hope you guys know, this lawsuit is for all 90 users who upgrade because their tennis hero did. That means YOU!!!
     
  22. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Hell, I also have 11 88's, and I don't even know what to do with them. Now that Sampras is with....who even knows who he's with? I don't even know which racket to buy now.
     
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Babolat.......
     
  24. rajah84

    rajah84 Semi-Pro

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    I personally don't think nuclear war is that big of a deal, however some people do.
     
  25. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    I'd like to add my perspective here, and this is an area I have a professional interest in.

    What tennis racket companies like Wilson and Head are doing is intentionally deceptive: they are cheating.

    Irrespective of the merits of an average player using a pro-spec frame, it is not for the manufacturers to decide what product a customer they never meet or speak to directly should use.

    In most developed economies there is regulation of consumer markets to some degree. This regulation offers consumers protection from being misled or from being treated unfairly by companies who, by virtue of the information they have or collusion with other parties might disadvantage consumers and reduce effective competition (thereby making everyone worse off).

    Some people have claimed that consumers are stupid or foolish somehow if they take manufacturers' claims at face value. I disagree strongly.

    Consumers (i.e. people) are primarily driven by unconscious mental processes. They typically use short cuts and generalisations to make decisions. The people here might be experts on the exact specifications of a pro player's racket, but they might know very little about the composition of a sun cream or a car engine.

    If you buy a sun cream that claims to moisturise your skin, or protect to a given UV level, or be good for sport, you have no way of knowing whether this claim is true. You buy and try and find out, having taken the manufacturer's claims as credible. The chances are that you will buy a brand that reassures you because of your unconscious associations with it: but you won't carry out scientific tests on the product; instead you'll have faith that it is what it claims.

    There is no reason that someone buying a tennis racket should need to become an expert. What's more, even if they decide to demo a racket before buying it, they have to filter down the list available or they would be testing 100 or more frames (never mind that each would be strung slightly differently!).

    That such a consumer might use the choice of their favourite player as a place to start is hardly surprising. Not least because the manufacturers delight in telling us this information, thereby implicitly signalling its importance as a consideration factor (or heuristic that could be used in such a buying decision).

    And finally, speaking as a psychologist (who advises regulators on consumer-related issues), there is good evidence from experiments that people who believe they are using a pros equipment perform better at the same task than those using the same piece of kit but who believe it's just a regular item.

    So all those people who want to understand every aspect of their favourite pros kit and replicate it for themselves might well be enhancing their performance as a result! The irony is, that in buying kit that they believe is being used by their favourite pro, but is actually easier for their less developed game, the manufacturer could be argued to be giving them the best of both worlds!

    However, I believe the duplicity is unnecessary and unethical and should be stamped down on. I hope Wilson lose and that all the manufacturers who play this game are forced to change their ways.
     
  26. frinton

    frinton Semi-Pro

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    Thank you! Finally somebody who has something to say. I can agree with various points from my own experience.

    Looking forward to the results of this class action suit! While I can understand to a large degree why the companies are doing what they are doing from their business perspective, I does not make it right.

    And I am sure that they could actually make money out of marketing "a professional line" to the retail customer. Why not sell the cheaper Retail-line as is, but using wording like "inspired by xxx racquet" while establishing a high priced pro-line, where you could get a Raquet that is identical to xxx' racquet? Heck, they could even go as far as offering the P1 customisation service as an (expensive) option. Airlines also sell Economy, Business and First Class and there is a market for each segment. Why not for tennis racquets? The market is there and it is currently catered for in they grey shades of some website I can not mention here and another related forum...where people pay crazy prices to have a pro-stock racquet.
     
  27. frinton

    frinton Semi-Pro

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    ...but would the advertise which exact variant Kramer would be playing? That is the difference to today, I would think.
     
  28. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    Isn't that what they're doing right now? Wilson has other racquets in the Pro Staff line which has Fed's face in it.
     
  29. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Makes me long for the days when Borg had contracts to use a Donnay racquet in certain countries and a Bancroft racquet in other countries.
     
  30. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    But, seriously, damages often don't work like that. I mean, sure, in theory, you could be compensated for every racquet you felt you bought due to dishonest marketing, but that is by no means a certainty, and I'd say fairly unlikely.
     
  31. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    You are familiar with how class action lawsuits work, aren't you? Lawyers get several million dollars and you get a coupon for 2% off your next Wilson purchase (provided you can provide your original receipt).
     
  32. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^very true. My wife joined a class action suit once and got a check for $1.37. That sort of thing is not unusual.
     
  33. ups42769

    ups42769 New User

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    First, why do anyone stick up for Wilson? What have they done do you lately, except get rid of the racquets we all loved so much.

    Second, if you have an opinion fine, but consumer law in California is pretty clear if you say X is y, and it's not y, then you are going to lose your case. Puffery is not saying what Wilson is saying here. Puffery is this is the best racquet ever.

    Anyone else practiced consumer law in CA or just me?
     
  34. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Exactly why I couldn't understand Breakpoint since 2007.
     
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL good one
     
  36. ups42769

    ups42769 New User

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    I'll buy them, haha. truly. I wouldn't take sampras's switch as anything but a guy who no longer plays much, and is less fit, switching to a more accomodating frame. im sure if he were still competitive he'd stick with his old frames.
     
  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It has nothing to do with Wilson. I'd feel the same about any company under the same exact circumstances. It's about personal responsibility. Smart people don't get fooled and don't blame others. Only fools get fooled. Yeah, I'm also not foolish enough to believe that taking this pill will make me lose 80lbs. in 2 weeks. So unless a company clearly states that the racquet sold in retail stores is identical in every way to the racquet that some pro (insert name) uses in competitive matches on the ATP Tour, then it's not. Seems pretty simple to me.
     
  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Responsibility is a two way street, not a one way street.

    Moreover, given the power and money at the disposal of corporations they are the ones who must exercise the greater responsibility as they can and do cause great harm.

    With Wilson there is some evidence that they have exaggerated the connection to Federer's racquet.

    This is not a big deal, but lying is not a responsible act under any religious or ethical code.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Companies have responsibility to make money for its shareholders, period. That's why they hire entire sales and marketing departments whose job it is to convince people to part with their hard earned money. Smart consumers understand this. Caveat emptor.
     
  40. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Have you ever heard about corporate social responsibility?
    Here,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility
    In this day and age, this is the standard business practice. The days when "Companies had responsibility to make money for its shareholders, period" are long gone.
     
  41. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    wilson just makes tennis sticks, imagine how badly pharmaceutical companies are lying to us...
     
  42. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    This is complete nonsense period.

    Modern tort law, invented not by radicals or socialists, realised in the nineteenth century that if you are going to manufacture a closed beverage for public consumption you have a responsibility to ensure it's safe.

    The whole of the modern economy is based on the concept of legally enforced resposbilities to product safe, correctly labelled and marketed products.

    Caveat emptor is a heavily qualified legal maxim.

    If you want to live in countries that sell horesmeat or put chemicals in milk then you are free to move to countries that will happily maim or kill you.




     
  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's what their marketing departments want you to believe.

    Companies right now are making record profits. That's one reason why the stock market has been doing so well. Apple has more cash in the bank than most countries do.

    "Corporate social responsibility" only if it doesn't negatively affect their profits. Or else the shareholders will vote out the executives. Investors buy a company's stock to make money. If they don't make money, they will sell the stock and buy another company's stock that does make money.
     
  44. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The stock market has got another Fed-induced bubble in it.
     
  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Are you saying that Wilson's retail tennis racquets are not safe for public consumption? Food, drinks, drugs, etc. are regulated by the FDA, USDA, etc. Using the retail PS 90 is not going to harm you anymore than using Federer's actual racquet.

    And if companies should stop selling products that harm people, then all string companies should immediately stop selling poly strings! But they don't and instead they leave it up to the consumer how much they want to risk destroying their arms.
     
  46. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It was an argument about the obsolescence of the cavet emptor maxim and you have a problem with poly that is more to do with your set of prejudices than it has with reality, so that's why there's no warning.

    Moreover, there were clear warnings with some early polys to string lower that very few chose to heed, so that is indeed their responsibility.



     
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There should be a separate lawsuit against players who use paint jobs. If they go to great extents to refuse to upgrade to the new model and request paintjobs, and then agree to their name being used as an advertisement for the new model, are they also not culpable?
     
  48. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Why do you assume we're 'sticking up for' Wilson? Maybe some of us are sick of the Nanny State, litigious, hate the rich class warfare that is currently being played out? Don't like how the major racket lines market their products, don't buy them.

    As I said before, demo'ing rackets is widely available; thus consumers have ample opportunity to make an informed purchase, based on their own research; the marketing spiels of the companies are worthless.
     
  49. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    It's a blatant lie for sure but for me it's just mildly annoying.
    You can market anything just about so why not market Fed's actual specs? He said himself he'd like to sell it. You can even sprinkle in some basalt. Fed's racquet with basalt technology!

    To see Gasquest LM Instinct XL posing as the Extreme 2.0 is just silly. Or Murray's Prestige Pro with a Radical PJ. It's just lame.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Bad idea. It is the companies which need to learn how to sell without lying. Asking people not to buy is an old and failed argument. Car brakes failed? Hey we didn't say in writing that they actually work, why don't you just buy another car? Oh wait, you are handicapped now. Sorry about that.

    Can't breathe the air close to our factory? Why don't you just move? There is no right to breathe in the Constitution (but we think there is a right for us to lie).

    And no one is getting rich here other than cheats on the corporate boards.

    Nothing may come out of this lawsuit, but if companies don't lie again, that is an achievement by itself.

    It is a myth that industry suffers because of this. Actually, other ethical businesses which are now suppressed will have a chance to compete.
     

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