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Target agrees to pay $3.9 million in false-advertising suit

  • DENNIS ODA / OCT. 23
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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. >> Target agreed to pay nearly $4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Northern California prosecutors saying that it charged higher prices than advertised, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The lawsuit also alleges the Minneapolis-based company misrepresented the weights of products and failed to ensure that price scanners at checkout stands were accurate.

Target was ordered to pay $3.9 million to settle the lawsuit filed in Marin County, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said his office filed the lawsuit in conjunction with counterparts in Contra Costa, Fresno, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties, and the San Diego city attorney’s office.

Berberian said his office “a fundamental consumer right is to be charged no more than the lowest advertised price. Consumers should always notify retailers immediately when they are being overcharged and demand to be charged only the lowest advertised price.”

Target spokesman Evan Lapiska said that some of the problems stemmed from promotional signs not being removed immediately after a promotion ended and that the company has taken steps to fix that and other problems.

Target, the second-largest discount retailer in the U.S., also agreed to increase the number and frequency of price-accuracy audits at California stores, train its employees to make sure prices are accurate and hire an outside auditor to make sure weights are accurate in Target-branded products.

“Any guest who feels she or he was overcharged for an item should bring their receipt to the Guest Service desk, where any pricing inaccuracies will be resolved,” Lapiska said.

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