CVS Pharmacy settled with three district attorney’s offices in California, by agreeing to pay more than $2 million over claims that prices scanned at the register during checkout did not match the advertised sales prices.
District Attorneys in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Ventura counties filed suit against CVS, alleging that the Rhode Island-based company violated state consumer protection laws.
According to the DAs, beginning in 2006, the company failed to provide a discount for items that were advertised as being on sale and routinely charged consumers more than the advertised sales price.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company admitted no wrongdoing and said that going forward it will guarantee $2 off an item if the customer is charged more than the advertised price.
In addition, CVS agreed to change its advertising practices and will carry out weekly in-store inspections to verify pricing accuracy.
The company also agreed to pay more than $2 million in the form of $1.2 million in civil penalties, $420,000 for investigative costs, $300,000 to the state Department of Measurement Standards, and $100,000 to a state fund that pays for enforcement of consumer protection laws, the Consumer Protection Trust.
Why it matters: In a statement, a spokesperson for CVS said that the settlement resolved “allegations that some prices scanned at the register during checkout did not match the advertised sales price. The agreement formalizes the auditing practices and employee training program we put in place to ensure that our prices are accurate.”