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For Immediate Release: August 15, 2012

Staples Settles Consumer Protection Case for Price Scanner Overcharges

Santa Rosa, CA – (August 15, 2012) - Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that her office and the District Attorneys of Contra Costa, Marin, and Napa counties reached a settlement in a civil law enforcement action filed against STAPLES THE OFFICE SUPERSTORE, LLC. The complaint, filed in Marin County Superior Court, alleged that Staples violated California law by charging consumers more than the lowest posted or advertised price for items. Under the terms of the settlement, which was approved by Superior Court Judge Roy Chernus, Staples agreed to pay $968,157 in civil penalties, costs, and restitution, and agreed to injunctive provisions to ensure future compliance. The judgment requires Staples to implement additional audit and price accuracy procedures in its California stores for five years.

District Attorney Ravitch said, “California law requires businesses to implement and maintain systems to ensure that their customers are charged the correct price. This Office will continue to work with the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Measures to protect the consumers of this County and the State from these types of violations.”

The case arose from regular inspections by the California Department of Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards, and the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Measures, which coordinated their investigation with Weights & Measures departments in other counties. Price scanner inspections at Staples stores disclosed numerous occasions where the price charged at the cash register was not the lowest posted or advertised price. Staples was cooperative during this investigation and has now instituted new policies and procedures to ensure pricing accuracy.

The case was investigated by the Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Measures and prosecuted by Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Matt Cheever. Sonoma County consumers should call the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Measures at (707) 565-2371 if they have a complaint or questions about pricing issues.

Contact Information

Terry Menshek
Media Coordinator
District Attorney’s Office
County of Sonoma
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-3098 Work
(707) 565-2762 Work Fax

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