After an investigation by the New York State Attorney General, Price Chopper has agreed to clarify its coupon rules and will pay a $100,000 penalty for its failure to disclose important restrictions in its double coupon policy.
The investigation by the Attorney's General's office followed after receiving complaints from consumers about misleading coupons issued by Price Chopper that failed to disclose a material restriction that limited the doubling of coupons "up to 99 cents". This restriction was not made clear in Price Chopper's advertising and was applied inconsistently among Price Chopper's 79 stores state-wide.
Restrictions on double coupons can affect the savings of those consumers who shop on a budget and are drawn into the store by special promotions. The Attorney General states that in just April and May 2012, Price Chopper shoppers redeemed 34,616,602 coupons valued at $.99 or greater."
Price Chopper's settlement agreement requires that any restrictions, such as coupon face-limit restrictions be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in its advertising practices going forward.
The New York State General Business Law contains a number of provisions designed to protect consumers from deceptive business practices such as false advertising. These complaints are typically handled by the Attorney General; however, consumers may also choose to sue to recover for their damages on their own.
Dreyer Boyajian LLP is experienced in handling consumer fraud cases and class actions involving deceptive trade practices and false advertising. If you, or someone you know has a consumer complaint, contact our office today for a free consultation.