Have you ever felt like you were paying more for a product at the register than the price tag on the shelf said? You probably thought that it was just your imagination at the time, but be warned. Some stores are actually overcharging you at the register, and one of the culprits may have been Pep Boys.
Did Your Local Pep Boys Store Overcharge You?
In January of this year, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced that Pep Boys had settled a lawsuit over pricing problems in its New Jersey stores. After inspecting Pep Boys stores in Caldwell, East Brunswick, Roselle, Union, Verona and Woodbury, the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Offices of Consumer Protection and Weights and Measures found that the prices on the shelves weren’t what customers were paying at the register. These inspectors also found that employees at these stores made deceptive statements about the repairs customers needed on their vehicles.
These actions made it harder for customers to comparison shop and make informed decisions about their purchases, and so several consumers joined with the state to take this issue to court. The subsequent settlement has forced Manny, Moe & Jack of Delaware Inc. (the parent company of Pep Boys) to pay $80,000. The amount will be split several ways to reimburse customers, pay civil penalties, and reimburse the state for attorneys’ fees and investigative costs.
Last year, a similar settlement was reached with Advanced Auto Parts for similar practices. That auto parts chain was forced to pay almost $70,000 in fines and reimbursements. Advanced Auto Parts was also forced to implement new training measures for its employees to keep these pricing issues from happening again. Pep Boys was also forced to conduct similar training thanks to the settlement reached in January.
This situation proves that when it comes to pricing in chain department stores, consumers need to be aware of what they are paying and the business practices of the places in which they shop. It could be necessary for these consumers to contact an attorney if they feel that they are being ripped off. Keep an eye on the places you shop, and keep following our blog for more information on your rights as a consumer.