Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Upstate New York grocery chain Price Chopper has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and change the way it advertises its coupons after an investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office launched its investigation after complaints about misleading coupons in which the grocery chain failed to reveal restrictions on double coupons.
The company introduced a policy that limited doubling coupons up to 99 cents, but failed to tell its customers. The Attorney General’s Office says that customers were led to believe that $1 coupons would be doubled.
Before introducing the policy, individual stores determined how double coupons would be handled.
Some stores doubled coupons up to $1, while others restricted the face value of coupons that could be doubled.
The Attorney General’s office says Price Chopper must now make clear any face value limits on its coupons.
The Capital Region based chain has 79 stores throughout the state, including the Central New York, Southern Tier, and North Country regions.
Below is Price Chopper’s response to the AG’s announcement:
“We were appalled and disappointed by the inflammatory press release distributed earlier today by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG), as its portrayal of Price Chopper’s conduct is false, misleading and inaccurate in significant respects, and is not supported by the Assurance of
Discontinuance (AOD) to which Price Chopper agreed. In fact, contrary to the Press Release, the AOD makes no assertion that Price Chopper acted intentionally to harm consumers or that its practices caused any losses, let alone millions of lost savings to its customers.
“We’ve been in direct contact with the OAG to express our concerns and are awaiting their response.
"What the OAG actually asserts in the AOD is that Price Chopper inconsistently denoted in its advertising the dollar value limit of its double coupon policy during select weeks in June 2011, January 2012 and April 2012 in Syracuse and Cortland, NY.
Our decision to sign this agreement was reached after considering the likely cost of alternative actions, and because settling the matter will allow us to focus on serving our customers, including offering double coupons up to $.99 in all 130 of our stores.”