County Cites Apple Store For Price Violation

April 8, 2012

A southern California consumer protection agency has levied a $200 civil penalty against a local Apple retail store after investigators conducted a price accuracy inspection there last August, and found the store charged more than the lowest advertised price for a product. The incident occurred just 11 days after the store held its grand opening, which might help to explain the mis-pricing. According to the Los Angeles County Weights and Measures agency, the Americana at Brand (Glendale) store sold an item for $70 more than the stated price on the packaging. The violation is a criminal misdemeanor under state law (12024.2 B&P), which provides a fine of from $25 to $1,000, and up to one year in county jail. However, a criminal penalty was not imposed in this case. Instead, the agency chose to impose a civil penalty on the store. Under the law, payment of that penalty by the accused provides a defense for the criminal violation, which is then dismissed. The state’s pricing laws are focused both on outright fraud by retailers, but also to encourage companies to maintain accurate pricing databases that form the basis of their point-of-sale technology.

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