For Immediate Release - December 15, 2016

Massachusetts Consumers Can Have Confidence in Pricing Accuracy this Holiday Season

Boston, MA (December 15, 2016) - The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, in conjunction with its Division of Standards, reports high item pricing accuracy among retailers surveyed prior to the holiday shopping season.

Compliance officers surveyed 3,225 items in 100 retail stores across Massachusetts and found only 22 of those items to be overpriced, an overall pricing accuracy of 99.3 percent. This figure exceeds the state pricing accuracy standard of 98 percent by 1.3%.

“Consumers expect that the price they see advertised is the price they will pay,” said Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary John Chapman. “There is a significant level of trust and responsibility placed with retailers and it is reassuring to see such a high level of pricing accuracy. I applaud our state’s retailers, large and small, for working diligently to ensure consumers are paying the correct price at the checkout.”

Pricing errors ranged from a low of $.10 on a package of cough drops at a Springfield Family Dollar Store to a $7.00 overcharge on a 36-pack of paper towels at a CVS in Easton. Four CVS stores accounted for over half of the pricing errors and were fined a total of $2,900 for the overcharges. Four retail stores failed to meet the state accuracy standard of 98 % and will be re-tested to ensure that corrective action has been taken.

The Division of Standards is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The primary mission of the agency is to provide uniformity in the marketplace by enforcing standard accuracy requirements for commercial devices used in the weighing or measuring of any item sold by weight, measure or count. The Division also regulates the licensing of hawkers and peddlers, auctioneers, retailers of oil and motor fuel, transient vendors, motor vehicle damage repair shops and event promoters.