Price Chopper has agreed to change its coupon advertising practices after the state attorney generals office investigated consumers claims that the ads failed to disclose restrictions regarding its redemption policies.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the grocery store chain will change the way it advertises and promotes its coupons and pay a $100,000 penalty.
Price Chopper used deceptive business practices to mislead price-conscious consumers and extracted hard-earned money from them by hindering their ability to shop competitively and save on groceries, Mr. Schneiderman said.
According to Mr. Schneiderman, the attorney generals investigation revealed that the grocer advertised that it accepted double coupons at its stores without disclosing that important restrictions applied to its policy. After implementing a corporationwide policy that limited the doubling of coupons up to 99 cents, Price Chopper failed to disclose this restriction in its advertisements, leading consumers to believe that $1 coupons could be doubled.
Before this, Price Choppers double-coupon policy had varied from store to store. A number of stores doubled coupons up to $1, but others restricted the value of coupons that could be doubled. In April and May alone, Price Chopper shoppers redeemed nearly 35 million coupons valued at 99 cents or more; about 8 million of those were valued at $1 or more.
Price Chopper has 79 locations, including stores in Watertown, West Carthage, Canton, Gouverneur, Malone, Massena, Potsdam and Ogdensburg.