Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspectors made a list and checked it twice to find out which retailers are naughty and nice.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Tuesday that FDACS’ Division of Consumer Services personnel have completed their sweep of stores and service stations across the state to ensure that the prices they advertise are the prices they charge.
That means checking circulars, online ads, and the inner workings of gas pumps for signs of funny business. Inspectors randomly selected 9,400 items from the massive heap of ads before fanning out to verify their accuracy.
“As Florida’s consumer protection agency, protecting Floridians at the cash register and the gas pump is one of my department’s top priorities,” Fried said. “I’m proud of my team for completing this price verification sweep so that consumers know they are getting the deals they’ve been promised as they go about their holiday shopping and aren’t being overcharged when filling up their tanks ahead of any holiday travel.”
It turns out Florida retailers’ are mostly honest — fewer than two dozen stores failed to meet the standards, which require at least 98% of items selected to reflect advertised prices when they’re scanned at the register. Gas pumps were similarly above board, with just 18 pumps from the random pool exhibiting pricing errors.
FDACS said the offending merchandise was pulled from the shelves until the stores fixed the errors. Likewise, the gas pumps were shut off until they were correctly calibrated.
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