Starbucks drops bean surcharge after Mass. fine

November 14, 2011 - 10:25 AM

BOSTON (AP) — Starbucks Corp. has stopped tacking on a surcharge for bags of coffee beans weighing less than a pound nationwide after a Massachusetts consumer-protection agency fined the company over the practice.

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation found in August that the coffee giant was adding a surcharge of about $1.50 for bags of coffee beans weighing less than a pound without notifying the customer as legally required.

That meant beans listed at $11.95 per pound ended up costing $7.45 for a half-pound — not $5.98, or half the price.

The state fined Starbucks $1,575 for overcharge violations.

A Starbucks spokesman tells The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/uuanOt) the company charged extra for half-pound bags to cover additional labor and packaging costs. The practice has since been dropped nationwide.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe