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The Associated Press November 14, 2011, 9:22AM ET

Starbucks drops bean surcharge after Mass. fine

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


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