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Home Sleepot

August 16, 2005

One of the four Home Depot stores located in Westchester has again been found in violation of the county’s item-pricing law and has been fined $30,000. County Executive Andy Spano said that while the compliance of other big stores previously fined has improved, this is not the case for Home Depot.

“Our Department of Consumer Protection wants Home Depot to understand – we mean it. They must comply with our law,” said Spano. “This time it was the Port Chester store that was the worst.”

The $30,000 fine was for failing to price-mark items as required by the county’s Consumer Protection Code. The inspections were done May 5, June 1 and July 18. In each of the inspections, the percentage of items not price-marked was more than 80 percent. In 2004, Home Depot locations in Port Chester, Yonkers, Mohegan Lake and New Rochelle were fined a combined $40,000 for similar offenses.

“Consumers have a right to know what prices are before they go to the checkout register,” said Spano. “Home Depot stores have consistently failed item-pricing inspections. Improvement by other retailers shows that item pricing can be done in large stores.”

In contrast, other major retailers, including Wal-Mart, have shown improvement in complying with the pricing law. In 2004, Wal-Mart was fined $15,000 for not complying with the item pricing law.

Elaine Price, director of Consumer Protection, said, “We have been inspecting both non-food and food stores for item pricing for years. Other retailers are finally getting the message, but Home Depot continues not to price-mark.”

The county’s Consumer Code requires items offered for retail sale be price-marked. Exemptions are made for sale items and items sold in bulk. Additional information and tips for consumers can be found at www.westchestergov.com/consumer or by calling the department at (914) 995-2155.



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