May 7, 2009

CVS led Massachusetts in pricing violations

A Massachusetts watchdog group said CVS Caremark Corp. led the state in price violations in 2008.

In 2007, Change to Win, a labor union group, said CVS stores racked up 425 overcharging violations. In 2008, the number soared to 711, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

The total number of pricing violations, including items missing price stickers and inaccurate signs, declined from 2,560 to 2,094, but the amount of overcharges "¦ increased at a startling rate, said Deanne Dworski-Riggs of Cure CVS, a pro-consumer campaign started by Change to Win.

In a statement, company spokesman Mike DeAngelis said, we strive to achieve 100 percent accuracy and move quickly to rectify an unintentional discrepancy, but former CVS worker Aaron Weintrob, said the inaccuracies were deliberate.

The state fined CVS $349,600 for its 2007 and 2008 violations, which Weintrob said was less than the cost of fixing the problems.

Fines are simply looked at as the cost of doing business, he said.