Home Courts PetSmart To Pay 1.4 Million For Unlawfully Overcharging Customers And False Advertising

PetSmart To Pay 1.4 Million For Unlawfully Overcharging Customers And False Advertising

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From the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office:

Martinez, California – The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office announces that PetSmart
LLC entered into a Stipulated Judgement on June 23rd and will pay 1.46 million dollars for
overcharging customers, false advertising, and unfair competition.

District Attorney Diana Becton said that “The law in California is clear: businesses must be
accurate in charging for goods and services. For customers, it’s important to monitor items
scanned at a register and scrutinize your receipts to make sure you are not being overcharged.”

The outcome of the multi-county lawsuit against PetSmart includes court orders that prohibit the
company from engaging in false or misleading advertising and charging an amount greater than
the lowest price posted for an item. Moreover, PetSmart must implement additional audit and
price accuracy procedures in its California stores for a three-year period to ensure compliance
with pricing accuracy requirements, including notifying customers of their right to be charged
the lowest currently advertised price for any item offered for sale.

PetSmart will pay $1,250,000 in civil penalties, $100,000 in restitution to support consumer
protection enforcement efforts, and $110,000 for investigative costs incurred by various counties.
Because of this legal action, PetSmart has implemented new policies and procedures to improve
pricing accuracy with routine audits, detailed record keeping, and in-store signage to notify
customers about the lowest advertised price for items.

The lawsuit was filed in Santa Cruz County. In addition to Contra Costa County, Plaintiffs
include Sonoma County, Alameda County, Marin County, San Diego County, Ventura County,
and Los Angeles County. Deputy District Attorney Bryan Tierney prosecuted the case for the
Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office – with assistance by the Contra Costa
Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures.

If members of the public believe they have been overcharged by businesses, contact our office at:


  1. Thank God DA Becton is spending her time on the mispricing of dog food and not on trivial offenses like property crime, rampant shoplifting or carjackings that her constituents really don’t care about.

  2. Consumers will ultimately pay this fine. Not one penny will go back to taxpayers. It is all political BS.

    • You are suggesting that consumers will pay more at PetSmart than its competitors because consumers don’t care about paying more and they don’t care about predatory pricing behavior. PetSmart is not a monopoly, and that’s not how a market works.

  3. While I believe the people of this state are getting hammered by crime I don’t think the Go To Jail Go Directly To Jail card is the answer. Jail is like a trade school for criminals looking to be better criminals. I also happen to believe that there is a two tier justice system in place and that needs to be corrected if the whole “justice for all” words are to be believed. The problem has no easy answers but some sort of corrective action needs to be taken in order to cut down on the rampant crime we’re now facing. We may just see a return to exile and penal planets at the current rate.

  4. “Penal planets”? I will take that up with The Musk. In the meantime, the DA is prosecuting crime. Get a grip.

    • Not a bad idea now that you mention it. There are some people I’d really like to rocket off this planet. But I think Kelly was being satirical. I think.

      • Fantastic solutions are surely tempting, but exiling or expelling our problems is just a fanciful way of not dealing with them where we live. Other than that strange concluding statement, I don’t disagree with what she said.

  5. I’m always amazed when a government function actually does something to protect consumers and address business abuse, and the resulting commentary is 1) nothing about the topic and 2) even goes so far as to excuse the business misbehavior.

    I really do increasingly see that we get what we deserve.

    • I think there are many people who, not fulling understanding the nuances of pronunciation, might be eager to go to Penal Planet.

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