Business & Finance

Let the Buyer Beware: 3 East Brunswick's Auto Parts Retailers Sued for Overcharging Customers

7094c5f71325c6647b3e_advance_auto_parts.jpg
Credits: Advance Auto Stores
7094c5f71325c6647b3e_advance_auto_parts.jpg

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ –  Advance Auto Parts located at 575 Route 18 North  in East Brunswick is the latest auto parts retailer to be named in one of several lawsuits  by the State of New Jersey for violating pricing laws and overcharging customers.  The local business is a franchise venue owned by Advance Stores Company.

The Consent Judgment reached with Advance Stores is the conclusion of an action brought as a result of the 2015 joint investigation by the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and the State Office of Weights and Measures(OWM.) In March 2016, the Division settled its investigation with AutoZone Inc., which also agreed to revise its business practices after similar merchandise pricing violations were alleged. East Brunswick's Auto Zone is located at 55 Racetrack Road. The State’s additonal action against Pep Boys for similar violations is pending. East Brunswick's Pep Boys is located at 575 Route 18 South.  

Advance Stores Company, Inc., an automotive parts and accessories retailer, will reform its business practices and make a settlement payment of more than $69,000 after a joint investigation by the OCP and the OWM that discovered a number of pricing violations at seven of the company’s stores, says a report issued by the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General.

Sign Up for E-News

The stores, doing business as “Advance Auto Parts,” were found to have sold parts and accessories at prices in excess of the price listed at the point of display. Prices would be displayed for these items on the store shelves, but different prices would be charged when items were scanned at the register. Additionally, the stores also were found to have failed to post the total selling price of parts and accessories offered for sale, according to the complaint larged with the state.

In a Final Consent Judgment signed earlier this month, Advance Stores agreed to ensure the accuracy of its pricing both at point of display and at the register. In addition, Advance Stores will implement in its 69 Advance Auto Parts stores throughout New Jersey a monitoring program, in which the company will conduct regular audits of its pricing and keep a log of those audits. The company will also provide its general managers and other employees with training to ensure compliance with its pricing policies. Advance Stores will designate a corporate compliance coordinator to oversee the compliance program.

“Consumers should not have to worry whether the price advertised for merchandise is actually the price they pay,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “Settlements such as this make it more likely that when consumers visit an auto parts store they will get what they pay for at the correct price.”

“It’s vital that we hold merchants accountable for the accuracy of the pricing in their stores,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Division is committed to taking action whenever necessary and sending a message that deceptive conduct will not be tolerated.”

The seven stores inspected were located in East Orange, Newark, Linden, East Brunswick, Bloomfield, Avenel and Fanwood, according to a civil Complaint filed by the Attorney General, the Director of the Division, and the Acting Superintendent of OWM in December 2015.

Investigators visited the Advance Stores between January 21 and February 23, 2015, and found that certain merchandise items were priced at as much as $4.84 over what was indicated on the item or at the point of display, according to the State’s Complaint.

Advance Stores also agreed to not engage in any unfair or deceptive business practices and not sell or offer any merchandise without the total selling price of the items plainly marked either on the items or where the item is located in the store.

The $69,607.89 settlement payment agreed to by Advance Stores includes $42,000 in civil penalties and $24,485.79 in attorneys’ fees and investigative costs.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

New Brunswick Civic League Leader Still Looking for New Challenges After 48 Years at Helm

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After 48 years of leading the charge for change in New Brunswick, Dr. C. Roy Epps can still be found quietly working on weekends in The Civic League of Greater New Brunswick offices.

The tireless commitment of the 77-year-old President and CEO of this non-profit has helped provide residents access to a variety of health, housing and education services over the ...

Couple Netted $8M from Fake Uggs, Designer Bags, Prosecutor Says

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...

Brookside Pool Club Celebrating 65th Anniversary

MILLTOWN, NJ - The calendar may not officially say summer, but the water is certainly fine at the borough's Brookside Swim Club. Brookside is marking its 65th anniversary this year and the festivities will make a big splash of fun as they do every June, July and August.

Weather dampened the swim club's grand opening weekend. Brookside opens up to its members young and young at heart ...

Applications to Rutgers Jumps Nearly 10 Percent; Increase from Out-of-State Students

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Applications to Rutgers University this year increased 9.4 percent over last year, university President Robert Barchi told the Board of Governors at a meeting this week.

The university received nearly 45,000 applications this year, Barchi said.

That included a 20 percent increase in the number of students from out-side New Jersey applying to Rutgers, the university ...

Watson Coleman Introduces Resolution Acknowledging the Failures of the War on Drugs

June 15, 2018

As the House prepares to vote on more than 20 bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic over the next two weeks, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced a resolution that seeks parity in the treatment of drug use and addiction and a formal apology for the War on Drugs. H.Res. 933 expresses the sense of Congress that the War on Drugs failed, and calls out the disparate treatment of ...

MCRO Chairwoman Panos Celebrates Re-Election, Promises Party Unity to Defeat Menendez

FORDS, NJ-  Middlesex County Republican Organization (MCRO) Chairwoman Lucille Panos of Old Bridge was re-elected to a second two-year term as that organization's chairwoman.  Also re-elected were Edison chairwoman Sylvia Engel as vice-chair, and South Brunswick chairwoman Antonia Kulberda as secretary.  Rounding out the victors was Harold Kane of Monroe, ...

Franklin Township: Ladies Days Every Tuesday at KPS Garage

Every Tuesday throughout the ​summer, women will receive 10% off all repairs and service at KPS Princeton Garage located at 3860 Route 27 in South Brunswick.

Simply mention this promotion at time of drop-off. 

KPS Princeton Garage can be reached at 732-297-9515 or at kpsprincetonauto@aol.com

Small Business Ownership vs. Entrepreneurship

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 6/18/2018

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: So, which are you – a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? We compare the similarities and differences between the two, so you can ...