Starbucks Scraps Hidden Fee After State Fine

It added $1.50 to bags of beans under a pound
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 15, 2011 2:31 PM CST
Starbucks faced a Massachusetts investigation over hidden bean bag fees.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(Newser) – Massachusetts officials noticed something fishy about the price of coffee beans at Starbucks: Customers buying less than a pound’s worth were paying more than the listed per-pound price. Following an investigation, state Starbucks branches have been fined $1,575, and the chain has dropped the hidden fee nationwide, the Boston Globe reports. “It’s a message to the whole marketplace,” said a state official.

“We have to be able to trust that the price we’re paying is the price we should be paying for a particular commodity." The chain added a fee of about $1.50 to bags of beans under a pound, but did not post the increase. A Starbucks rep said the fee was based on “the additional labor and packaging needed to accommodate those customers’ unique request."

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