Lowe’s to pay $1.6 million for shorting customers

Lowe’s Home Centers was ordered to pay a $1.6 million settlement in a California consumer protection action for allegations that it was selling building materials advertised with the wrong dimensions, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office said today.

The action was brought by district attorney’s offices in Marin, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

They alleged that Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, sold structural dimension building products that described product dimensions that were not the actual dimensions — incorrectly advertising the length, width, depth or thickness of building materials, according to Marin County prosecutors.

In some cases, the inaccurate labeling was because of inaccurate dimensions provided by the manufacturers or other suppliers. Lowe’s must remove the products from sale or correct the false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate product descriptions.

The company must also pay $1.47 million in civil penalties and the costs of the investigation, prosecutors said. The company will also pay another $150,000 for future consumer protection investigations.

Marin prosecutors said that Lowe’s was cooperative with the investigation and has already implemented better policies and procedures to keep misleading or inaccurate product descriptions out of its advertisements.

Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said in a statement:

“Consumers should expect when making product purchases that retailers are providing accurate information especially when misinformation could adversely affect building products that more often than not rely on precise measurements.”

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