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Starbucks Drops Bean Surcharge After Mass. Fine

Starbucks Corp. has stopped tacking on a surcharge for bags of coffee beans weighing less than a pound nationwide after a Massachusetts consumer-protection agency fined the company over the practice.

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation found in August that the coffee giant was adding a surcharge of about $1.50 for bags of coffee beans weighing less than a pound without notifying the customer as legally required.

That meant beans listed at $11.95 per pound ended up costing $7.45 for a half-pound - not $5.98, or half the price.

The state fined Starbucks $1,575 for overcharge violations.

A Starbucks spokesman tells The Boston Globe the company charged extra for half-pound bags to cover additional labor and packaging costs. The practice has since been dropped nationwide.

This program aired on November 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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