Lidl fined €9,000 under product pricing laws

LIDL was fined the maximum penalty of €3,000 for each of three breaches of new product prices legislation yesterday.

Lidl Ireland GMBH, trading as Lidl, was fined a total of €9,000 after pleading guilty to the breaches in Naas District Court.

Costs of €500 were also awarded to the Director of Consumer Affairs, Carmel Foley, who was delighted with District Judge Murrough Connellan’s decision.

This is the first case which the director has taken under new product pricing legislation that came into force in March 2003.

Ms Foley said the judge’s decision should serve as a warning to traders that they must show the unit price of products.

The company had failed to show the unit price for three products - Cian Facial Toner, Luxury Choc Chip Cookies and Favorini Wafers.

Ms Foley, who pointed out that a further four prosecutions were being prepared, said it was important consumers were able to make an accurate comparison of prices of the product on sale in different stores.

Lidl was also fined €600 yesterday in respect of two breaches of the Consumer Information Act 1978, with 500 costs.

The offences were for overcharging by five cent over the marked price for a bottle of washing up liquid in Cavan in July 2002 and in Togher, Cork, in September 2002.

Lidl had pleaded guilty in Naas District Court to these charges on February 6, 2003, but Judge Connellan deferred his decision for a year.

Ms Foley said consumers should not be overcharged by traders at checkout points. “I would urge all shoppers to be vigilant and make it a practice to check their purchases against their receipts and bring any discrepancies to the attention of the retailer,” she said.

It was the policy of her office to follow up on any complaints in relation to traders charging the incorrect price for goods.

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