(The Center Square) — A state lawmaker has proposed two pieces of legislation he says would bolster the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act’s consumer protections.
“One reason many consumers are not getting the full benefit of a growing economy is that some predatory businesses continue to nickel and dime them unfairly,” state Sen. Josh McLaurin, D-Atlanta, said in an announcement.
The first measure requires retailers to guarantee prices at the register are not higher than what is displayed in advertising or in the store. The second takes aim at “misleading” marketing on TV and online targeting “vulnerable” populations — such as older Georgians — and would bar “misleading claims” about limited inventory or short-term discounts.
While several Georgia business, retail and consumer advocacy groups either declined to comment on the legislation or did not respond to requests for comment, one leading retail watcher said the measure promotes transparency and fairness.
“Discrepancies between displayed prices and those charged at the cash register are common,” Jeanel Alvarado, founder & CEO of RetailBoss, told The Center Square in an email. “These pricing errors often result from human error, as store associates manually match display prices for thousands of SKUs. Despite this, no universal law requires stores to honor an advertised price if it is incorrect.
“This issue is so prevalent that Sen. Josh McLaurin has announced two bills to protect Georgia consumers from wrongly priced items,” Alvarado added. “The bill is a good idea as it promotes transparency and fairness in pricing, preventing consumers from being blindsided by unexpected costs at checkout.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor