News item

Supermarket fined for selling short measures

Press release from Bromley Trading Standards:

Bromley’s Trading Standards team have taken action to prevent supermarket customers from being sold short when it comes to buying loose produce.

In a case brought by the Council on Wednesday 19 January 2011, Bromley Magistrates fined Lidl a total of £4,190 and ordered that they pay Bromley Council’s court costs of £1,166 after the company pleaded guilty to using illegal weighing equipment and selling short measures to consumers.

Following a complaint from a local resident alleging that Lidl’s Penge store was selling under weight produce, a Council Trading Standards Officer visited the store to investigate. A test purchase of butternut squash which was supposed to weigh 534 grams turned out to be only 486 grams.

The store was told to put things right and a similar test was run in Lidl’s Beckenham store. This uncovered another two scales giving short measures to customers.  A re-inspection several weeks later found an inaccurate machine still in use.

The company was charged under the Weights and Measures Act 1985 for using scales which were unjust, not properly approved and selling short weight.

Clive Davison, Assistant Director of Public Protection said: 'It’s totally wrong that retailers should short change customers in this way so they are paying for an amount of produce they are simply not getting. Our Trading Standards team acted to warn the retailer to mend its ways but took court action when this message was not heeded. We are always grateful for this kind of information from the public and the court took this matter seriously by imposing sensible fines and costs.'