Pleasantrees Faces Backlash Over Checkout Rounding Controversy

April 18th, 2024 Legal & Crime
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In recent times, Pleasantrees, a cannabis retailer in Michigan, has found itself in a swirl of controversy over its checkout practices. Reports from customers suggest that the retailer may be engaging in illegal rounding-up of transaction totals, leading to allegations of violating Michigan Consumer Protection laws.

Allegations of Unauthorized Rounding

A compilation of customer experiences shared on Reddit highlights growing dissatisfaction with Pleasantrees. Several patrons have noted that their bill totals at checkout were higher than the amounts confirmed during online ordering. Notably, these discrepancies arise from the company's purported policy of rounding up totals to the nearest dollar due to an alleged coin shortage triggered by the pandemic.

According to one account, a customer who expected to pay the exact total as shown on their online order was surprised at the counter when the amount demanded was higher. Even the printed receipt displayed the correct total, including taxes, but the computer system rounded up. When questioned, the management referred to a policy that mandates rounding up totals exceeding fifty cents to the nearest dollar post-tax.

Company's Defense and Legal Perspective

In defense of its practices, Pleasantrees points to notices on its website and online ordering platform. These notices explicitly state that due to a federal coin shortage, all transactions will be rounded to the nearest dollar, and that the store does not accept coins. This policy, which has been in place for nearly two years, suggests that customers are forewarned about the rounding up practice at the point of online purchase.

However, legal experts and consumer rights advocates argue that even if such a policy is disclosed, the manner of its implementation may still fall foul of the law. Michigan statutes demand that any rounding policy must be clearly and conspicuously communicated to consumers, ideally at the physical point of sale or verbally during the transaction. The apparent lack of such disclosures at physical checkout points may constitute a violation of consumer protection laws.

Consumer Reaction and Corporate Reputation

This issue has sparked considerable debate among customers and industry observers. Some defend the company's policy as a legitimate response to logistical challenges posed by coin shortages during the pandemic. Others view it as an opportunistic move that exploits consumers, comparing it unfavorably with competitors who either round down or maintain exact change policies.

Moreover, past actions by Pleasantrees attempting to limit the operations of smaller cannabis caregivers have also colored public perception, contributing to a narrative of a corporation that might prioritize profits over fairness.

Legal Implications and Consumer Rights

From a legal standpoint, the rounding up of prices without explicit consent at the point of sale is questionable. Michigan's consumer protection laws provide avenues for redressal, including compensation up to ten times the difference between the charged and actual price, capped at $5 per incident. These provisions aim to deter deceptive pricing practices and protect consumer rights.


As Pleasantrees navigates this controversy, the broader implications for trust and transparency in the retail cannabis market in Michigan are clear. Retailers must balance operational challenges with strict adherence to consumer protection laws to maintain credibility and trust with their customer base.

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