Are Chipotle and Forever 21 – which have been accused in recent days of fleecing their patrons out of pennies – money-grubbing Scrooges or high-volume companies focused on efficiency?
After Chipotle was accused of rounding bills to the nearest 5-cent amount, the Mexican-style chain said the tactic was a time-saving measure used in especially busy stores. Because totals were adjusted both up and down, the company said it wasn't making a profit off the practice.
But late last month, a class-action complaint was filed against Chipotle in federal court in California alleging that the chain "routinely overcharged" its customers.
Meanwhile, Miami lawyer Carolyn Kellman slapped Forever 21 with a lawsuit after she tried to get a refund for two items and was credited back a penny less than what she paid both times.
The suit, which seeks class-action status, focuses on a $14.46 pair of black denim shorts and an $11.57 black skirt. By the way, Kellman is a local fashionista (or maybe frugalista is more appropriate) who has been photographed wearing Christian Louboutin shoes and carrying a Balenciaga bag.
Some commenters lashed out at the companies for allegedly shortchanging the customers, with some Twitter users calling the practice "deceitful."
"Those pennies add up," wrote Twitter user srayez28.
"Watch your receipts....I can't believe some retail stores actually steal from their customers," tweeted cassidillausc.
But some consumers said the issue is overblown.
"I think stores should go ahead and round away," tweeted CreateEccentric.
"I can't remember the last time I used a penny," tweeted missy_kelley.