By South Florida Business Journal

Office Depot has lost its membership in the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida.

The BBB on June 16 revoked Office Depotâ¿¿s membership after the company settled a pricing dispute with the state of Florida.

Earlier in the month, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said his office negotiated a settlement with Office Depot over allegations the Boca Raton-based company (NYSE: ODP) overcharged government agencies for office supplies. As part of the deal, Office Depot agreed to pay about $4.5 million in refunds to eligible customers.

An investigation determined that the company allegedly switched certain local government agencies and private nonprofit organizations in Florida ⿿from one pricing plan to another without their full understanding or knowledge, potentially resulting in higher prices for those customers,⿝ according to a news release from McCollum⿿s office.

The investigation is among several others conducted in states including Missouri and North Carolina in recent years.

⿿On June 16, 2010, [Office Depot⿿s] membership in the BBB was revoked by the BBB⿿s Board of Directors due to: recent government action involving the businesses [sic] customer relations, which indicates a significant failure of the business to meet standards of conduct, expected of a BBB member,⿝ the BBB said on its website.

⿿This decision by the BBB is not related to Office Depot⿿s consumer sales, sales in our retail stores, on our general retail website and in our call centers to individual consumers,⿝ company spokesman Brian Levine wrote in an e-mail. ⿿We value our relationship with the BBB, and we will continue to work closely with them as part of the appeal process that is currently under way. We are optimistic that this process will result in the BBB restoring our accreditation.⿝

With $12.1 billion in revenue in 2009, Office Depot ranked third on the Business Journalâ¿¿s list of top public companies.

Shares were unchanged at $4.09 in midday trading. The 52-week high was $9.19 on April 26. The 52-week low was $3.48 on July 8, 2009.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010