Whole Foods Must Pay $500,000 for Overcharging Customers in Legal Settlement
Whole Foods has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle allegations that the grocery chain was overcharging New York City customers.[related]The settlement comes after a lengthy investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs which tested 80 different types of packaged food at Whole Foods locations in New York City and found mislabeled weights on many items. For instance, the investigation uncovered marked up items like packages of chicken tenders for $4.85 and coconut shrimp for $14.84.
At the time that the lawsuit was filed by a Whole Foods investor in August, the grocery chain had thoroughly denied any and all allegations of overcharging customers. “We… are confident that this complaint is baseless and without merit,” a spokesperson said at the time. However, Whole Foods had also promised to take steps to prevent overcharging, including training for workers, and promised to give away products if customers discovered they were mispriced, according to CBS News. Whole Foods has also already hired third party auditors to ensure that prices are not gauged.
The grocery store chain paid less than half of the city’s original settlement offer of $1.5 million, agreeing instead to the $500,000 settlement to “put this issue behind us.”