Walmart received an $89,705 fine after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found 280 weights and measures violations at nine Walmart stores. The gargantuan retailer failed to subtract the weight of packaging materials, or “tare weight,” when pricing bulk items like coffee, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
Judy Cardin, section chief for weights and measures with the state, said that in the case of bulk coffee, the weight of the packaging materials was included when the price of the product was determined. The state had tested one-pound bags of Cameron brand coffee beans, which were found to be 3/100ths of a pound over the actual bagged content.
While that doesn’t seem like much, it translated to an overcharge of 21 cents per pound, Cardin said.
“This is something that’s difficult for the consumer to know it’s even going on,” she said. “How would someone know they were being overcharged? This is why weights and measures checks products to make sure consumers are getting what they paid for.”
Cardin said Wal-Mart was fined $25,000 in January 2006 for overcharging for bulk coffee.
Walmart has directed “all of its Wisconsin stores” to follow the law and stop screwing customers. Notice how they don’t mention whether a similar edict was issued to stores in states with similar laws. So much for everyday low prices.
Wal-Mart hit with $89,705 state fine [Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter]
(AP Photo/April L. Brown)