Florida Albertsons Coughs Up Green For False Advertising

One effective way to draw customers into your grocery store then piss them off is to put out an ad with good deals, then refuse to honor them.

That’s the playbook Albertsons in Florida took last summer, and as a reward they’ve earned the pleasure of having to pay out a $200,000 settlement to spurned shoppers. The snafu occurred because Albertsons was selling a bunch of its stores to Publix, and the closing stores didn’t make good on the ads.

To file for your share of the settlement, visit the Florida Attorney General’s claim page. You’ll need to provide proof of purchase to get the money, so unless you’re a borderline insane pack rat who files away proofs of purchase and sorts them by date, you’re not getting a dime.

If you do happen to be a borderline insane pack rat, this is the day you unleash a boastful scream of delight.

Albertsons agrees to repay consumers [Bizjournals]
(Photo: dirtyblueshirt)

Comments

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  1. Trae says:

    And my girlfriend laughs when I hoarde receipts…

    …of course, then I throw them all out every couple of months, but my intention to start archiving them is totally there. :P

  2. OminousG says:

    Another win for the lawyers, and a big “screw you” to the customers…

  3. Anonymous says:

    When you use your Albertson’s “preferred” card, the company keeps a record of the transaction, including exactly what you bought and how you paid. You can request this information from the company. Per their “privacy rules,” they may or may not cough it up. They say they will give it to you if they darn well feel like it.

    From Albertsons privacy policy:

    “RETENTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION We do not maintain all personal information in a form that can be accessed or updated by you and some items, such as transaction records, may not be changed. Accordingly, we will determine and may limit what may be accessed and how, and we may also keep a record of changes (including deletions) and disclose them for lawful purposes. We keep personal information for as long as we think is necessary or advisable and we reserve the right to retain it to the full extent not prohibited by law. You may review your personal information that is readily accessible or request that it be updated by contacting our Customer Interaction Center using one of the methods listed under the caption “How to Contact Us” that appears below. “

  4. Canino says:

    So, I’m guessing they forgot the fine print “at participating stores” in the ad and some lawyer found out?

  5. Murph1908 says:

    They should have been forced to pay out anyone who used their Albertson’s card during that time period. Can you sue for that information?

    If you happened to pay by credit or debit card, will that work?

    Surely having an actual grocery store receipt for July 2008 isn’t the only proof accepted.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      @Murph1908: Albertsons got rid their card a couple of years ago so that’s a dead end.

      We have about 95% of all our receipts for the past 4 years. It’s paid off more than once when something broke.

      I am surprised at the number of people who don’t get receipts at the bank machine or gas pump – and that it’s even a Yes/No option.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @Murph1908: The receipt would show if they bought the items that should have been on sale.

  6. Trey Mahaffey says:

    what customers… i am in pinellas county and Albertsons is all but gone. Publix has kicked their a$$es. I have never been to an Albertsons (because of their reputation and all the ones i have seen always looked dirty from the outside).

    • HeyBickley says:

      @Trey Mahaffey: I think that was part of the point of the article, where they mention that Publix bought them and thus didn’t honor the Albertson’s coupons.

      I dunno. That’s what I read, anyway.

  7. Ronin-Democrat says:

    I wonder how much of the “fine” the FLA AG keeps because it isn’t claimed

  8. Lucky225 says:

    You know what REALLY ticks me off about Albertsons, the fact that they PROMISED *NEVER* to have a grocery card, saving are savings, card or not. Then they had a grocery strike, next thing you know they start issuing club cards. Screw albertsons.

    • bwcbwc says:

      @Lucky225: Yeah, that’s a big reason I usually use Publix over Winn-Dixie or Albertsons. No special hoops to jump through to get the specials. If I’m not going to fill out a rebate form for $30, why am I going to fill out a marketing card to get a buck off a container of ice cream?

    • artblue35 says:

      @Lucky225: Albertsons stores in Florida are run by Albertsons, LLC and they stopped using the Preferred Savings Cards around 2007.

      Albertsons stores in places such as Southern California, Washington, and Oregon are now owned by a company called Supervalu and those stores still use the Preferred Savings Card.

    • Wombatish says:

      @Lucky225: The stores in Texas (the ones that are left) have flip-flopped back and forth between “we have a card!” “we’d never have a card” “we have many cards!” “we don’t believe in cards” so many times I can never keep track.

  9. artblue35 says:

    Albertsons wasn’t doing so well. In 2006, Albertsons was failing as a company and it was broken up and sold. The drug stores were sold to CVS. Supervalu bought some of the stores and still operates stores using the Albertsons name in some areas such as Southern California, Washington, and Oregon. Florida’s Albertsons are operated by a new company called Albertsons, LLC which was founded in 2006. The management is different from the old Albertsons, so essentially it is not the old Albertsons that was around for many years.

    Albertsons, LLC decided to sell a bunch of stores in Florida to Publix. The stores that were sold to Publix started running clearance sales to get rid of all the merchandise and prepare for closing. The stores needed to be closed in order to be remodeled into Publix stores. During the clearance sales the stores did not honor the Albertsons weekly ads. This is what the legal settlement is all about.

    • puka_pai says:

      @artblue35: FWIW, Albertsons LLC is owned by Cerberus, the same guys that did such a stellar job running Chrysler. I hate to see my friends and former co-workers at Albertson’s get screwed, but anything bad that happens to Cerberus makes me laugh and laugh.