Only a few months ago, Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 to close a one-year probe by prosecutors in three different Southern California cities into allegations that the pricey supermarket was overcharging customers even more by, among other things, failing to deduct the weight of containers when ringing up charges for self-serve foods. Whole Foods promised to stop the practice and right its wrongs, but one Consumerist reader believes the company isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. [More]
Shopping at Whole Foods can be enough of a drain on your bank account (that’s why they call it Whole Paycheck, right? Right?), so it doesn’t help if the upscale supermarket chain is also involved in some questionable practices that had customers in California paying more than they should have. Today, the company agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a statewide investigation into allegations of overcharging. [More]
A man’s eyes popped out his head and went “Awoooga!” when they saw his receipt for pumping 13 gallons of gas: $2297.84! Since he paid with his debit card, that meant real money was immediately drained from his bank account, causing a $1,300 overdraft. At first the gas station manager just shrugged his shoulders and blamed the bank, but he changed his tune after news reporters walked in asking questions about the receipts. [More]
Qwest Field, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, recently caught some flack when people pointed out that you could fit an entire large beer into a “small” beer cup. A video shot at the Oakland Athletics’ ballpark is making people wonder how widespread this issue is. [More]
In case you hadn’t noticed (or if you live south of the Equator), it’s almost winter. For many people, that means firing up the old wood-burning fireplace. But before you try to save money by buying firewood in bulk, here are some tips to make sure you don’t get burned. [More]
Looks like the shrink ray has hit the fountain sodas at Consumerist reader Quake’s local BJ’s Wholesale Club, reducing the normal 32 oz. cup to 30 ounces. Only problem is — no one told the customers or whoever is responsible for the sign that still says “32 ounces.” [More]
Ralph’s supermarket, which is owned by Kroger, has been accused of criminally overcharging customers by the LA city attorney’s office, says the LA Times. [More]
It’s a common, legal practice to protect seafood with a layer of ice before packaging it up for retail sale. It’s also apparently a common practice to add that ice into the total weight of the seafood, and in some cases to add more ice than necessary just to bump up the total weight, which isn’t legal and which defrauds the consumer. The National Conference on Weights and Measures recently investigated seafood packaging in 17 states and pulled more than 21,000 packages of seafood from store shelves, noting that in one particularly bad case ice made up 40% of the total listed weight. [More]
Don’t walk out of Kohl’s without first double-checking your receipt. The store apparently has a penchant for overcharging customers, according to the Sacramento County Department of Weights and Measures, which fined the chain $2,000 for repeatedly failing surprise inspections. CBS sent an enterprising reporter to see how long it would take for them to uncover a pricing discrepancy of their own. Almost immediately, they found a woman who was charged $64.99 for a pair of shoes marked $59.99.
Vermonters get a better deal on gas than Texans. Fuel expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold, so 5 gallons of “hot fuel” won’t get your car as far as 5 gallons of regular. Oilmen know this, and that’s why at various points in the supply chain volume gets adjusted for the industry standard temperature of 60° F. The retail pump isn’t one of them. That might start to change if a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement with Costco as a defendant goes through. Under the terms, Costco would fix its pumps in the bottom half of the country so that they dispense fuel at 60° F. If it goes through, it would be a precedent-setting consumer victory. After all, you want a Tiger in your tank, not a Heat Miser, don’t you?
Target has agreed to pay a $1.7 million penalty after weights and measures inspectors found “numerous occasions where the price charged at the cash register was not the lowest posted price,” according to a statement from the Sonoma County district attorney’s office.
There’s 4 main ways a gas pump can screw you over:
It looks like the fell Grocery Shrink Ray may have hit cans of Arizona Ice Tea, reducing the size of their 12 oz cans to 11.5 oz cans. We couldn’t find any definite pictures of 12oz Arizona Ice Tea cans, but we did find them being sold on this website in 12 oz cans. What happens to a product when the shrink ray hits it? I imagine it goes eek! eek! eek! and the last eek is an octave higher than the first.
A CBS investigation has revealed that parking tickets stemming from 85% of the parking meters in Philadelphia are invalid. Pennsylvania law requires inspectors to certify each parking meter for accuracy once every three years, but the single inspector working for Philly’s Licenses and Inspections Department, the city agency in change of certification, has visited less than 15% of all parking meters—but he has found the time to certify some meters 8 times while others go completely unchecked. As a result, thousands of parking tickets are invalid under state law.
Johnny was pleasantly surprised when the $199 power tool he grabbed off the clearance rack rang up at the self-checkout for just $0.01. Home Depot, of course, stopped him before he could leave and asked for the item back, but Johnny wasn’t fast to part with his new toy.
I told the manager well that’s to bad because I ALREADY PAID FOR IT!!! and if you don’t return MY PRODUCT!!! that I PAID FOR!!! that I would call the cops because you are now stealing from me. I will call Weights and Measures. OH YEAH and my attorney.
Read the full story after the jump.
“Excessive price-scanning errors” earned the Kmart in Madison, North Carolina a $5,000 fine from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. [Eden Daily News]
Reader Gabe writes in to tell us that he reported a gas station to the Wisconsin Department of Weights and Measures because he noticed that the pump started charging him before he ever pulled the trigger.
Royal Farms refuses to fix a broken gas pump that charges customers even after the gas stops flowing. The pump in Abingdon, Maryland has overcharged Tom on five separate occasions, and Royal Farms refuses to issue a promised refund.