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article imageWhole Foods to customers: Sorry we repeatedly overcharged you

By Samantha Chang     Jul 3, 2015 in Business
Whole Foods CEOs Walter Robb and John Mackey admitted the supermarket giant had routinely overcharged customers and apologized for the costly errors.
In a YouTube video, Robb and Mackey confessed Whole Foods had overcharged customers for its prepackaged fruits, vegetables and deli meats.
"Straight up, we made some mistakes," said Robb, as he stood beside co-CEO John Mackey. "We want to own that."
Despite repeatedly overcharging customers for years, Whole Foods insisted the pricing errors were not intentional. "We know they are unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customer's favor and sometimes not in the customer's favor," said Robb.
The apology comes a week after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) revealed it had tested 80 different types of packaged food from Whole Food locations around the city and found overcharging occurred across all categories.
"The company’s New York City stores routinely overstated the weights of its pre-packaged products – including meats, dairy and baked goods – resulting in customers being overcharged," the Department of Consumer Affairs wrote on its website. "DCA tested packages of 80 different types of pre-packaged products and found all of the products had packages with mislabeled weights."
DCA Commissioner Julie Menin said this is the worse case of pricing overcharges her department had ever seen. “Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers," said Menin.
Whole Foods plans to implement a third-party auditing system and will beef up training in its stores to avoid future overcharges, Slate reported. Whole Foods said it will provide a progress report to customers in 45 days.
This isn't the first time Whole Foods has been found guilty of overcharging customers. In 2014, Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties after overcharging was discovered in several California locations following a year-long investigation, as Digital Journal previously reported.
Whole Foods posted revenues of $14 billion for fiscal year 2014.
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