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article imageWhole Foods slammed for massive overcharging: 'Worst case ever'

By Samantha Chang     Jun 26, 2015 in Business
Whole Foods customers are outraged by reports the retail supermarket chain deliberately mislabeled packaged foods and overcharged patrons.
Angry Whole Foods customers slammed the retail giant on its Facebook page June 25, after learning the chain has repeatedly overcharged customers for its prepackaged foods.
"Your overcharging practices are deplorable!" wrote one customer. "I no longer shop at Whole Foods. Far better, more honest, less expensive choices out there! Perhaps grab a clue from Trader Joe's."
Another disappointed patron wrote: "The mantra that a visit to Whole Foods means a loss of your whole paycheck is true. Disappointed in you. I'll shop elsewhere now."
In the fall of 2014, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) 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 June 24. "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 is outraged the multi-billion-dollar corporation is grossly overcharging its millions of loyal customers. “Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers," said Menin.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods denied the allegations and claimed DCA is trying to "blackmail" it. "We are vigorously defending ourselves," the company said in a statement. "We cooperated fully with the DCA from the beginning until we disagreed with their grossly excessive monetary demands."
In 2014, Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties after overcharging was discovered in several California locations following a year-long investigation, Time reported.
Investigators said Whole Foods routinely charged more than the advertised price for a variety of food items, said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “We’re taking action to assure consumers get what they pay for,” Feuer said.
Whole Foods posted revenue of $14 billion for fiscal year 2014.
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