The Lowdown on the Whole Foods Market Settlement:

whole foods
Whole Foods Market, New York City Credit: Whole Foods Market

What happens when a city agency finds that a supermarket has overcharged its customers?

If it happens in New York City, the city cushions its own budget.

Whole Foods announced Monday it will pay NYC $500,000 to settle claims that it overcharged customers for prepackaged foods. The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs says the settlement requires Whole Foods to conduct regular audits to make sure products are accurately weighed and labeled.

In June, city officials reported they found 80 types of prepackaged food at Whole Foods with mislabeled weights. The city says overcharges included, for example,  $4.85 for a chicken tenders package and $148.84 for coconut shrimp.

In an issued statement, Whole Foods says it has a 100 percent pricing accuracy guarantee that gives customers a full refund on any item that has been mispriced. In its defense, Whole Foods says allegations regarding overpriced items were limited to New York City. The market says there was no evidence of systematic misconduct by anyone in the Northeast region or the rest of the company.

Meantime, do you think customers of Whole Foods are getting any compensation? Neither the city nor Whole Foods has made mention of that. Instead, the city says the $500,000 paid by Whole Foods will be added to its budget!

That’s the Lowdown!



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