If you’ve ever waltzed into a Whole Paycheck – er, we mean ‘Whole Foods’ – healthy grocery store, no doubt you were blown away by the endless displays of health food products, overflowing salad bar options with gluten-free and vegan fare galore, and bounty of cruelty-free beauty supplies.
But what you probably weren’t enamored with was the total cost of your purchases when you headed to the checkout line.
For years, customers have sworn the company Whole Foods has overpriced items and been ripping them off. But now there appears to be proof, as the grocery store is presently being investigated by city officials for overcharging customers in New York.
As reported by the Daily News, New York’s City Department of Consumer Affairs has opened a probe into a laundry list of pricing violations going back to at least 2010, mainly dealing with mislabeling prepackaged food products with incorrect weights. An agency spokesperson said that when investigators weighed 80 different items at eight locations, every single one of the labels were found to be incorrect, usually overcharging the customer.
Believe it or not, one item cost $4.85 more than its correct price.
“Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers,” commissioner Julie Menin said. “As a large chain grocery store, Whole Foods has the money and resources to ensure greater accuracy and to correct what appears to be a widespread problem—the city’s shoppers deserve to be correctly charged.”
In effect, Whole Foods has been hit with more than 800 violations. It adamantly denies the charges, however. And, according to a statement, Whole Foods is “vigorously defending” itself.
Around the same time last year, Whole Foods was forced to pay out $800,000 to the municipal governments of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and San Diego for similar violations in its California stores.
The investigation is still on-going, but it’s a shame that respected wellness establishments can prey off of individuals’ good intention to better themselves and get healthier.
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