Last week, Whole Foods’ customers were shocked to learn that their favorite organic food chain has been overcharging them for prepackaged foods for more than five years. Although the company’s top executives were in sheer denial for the past seven days, today they admitted to the allegations.
Yes, Whole Foods did overcharge you and it is doing it for years, a NYC official investigation had revealed. Walter Robb and John Mackey, the two chief executives of the supermarket chain, publicly apologized in a 2-minute YouTube clip for “certain pricing issues in our New York City stores.”
The two CEOs admitted that they had made “some mistakes,” but they explained that overcharging was a natural outcome of weighing errors of sandwiches and recently cut fruits in the chain’s deli departments.
CEO Robb, however, said that the mistakes were “unintentional” because many times worked in favor of the client. They also said that it was “understandable” some mistakes were sometimes made.
“[Mistakes] are inadvertent, but they do happen, because it’s a hands-on approach to bringing you the fresh food,”
Mr. Robb continued.
The two executives said that their company will make sure such incidents won’t happen again. They promised that their employees will get better training in weighing fresh products and they will hire third-parties to supervise the training program and employees at work.
Moreover, the two CEOs suggest customers should request that cashiers check on the weight every time they have a feeling that the product was not properly labeled. And the icing on the top of the cake – if a cashier or other employee detects an error that is not in the customer’s favor, the customer would get the item for free.
Yet, the company may have to do even more to save its reputation or erase the “Whole Paycheck” tag from its brand name. In 2014, California investigators found similar “mistakes” in some local stores in the state’s southern parts. Back then, the company was fined $800,000.
Last week, investigators from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs reported that the company had “over-stated” the weights of dozens pre-packaged products in eight local stores. The DCA head Julie Menin told reporters that some investigators hadn’t met a worse case of mislabeling in their entire careers.
For instance, DCA inspectors found that in some stores a $20 package of vegetable platter was overpriced by $2.50 to $6.15. Chicken tender packages were also overpriced by up to $4 per package. Some fresh fruits were overpriced by $1.15 per package and so on.
Image Source: Business2Community
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