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Whole Foods $500K Fine Paid to Quiet NYC Overcharging Claim

Image: Whole Foods $500K Fine Paid to Quiet NYC Overcharging Claim
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 Dec 2015 07:01 AM

Whole Foods will pay a $500K fine to settle allegations from New York City inspectors that it overcharged customers for prepackaged groceries.

According to CNN Money, "Whole Foods execs had admitted to, and apologized for, overcharging customers on some products — like sliced fruits and sandwiches — days after New York City went public with its investigation earlier this year."

In a statement made Monday, however, Whole Foods took a somewhat defiant tone, saying there was "no evidence of systematic or intentional misconduct," and said it was happy to settle and "put the issue behind us."

It added that the city's Department of Consumer Affairs "misrepresented" the agreement, and that the mislabeling of foods sold by weight sometimes benefited the customer by undercharging them.

New York's consumer affairs commissioner Julie Menin, however, said the city's investigation into 80 of Whole Foods' prepackaged foods was "the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers." Menin added that there were only a few instances in which customers were undercharged.

Last year, Whole Foods paid Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Diego nearly $800,000 over alleged pricing violations.

The Associated Press reported that in addition to the fine, the upscale grocer has agreed to conduct quarterly audits to ensure pricing accuracy, and spokesman Michael Silverman said Whole Foods has already set up third-party audits.

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey said previously that he was astonished that "Whole Foods was singled out for this attention," as he thinks many grocers have similar track records.

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Whole Foods will pay a $500K fine to settle allegations from New York City inspectors that it overcharged customers for prepackaged groceries.
whole foods, 500k, fine, nyc
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2015-01-29
Tuesday, 29 Dec 2015 07:01 AM
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