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Walgreens to pay $1.4 million to settle suit

Original post made on Jan 10, 2013

Walgreens has agreed to pay $1.4 million in penalties and legal costs to settle a lawsuit accusing the retailer of charging prices higher than marked on store shelves, a prosecutor said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 10, 2013, 11:56 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Is-Walgreens-A-Good-Corporate-Neighbor?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

It was just last month that Walgreens was in the news for illegal dumping practices--

Walgreens to pay $16.57 million for violations:
Web Link

Now .. it seems that they have the Santa Clara DA looking into their business practices.

> "Scanning cases are not uncommon," she said. "It
> is not a perfect technology."

This comment does not make a lot of sense. The scanned codes (usually Bar Codes) are used as a key into a database to obtain the product description and the price. If the database does not match the price on the shelf, then there will be a mismatch. The question is--where do the prices on the shelf come from, and what forces the local stores to change the posted prices once the prices in the databsse are changed. Errors in "scanning" would result in a different kind of error.

Missing from this article is just how the DA came to look into this situation. People might have compared their receipts to advertised prices, or gone back into the store and compared their receipts to posted prices. It would be very helpful to know what would trigger a DA's investigation for what is effectively fraudulent business practices. Presumably there is a law that requires a retailer to charge the customer the advertised/posted price, but without have continuous checking of receipts--there is really no way to know if your favorite retailer is ripping you off, or not.

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Posted by Maria
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Someone should go after Safeway, given that the prices they display are never the same at the register. I hate them because of this.

Walgreens is either paying for incompetence or for deliberate bait and switching, which is illegal. There should be no excuse for this sort of incompetence. We have a retail business with 200 SKUs. Once in a blue moon there is a human error, but we're small. They're a massive retail outlet. I highly doubt that it's incompetence.

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I agree, Maria! The Safeway on Middlefield often charges more than what is advertised.

In fact, Safeway's new "Just For You" program will boast a certain price when it has been "added" to your card. However, I have had to argue with workers -- and even show the price via Safeway's app on my cell phone -- just to "prove" the advertised price. They almost always blame it on a "glitch" in this store's system.

Between that and the inability to keep enough advertised items in stock (Diet Coke, seriously?), this local store is just not worth my business. It seems like they are out of one of the "get-you-in-the-store" sale items at least every week.

Just this morning, I went to pick up one of their "$2.49 if you buy two small sandwiches" for lunch. The woman behind the counter told me that they "ran out of bread" and that I should "come back tomorrow or Saturday."

I don't think that stores like this realize that it leaves a bad impression on the rest of us. Then again, they are a little cheaper than the other grocery stores in town and we are left with little options in Palo Alto.

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Posted by Richard Olmos
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I work for the company, the issue many of the times, isn't higher prices. The issue is that there are too many different type of tags that go up, & that must come down at different times. There are too many types of store coupons that we can't keep track of, & that customers don't look for on their own, which leads to an overcharge. When there are mark ups or even mark downs, those automatically go up, so the new retail prices are current. It is the tags put up that get confusing, & it's even more confusing for customers now with the Balance Rewards program which charges customers full retail price if they aren't members.

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Posted by customer
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Walgreens is just trying to create price confusion for the customer and got busted for it. Customer don't want to play with coupons and loyalty cards. Most of the time, even if you use all those gimmicks at Walgreens, Target's everyday prices are cheaper anyway and Target has a better selection of products. I never go to Walgreens or CVS any more because of this.

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