Log in
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Shares  >  Nasdaq  >  Whole Foods Market, Inc.    WFM   US9668371068

News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector news 
The feature you requested does not exist. However, we suggest the following feature:

Whole Foods Market : vows to fix overcharging issues

07/02/2015 | 09:27pm US/Eastern

July 02--Top executives for Austin-based Whole Foods Market took a direct approach this week to address claims the organic foods giant overcharged some of its New York customers, taking to YouTube and promising to rectify the issue.

Co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb admitted the overcharging mistake in a YouTube video, which had drawn more the 50,000 views as of Thursday.

"Straight up, we made some mistakes," Robb said in the nearly 2 minute video. "We want to own that."

Mackey and Robb said they were correcting the issue with several changes and would implement a 100 percent customer guarantee to refund shoppers the full price of an item when they find evidence they are overcharged. Mackey said the overcharging involved mostly fresh products such as fresh juices and cut fruit and said there is "a very, very small percentage" of impacted foods that are tied to "misweighing errors."

"We know they are unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customer's favor and sometimes not in the customer's favor," Robb said. "It's understandable sometimes mistakes are made. They are inadvertent. They do happen, because it's a hands-on approach to bringing you the fresh food."

Mackey said Whole Foods will increase worker training at stores in New York and elsewhere "because we want to be perfect," and will implement a new third-party auditing system to watch for overcharging errors.

The executives said they intend to issue a report within 45 days on what kind of progress they have made on correcting the matter.

Last week, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announced it uncovered evidence that there was "systemic overcharging for pre-packaged foods" at the city's Whole Foods stores.

Agency commissioner Julie Menin said this week they were "gratified" that Whole Foods admitted to the concerns.

"We are gratified that, as a result of our investigation, Whole Foods is admitting the deficiencies in how they label their pre-packaged foods and taking steps to ensure no New Yorker is overcharged," Menin said in a written statement. The agency "will remain vigilant and hold Whole Foods and other supermarkets accountable for any misleading and deceptive practices."

In its initial investigation, the agency said it found certain Whole Foods stores "routinely overstated the weights of its pre-packaged products -- including meats, dairy and baked goods -- resulting in customers being overcharged." It tested 80 types of pre-packaged products and "found all of the products had packages with mislabeled weights."

Also, 89 percent of the packages did not meet federally set standards on how much packages could deviate from actual weight, the agency went on to say. For example, the findings ranged from 80 cents more for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 extra for a package of coconut shrimp.

The agency's "findings point to a systematic problem with how products packaged for sale at Whole Foods are weighed and labeled," the agency said. "The snapshot suggests that individual packages are routinely not weighed or are inaccurately weighed, resulting in overcharges for consumers."

The mislabeled products included nuts, almonds, corn nuts, berries, vegetables and seafood, the agency said.

Fines for falsely labeled packages is $950 for the first violation, and up to $1,700 for subsequent violations, the agency said. Whole Foods could be facing thousands of dollars in fines, the agency added.

Similar claims have been made in California, where Whole Foods paid nearly $800,000 in penalties to resolve the matter.

Robb and Mackey said anyone with feedback and thoughts can email feedback@wholefoodsmarket.com and they would both personally read the notes and respond.


(c)2015 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

React to this article
09:27p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : vows to fix overcharging issues
05:36p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : Southwest Region Recalls Cherry, Blackberry and Peach Pies ..
02:21p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : June 30, 2015 Whole Foods Readies Bodies for Summer
02:15p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : June 30, 2015 Mother-daughter seafood company debuts at Who..
12:24p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : CEOs admit to pricing problems at stores; will train staff ..
12:23p WHOLE FOODS MARKET : apologizes for pricing problems
10:49a WHOLE FOODS MARKET : to increase training after pricing errors
08:56a WHOLE FOODS MARKET : apologizes for overcharging customers
07/01 WHOLE FOODS MARKET : executives: We did overcharge N.Y. customers
07/01 Whole Foods Market, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call and..
Duration : Period :
Whole Foods Market, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | WFM | US9668371068 | 4-Traders
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials