Whole Foods CEOs Apologize For Overcharging Their Customers

Photographed by Jeanine Donofrio.
UPDATE: After being accused of overcharging customers at its New York City locations, Whole Foods CEOs made an official apology to customers yesterday. In a video posted to YouTube, CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb admitted that the investigation conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs was correct in its findings — some New York City customers were charged extra for sliced fruit, fruit juices, and sandwiches. Mackey and Rob explained that the mistakes were a result of accidental human error and that employees would receive extra training in New York and nationwide to prevent further issues. The duo also promised that if customers are overcharged in the future, they will receive that food for free. "Straight up, we made some mistakes. We want to own that and tell you what we're doing about it," Robb explained in the video. The video has already been watched over 30,000 times and the reviews are a mixed bag. So far, 70 viewers have given it a thumbs up, while 53 viewers just aren't buying it. All apologies aside, we're guessing Whole Foods is still going to be stuck with its unfortunate nickname, Whole Paycheck, for the foreseeable future.
This story was originally published on June 24, 2015. If you're one of the many shoppers who has taken to calling Whole Foods by its unofficial nickname, "Whole Paycheck," know that there might be an additional reason bills from the grocery chain are so high. According to the New York Daily News, Whole Foods is currently under investigation in New York City for overcharging customers. Apparently, the Department of Consumer Affairs found (in a recent New York City-based sting operation) that out of 80 different weighed food items at eight different Whole Foods locales, all were incorrectly labeled. Those mislabeled foods often mean an inaccurate price increase for shoppers. "Our inspectors told me it was the worst case of overcharges that they've ever seen," commissioner Julie Menin explained. Whole Foods has received 800 violations in New York City over the course of 107 separate inspections conducted beginning in 2010. The retailer paid out $800,000 as a result of a similar issue in California just last year. Michael Sinatra, a spokesperson for the supermarket, told the Daily News that the store "never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers," and that customers can receive refunds for mislabeled or incorrectly charged items. It remains to be seen whether the New York City probe will spur investigations in other cities, but for now we're going to be extra-vigilant about checking our grocery prices.

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