Whole Foods finally got in trouble for over-pricing their products, though not exactly in the way you might think.
The chain was over-charging customers for things like the weight of a takeaway hot bar meal. In response, Whole Paycheck has agreed to pay an $800,000 fine following an investigation by the city attorneys of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Diego. So ... semi-vindication?
Over a yearlong investigation, attorneys in the three Southern California cities found that the market had dishonest practices like charging a customer not just for the food they were buying from the hot bar, but also the weight of the carrying container and then some. Elsewhere consumers were sold items, according to CBS LA, by the piece instead of by the pound, as required by law.
The city attorneys say they’re fighting to make sure consumers are getting what they pay for, so in addition to the fine, Whole Check promised to make changes. The over-priced chain will hire two “state coordinators” who will “oversee pricing accuracy" and conduct random audits of their stores. As for the fine and fees, here’s where the money goes:
Whole Foods will also pay $798,394 in penalties and costs, including $630,000 in civil penalties, $100,000 to a statewide consumer protection trust fund and $68,394 in investigative costs.
The L.A. City Attorney’s Office will receive $210,000 in civil penalties.
Sure, that's over $1 million in punishment money from Whole Check, but for as much as a Fuji apple costs there, the chain can afford it. The chain pulled in $13 billion in 2o13. I need Whole Foods to just reduce their costs overall because, despite how many people try to explain their ridiculously high price points, it does not compute with my sense of reason — I want the city attorney or whomever to investigate that.
Image via Whole Foods.