SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to pay $2.1 million for violating a 2008 judgment that stemmed from overcharging customers at its California stores, according to the California Attorney General’s office.
The 2008 ruling required the company to resolve pricing errors at its checkstands. However, since November 2010 investigations in 11 counties around the state have uncovered additional pricing errors, the attorney general’s office said.
“Consumers should feel confident the price on the shelf will be the same price they are charged at the cash register,” Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said.
In December 2005 the offices of the state attorney general and the San Diego district attorney investigated allegations that Wal-Mart stores in California were scanning items at a higher price than the price listed on store shelves and signs. An investigation found scanning errors at 164 stores in 30 counties in the state.
Under terms of the 2008 judgment, consumers who were overcharged should have immediately received $3 off the lowest advertised price of the item or receive it free if the cost was below $3. Under the modified judgment Wal-Mart agreed to pay new penalties and costs totaling $2.1 million and to post large signs at its checkstands describing the refund policy in both English and Spanish. It also agreed to designate a person at every store in California to ensure pricing accuracy.
Steve Restivo, a Wal-Mart spokesman, told SN, “Wal-Mart will always strive for 100% pricing accuracy and will continue to make improvements to ensure we meet this goal.”