California and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have reached a settlement that will benefit consumers who experience price-scanning errors at Wal-Mart stores. Under the settlement terms, Wal-Mart will give customers $3 back when pricing mistakes are found at the cash register. In late 2005, the California Attorney General’s office began investigating allegations that Wal-Mart stores in California were scanning items at higher prices than those advertised on store shelves and signs.
Investigators said random price-checking statewide found that 164 Wal-Mart Stores in 30 counties had made scanning errors. On average, customers who were overcharged paid an extra $8.40 at checkout. In the settlement agreement, the state said Wal-Mart agreed to implement a pricing accuracy program in California for at least four years. The program includes an “automatic refund” of $3 for confirmed overcharges. But if the overcharged item costs less than $3, it will be free. The state said Wal-Mart also agreed to pay $1.4 million in restitution, civil penalties and reimbursement for investigative costs, and $50,000 to the State Consumer Protection Prosecution Trust Fund.
Source: Sacramento Bee
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