Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay a $2.1 million penalty for charging California customers prices higher than those posted. This was in violation of a 2008 judgment ordering the retail chain to stop the practice. The agreement came after an investigation that began in November 2010 found that Wal-Mart stores in 11 counties made checkout scanning mistakes that left customers paying more than listed prices. The investigation by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris was a follow-up to the 2008 judgment, where 164 stores in 30 counties were found to have overcharged customers.
Wal-Mart agreed at the time to knock $3 off the lowest listed price of an item for any customer who was overcharged. If the item cost less than $3, the item would be free. That program, set to expire in November of this year, will now be extended to November 2013. Wal-Mart will be required to post signs describing the policy in English and Spanish at every checkout counter in all 180 of its California outlets. The company also has agreed to designate a person at every store to ensure pricing accuracy. Consumers should feel confident that the price on the shelf will be the same price they are charged at the cash register. Californians who shop at Wal-Mart should know that they have the right to ask for the appropriate discount. The Attorney General’s office, along with the local agencies involved, should be commended for their efforts.
Source: CBS News
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