Walmart is accused of ‘misleading its consumers’ by doing this

Walmart recently got it right: they offered shoppers more shopping opportunities through restored Walmart and expanded the capabilities of their search engine for those who speak Spanish. But along with the good, there is also the bad, as a consumer claims the retailer is knowingly abusing you. Deception is a pretty serious charge, but that’s exactly what a new lawsuit alleges Walmart, along with Target, are guilty of. Read on to find out what the lawsuit says and why you might want to double-check your last purchase receipt.

READ NEXT: Walmart and Dollar General come under fire for doing this to shoppers.

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Thanks to its size and reach, Walmart is by no means immune to criticism. The retailer was sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on June 28 for alleged money transfer fraud, as the agency claimed Walmart had “defrauded consumers of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Walmart refuted the claims, but the retailer found itself in hot water again on August 3 when it was hit with significant fines by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. According to a department press release, 19 Walmart stores overcharged customers due to price scanner errors during the second quarter of 2022, as did 27 Dollar Generals, six Family Dollars and two Targets, among others. Walmart owed a grand total of $95,665 in penalties, but this wasn’t the first time price scanner errors had been detected at Walmarts in North Carolina. In April, four Walmarts in the state were hit with penalties totaling $22,165.

Pricing becomes even more of an issue as the retailer has just been hit with another lawsuit.

went to walmart
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Apparently, the inconsistency not only affects customers in North Carolina, but those in Illinois as well. Yoram Kahn filed two separate class action lawsuits against Walmart, Inc. and Target Corporation. According to Top Class Actions, Kahn says both retailers have “shelf pricing” that “often distorts the prices charged to consumers at the point of sale.”

Put simply, Kahn says the price you see on the shelf doesn’t match what rings at checkout. It violates Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Marketing Practices Act, Kahn claims, alleging that Walmart and Target are “guilty of unjust enrichment,” as reported by Top Class Actions.

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Shopping cart at Walmart

Kahn alleges that this price discrepancy directly impacts buyers who “fall victim to a ‘classic’ bait and switch,” the lawsuit states, per Top Class Actions. Customers can then pay more without even realizing it. The lawsuit alleges misrepresentation of prices costs Walmart shoppers 5-10% more, but for Target customers the range is even wider, between 5-20%.

“Consumers reasonably rely on shelf price to make informed purchasing decisions and reasonably expect to pay the advertised shelf price when they reach the checkout,” the two lawsuits state.

By not matching prices between shelf and register, Kahn says each retailer is “cheating their customers,” a concern echoed by several consumers, according to the comments section of the Top Class Action article.

“I’ve been saying this for years! Also, these stores place OTHER products based on sale price so customers assume that’s the actual price of said products,” one commenter wrote, adding that they had in mind. makes away the products from the improper shelf. the price. Another commenter added that it’s “very annoying that I can’t trust these companies not to play games like this.”

Better life has contacted Walmart and Target for comment on the lawsuit, but has not yet received a response.

Close-up of a person using their smartphone to shop on the Walmart website or app

Allegations have also been circulating on social media platform TikTok.

“Walmart is scamming people, so listen up,” a TikTok user named Brenna, who uses the handle @brennasbakery, said in a July 29 video. She said she had gone to buy Wilton chocolate candy at Walmart, but when she got to the register, the chocolate sounded more expensive than the listed price. According to Brenna, the online price, as well as the price in the store aisle, was $2.62, but the chocolate was $4. After asking the cashier for a price match, she then noticed that five more items in her cart were ringing higher.

“I understand that inflation drives up a lot of prices,” she said in her video. “But if the price also says something online, and you can buy it at that price online, and it’s that price in the aisle, they rip you off. They deliberately mark up the prices because most people won’t check that when they check.”

However, if you find an item online that is priced lower than it is listed in store, Walmart’s policy is to match prices, as confirmed to Best Life by a company spokesperson.

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