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TRue Weights and Measures? : Whole Foods - moved from Pennsylvania board

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Whole Foods stores feature real butchers, who give you what you ask for, weigh it, wrap it nicely, and give it to you to take to the checker. Based upon my experience today, I will never leave the meat counter without inspecting the label first.

Got home; noticed I'd been overcharged $7.00 per pound--the label on my package said 'rib steak, $12.99/lb, not the ground buffalo I had purchased at $5.99/pound. Not too happy, I called and asked for the manager. Was told I would have to bring the meat back to have an adjustment... Not too happy, I tried to talk manager into giving me a credit on my credit card for the dollar difference. Nope, he said. I'm only about a mile away, so off I went, 'with attitude'.

Surprisingly, the manager at the Customer Service Dept. told me it happens every day! According to him, the butcher punches in a code, and if that code is off one digit, voila, you might wind up with a label for rib steak instead of ground buffalo.

Has this happened to other Chowhounds? I could not help but doubt the manager's story.

Somehow I doubt those errors of 'one digit' occur in the other direction... What have your experiences been?

( I left out something important. Once in the store, the manager told me that he would refund all my purchase price, which he did. But, he never mentioned that to me on the telephone...)

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  1. How times change, yet remain the same. Now it's any one digit, in times past it was always a thumb.

    1. I look at the price on the scale before the butcher (at any estabishment) prints out the label. I can tell right then if something isn't right. I then look at what is printed on the label. Before putting the package in my cart.

      Right now I am thanking every single math teacher who 'forced' me to learn to do multiplication in my head...

      1. This reminds me of shopping two weeks ago, when I bought 2 boxes of raspberries prices at 2/$4. When I got to the register, they charged me $5. When I pointed it out to them (I watch prices ever since another market once charged me for 333 limes rather than 3 limes), the cashier said a couple other people had commented to her about that already that morning. She called the manager over, who said the same thing (that a number of people had already complained). So, as I waited for them to do a price check and get the correct price (I was right - 2/$4), I began to wonder about how if they knew this was a problem why didn't they fix it earlier and how many people had either not noticed or just let it slide b/c it was "only $1". And yes, I wonder if they would have taken action more quickly had they heard numerous complaints from people that they were being undercharged.

        p.s. - While I was waiting for the price check, a woman behind me definitely got bugged and kept saying "all of this over just $1". I just smiled and said, "But it's my dollar."

        1. You should always check to make sure you're getting charged correctly, especially when buying those high ticket items such as beef or seafood.

          I find it amusing that you think the changed digit is intentionally done in WFM favor and never to the advantage of the customer. How many people do you think would say something when charged the 5.99lb for buffalo instead of the 12.99 for the rib steak they got? Sad to say but I think you'd find a large number wouldn't say a thing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: snowpuck

            The usual rule is that the consumer is entitled to the lowest marked price, but I doubt that should cover misnaming and a secondary pricing error. Some places would give you one free item of an improperly elvated price, but that policy seems long gone. I find it all too common that an advertised special in a flyer and on stocking sign is not reflected in the price the scanner charges. I am always given the correct price if I call it to the store's attention, but I doubt the nice shoppers with full carts even notice the problem.

            Caveat emptor.

          2. "it happens every day" . . . ugh!!!!!

            it would be nice if they were concerned about fixing the problem. but i guess all those extra charges pay off in their favor, so why bother? it's one of the reasons i stopped shopping at whole foods.

            1. It isn't just WFM that makes such mistakes. Shopping for ground beef recenlty at Publix, looking for a package closest to one pound, and noticed one package marked as weighing over 3 pounds, but the mass was very close to the just over one pound package I was about to purchase. Notified the meat dept. clerk nearby who was restocking, who said thta mistakes do happen. No nefarious intent.

              Have also noticed from time to time - albeit very rarely - prime meat priced at choice prices. I must admit that when I've found that situation I've purchased it rather than notify the management. But generally I try to use the same logic when pointing out pricing errors - I point out errors that result in me being udercharged just as I point out errors resulting in an overcharge to me. It is the the right thing to do (and should have been done on the prime-priced-as-choice, but saintliness is hard to achieve).