In response to a recent New York City investigation that found rampant overcharging on prepared foods, Whole Foods Market has issued a video apology to its customers.
Company founder John Mackey and Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb appear in the video, addressing the weight issue: “Straight up, we made some mistakes,” says Robb. “We wanna own that and tell you what we’re doing about it.”
Robb and Mackey say the errors were just that, not intentional overcharging scams. “It’s understandable that sometimes mistakes are made,” says Robb. “They’re inadvertent, they do happen, because it’s a hands-on approach to bringing you the fresh food.”
Whole Foods says the overcharging happened with a “very, very small percentage” of pre-packaged food items, including sandwiches, juices and fresh cut fruit and were unintentional “because the mistakes are both in the customers’ favor and sometimes not in the customers’ favor.”
The investigation conducted by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs found more than 800 violations at Whole Foods Market locations throughout New York City. Some of the overcharges were as high as $15.
Now, Whole Foods says it will be implementing a third-party auditing system and will issue its first progress report in 45 days.
“We want to give a 100 percent guarantee to our customers,” Mackey said in the video. “If you think there is a mistake in any of our fresh products, ask the cashier to check on it. And if there’s a mistake that’s not in your favor, we promise to give you that item for free.”
The chain says it’s also planning on increasing its training programs in all stores because it wants “to be perfect in this area,” according to Mackey. “We don’t want there to ever be any mistakes.” This is at least the second time the stores were called out for overcharging: Organic Authority reported on a 2014 incident in California Whole Foods stores as well.
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