Whole Foods co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb have apologized after investigations revealed customers in its New York City stores were being overcharged for some items.
“Straight up, we made some mistakes. We want to own that and tell you what we’re doing about it,” said Robb in a special video.
The duo asserted that the overcharging was made by in-store employees while prepping the food, and resulted in a relatively small percentage of weighing errors. “We know they’re unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customers’ favor, and sometimes not in the customers’ favor,” said Robb.
To fix the issue, the CEOs have promised to better train their staff and to implement a “third-party auditing system” to ensure across-the-board improvements. As for shoppers, if anyone suspects that overpricing still happens, they can ask cashiers to check the weight of their items. “If there is a mistake that’s not in your favor, we promise to give you that item for free,” they said.
The Whole Foods apology comes after New York City investigators launched a probe of the chain after finding local stores were regularly overcharging shoppers over the last five years.
“Our inspectors told me it was the worst case of overcharges that they’ve ever seen,” New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin told the Daily News. That came after Whole Foods paid an $800,000 settlement in California because inspectors had found the chain guilty of overcharging customers there.