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Did you get any money from the Walmart Weighted Goods settlement when the checks were sent out earlier this year, to settle claims that Walmart overcharged customers for discounted meat products?

Well, hang onto your Walmart receipts – because a followup lawsuit from the very same plaintiff claims Walmart has continued to overcharge customers, and for a lot more than just clearance-priced meat.

Take a look at the price stickers in the photo above, and do the math. If the rump roast weighs 2.74 pounds, and the yellow tag says it costs $4.31 per pound, that should add up to $11.81 – not the purported “sale price” of $13.88. So which is incorrect, the weight, the unit price or the sale price? And is it just an isolated, innocent mistake – or something more sinister?

It’s far from isolated, according to Florida resident Vassilios Kukorinis. He cites dozens of similar examples in his lawsuit, filed in federal court last Wednesday. He accuses Walmart of “systemic unfair and deceptive business practices” that “deceivingly, misleadingly and unjustly pilfer… its customers’ hard-earned grocery dollars.”

And after successfully getting Walmart to refund some $9.5 million to overcharged customers, he’s looking to force Walmart do it again.

Kukorinis’s original lawsuit, filed in 2019, accused Walmart of putting deceptive price tags on clearanced meat products that were close to their expiration date. His new lawsuit accuses Walmart of continuing to do so – not only on clearance products, but in other areas of the store as well, like the seafood department and the produce section.

Certain bagged produce items, the lawsuit alleges, feature a price tag showing a unit price per ounce, a selling price – and an inflated weight that incorrectly inflates the selling price. Kukorinis bought a two-pound bag of tangerines, for example, with a unit price of 9.1 cents per ounce, which should have made the total price $2.91. But the price tag claimed the bag was 3 pounds, and Kukorinis was charged $4.34.

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The lawsuit also contains numerous photos and examples of meat and seafood products labeled with a low unit price and a higher, incorrectly calculated, selling price. Kukorinis’s receipts appear to show Walmart’s registers rationalizing the higher selling price by inflating the product weight, so the unit price-per-pound seems to add up.

Consider this hypothetical, with nice round numbers to simplify the calculations – imagine a 2-pound package of meat priced at $4 per pound. That should make it $8. But the price tag says it’s selling for $10. So which is correct, the unit price or the selling price? Well, at checkout, the register actually rings up the meat as being 2.5 pounds, in order to justify the $10 selling price.

Kukorinis says he experienced similar situations multiple times – and so, he claims, did Walmart customers across the country. Walmart’s register software “is programed to falsify weights, unit prices and ultimate product prices,” his lawsuit claims. “The frequency and consistent pattern of the falsification practices are not mere errors,” his argument goes on. “Rather, they are symptomatic of a programmed fraudulent scheme.” When confronted with the errors, Kukorinis says Walmart employees could not explain them, could not correct them, and “expressed fear in losing their job if they acknowledged the wrongful pricing conduct.”

Kukorinis’s 2019 lawsuit ended with a settlement, in which Walmart agreed to set aside up to $9.5 million to reimburse shoppers across the country who purchased incorrectly-priced clearanced meat products. Checks for customers who filed a claim were sent out this past May, reimbursing them $1.67 per purchase, unless they could prove the actual amount they were overcharged.

Those checks didn’t resolve the issue, though, according to Kukorinis. Even after reimbursing customers to make up for its alleged wrongdoing, “Walmart did not implement policies, procedures and/or changes… to prevent the use of false and misleading pricing,” the new lawsuit states.

Walmart didn’t admit wrongdoing in settling the original lawsuit, and it’s disputing the allegations of wrongdoing in this latest suit. “Any idea that we would intentionally mislead customers with how we price our products is absurd,” Walmart said in a statement. “We intend to defend Walmart against these allegations and will respond in court as appropriate.”

Kukorinis accuses Walmart of unjust enrichment, and violating state consumer protection statutes and the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. He’s seeking class-action status on behalf of himself and any other Walmart customer who was overcharged for weighted goods since he filed his last lawsuit. And he’s asking the court to ensure that Walmart doesn’t continue to let this happen.

And this time – he means it.

One Comment

  1. This is only one of the deceptive strategies Walmart has used for many years. In previous posts I’ve stated increased prices for items that had active coupons and stackable app rebates. Walmart raises prices that are equal to or more than the value of coupons and rebates offered. They continue to charge more for items than the posted sticker prices everyday. Additionally check your taxes on your receipt. If the % is 4 or higher your paying an extra penny. Just think how every person on every sale gets over charged a penny across every store! How much cash is that!. Our store actually increased the price on all clearance items triple then marked the down a couple bucks. Result is that your paying more than the actual daily price. As you can tell, I hate Walmart. They have monopolized retail in my area, leaving my town with no other options except DG which is just as bad.

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