MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — During a year and a half period, Marin County officials say inspectors discovered Safeway stores overcharged consumers at several locations.
“What we are seeing is that some stores, especially post-COVID, are really struggling with pricing accuracy. Shampoo, toilet paper, these items are fair game for not getting updated,” said Scott Wise, Marin County Weights and Measures assistant director.
Wise says California law states during an inspection 99% of items tested must be correctly priced at check out, but that is not what they are finding. Safeway isn’t the only store. The pricing inaccuracy was found at other stores using barcodes countywide.
“Pricing accuracy went from 78% pre-COVID to 58% post-COVID. Store cultures have eroded. While we have empathy for businesses, there can’t be consumer harm,” Wise said.
Back in 2014, Safeway stores statewide were caught and fined $2.25 million for overcharging customers. Wise says the stores corrected their errors this time and fines were not issued. However, he does have some advice for those who shop.
Wise says it is best to check and hold onto your receipt and contact weights and measures within your area. Every county has a weights and measure division to hold stores accountable.
KRON4 reached out to Albertsons, who owns Safeway stores. In an email, they said “Safeway takes such claims seriously and is investigating the matter.”