Whole Foods CEOs Admit to Overcharging Customers: ‘We Made Some Mistakes’

07/02/2015 at 11:23 AM ET

Whole Foods
Spencer Platt/Getty

Whole Foods has just released a video starring its CEOs—Walter Robb and John Mackey—to respond to backlash facing the company, following a lengthy investigation that accused Whole Foods of routinely overcharging customers.

“Straight up, we made some mistakes,” began Robb, who stood by Mackey in the video released Wednesday.

In June, the Department of Consumer Affairs stated that the supermarket chain, which boasts a total of 422 stores in the United States, had been overcharging customers due to an overstated weight/price ratio when it came to certain items, including vegetables, fruit and prepackaged meat.

Although recent reports took aim at New York City locations, pricing errors were also uncovered in a California-based Whole Foods, resulting in a handful of penalties.

Over the span of the 2-minute video, Robb and Mackey vow to fix the company’s inconsistent pricing issues—which they call “understandable” since the supermarket chain implements “a hands-on approach to bringing [customers] fresh food.”

So, what will the company do to avoid any future pricing discrepancies? Mackey outlines three steps the company is taking to ensure a more accurate shopping experience. On top of increasing training efforts in all New York City locations as well as throughout the country, Whole Foods is applying a third-party auditing system for improved monitoring. “We’ll be reporting back to you, the customer, exactly what kind of progress we’re making here,” says Mackey.

Their final note promises customers a 100% guarantee on all Whole Foods items. “If for any reason, you think there’s a mistake in any of our fresh products, ask the cashier to check on it,” says Mackey. “If there’s a mistake that’s not in your favor, we promise to give you that item for free.”

Time will tell if the new supermarket giant will thrive or hit a standstill with these recent headlines, but Whole Foods’ top executives remain hopeful.

“We want to be perfect in this area,” says Mackey in the video. “We don’t want there ever to be any mistakes.”

—Grace Gavilanes

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Showing 13 comments

arabrabbra on

Poor Whole Foods. You cant be mad at ONE company when literally ALL OF AMERICA over charges, makes products that fail after a few years so you are forced to buy more, etc.

Marie on

Get it together, NY. Whole Foods will stand despite this bad news. I changed my 30 year shopping habits about 2 years ago. I have price compared with Safeway and found several items I am interested in are cheaper at WF and some are more expensive. I don’t have to buy produce in packages like at Trader Joe’s to get what I want. I’ve read the signs in the meat department – WF doesn’t just sell organic; they sell sustainable. Great deals on flowers as well.

Maggie on

Ok WHOLE FOOD when I expect to get a refund???

Amanda on

They are just greedy. Would never shop there

Easyup on

Would the well to do and rich celebrities shopping at their stores have anything to do with their raised prices?

Anonymous on

Why do people think good quality food should be so cheap?
I don’t want to pay immigrant workers $2/hr to pick revolting science experiments doused in poison to feed my kids.
Maybe You complainers should realize what a horrid comosny Walmart is and stop forking over your money to those people just because you’ll save a few bucks.
Here’s a hint: GOOD FOOD DOESN’T COME FROM A BOX.
If you have to recycle the packaging then you shouldn’t be eating it. Everyone wonders why AMERICANS are so fat and it’s simply because it is cheaper to feed people hot dogs, cereal, Pringles, pasta and canned vegetables.
Go to the farmer’s market and take your kids. Pick out REAL food, buy fresh eggs, hormone-free meat, fresh seafood.
I have 2 boys and they’ll eat ANYTHING. My 14 year old loved nothing more than duck confit and pomegranates. My 19 year old is a vegetarian. They both love sushi, all kinds of veg – steamed, roasted or raw but never in a cheese sauce or drenched in butter.
WF is for people who actually care about what goes into their bodies. We don’t want to feed our kids slop and I REFUSE to support Walmart.Seriously, do a little research and you’ll see that paying more for good food is totally worth it. Dog food comes in cans and sacks, people food doesn’t.

JuniorCJ82 on

More like, “Straight up, we got called out.”

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