Walgreens Overcharging Shoppers, Says Missouri Attorney General

Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) is under fire again for shelf-tag prices that don't match what shoppers are charged at checkout. The Missouri attorney general sued the drugstore chain over pricing on Tuesday (Aug. 27), the Associated Press reported.

The state began investigating the retailer after many consumers complained that prices displayed on shelves didn't match up with what they paid at checkout, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said. His office sent undercover investigators to eight Walgreens stores in five Missouri cities—St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City and Osage Beach—in June and July.

They found that of 205 items purchased, 43 had price discrepancies ranging from a few cents up to $15. For example, a container of Muscle Milk had a displayed price of $6.99 with a rewards card (which the investigator used), but was charged at $8.99. A package of Lipton tea was marked for a $1.90 discount, but the full price was charged, and Oreo cookies marked at $3.29 each or two for $6 were charged at $4.19 per package.

Pricing problems included outdated price displays for sale items, multiple prices displayed for the same item, full prices charged for items in clearance bins, and discounts offered for rewards members when no discount was given.

Walgreens didn't comment on the lawsuit, but the chain settled pricing lawsuits with California and Wisconsin earlier this year. In January, the retailer agreed to pay $1.4 million and establish a price guarantee program in California after four San Francisco-area counties sued over price discrepancies. In March, Walgreens paid $30,000 to settle claims that it scanned inaccurate prices and didn't post refund notices at stores in Wisconsin.

For more:

- See this Associated Press story

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