Clearance WM meat? class action, baby

Bargain-hunting grocery shoppers know you can often get a good deal in the meat department by looking for clearance-priced packages nearing their expiration dates. But how often do you do the math, to make sure you’re getting as much of a bargain as advertised?

One Florida man who took a close look at the clearance price tags at Walmart concluded he wasn’t getting much of a bargain at all – so now Walmart has agreed to a nationwide settlement that could reimburse him, and shoppers across the country, millions of dollars.

The proposed settlement comes just over a year after shopper Vassilios Kukorinis filed a federal lawsuit, saying that the unit prices and sale prices of meat he purchased at Walmart didn’t match up. From at least February 2015 to the present, he claimed, Walmart “advertised false unit prices for weighted goods placed on sale close to their respective expiration dates.”

Consider the package of chicken tenders that he bought in 2018 (pictured above). It weighed 1.18 pounds and sold at a unit price of $5.78 per pound. That made the original selling price $6.82. When the expiration date approached, Walmart put a yellow sticker on it, reducing the unit price to $3.77 per pound. That should have made the selling price $4.45. Instead, the “sale price” was $5.93.

Kukorinis might have just written it off as an isolated case of bad math. But over a period of several months, he visited a dozen Florida stores and said he found similarly-mispriced packages of chicken, fish, beef, pork and other weighted products. He and his attorneys investigated further, and said they “identified these pricing practices throughout the United States, including multiple stores located in California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, and other states.”  Here’s the interesting article from Coupons in the News.

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3 thoughts on “Clearance WM meat? class action, baby

  1. i’ve noticed this before several times, primarily in deli, but also bakery at least twice, and maybe other departments. the errors might have leaned in my favor (or the eventual purchaser, when i browsed but didn’t buy) sometimes, or at least the final price was nice enough where i did not feel snookered. so i regarded this weirdness more from the perspective of trying — and generally failing — to duplicate their nutso math. i came to the conclusion that they were probably typing the unit and total prices by hand, with no weight multiple actually being applied, and the employee probably just fudging the first field so the machine would stop whining and print the label. 😛

    but if this effort and outcome stops a store chain from effectively claiming that “X * Y = Z” when it actually doesn’t, thus putting an end to the alternative math peddled by their nonsensical stickers, it’s a good thing.

    my guess is that deli/meat department will just throw their labelmakers into the “$N.NN /EA” from “$N.NN /LB” mode, and sidestep unit pricing and its associated discrepancies.

    …or the parent company will bribe a few legislators to declare that “5 * 1.5 = 9 , or whatever the hell we say it is” within specified longitudinal and latitudinal boundaries. alternative math will reign, and any externally-purchased calculators brought into the store will spontaneously combust. that of course will prompt a new wave of even bigger lawsuits, but because of language Mitch McConnell snuck into an Omnibus Spending or Coronavirus Relief bill while the media was busy frothing over Donald Trump’s latest tweet, it’ll all be handled via binding arbitration, and the estates of any terminally unfortunate calculator holders will be forced to pay for the cleanup of their ashes.

    standard practice for binding arbitration, really.

      • hey, i actually enjoy going on tangents. true, the post probably could have ended after saying that real-math calculators will spontaneously combust inside Walmart boundaries. however, that would not have conveyed the injustice and horrors of binding arbitration.

        hug accepted. 😛

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