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Walmart price 'rollbacks' scam?

A few months ago while shopping in the local Walmart, your own Elbert County Examiner noticed that a price rollback on Starbucks ground coffee wasn't honored at the checkout. After taking the issue to the Customer Service department in the store, a credit was issued and a promise made to correct the issue. Several weeks later however, the coffee was still marked with a price rollback flag but the price at the checkout was still reflecting the 'original price'. Once again, complaints were made to Customer Service and once again, credit was issued.

About 4 weeks ago, this time while purchasing HE Tide liquid detergent, your Elbert County Examiner once more experienced the 'original price' vs. 'rollback price' issue. This time, the young male clerk at the checkout walked back to the laundry isle to see for himself the rollback flag. During the walk back to the checkout, in response to the question "why is this apparently a common problem here?" he responded "we're just too busy". Horrified by his response and on behalf of Walmart shoppers everywhere, we were deeply offended and furious.

How many shoppers have stocked up on items at Walmart having seen the rollback price at the shelf and never noticed the discrepancy? Is this a deliberate policy on the part of Walmart to promise one price on the shelf, but in fact charge another (higher) price at the checkout and hope you don't notice or don't have time to run over to Customer Service and wait to have a credit issued? This surely doesn't seem like the Walmart of old - a ferocious warrior on behalf of small town America shoppers.

Once more, we trudged over to the Customer Service department, however this time we issued an ultimatum - "fix this issue".

Since then, random checks of "rollback" pricing using the units throughout our local Walmart showed that it appeared as though the issue had been corrected. That is, until this morning. This time on the Breakfast aisle, the Cinnabon breakfast snacks were marked on rollback at $2.00 vs. the "original price" of $2.25. The price scanner nearby confirmed the item was still in the system at $2.25. The checkout also confirmed once more the rollback price to be something purely for the shelf. There are no excuses for this. Period. But we have to contemplate since Walmart is one of the more advanced retailers in terms of technology, how hard is it to ensure that the price advertised is the actual price charged?

Check your local Walmart's "rollback" pricing using their own units throughout the store. If you come across any discrepancies, report them to their Customer Service department, but feel free to post them here as well.

Comments

  • Profile picture of Chrissy Morin
    Chrissy Morin 3 years ago

    I always try to pay attention when I'm checking out but if you are buying a bunch of stuff there's no way to remember the prices. That's just wrong. :(

  • Profile picture of Frances Childress
    Frances Childress 3 years ago

    I also try to pay attention, but many times I am too busy to check and just trust 'them.' Thanks for the heads up and I'll share this so others will be alerted, too!

  • Gayle Gresham 3 years ago

    Thanks! I'll be keeping my eye on prices when I shop there today.

  • Profile picture of Brent McGrady
    Brent McGrady 3 years ago

    I have never had this problem luckily, and I always check my receipt to be sure.

  • BR 3 years ago

    Shop at Safeway then...oh wait, their prices are more expensive "on sale" than regular price at Wal-Mart. It would seem to me that, these types of MISTAKES are common place in a store with hundreds of thousands of individual items and I bet if you look hard enough at Safeway you will find the same errors. Bashing a retailer who has saved this community ALOT OF MONEY over shopping at our other option in town, seems extremely short sided. What you should be "offended and furious" about is how Safeway lowered there prices by 10 - 15% accross th board when Wal-Mart opened, hence they have been gouging us for many, many years.

    Also, thank you for pointing out Wal-Mart's mistakes to us. We now know that it is actually run by normal humans (who make errors) and not some evil empire destined to end us $.25 at time.

    Wal-Mart Rollbacks a Scam? No, but counting this BLOG as "reporting" most certainly is. Awful, just plain awful.

  • The Real BR 3 years ago

    So BR, you knock the writer of this article (btw...Examiner.com is NOT a blog) for investigative journalism and tell her that if she doesn't like it, she should shop somewhere else?

    Typical.

    I appreciate the writer pointing out that Walmart has some work to do with keeping their prices correct. An issue that not a lot of us are likely to notice in our hurried day. It's their responsibility to enter that rollback price the minute they put up that sign.

  • JMS 3 years ago

    Vickie - I agree. There is nothing more annoying than having to argue over the cents!! Love your stories!

    BR - There are a number of laws, state and federal, that prohibit the mislabeling and pricing of retail goods.
    The Federal Trade Commission actually spends YOUR tax dollars to enforce these laws and make sure shelf prices match those that ring up at the register. It's called protecting the consumer. So when you find a store that is a repeat offender, especially one that has roots in almost every city in America and lives by the "Save Money, Live Better" mantra, it's a bit more than a MISTAKE.

    And Wal Mart is not run by humans. It's the largest corporation in the WORLD directed by share-holders, investors, and board members - like every other billion dollar corporation nickel and diming profits from you.

    Perhaps the next time you choose make an argument for either side (this one seems to waiver back and forth), make it a credible one. If not, stick to what your mama said: if you don't have anything nice (or educated) to say, don't say anything at all.

  • Elbert County Examiner 3 years ago

    BR- Your point about Safeway is an interesting one - yes, the higher prices were offensive, but at least they made no pretense about them (i.e. advertised a lower price and then charged a higher one). Shoppers could make a decision whether to shop there (or not) based on their honest (if inflated) pricing. But you said - "Bashing a retailer ....... seems extremely short [sighted]."

    So - I take it you'd rather nothing was reported and people continued to pay higher prices than advertised? Higher prices than they *think* they're paying? Seriously???

    Love the little jab - sticks and stones my friend, sticks and stones.
    How *is* the weather in Bentonville these days?

    @ JMS - thanks for the props!

  • Profile picture of Lisa Keipp
    Lisa Keipp 3 years ago

    Good info. I'm sure this isn't a porblem at just one store. Perhaps we all need to start writing lists of what you;re buying, the original price and the roll back prices, so that we can present the facts to Walmart corporate.

  • RobertYoungberg 3 years ago

    This happens all the time at most retail stores. At the local KingSoopers several years ago they had a policy that you got the item free if there was a price discrepency. I told my son that I would give him all the $ he saved me if he checked the receipt and found any errors. He got $ almost every time we went shopping - at least $10 - $20 a week. He is now 32 and checks every receipt when he shops, and saves a lot of $, particularly restaurants!

  • Anonymous Slouch 3 years ago

    I'm pretty sure it's just your walmart that is a complete hole in the wall, backwoods walmart. I've been to many of them, all over the world even and don't ever have this problem (and I'm a receipt checking neonaz!!)

  • Analyze This 3 years ago

    I'm uncovering Walmart scams every time I enter the store. One popular scam is soda sold in 24 can cases. They will stack Coke and Pepsi products back to back with price signs on both sides with the same price even though one is higher than the other. I thought I was buying Coke at $5.99/case when the price was actually $7.99. I took that item off my purchase.

    Another scam is mixing higher priced sized items such aspirin or antacid tablets within the lower priced categories. You think you're buying a $3.59 size when you are actually picking a $4.99 size. Sometimes the lower priced item shelf tag is covered with an advertising placard. So you sometimes instinctively pick the item you can see the price on not the lower priced item you originally wanted.

    Walmart recently remodeled some stores and moved the self scanners farther away from items they intentionally omit a shelf price tag or don't even put a price on. In some stores, they removed the signs showing where the scanners are located. They're banking on you not caring about the price.

    Snack cakes... If Walmart determines more off brand or house brand snack cakes are being sold than the national brands, they drop those items to lure customers to higher priced Hostess or Little Debbie's products.

    This week I found Dawn dish detergent in the 19 and 24 ounce size for the same price! Which one do you think was at eye level? The 19 oz of course!

    Walmart is in business to make money any way they can!

  • Analyze This 3 years ago

    Another "low price scam". Skim milk sells for $3.49 /gal at Walmart but only $1.89 at the Aldi across the street. Same milk by USDA standards but $1.60 higher.

    House brand Specialty breads.. can only be displayed in quantities of 6 loaves at a time. They run out quickly therefore only higher priced brands and sizes are available most of the day.

    Orange juice... Never a bargain at Walmart. Rarely will you find a brand name for under $3.00 /half gal. Walmart brand has watered down taste.

    Produce... Like most grocers, the fresh stuff is on the bottom. Whatever you take from the top better be for tonight's dinner otherwise it will be ready for the trash in two days. Walmart produce has a rapid deteriorating rate.

    Electronics... Whatever TV you buy this month will be cheaper 60 days after you get it home. Walmart is well known for selling models you can't compare with competitors. They will only match prices within their marketing territory and the exact same model number. Walmart has a deal with Sharp, Visio, Samsung, Philips and Panasonic to assign special model numbers that aren't sold in competing stores even tough they are nearly identical.

    Made In USA? The last I heard was only 3% of the merchandise sold at Walmart excluding food is Made In USA. The majority of Walmart merchandise is made in China, Mexico, India and Pakistan. If it comes off a ship, it's going to be found at Walmart.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    You appear to be overweight, so why are you buying Cinnabon snacks in the first place. Obesity adds 325 billion to health care costs annually. Now there is a real story.

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