A fine of $67,618 and three years of probation have been ordered for the grocery chain Ralphs Grocery Co. This happened after the Company pleaded no contest to the complaints of its Los Angeles customers for overcharging for weighed products and prepackaged foods. The no contest plea came before the cases were scheduled for trial.
Similar complaints also happened in 2008 and 2009, for which Ralphs Grocery Co was also fined for almost $17, 000. During that time, Ralphs had been charged with 59 misdemeanor counts. Meghan Glynn, then spokesperson for Kroger (Ralphs parent company), said that the company is taking the situation seriously and will conduct their own inquiry. She also added that they will take the necessary corrective actions.
The ruling was issued last Wednesday by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson for 62 misdemeanor charges which include 19 counts of mislabeling, 18 counts of illegal computation, and 10 counts of selling under weighed products. Also included in the misdemeanor charges are 15 counts of false advertising.
City prosecutors revealed that undercover inspections were done on Ralphs’ stores in Los Angeles. The inspections saw proof that customers were being extorted in 14 Ralphs Grocery Co. stores. Kendra Doyel, spokesperson for Ralphs Grocery Co. and Vice President for Marketing, stated that a settlement has been made which is both agreeable to the City Attorney’s office and the stores’ customers. Doyel stated that Ralphs believes that the cases involved had been “isolated activities.” She stated that efforts will be redoubled to make sure that accuracy is achieved in their business.
News Source: Business Week