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The Austin Business Journal reports that "inspectors in New York City have found Whole Foods Market Inc. stores there regularly sold mislabeled products that resulted in many customers being overcharged — and some walked out unknowingly with a deal ... In all, the 107 inspections over five years found 800 violations that meant the grocery chain was hit with $58,000 in fines.

"Not all of the mislabeled items resulted in overcharges, the report said; some actually resulted in undercharging, as it appears some items were marked as having uniform weights even though they might weigh more, thus giving a bit of a discount to customers."

Time reports that Whole Foods says that it "never intentionally mispriced items, and other industry representatives have pointed out that mislabeling is often the fault of manufacturers packaging foods—not grocers."

And Fox Business reports that Whole Foods Chief Litigation Counsel John Hempfling says he disagrees with the agency's charges, saying that the city's Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) "is trying ... to coerce us into paying way more money on damages claims that they don’t have evidence to support ... We’re willing to sit down and talk with the DCA, and in fact we have. We’ve cooperated with them every step of the way.”

Hempfling characterizes the mislabeling as human errors, and says that "the company has instituted measures to catch mistakes."
KC's View:
The problem, of course, is that in the modern competitive environment, these kinds of mistakes can get a lot of attention ... and it doesn't help Whole Foods' image one iota.