Whole Foods CEOs admit to charging customers too much

Walter Robb and John MackeyYouTube/Whole FoodsWhole Foods co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb apologise to customers in an online video.

Whole Foods’ two top executives have apologised for overcharging customers. 

“Straight up, we made some mistakes and we want to own that,” Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb said in a two-minute video apology alongside John Mackey, the chain’s co-founder. 

Whole Foods came under fire last week after a New York City investigation revealed that several stores were mislabeling packaged foods and selling them for more than they were worth.

City inspectors claimed it was the “worst case of overcharging” that they had ever seen, according to the Daily News

In the apology video, Robb and Mackey said the overcharges were unintentional and that they mainly occur with packaged fresh foods like sandwiches and juices. 

“It’s understandable sometimes that mistakes are made,” Robb said. “They are inadvertent. They do happen because its a hands-on approach to bringing you fresh food.”

The company says it’s taking three steps to fix the problem.

First, Whole Foods is going to retrain employees in New York stores and around the country.

Secondly, the company will implement a third-party auditing system for all its stores to make sure employees are weighing items properly. 

“We want to see whether we’re making any progress in this area or not,” Mackey said. The company will start reporting its progress to customers in 45 days.

Lastly, Whole Foods will start refunding customers for the full price of any product that has labelling errors.

“We want to be perfect in this area,” Mackey said. “We don’t want there to ever be any mistakes.”

Here’s their full apology:

In the New York City investigation, inspectors weighed 80 items from eight Whole Foods stores and found inaccurate labelling on every item, according to the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

For example, inspectors weighed eight packages of chicken tenders, which were priced at $US9.99 per pound. Consumers who purchased these packages would have been overcharged by about $US4.13 on average, according to a DCA release. One package was overpriced by $US4.85.

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