Walmart Admits It Accidentally "Charged Certain Customers Twice"
Customers noticed double charges when checking their bank accounts.
It feels like inflation is relentless these days, with holiday shopping significantly more expensive than it was in years prior. But what if you end up paying twice as much for your gifts this time around? That is something none of us want to do, even if it is for that someone special. Avoiding overpaying is one of the many reasons people shop at Walmart, but earlier this month, the super-store actually admitted that it double-charged certain customers—landing them with a much steeper bill. Read on to find out why customers were accidentally charged twice.
READ THIS NEXT: Walmart, Dollar General, and Family Dollar Are All Under Fire for Overcharging Shoppers.
Overcharging is a widespread issue right now.
While some customers realized that they were charged two times for their entire order, Walmart has also faced recent backlash for overcharging shoppers on individual items. In a Dec. 9 press release, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) confirmed that 70 stores in 38 counties were fined for price scanner errors. Among these retailers were 14 Walmart stores, which were slapped with fines totaling over $46,000.
Walmart wasn't the only retailer on the NCDA&CS' list: Big-name chains like Family Dollar and Family Dollar were also fined. The errors were identified thanks to the routine price scanner inspections that NCDA&CS performs to confirm that prices are the same at the register as they are on the shelf.
But one customer noticed a separate issue at Walmart, which ended up costing her more than she planned to spend this holiday season.
One customer was out an additional $500.
According to Fox-affiliate KTVI, a Missouri woman was recently charged double for her Christmas shopping. Pam Tovar, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, spent approximately $588.37 on toys and supplies for her holiday dinner. After making the purchase, she said that she checked her bank account.
"It was a big ticket and I had a lot of money going out and I generally do try to check those just to make sure, and I'm glad I did," she told KTVI.
When Tovar reviewed her recent purchases, she was surprised to see two Walmart charges instead of one, amounting to over $1,100. According to KTVI, when Tovar contacted Walmart about the duplicate charges, they told her to reach out to her bank.
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This wasn't an isolated incident.
Once she reached the bank, Tovar realized she wasn't alone in her experience. "When I talked to the lady at the bank, she said the person before me had the same problem at Walmart," she told KTVI. Tovar then posted about her experience on Nextdoor, a neighborhood app, thinking the issue might be isolated to the Walmart in Lee's Summit. However, it wasn't only that store, or even just in Missouri. A shopper at a Walmart in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, reported multiple charges on their bank statement, as did other social media users.
"Hey @Walmart, it's wholly unacceptable to double charge customers," a tweet reads. "Putting the same transactions through a chat later is fraud. Expect a chargeback whilst I contemplate reporting you to the relevant financial conduct governance office for the USA."
Another user tagged Chime, a mobile banking app, asking about double charges on their credit card. "I only went to Walmart ONCE & that was on Monday December 5th for $87.36…Why am I charged for the same exact thing..again?" A third Walmart shopper replied to that tweet, stating that the same thing happened to them on the same date.
Walmart Help responded to customer claims on Twitter, asking shoppers to send support a direct message so they could look into the charges. But according to a Walmart spokesperson, these customers were affected by a larger glitch.
Walmart responded and said customers have been reimbursed.
The shopper in Arkansas, who was not named by KATV, said that she called Walmart's corporate office, and a representative said they were aware of a "technical issue" with the payment system. This was later confirmed to Best Life by a Walmart spokesperson.
"On December 5th, a payment processor Walmart utilizes for credit and debit transactions experienced a technical issue that charged certain customers twice," the spokesperson said. "The issue was resolved, and impacted transactions have been identified and corrected."
The spokesperson directed customers with "questions about posting times" to contact their bank. While it's not clear how many customers were double-charged, both the Walmart shopper in Arkansas and Tovar confirmed that they've received their full refunds.