Walmart Shoppers Blast the Retailer for "Price Gouging"
Customers are calling out some major pricing discrepancies at Walmart.
For decades now, Walmart has been advertising cheaper costs for customers. It's even in the retailer's classic motto: "everyday low prices." But the company's reputation may be in danger, as some Walmart shoppers have started questioning this very guarantee. In fact, a few have gone so far as to accuse the retailer of "price gouging." Read on to find out why Walmart is under fire.
A recent viral video blasted Walmart's prices.
Walmart is receiving new backlash over its prices.
On Dec. 21, Nikki Adams, who goes by the username @nikkis_garden_adventure on TikTok, posted a video pointing out a major discrepancy in product prices in a short period of time. According to Adams, she had purchased the 60-count Great Value Large White Eggs from Walmart two months ago for $10.56. Now, the same product has skyrocketed in price.
"I went to the store today, and look how much they were. They were $20 today, that—what?" she said in the video, adding a clip that showed an in-store price tag of $20.22 on the 60-count Great Value Large White Eggs.
Some shoppers are calling out the retailer for "price gouging."
The now-viral TikTok video has been viewed nearly a million times in one week, garnering over 44,000 likes and 2,300 comments during that time. "At what point is it considered price gouging? In the span of a couple of months, the eggs doubled in price," Adams wrote in the caption of the video.
And that's not the only instance of Walmart being criticized for wildly varying prices. On Dec. 23, another shopper took to Twitter to call out the retailer's price for a different grocery staple. "Walmart is now charging $7-8 for one gallon of regular whole milk," the user tweeted. "But yeah, 'what price gouging?'"
Another Twitter user also pointed out a major jump in the big-box retailer's prices recently. "Item I was buying at @Walmart was $6.99 3 months ago," they tweeted on Dec. 5. "It's now $10.99. I am buying it online from the manufacturer now for $6.50—inflation or price gouging?"
Best Life reached out to Walmart for a response to these customer complaints, but has not yet heard back.
Walmart's CEO warned about higher prices recently.
During a Dec. 6 interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon opened up about the retailer's current and future prices. According to McMillon, inflation is still bearing down on consumers in certain areas despite efforts to "keep prices low for everyone" at the company's stores.
"Fresh food is more volatile. It fluctuates more. So today, beef prices are down, chicken prices are still high, for example. Produce prices are relatively low relative to what they were before," he said. "Dry grocery, processed foods, and consumables are where the inflation is most stubborn. Double-digit inflation rates have been around for awhile and it looks to us like they're going to be with us for awhile."
McMillon also indicated that a new problem could lead to prices getting worse over time: shoplifting. "Theft is an issue. It's higher than what it has historically been," he said during the interview. "If that's not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close."
The retailer has faced different problems with overcharging in the past.
Shoppers are now complaining about price increases in particular, but Walmart recently earned backlash for a number of different overcharging claims.
In October, a shopper took to TikTok in a now-viral video, claiming she was overcharged during a recent trip to Walmart. Julia Taylor, who goes by the username @julesakajuliataylor on TikTok, said that she had been charged nearly $20 for an item she didn't purchase and that employees couldn't find in Walmart's system.
There have been other more widespread issues as well. On Dec. 9, a press release from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services revealed that 14 Walmart locations in the state were fined for overcharging customers. The stores had to pay up to $5,000 each in fines, and that's on top of fines some of the stores had been forced to pay for the same issue earlier in the year.
That same month, several customers claimed they had been charged double for their orders. Missouri resident Pam Tovar told Fox-affiliate KTVI on Dec. 12 that she spent approximately $588.37 on toys and supplies for her holiday dinner, but was charged over $1,100. Another shopper in Arkansas told ABC-affiliate KATV about a similar issue, and said they were told by Walmart's corporate office that there was a "technical issue" with the payment system.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed this to Best Life at the time, admitting that some of its shoppers had been charged twice. "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."