Walmart and Wegmans Slammed for Overcharging Grocery Shoppers
Some customers were overtaxed, while others were double-charged for their entire order.
It feels like the high price of food is unrelenting—we all just expect to shell out a little bit more for our weekly groceries. Perhaps you've cut back on non-necessities to account for this, or maybe you've decided to take up couponing. Either way, we're all just trying to save where we can. But what doesn't help cost-conscious shoppers is when retailers accidentally charge you for things you didn't buy. Both Walmart and Wegmans are now in hot water for recently doing just that, sparking outrage. Read on to find out what to do if you paid too much.
Walmart shoppers in Alabama were overtaxed.
On Friday, Sept. 1, several Walmart and Sam's Club shoppers in Alabama were surprised to find they'd been charged a bit extra. Shoppers were quick to inform local news station WAFF about the situation, with a Walmart spokesperson confirming the error and attributing it to a recent change in Alabama's tax rates, which went from 4 percent to 3 percent at the beginning of the month.
"Earlier today, some Walmart customers and Sam's Club members across Alabama were incorrectly overcharged sales tax while shopping with us," Joe Pennington, spokesperson for Walmart, told the outlet. "Effective Sept. 1, the sales tax rate on food decreased by one percentage point statewide. Our systems mistakenly charged both the old rate and the new rate at the time of sale."
It isn't clear how many stores were affected, but the issue was fixed by the evening on Sept. 1, Pennington told ABC 33/40.
Best Life reached out to Walmart for comment, and will update this story when we hear back.
The big-box retailer is providing refunds—and gift cards.
On Sept. 1, Pennington urged customers who were overcharged to bring their receipts to nearby Walmart stores and Sam's Club locations "for a refund of the higher sales tax."
However, the retailer also recently confirmed that they're doing a little something extra for shoppers. Customers who visited a Walmart or Sam's Club location in Alabama on Sept. 1 are eligible for a $5 gift card, ABC 33/40 reported.
To get the gift card, you must bring your receipt (dated Sept. 1) to the customer service desk at any Alabama Walmart, the big-box retailer told the outlet. Gift cards will be available through Monday, Sept. 18.
According to ABC 33/40, Sam's Club members who were affected by the tax error will receive $5 in Sam's Cash, which is automatically added to their account.
Wegmans also caught some heat.
Walmart isn't alone in its recent overcharging issues. Customers in the Northeast were double-charged for their orders at Wegmans last month.
In a since-deleted post on X from Aug. 17, a user from New York cited their frustrations with the grocery store. Per the Daily Mail, the user wrote, "@wegmans as if your prices weren't already high enough, I was doubled charged by the Chili Paul location yesterday. What are you to do for everyone involved?"
According to NBC Boston, some Wegmans shoppers in Massachusetts were also double-charged due to a credit card processing error on Aug. 16.
Best Life reached out to Wegmans and will update the story with their statement when we hear back.
If you were affected, you should have received a refund from Wegmans.
In a response on X, Wegmans addressed the New York shopper directly.
"We recently identified an issue with the credit card transactions processed on Aug. 16," the retailer wrote on Aug. 18, per Daily Mail. "Some credit card transactions were inadvertently charged twice for their order. We are working with our processor to reverse the charges. Customers will see this reversed in the upcoming days."
Regarding the situation in Massachusetts, a Wegmans spokesperson told NBC Boston that some credit cards were charged twice, but electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments were not affected. Debit cards were also unaffected, "unless they were processed as credit at the customer's request," the spokesperson said.
As of Aug. 22, the issue was still in the process of being rectified, and Wegmans was actively reaching out to impacted customers.
"Customers who have not already seen the charges reversed should see the duplicate charges refunded in the upcoming days," Wegmans said in its statement at the time.