Walgreens May Face Fines For Keeping Expired Price Tags On Store Shelves
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has just announced that he has filed a motion for contempt against Walgreen Co. after an investigation carried out by his office revealed that the company had been displaying expired tags in its Walgreens stores in order to deceive customers. The said motion can result in hefty fines for the company.
Koster said that his office had, in fact, visited as much as 50 Walgreens stores across the state from July 26 to September 1. And in the course of these visits, his office had found more than 1,300 expired sales tags in 49 of the visited stores. Previously, there was actually a court order in which Walgreens had committed to removing priced tags within 12 hours of their expiration. However, during the visits, they even found two price tags that had expired back in 2013 and hundreds of price tags that have already been expired for weeks.
The State of Missouri had actually filed a petitions against Walgreens back in 2013 at the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. And in June 2014, the said court entered the Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction. As part of this, a Customer Vigilance Awards was set up for Walgreens customers who have been overcharged as a result of incorrect or expired price tags. Under this program, a customer who has been overcharged for an item that is $5 or less gets to receive the item for free. Meanwhile, a customer who has been overcharged for an item that costs over $5 gets to receive the item at the lowest advertised price and is also entitled to a Walgreens gift card worth $10.
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Meanwhile, the contempt motion recently filed by against Walgreens could mean that the company may be fined up to $5,000 for every expired price tag discovered by investigators in its stores. Furthermore, an additional penalty may also be imposed for expired price tags found in the store in the future. To date, Koster says Walgreens has already paid the state of Missouri as much as $136,500 for pricing violations.