Albertsons Fined for Scanner Overcharges

SAN DIEGO -- Albertsons Grocery Stores was ordered to pay $1.85 million for scanner overcharges after an investigation by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and other agencies.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said a judge on Friday ordered Albertsons to pay for penalties, costs, and improvements. The judge also imposed an injunction on the grocery chain requiring it to implement procedures to prevent overcharges in the future and to institute a giveaway program in all of its California stores if an item rings up at a higher price than advertised.

Weights and measures inspectors from 15 counties in California, including San Diego County, documented 335 inspections at 157 Albertsons stores in which inspectors were overcharged for items at checkout.

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office brought the consumer protection action with the California Attorney General's Office in order to redress violations that occurred throughout the state.

The judgment requires Albertsons to employ a scan coordinator, whose sole duty will be to ensure accurate scanner system pricing.

Albertsons must take specific steps to correct pricing errors when consumers complain.
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