Last week, the New York Daily News reported that NYC Whole Foods locations have received more than 800 customer overcharge violations since 2010. We always suspected $15 was too much for a single pecan-panko chicken breast, and we were right. Now Whole Foods co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb are seeking to regain customer trust and limit brand damage with the above video announcement.
Robb gets right to the point: “Straight up, we made some mistakes, and we want to own that.” A refreshing lack of PR bullsh*t is a good way to start any statement; plus, that’s a really nice shirt Mackey is wearing.
Robb and Mackey say that they’re taking steps to make sure pre-packaged foods are weighed and priced correctly, so New Yorkers will no longer be overcharged for granola and coconut shrimp. But why should you care?
To make amends, Whole Foods is offering a price discrepancy guarantee: If you feel that you’re being overcharged for an item, ask a cashier to check it for you. If the cashier finds that a pricing error occurred that was not in your favor, you’ll get that item for free.
The other two (less relevant) steps Whole Foods is taking to address the situation are:
- Increased staff training at NYC stores and elsewhere
- Implementation of a third-party auditing system to track their progress at becoming error-free as far as weight/price discrepancies are concerned. (Results will be reported publicly as well as internally.)
It’s always smart for companies to own up to their mistakes, be transparent, and get people excited with the promise of free snacks.
Unfortunately for those clowns trying to get free quinoa salad, all cashiers have scales at their registers. But we wouldn’t be surprised if customers start messing with the scales at Whole Foods. New Yorkers are ruthless, and often behind on their rent.
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