• Report: #11760

Complaint Review: Safeway

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  • Submitted: Wed, January 16, 2002
  • Updated: Tue, September 05, 2006

  • Reported By:Coos Bay OR
Safeway
155 E 1st St Coquille, Oregon U.S.A.

Safeway False advertising or an honest mistake .. you tell me.

*Consumer Comment: The answer = honest mistake

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Could be both...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Could be both...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Could be both...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Could be both...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Safeway = Ripoff

*Consumer Suggestion: Both have excellent points. I'm so fed up with the demise of customer service and consumer protections, its sickening.

*Consumer Suggestion: Lawsuit??? they have always resolved things to my satisfaction

*Consumer Comment: Safeway does not like to be sued EVEN if they are wrong

*UPDATE Employee: Use Your HEAD !!!!

*UPDATE Employee: Use Your HEAD !!!!

*UPDATE Employee: Use Your HEAD !!!!

*UPDATE Employee: Use Your HEAD !!!!

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On 1/15/02 I made a special trip into town to shop at the Coquille Oregon Safeway Safeway store after my mother informed me she had bought some General Mills cereal and the price ended up being a $1 a box per their ad. The ad stated 3 boxes for $6 and in small print said limit 6 including 3 free. This told me their intent was to give me 3 free when I buy 3 boxes of cereal. My 6 boxes were rang up and my total for the cereal was $12. I challenged this price with the checkers and referred to their ad. They insisted it was a misprint and they would not be able to sell the cereal at the advertised price.

I informed them they had made a sale earlier to my mother and another to a friend and they were not hassled over the price. Although it was only $6, it was MY $6 along with my time and travel expense. I dont know if there is any law protecting the consumer over this type of thing but I would be very interested in any information others have to share on this topic. I fully intend on talking with the local manager and the corporate office about this issue.

I feel that more and more I am getting ripped off because prices are entered incorrectly into the computers. Is this an honest mistake or are the stores intentionally trying to rip me off? It's really hard to say, but somehow the mistakes are always in the stores favor.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/16/2002 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Safeway/Coquille-Oregon-97420/Safeway-False-advertising-or-an-honest-mistake-you-tell-me-11760. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 13Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

The answer = honest mistake

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

When this ad ran, Safeway posted a retraction in the lobby of every store affected by the ad. This right there indicates that it was an "honest mistake" as the OP puts it. The store took every action to make sure that people knew of the incorrect printing BEFORE entering the store. Therefore, they handled the situation exactly as they should have and are NOT responsible for anything more (including your "travel expenses").

By the way, I am still trying to figure out exactly why you would incur "travel expenses" to save just a few dollars. Even if the store refunded the incorrect ad price, wouldn't the amount in your pocket still be $0? It would have made more sense to stay home and forget about the situation entirely. Or if you must argue with the store about it, do so via the telephone.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Could be both...

AUTHOR: Brynn - (U.S.A.)

In my time working at Safeway similar situations to this came up from time to time. The only thing I can tell you is that because of the computer system they use to do the merchandizing, things are not always in the computer properly. However, my experience was that the store I worked at would generally honor the mistake in price or offer an alternative.

However, as someone else pointed out, Safeway (or any other grocery store) is under no obligation to do so. When a store places an ad in a paper, this is simply an offer to sell. It does not mean the store has to sell at that price. Unfortunatly, this is why you should always read the fine print.

My advice to you is this... Be careful. When you see a tag saying something is on sale, make sure it matches the item you are attempting to purchase. Stores will use this tag to price check if there is a problem. This adds some extra work, but it could save you some frustration in the future.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Could be both...

AUTHOR: Brynn - (U.S.A.)

In my time working at Safeway similar situations to this came up from time to time. The only thing I can tell you is that because of the computer system they use to do the merchandizing, things are not always in the computer properly. However, my experience was that the store I worked at would generally honor the mistake in price or offer an alternative.

However, as someone else pointed out, Safeway (or any other grocery store) is under no obligation to do so. When a store places an ad in a paper, this is simply an offer to sell. It does not mean the store has to sell at that price. Unfortunatly, this is why you should always read the fine print.

My advice to you is this... Be careful. When you see a tag saying something is on sale, make sure it matches the item you are attempting to purchase. Stores will use this tag to price check if there is a problem. This adds some extra work, but it could save you some frustration in the future.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Could be both...

AUTHOR: Brynn - (U.S.A.)

In my time working at Safeway similar situations to this came up from time to time. The only thing I can tell you is that because of the computer system they use to do the merchandizing, things are not always in the computer properly. However, my experience was that the store I worked at would generally honor the mistake in price or offer an alternative.

However, as someone else pointed out, Safeway (or any other grocery store) is under no obligation to do so. When a store places an ad in a paper, this is simply an offer to sell. It does not mean the store has to sell at that price. Unfortunatly, this is why you should always read the fine print.

My advice to you is this... Be careful. When you see a tag saying something is on sale, make sure it matches the item you are attempting to purchase. Stores will use this tag to price check if there is a problem. This adds some extra work, but it could save you some frustration in the future.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Could be both...

AUTHOR: Brynn - (U.S.A.)

In my time working at Safeway similar situations to this came up from time to time. The only thing I can tell you is that because of the computer system they use to do the merchandizing, things are not always in the computer properly. However, my experience was that the store I worked at would generally honor the mistake in price or offer an alternative.

However, as someone else pointed out, Safeway (or any other grocery store) is under no obligation to do so. When a store places an ad in a paper, this is simply an offer to sell. It does not mean the store has to sell at that price. Unfortunatly, this is why you should always read the fine print.

My advice to you is this... Be careful. When you see a tag saying something is on sale, make sure it matches the item you are attempting to purchase. Stores will use this tag to price check if there is a problem. This adds some extra work, but it could save you some frustration in the future.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Safeway = Ripoff

AUTHOR: Anita - (U.S.A.)

Safeway does rip consumers off everyday. Their ads are misleading as are their commercials.

I once sat on a break with a bakery clerk, who's English was limited, who laughed when he read one of Safeways glossy flyers that said that Safeway cakes were made from scratch everyday. That should explain the 40# bags of Pillsbury Cake Mix stacked in the backrooms.

Do you buy Foster Farm Chickens?
Well they come in their own bags with their own weight/price tags.
So when they are in a FF bag, but have a Safeway weight/price tag.........they are OLD, hence the good price (Ha!)

Safeway produce is equally old. Rides around in big trucks and sits in warehouses.

Spend $75K to fight a customer...you better believe it.

Go to Burlingame, California website and see what Safeway is trying to do. See how much money and maniuplation that they are doing to ereck a larger safeway in Burlingame.

However Safeway does have a policy to give the customer anything short of a Toyota Truck....looks like from these letters that they aren't living up to their policy.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Both have excellent points. I'm so fed up with the demise of customer service and consumer protections, its sickening.

AUTHOR: Lee - (Australia)

Heck yeah sue for the 2.99 Blueberries! If Safeway puts out ads, flyers, commercials and coupons to entice people into their stores they must be prepared to sell the goods at those prices. I'm so fed up with the demise of customer service and consumer protections, its sickening. When Safeway bought out the Vons chain in the San Diego Area Safeway decided to keep the Vons name to keep customers, however the legendary Vons service went downhill, fast. It is all the same complaints, scanning prices coming up higher than the shelf price, wanting to sell shrimp with the head still on, check-out chicks scanning the higher price tomatoes (organic or hydroponic) automatically instead of the standard and hoping the customer didnt notice, (this brings great profit) the smae for different varieties of grapes, apples, citrus etc. Funny thing is citrus costs more in California where its grown than in New york. the gentleman who stated grocery stores operate on a 2% profit may be correct but I wouldnt jump to the defense of a corporate giant like Safeway, as you can see they would rather spend 75k than give a consumer the benefit of the doubt on a 6$ purchase, to me that screams greed and a screw the customer attitude. Safeway needs to start giving customers who bring in reusable shopping bags a rebate of at least a few cents on their order.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Lawsuit??? they have always resolved things to my satisfaction

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

I have shopped at Safeway for years in Arizona. At times the ads are misprinted, or shelf items are mismarked. Anytime I brought this to their attention they have always resolved it to my satisfaction. In fact one time we were purchasing some plates that were previously on sale, and the manager gave them to us at the sale price.

I have to question why you would sue over $2.99 blueberries, and spend $25K doing it. If you didn't like the price-leave them. Did you ask the manager to honor the .99 cent price? I can't believe that Safeway spent $75K to avoid paying you $1500. If all of this is true, it is lawsuits like these that cause blueberries to cost $2.99.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Safeway does not like to be sued EVEN if they are wrong

AUTHOR: Ric - (U.S.A.)

Safeway routinely rips off consumers as part of their plan to boost profits. I live in Virginia and we and "The Virginia Consumer Protection Act" which is supposed to protect consumers, but it is a very difficult process, even if you get to court the judges are not very sympathetic to consumers because big businesses pay lots of taxes or the judges are just ignorant of the law and its intent. The law basically says that any retailer using a point of purchase scanning system must have the price EITHER on the product or immediately adjacent to it and it must scan at that price, even on sale, or it is a violation of the law. If the consumer prevails they are entitled to $500 per violation plus attorneys fees and $1500 per violation if the it was a "willful" violation. I recently sued Safeway over 3 boxes of blue berries that were priced at 99 cents per package and they charged me $2.99 per package - so I sued them for 3 violations of the "Virginia Consumer Protection Act". To make a very long story short I ended up taking a non suit when my legal expenses had reached nearly $25,000 and Safeway had spent in excess of $75,000 defending the suit. So if you plan on sueing Safeway you had better get set for a battle because they will spend whatever it takes even when they are in the wrong. In reference to the fish, I have bought bad fish from Safeway on a number of occasions, especially salmon which I have found that they get farm raised which they have to feed orange pellets to make the flesh appear to be orange when naturally it would be a tan to brown color. If you check with some other "reputable" retailers you ie Harris Teeter or even Costco you will find that they normally have a notice posted on the package or food counter that says "farm raised" and "color added". In general you will find the same thing with rainbow trout - the wild trout have flesh that is similar in color to salmon but the farmed variety it is tan to brown in color and often has a "liver" taste to it because they feed them liver. You should also be very careful about the crab meat you buy at safeway, I recently bought 8 16oz packages on sale and all 8 were bad. If you buy the shrimp at Safeway make sure you buy it from the counter "thawed", even if it says FRESH at Safeway -- IT IS THAWED, and if you buy the frozen you are paying more for it because they flash it with water Twice when they freeze it supposedly to prevent freezer burn, once is the practice most seafood people use but Safeway does it twice to add to the weight. Same thing in the meat department at Safeway -- in every state except California and I believe Oregon or Washington State they weigh the meat WITH THE BLOOD on the tray to boost the profits, it is called Wet Tare and the only 2 states that I am aware of that they use Dry Tare is because Wet Tare is prohibited by law -- probably just means they have not been caught doing it yet. I have also found that in many cases you will find that many of the more expensive items in Safeway stores have no price at all on the shelf or on the goods and I think it is because most people either do not pay attention when they go through the check stand and in many cases just do not do any about it if they are aware. I have found most of the Safeway employees that I have dealt with to be just hard working and nice people trying to make a living and very helpful for the most part which leads me to believe it is just management policy to cheat an deceive consumers because when ever you have contact with any of the management of Safeway it is generally not a pleasant experience. And by the way, it is very UNLIKELY that it would be an HONEST MISTAKE because ALL of their Sale items are dictated by corporate which downloads EVERYTHING including printing of the ad sale signs directly to each store each week so it is nearly impossible for a single store to have such a problem.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Use Your HEAD !!!!

AUTHOR: Bilbo - ()

I work for a major grocery chain and would like to add a few comments. First, EVERY ad printed carries a disclaimer, which states the company is not responsible for ad misprints (misprinted by the newspaper, NOT the grocery store).

Most stores will honor small errors. Most grocery stores operate on a 2% net profit, so honoring a misprint can destroy profits. Honoring that ad and giving you "your" $6.00, would mean they would have to sell $300.00 in groceries to break EVEN.

Running a grocery store is a penny business!THINK ABOUT IT!!If you are unhappy with the way it was handled--then, SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! And most stores do not intentionally mis-mark prices. I intentional made a sign for a 24 pack of pepsi saying $6.99...the correct price was $5.99 and it rang up at the register for $5.99. Not one person stated that the Pepsi was ringing up a less than it was supposed to..NOT one person for a whole WEEK!! But they will complain over 5 cents!!
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#11 UPDATE Employee

Use Your HEAD !!!!

AUTHOR: Bilbo - ()

I work for a major grocery chain and would like to add a few comments. First, EVERY ad printed carries a disclaimer, which states the company is not responsible for ad misprints (misprinted by the newspaper, NOT the grocery store).

Most stores will honor small errors. Most grocery stores operate on a 2% net profit, so honoring a misprint can destroy profits. Honoring that ad and giving you "your" $6.00, would mean they would have to sell $300.00 in groceries to break EVEN.

Running a grocery store is a penny business!THINK ABOUT IT!!If you are unhappy with the way it was handled--then, SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! And most stores do not intentionally mis-mark prices. I intentional made a sign for a 24 pack of pepsi saying $6.99...the correct price was $5.99 and it rang up at the register for $5.99. Not one person stated that the Pepsi was ringing up a less than it was supposed to..NOT one person for a whole WEEK!! But they will complain over 5 cents!!
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Use Your HEAD !!!!

AUTHOR: Bilbo - ()

I work for a major grocery chain and would like to add a few comments. First, EVERY ad printed carries a disclaimer, which states the company is not responsible for ad misprints (misprinted by the newspaper, NOT the grocery store).

Most stores will honor small errors. Most grocery stores operate on a 2% net profit, so honoring a misprint can destroy profits. Honoring that ad and giving you "your" $6.00, would mean they would have to sell $300.00 in groceries to break EVEN.

Running a grocery store is a penny business!THINK ABOUT IT!!If you are unhappy with the way it was handled--then, SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! And most stores do not intentionally mis-mark prices. I intentional made a sign for a 24 pack of pepsi saying $6.99...the correct price was $5.99 and it rang up at the register for $5.99. Not one person stated that the Pepsi was ringing up a less than it was supposed to..NOT one person for a whole WEEK!! But they will complain over 5 cents!!
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Use Your HEAD !!!!

AUTHOR: Bilbo - ()

I work for a major grocery chain and would like to add a few comments. First, EVERY ad printed carries a disclaimer, which states the company is not responsible for ad misprints (misprinted by the newspaper, NOT the grocery store).

Most stores will honor small errors. Most grocery stores operate on a 2% net profit, so honoring a misprint can destroy profits. Honoring that ad and giving you "your" $6.00, would mean they would have to sell $300.00 in groceries to break EVEN.

Running a grocery store is a penny business!THINK ABOUT IT!!If you are unhappy with the way it was handled--then, SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! And most stores do not intentionally mis-mark prices. I intentional made a sign for a 24 pack of pepsi saying $6.99...the correct price was $5.99 and it rang up at the register for $5.99. Not one person stated that the Pepsi was ringing up a less than it was supposed to..NOT one person for a whole WEEK!! But they will complain over 5 cents!!
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