Target agrees to pay $4 million fine for overcharging customers!


target-logoHere’s an interesting tidbit. It looks like Target is paying $4 million to settle claims of false advertising and unfair competition.

Supposedly, at least some stores were leaving up expired sales tags into fooling folks that items were still on sale, while charging a higher price at the register.

Furthermore, there were claims that pre-weighed items actually weighed less than the amount listed on packaging in some instances. You can view the video of a newscast with this story here.

Personally, I bet this is more of a case of a few rogue and/or lazy employees rather than a problem with the corporate culture at Target. What do you think?

Thanks to Coupon Pro for the tip.

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  1. MauraFlorida says:

    It’s funny, but Target recently had killer price cuts on select Ziploc products: $2.50/2 for bags and $2.88/2 for containers. I went in to get some about 10 days ago, but the shelves were empty. The sale signs indicated the price cut would be in effect from Feb 1 through Feb 28, so I didn’t try to get a rain check. Earlier this week, I read on a coupon site that Hip2Save was reporting the deal was dead and the items were back to regular price.

    A couple days ago (Thursday night), I went to Target, checked the shelves, and saw that the sale signs were still up at my store. The shelves were almost empty again, but I got two boxes of sandwich bags and two containers. They rang up for regular price at the register. I told the cashier that the sale signs were still up and that the price cut was supposed to last through the end of the month. She made the price adjustments at the register without sending anyone to see if I was telling the truth.

    If I weren’t as deal-conscious as I am and had a larger order, I probably would not have paid attention to prices I was being charged for those items. I would have assumed the prices matched the sale signs (and there were multiple sale signs attached to the shelves for these products, not just one tag that someone forgot to pull). Moreover, when I bought, it had been about a week since Hip reported the price cut was already over, so my store likely sold a fully stocked shelf of product that did not ring up at the advertised sale price.

    I know every yellow price cut Ziploc sign said the price cut would be in effect for a whole month. I don’t blame the store for keeping the signs up to trick people because it seems to me that Target corporate is the culprit in setting up expectations of a four-week price cut (a fabulous price cut) that they decided to end after only one week. Based on the dates, the person in charge of signage would not have had any reason to pull them.

    • Monica Bragg says:

      Yeah, I believe corporate is fully to blame for this as well.

    • The same situation for me in Leesburg, VA. I wasn’t paying attention when they rang up but fortunately reviewed my receipt before I left the parking lot. Went back in and customer service took care of it; I showed them pictures I’d taken of the sales signs with my phone. The young man said this had been happening all day! He called someone and told them to just take down all the signs! Not the answer in my opinion!

      • I had that kind of situation happen at walgreens! Bought 2 pack of bic razors and told the cahier about the sticker in back marking them 2/$3. Apparently because I broke the computer on my first try one employee went back and took down the sign! She didn’t want to give me the correct price so, thankfully a manager let the cashier correct the price. They left that tag down though.

  2. I really don’t care what companies settle these types of lawsuits, as long as I get a piece of dat pie!

  3. That’s interesting because that very thing just happened to me less than an hour ago at Winn-Dixie. The tag on bacon advertised 5.99 but I was charged 8.99. I looked at the sales receipt when I got to the car and saw the mistake. Took it back in the store, pointed at the sales price tag to the manager and then saw the “through 2/10” small print under it. The manager apologized that someone hadn’t removed the stickers (there were three for multiple flavors) and told me to tell the clerk at the front desk to reimburse me the 3 bucks. I wondered how many people in the last 4 days thought they paid 5.99 but really didn’t.

  4. I don’t think target makes mistakes any more than any other store
    I have caught errors at Walmart , target, Walgreens (especially)
    CVS, and even publix (not often though because they give you one if that item free)

    I feel that target has been more than kind to me
    They have accepted tuns of my coupon without signing
    If the register rejected the coupon they read it and if it matched the item, they put it through
    (Try that at Walgreens!!!!)

    A few months ago when there was a glitch in the system and it did not give the
    5.00 gift card they manually did it, instead of fighting and making excuses

    A few weeks ago at Walgreens there was a crest coupon that stated 3.00 off a 26 is bottle
    Either it was a misprint or they did not wanted to do it
    Coupon beeped. Manager was called and it was a no- go
    She told me some lame excuse that’s it’s off a 16 pa bottle and I had a 16.3 oz bottle. We know that 16.3 is the only side they make other than the much larger bottle. Managers at wags seemed trained to argue fuss and fight when something goes wrong. I usually just walk away without saying a word.

    So I am going to defend target. I think they have decent customer service
    They make mistakes but they make it right in the end

    I think that if anyone should be sued it should be Walgreens
    I seriously detest that store

    • I totally agree with your defending Target, Mike!!! You are right that when they make a mistake they immediately correct it. They don’t complain about my using lots of coupons – in fact they are usually impressed with how much I save! When a coupon or Cartwheel doesn’t work, they always give me the money. They put coupons through manually if they beep and give gift cards if they don’t automatically show up.

      And I totally agree with your comments about Walgreens!!! If I manage to buy a few items using coupons without a problem, I consider it an unusual trip! They are the absolute WORST!! Just last week I walked away leaving all my items at the checkout when they began arguing about coupons and points!

  5. Safeway has also gone through many lawsuits and is notorious for the wrong price being rung up even on the last day of the sale. Be aware and call them on it. Some stores have policies in place that the courts have ordered to punish them for their actions but if we don’t call them to task on it (knowing what they are of course which again puts the burden on us not them) it will continue because they are corporations who answer to their shareholders and not out to give us anything. The almighty dollar speaks loud and clear yet again. Be mindful and be watchful. It is your money to watch.

  6. I watch the Winn Dixie register screens like a hawk! There have been more than a handful of times that I have been overcharged.

  7. This was not some employees forgetting to pull signs. I think this clearly was (and continues to be) a pattern and practice of Target to scam their customers. The $4 million fine was probably a fraction of all the extra money they collected— cost of doing business. I was just in a FL Target today, and guess what, the item did not ring up at the sign sale price. I would love to see Target get forced into the situation Publix got stuck in many years ago— the Publix promise— if it rings up wrong, you get one free. I bet the problem would then get fixed real quick at Target.

  8. and is it just me, or do other coupon-users also feel like Target receipts are the absolute WORST to try to check over and see what you actually paid for a specific item?? Sales prices, deductions for mfr coupons, Target coupons, Cartwheels, mobile coupons, free gift cards — they are all over the place on the receipt…. some right below the item on the receipt, some at the bottom of the receipt and unspecified as to what they applied to, etc. Many times I have found I was overcharged, but just could not convince the cashier – or even explain it to them so they could understand – because of how the coupons were – or were not – deducted. And I’m a math teacher!! They have to drag the coupons out of the drawer, void and re-ring my order, etc. Any suggestions? (great deals, but what a headache!)

    • Monica Bragg says:

      Haha, I HATE their receipts! I haven’t had to return anything there so I haven’t had to struggle through explaining it to anyone.

  9. It’s not just Target!!! Since I’ve been couponing – 6 months- I find mistake all the time –
    And at every store – whether it’s a n error on a price, sale, or a cashier skipping over a coupon —
    One has to pay attention!!
    That’s what Couponing has taught me — pay attention. Consumers are ceated all the time – That’s what has shocked me the most about couponing – all the mistakes!!!
    And like
    Your children – no one loves them or cares about them more then their parent – so it is with coupons!
    Your clerk does not care about the work you put in for a haul, nor that
    Your coupons were skipped, nor your bottom line! PAY

  10. Well Steve you did it again because you have saved so much money at target they have to resort to price fixing to recoup their loses so please in the future hold your gains to a healthy level LOL

  11. oh and by the way you said you only made 3 mil so when are we going to see the other 1 mil split.

  12. Do you guys have the “scanning bounty” law in your states too? Target recently overcharged me for something and i get excited because i know it is going to be a huge moneymaker in the end. In michigan they have to pay you 10 × the amt you were overcharged up to $5. Cha-ching. But since most ppl dont notice, they prprobably make a fortune overcharging.