Loading...
Business

L.A. Ralphs Pleads 'No Contest' (Aka, Admits) to Marking Up Price Tags of Pre-Weighed Items

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Ralphs meat aisle: No longer to be trusted - RYANOROURKE.ORG
  • ryanorourke.org
  • Ralphs meat aisle: No longer to be trusted
Goddammit -- we might as well have splurged on Whole Foods.

An investigation by the L.A. City Attorney's Office, unveiled in May 2010, found that 14 different Ralphs stores throughout L.A. County had been overcharging for prepackaged meats, deli foods, etc. slapped with price tags supposedly based on how much they weighed.

Undercover detectives (the very softcore kind who slink around grocery stores with food scales) found that the weight of ice and packaging was often included in the cost-per-pound total, or that products were just marked up for no apparent reason.

Now, Ralphs is pleading...

... "no contest" (or, "guilty," but not really wanting that kind of filth on their record) to all 62 misdemeanor charges.

Some examples from a May Los Angeles Times article on the investigation:

Many of the charges were for stores illegally charging for the weight of an item's packaging or for including the ice glaze on frozen products, such as fish, in the net weight. Many prepackaged items were also found to be under the labeled weight, officials said.

During one visit to a Granada Hills location, an inspector bought four packages of fried chicken labeled at a net weight of 30 ounces but found the actual weight of the chicken to be short by 3.5% per package.

At a store on Wilshire Boulevard in L.A., an inspector bought a self-service salad and found that the store failed to deduct the weight of the packaging when calculating the purchase price.

The horror! Still, Kendra Doyel, vice president for Ralphs marketing, told the Associated Press she "believes the charges involved isolated events, but [Ralphs] has redoubled its efforts to ensure accuracy."

And, to further illustrate their strength of character, Ralphs released a statement saying company representatives "spent countless hours working with the city attorney's office to try to reach a settlement agreement that was acceptable to both our customers and their office."

Mmkay. The grocery chain already has a slimy reputation for selling wares for more than their worth: It was fined $6,500 in 2008 and $10,400 in 2009 for similar dealings.

Deputy City Attorney Don Cocek, back in May:

"Ralphs is taking money out of their customers' pockets. It might just be 95 cents, but if you add that up over the number of stores they have times the number of times they sell that item times 365 days a days a year, this becomes a huge ripoff."

And Doyel's comeback:

"Our industry faces these challenges every day. ...There's absolutely no malicious intent in this situation whatsoever. It would be an oversight."

It's on, suckers! A final sentencing date will be set today. May the best man win. And may it not be Ralph, if only for the sake of not wasting more city funds on costly undercover investigations concerning slightly overpriced chicken.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Sexual Predator Is Targeting Females in Eastside Park

    A sexual predator is on the loose in an Eastside park, police warned today. Cops say the creep has targeted "lone females" walking in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park three times between January and July. He has groped, exposed himself and even attacked with a knife, the Los Angeles Police...
  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
    2
Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.