Walmart faces lawsuit claiming deceptive pricing

Walmart faces a lawsuit for deceptive pricing practices, with claims of overcharging at checkout - Photo by ConsumerAffairs

The plaintiff claims the price at checkout is higher than the posted price

Walmart advertises “Everyday low prices” but a lawsuit claims those prices are deceptive. A court in Illinois has ruled that the suit against the retailer can go forward.

The plaintiff, Yoram Kahn, claims Walmart posts one price on the shelf, but when the item is checked out, the price is slightly higher. Over multiple transactions, the complaint alleges that Walmart pads its profits by millions of dollars.

Kahn told the court that he shopped at a Walmart store in Niles, Illinois, on Aug. 2, 2022, and took note of the prices on the shelves. When he checked out, he was charged more than the price on the shelves. 

Kahn said the price difference on the six items came to $1.89. He contends that Walmart violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and other states’ consumer protection statutes.

Before a U.S. District Court, Walmart successfully argued for the suit’s dismissal. However, Kahn appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which ruled the case can go forward.

What the court said

“The district court dismissed the case on the pleadings and denied leave to amend the complaint,” the justices wrote in their opinion. “We reverse because the complaint states some viable claims.”

Before the lower court, Walmart argued that because Kahn was given a receipt for his translation, showing what he paid, there was no deception. The appeals court didn’t buy it.

“We reject the theory that providing a customer with a receipt after payment stating the actual price charged is sufficient, at least as a matter of law, to dispel any potential deception or unfairness caused by an inaccurate shelf price.”

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