Meijer Ripping Off Their Customers

by derek on November 3, 2007 · 18 comments

Much like I will no longer spend money at Best Buy, my wife does not like to spend money at Meijer and this afternoon she was reminded why.

Moose Tracks

About two weeks ago, I had received a coupon for a free half-gallon of Meijer-brand Moose Tracks ice cream courtesy of FreeMoneyFinance. Today we swung by Meijer while we were out shopping to redeem the coupon and pick up our free ice cream.
The shelf price for the ice cream indicated that the Meijer-brand Moose Tracks sells for $2.99. The kids grabbed a carton off the shelf and we proceeded to the self-checkout lane. We scanned the carton of ice cream and the price rang up for $3.09 – ten cents different than the shelf indicated.
Not a big deal as I had a coupon so it was going to be free anyway. We scanned the coupon and noticed that the value of the coupon only rang up for $2.50. Correct me if I am wrong but $2.50 does not equal $3.09 – meaning the free ice cream wasn’t free at all.
Now the issue with the coupon may be a matter of geographical differences, so in some areas a carton of Moose Tracks may retail for $2.50 or less. So I can understand why the coupon may have differed from the actual retail price.
However, how does Meijer explain the fact that their shelf price is different than the price that rings up at the register?
This is the exact reason that my wife does not like to shop at Meijer as she noticed this happens quite frequently. On a single item the difference of $0.10 does not seem all that significant. But think about how many people shop at a single Meijer store each and every day – that $0.10 really starts to add up. If you consider all of the Meijer stores across the country, this small discrepancy between the shelf price and the register price could be adding millions to the bottom line for Meijer.
Could it just be our local store that has this problem with their prices? Anything is possible, but somehow I doubt that to be the case.
The next time you shop at Meijer, pay close attention to the shelf price of your items and the price that rings up at the register.
You may be getting ripped off by Meijer and not even realize it.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Mika November 3, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Meijer consistently does that in our area too, you have to watch your receipt like a hawk. Maybe a store-wide policy of over charging?


Jeep parts November 3, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I’m not familiar with the U.S law regarding this but surely shops have to honour advertised/shelf prices?


Nick November 3, 2007 at 10:26 pm

That’s interesting that it appears to be common in your store, but even more interesting that it happens elsewhere (Mika’s store) and definitely seems to b a corporate trend. Now the question is whether or not it is intentional or if there is some other reason for this consistennt problem.
$0.10 doesn’t seem like much, but if you have 150 items in your cart (and there are a lot of people who do) and even 1/3 of them are marked up like that, that’s an extra $5.00. Plus if you look at how much that adds up to for a large number of customers, someone is definitely makin’ some extra.


Furniture Stores November 5, 2007 at 12:20 am

Sounds like a cheap trick, unless it was somehow an oversight on someone’s part.


Home Recording Studio November 5, 2007 at 8:51 am

No matter what country you are in, this is unethical and I hope that someone in Meijer is reading this blog and the comments and come out with some damage control and apologies. This could well snow ball into a major lack of faith and this is not something that they would want.


Spencer Harris November 26, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I am sorry this is a serious problem. Being a Meijer Store Director I emphasis this problem. I am sorry for any incovenance in your shopping experience, and that this is a human error problem. Please continue to shop at Meijer we are sorry for any inconvence this may cause to any individual. We like to have a problem free propt checkout and great experience. Thank You,
Spencer Harris


derek November 26, 2007 at 8:48 pm

Spencer, thanks for taking the time to comment. What area of the country are you a Meijer Store Director? Can you explain what you mean about the human error problem?
Is the problem that the shelves are being labeled incorrectly? Or are the items scanning incorrectly? We pick up one or two things from Meijer from time to time if it is more convenient to stop there but our normal grocery shopping is done at other stores right now.


Sacred April 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Since I work in retail, though not at Meijer, I can understand how this can happen. Human error is basically meaning that there was probably a price change (increase) and the department lead or manager activated the new price (being more) before they changed the shelf tags and labels. This would definitely explain your situation. I hope this has helped to clarify. Most cases I run across, it is in the customers favor, where a decrease in price has happened and rings up that way, but it is priced higher.


derek April 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I’ve worked in retail as well, and while I can understand what you are saying and know that it does happen – it seems to happen far too often at Meijer to say that is the cause.
Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Ed Kohler November 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

That’s strange. I believe I’ve heard that grocery stores tend to err on the side of underpricing.


Erik Karey November 5, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Oddly, I’ve had this happen with a coke rewards coupon. The coupon would pay for a coke that is $1.35 or less, where a coke was selling for $1.59.


Nick November 7, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I’ve noticed this too and think that it is understandable. It’s the difference between shelf price and register price that is really disconcerting (did I spell that right?)


derek November 5, 2007 at 5:15 pm

@Mika :: Thanks for the feedback. After noticing it a few times, my wife had enough and has decided to shop at other stores in the area as a result.
@JP :: I haven’t researched laws but in my experience the policy varies from store to store. Some will honor the advertised price even if it is wrong while others will stick to the price that rings at the register and you can take it or leave it.
@Nick :: Hearing that others have experienced the same thing makes me think it is more than just an innocent accident. For the most part, we have voted with our feet and shop at other stores whenever possible.
@Ed :: Thanks for the feedback.
@Erik :: Yeah, I can understand the issue with the coupon as prices do vary around the country and the coupon has a specific dollar value assigned. In some cases, the product cost will be more than the coupon value. But the discrepancy in the shelf price and register price is more alarming.


Liz August 5, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I’ve run into this problem too. Funny how offended the checkers get at how offended we are when the price is magically wrong at the register.
While my experience with Meijer has been limited, I get this all the time at home.
Has anyone ever noticed that the ooops just seem to ALWAYS be in favor of the grocer.
I’ve noticed that major retailer are just as bad as the grocery stores, just more subtle.


fred October 13, 2008 at 9:18 am

Its funny to listen to all the theorys when in fact its a matter of give and take. The corporate office wants to give all the price changes so Meijer can compete but they do not give the labor to the stores to change the prices maybe this is on purpose maybe its just a matter of fantasy thinking on Meijer corporates behalf there is always alot to be done and price changes fall short on the priorty list.


jt January 19, 2009 at 4:12 am

This happens at my local Meijer, however it seems to happen everywhere I shop at least once a month. I use the self check at my local store and I have never had any issues getting the attendant to change the price. Just today I had two items a different price than the shelf price; one was higher by 10 cents, another was lower by 20 cents. I let the attendant know and she was quite happy to knock off the 10 cents from my higher item and did nothing to charge me for the 20 cents on the other item.
When I shop at other grocery stores I never get the friendly willingness to honor the posted price and almost always have to wait 10 minutes for a stock boy to verify the price… not so at Meijer. Other stores also do not have price checking stations, which I use to verify all the prices. I separate any item which is priced differently and alert the attendant before I scan it so the price can be modified right away instead of after my entire order is scanned.
It has been my experience that alerting someone to mismatched prices tends to get the prices on the shelf or the computer updated fairly quickly. I also noticed more price issues on Thursdays (sales change Thurs) than what I seem to notice on Sundays. The only items that tend to be ‘wrong’ on Sunday are those I consider less purchased.
I’m sure the price mismatching is caused more from lack of people/time and human error instead of ‘stick it to the customer’ mentality. Of all the items I have bought from Meijer, I don’t think I’ve had to get price modifications on 2%. 98% accuracy sounds pretty good to me, especially when there’s very little hassle in getting prices fixed.


gary w. thomas March 6, 2010 at 11:21 pm

i am a meijer grocery employee,oh i know they cheat the customer,they dont care about the customer nor their employees. they also preach good ethics but dont follow what they preach. co chairman hank meijer gives a meijer alert line website on their ethics survey. it doent exist when you look for it. and brown nosing is very popular in store 106 in englewood ohio. grocery manager rich johnson has found him a new buddy in a new employee,we ll call him brian. rich has put him in a position that no longer exists as order writer. well next week there was a cut in hours and my hours and another employee hours were cut down to 23. new employee brian was not cut and rich s explanation was as order writer brian is entitled to 40 hours. now rich and brian are also drinking buddies.and when brian leaves his shift he goes to tumble weed ,has a few drinks and comes back to the store and spends time with his buddy rich. makes me and all the other employees wonder just what else rich and brian are doing together?


gary w. thomas March 6, 2010 at 11:44 pm

i almost forgot,,,,,,rich johnson told me at another time we were discussing my cut in hours he told me he would cut me down to ten hours so I COULD NOT PAY MY BILLS! to me that puts him on the same level as an arab terrorist. this comes from the same guy that refused to allow a female meat dept employee who was having a stroke from calling the rescue squad. she said she didnt know how she got to the hospital. but she had to drive herself. this from the same guy while chatting on his phone and trying to condition a cereal display knocked the cereal dispay down. rich calls meijer employee neil ellinger to come pick up a display THAT A CUSTOMER knocked over. blaming the people that helps pay his thats good ethics? now lets cover meijer policies of no children in the backrooms. rich and his in store,live in girlfriend amy ,when theyre in the store not on meijer time,their kids are running all over the back rooms and as one employee states that they are opening pops and gatorade and consuming and not being paid for which is STEALING.


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