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Court orders Ralphs to pay fine for overcharging customers in Los Angeles

Ralphs grocery store sign
Frank Farm/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)
Ralphs grocery store sign

The Ralphs supermarket chain was ordered to pay $67,600 in fines for overcharging its Los Angeles customers. Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson also placed the grocery company on three years probation.

Ralphs pleaded no contest in February to 62 misdemeanors and infractions resulting from undercover inspections last winter at 15 stores in the city of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County weights and measures inspectors found overcharges on several prepackaged and weighed items, including bulk coffee, fried chicken, self-service salads and fish.

This is the third time in three years that Ralphs has paid fines for overcharges. The judge’s fine is less than half the maximum penalty allowed under law.

The company has characterized the violations as unintentional, isolated incidents that were the result of human error. Ralphs' vice president of marketing, Kendra Doyel, said the grocer has redoubled its efforts to ensure accuracy.

When asked if he was satisfied with the judge's fine, which was less than half of the maximum permitted under law, Deputy L.A. City Attorney Don Kocek said, “We’ll be really happy if they learn their lesson and never rip off their customers again.”