CHICAGO (CBS) — You might have thought a popular deal at Chicago’s biggest grocery store chain was saving you a lot of money, but a CBS 2 investigation found that Jewel has been overcharging customers for the special.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports that city officials were taking action after it was revealed that some Jewel stores have been charging more than advertised on their “Fav 4” specials on fresh meat.
It’s a catchy advertisement offering four packages of meat and seafood for $19.99.
“I think if a store advertises a special then they should stand behind the special,” customer Chris Kosckinski said.
She claims Jewel stores have not been standing behind the “Fav 4” special.
She said that, at least three times in the last few months, she bought the “Fav 4” meat special at her local Jewel in Fox Lake. Each time she expected to pay $19.99.
“I was overcharged,” she said. “I was shorted 70 something cents.”
When CBS 2 purchased the “Fav 4” special at several Jewel stores in Chicago and the suburbs, Jewel also overcharged four times.
The largest overcharges happened at the Jewel store at Ashland and Roosevelt in Chicago. CBS 2 purchased only the meat listed on the ad.
It added up to $25.63 and The computer deducted $4.10, meaning before tax, Jewel charged $21.53, not $19.99. That’s a $1.54 overcharge.
Another time the four packages add up to $27.15. Once again, the computer only deducted $4.10, for a total of $23.05. That’s an overcharge of $3.06.
When CBS 2 questioned store employees, they said that no matter how much meat was purchased under the “Fav 4” special, the computer would only deduct $4.10, even if that meant being charged more than the $19.99 advertised price.
“If this is happening to a couple of different people I’m going to assume it’s happening to quite a few people,” Kosckinski said.
Jewel has 177 stores in the Chicagoland area and has been offering its “Fav 4” deal for at least two years.
“Certainly an overcharge is a violation of city ordinance,” Chicago Consumer Protection Commissioner Norma Reyes said.
Because of CBS 2’s findings, the city has directed Jewel to stop overcharging its customers and to change its advertisement.
The store issued a statement saying it would change future ads for the “Fav 4” specials to include more detailed information about pricing for products to qualify for the promotion.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office also investigated this issue and got the same response from Jewel that CBS 2 did.
The company said it is willing to reimburse customers who feel they deserve money back, but customers must have their receipt.