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2 Investigators: Walgreens Posting Expired Sales Tags

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Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Pam Zekman serves on CBS 2 Chicago’s...
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(CBS) – Walgreens’ weekly sales promote low prices,  but can you be sure that you’ll get the sale price when you head to the check-out?

2 Investigator Pam Zekman went shopping to find out.

There were dozens of make-up accessories on sale at one location. They looked like a great deal. But, the sale prices were expired.

Like make-up brushes. The sales promotion says buy one, get one 50 percent off. That would be $8.71 for the second brush. But we were charged full price $11.98.

The same thing happened with moisturizing cream. The sale sign says $8.99, but we were charged $11.49.

In all, we found 46 expired sales tags in just one section.

“There’s a lot of old people shopping here,” says John Sorgatz, a regular at the Uptown Walgreens location. “You’re not going to read the fine print that it’s expired. It’s misleading.”

Luis Rivera, a manager at the store, says they’ll give you the sale price if you catch the mistake.

“We are more than willing to accommodate and give you the price that is on there, regardless if it’s expired,” Rivera said.

“Why don’t you get the expired sale prices off the shelf right away?” Zekman asked.

“You can talk to the Walgreens Corporation,” he responded.

We found expired sales tags at eight locations.

In one case a sales offering for some Aleve pills had been expired for eight days.

In all, we were overcharged $50.95 for the items we bought that appeared to be on sale.

It’s not just a problem in the Chicago area. CBS investigators across the country found similar issues with sales stickers.

Walgreens has settled pricing lawsuits in California and Wisconsin and is facing a new lawsuit from the attorney general in Missouri for deceptive pricing practices.

“This level of consumer deception is inexcusable from a corporation as sophisticated as Walgreens,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says.

And what we found here disturbed Walgreens customer Virginia Harding.

“If you’re buying something intentionally because you think you’re getting a deal, it shouldn’t be like a bait and switch,” she says.

When we did question paying full price for an item that looked like it was on sale, the cashiers checked it out and gave us the sale price even though it was expired. Walgreens says that is their policy.

In a written statement Walgreens also said the following:

“We have a 112-year history of acting in our customers’ best interests and earning their trust. That will continue to be our focus in all areas. We always seek to continuously improve, and we welcome feedback on areas where we are not meeting customer expectations.  If a customer believes they were charged incorrectly, we are happy to resolve it.  Our policy is to honor the lowest advertised or displayed price.  If a customer informs our team member of a lower displayed price, we honor the lower price, even in instances when the sale has expired.”

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