Attorney General Sues Walgreens Citing Price Gouging
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Attorney General Sues Walgreens Citing Price Gouging

Date: August 27, 2013
By: Matt Kalish
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday his office filed a civil lawsuit against Walgreens for deliberately misleading customers by using deceptive pricing.

According to a press release, the Attorney General’s office made undercover visits to several different Walgreens across the state and found differences in the price of goods on the shelf and the price at the register. Tags regarding sales were also misleading in some cases, according to Koster’s office.

The investigation included stops to Walgreens locations in Osage Beach, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City.  Twenty-one percent of items at these locations had prices that were higher at checkout than they were on the shelf.

Koster’s office also said Walgreens’ rewards program was not providing the discounts advertised.

For example, a bottle of Muscle Milk was listed as $6.99 with the rewards card but was priced at $8.99 at check out at some locations, according to the Associated Press. Prices for Oreo cookies and Lipton tea also differed.

Repeated calls to the Attorney General’s office were not returned . However, the Attorney General did comment on the issue in a press release Tuesday morning.

“Consumers have a right to expect the price they will pay at the register is the same as the price displayed on the shelf,” Koster said. “Consumers should not have to double-check the price tags or signage and compare them to the prices charged at the register."

Missouri isn't the only state to go after Walgreens for misleading prices. The company recently settled with California and Wisconsin on price gouging issues.

A spokesman from Walgreens declined to comment for this story.

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