Walmart Is Under Fire for Allegedly Double-Charging Customers Again
CUSTOMERS NOTICED ISSUES ON THEIR RECEIPTS AFTER CHECKING OUT, AND IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME.
There's been no shortage of headlines about price discrepancies at big-name retailers lately. Ironically enough, several of the stores found to overcharge are actually discount chains, including Dollar General and Family Dollar. But Walmart has also been flagged, as the retailer came under fire for several instances of overcharging and double-charging late last year. Now, the company is facing backlash yet again—and this time, it has to do with sales tax. Read on to find out how Walmart customers say they were double-charged, and what you should look for on your receipt.
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Shoppers say they were double-charged for food items.
ZikG / Shutterstock
Walmart shoppers in Topeka, Kansas were surprised to see a higher total on their grocery bill this week. According to 13 News, several customers were double-taxed on food items that they purchased—and sent their receipts to the outlet as proof.
Jim and Cheryl Wilmington were among the affected customers, telling 13 News that they noticed something off with their total.
"When we left the store, we were kind of surprised at how much it seemed like it was and we kind of bantered stuff back and forth trying to figure it out," Jim said. "And when we got home and started doing the math, they ended up charging us double tax on all the food is what it boils down to in the end."
The Wilmingtons tried to contact the Walmart in North Topeka, but their call went unanswered, 13 News reported.
They should be seeing a decrease in taxes.
As it turns out, the double-charging incidents coincide with changes to Kansas sales tax. As of Jan. 1, the state rate for both food and food ingredients dropped 2.5 percent, from 6.5 to 4 percent. According to ABC-affiliate KMBC, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly pushed for these statewide cuts, which do not affect local sales taxes. With that in mind, Kansas residents should've seen a decrease in their grocery bills—not an increase.
In this case, customers had to ask for refunds from the retailer, with most able to get their money back when heading to customer service, 13 News reported. But one customer who was double-taxed needed to contact Walmart's corporate office to have his situation addressed.
Best Life reached out to Walmart for comment on the problem, but has yet to hear back. However, 13 News reviewed a receipt from a North Topeka Walmart on Jan. 2., noting that it seemed to be taxed correctly.
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You should still double-check your receipts.
The Wilmingtons told 13 News that they wanted to spread the word about double-taxing so that Walmart customers know to check their receipts. To avoid the issue in general, they also recommended that Kansas residents divvy up their purchases, separating out food items.
"Go to your self checkout, do all the food together then total it and pay for it," Cheryl advised. "Then do all your non-food, total it and pay for it. And check your receipts each time."
They hope the issue will be fixed, eliminating the need to worry about this in the future. "Our biggest thing is as consumers if we all got together and said Walmart either fix it or we're not coming, it seems like the power of numbers," Cheryl told 13 News.
There are other red flags to look for as well.
Kenishirotie / Shutterstock
The idea of being double-taxed is definitely concerning, but, this isn't the first time Walmart has been accused of overcharging.
In Dec. 2022, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services slapped Walmart with thousands of dollars in fines after 14 in-state stores failed price scanner inspections. Additionally, customers reported being double-charged while doing their holiday shopping—a snafu Walmart attributed to a "technical issue" with its payment processor for credit and debit cards.
If that isn't reason enough to give your receipt a once-over, you'll be interested to learn that other customers were charged for items that they never purchased. In a viral TikTok video, Julia Taylor said that she noticed an item on her receipt for $19.86, which didn't seem right. She used Fetch—an app that allows shoppers to collect purchase rewards—to scan the receipt, and saw the item was tagged as a "universal unknown item."
When she asked customer service to look the item up, it was listed as "not available" in the system, and she was granted a refund. Still, she issued a word of caution to other shoppers. "I was very thankful that they [refunded it] and thankful that I caught it," she said. "But y'all this is a warning to check your receipts because if it was $5, I wouldn't have noticed."
Commenters reported similar discrepancies on their receipts, suggesting that this may not have been an isolated incident. "This happened at Walmart last week. I had bread, bananas and a canned items," replied Shanna Taylor, who uses the username @shannataylor6 on TikTok. "It totaled 50 when it should have been 20. The girl had no idea what the charge was."