Safeway agrees to settlement with Solano, other counties

By From page A3 | March 07, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Safeway Inc. has agreed to pay out more than $2.2 million to nine California counties, including Solano County, to settle a lawsuit about their sales practices.

Solano County District Attorney Donald A. du Bain said Thursday that Safeway had been accused in a previously filed lawsuit in Marin County of charging consumers more than the advertised price for some products, misrepresenting the weight of Safeway-branded products, and using signs in their produce department that falsely claimed some produce from foreign countries was “locally grown.”

Safeway also failed to follow the terms of a 2008 lawsuit settlement. Similar accusations were made in that lawsuit, according to du Bain. Safeway had agreed to a policy of giving consumers an item free if they were overcharged for the item and the lowest advertised price was $5 or less; or, if more than $5, to charge the correct price and give the consumer a $5 gift card. Safeway also failed to let some customers know about the policy by not posting it at every checkout stand.

Solano County will receive around $222,000 as its share of the settlement, according to prosecutor Criselda Gonzales.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • The MisterMarch 07, 2014 - 6:53 am

    So... will Solano County give that $222,000 to the people of Solano County who were actually overcharged by Safeway? No? But they were the victims, right? So then what will Solano County do with that money? Give a bonus to their lawyers? Go to exotic places for business conferences? I mean really... if you are going to shake down Safeway on behalf of some particular customers who were overcharged, then you need to give that money to those particular customers. Oh... you don't know who those particular victims where? They how could you sue on their behalf? What a bleedin' racket!

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  • B. ThiemerMarch 07, 2014 - 7:01 am

    Will the shoppers that were wronged by Safeway see any of this settlement, or will it remain with the DAs office?

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  • SixStrRzrMarch 07, 2014 - 9:34 am

    Always check your receipts. I've seen more errors on Safeway's part than on Raley's (although Raley's must make it up on higher prices). Safeway is more apt to leave incorrect sales tags on the shelves,too...they (I believe) are required to honor advertised shelf prices over what's in the inventory computer (and on your receipt) at checkout.

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  • patrickMarch 07, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    noticed this problem years ago. solution---- I don't shop there any longer

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  • Seriously.....March 07, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    Would be nice if the County split the money with Sports and Music programs in our public schools or after school programs. DR, please follow the payout and run a follow-up story.

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  • TaylorMarch 07, 2014 - 8:34 pm

    I too would love to see a follow up on this story. How is it that the county can sue when they themselves weren't involved in the transaction at the register. I've shopped at Safeway many times and work too hard for my money to let them over charge me and when they do I, the customer, have to remind the clerks of their own employers overpricing policy. I would love my couple dollars of the settlement mailed to me. Certainly don't see why Mr DA and the county should get it...it'll probably get sucked up into the "general fund"

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