Safeway has agreed to settle a lawsuit involving alleged illegal surcharges that were passed on to customers.
The Pleasanton, Calif.-based retailer, a subsidiary of Albertsons, will pay $8.75 million to shoppers in Portland, Ore. who were hit with an additional charge on non-grocery items.
Back in 2019, the city of Portland started a 1% clean energy surcharge on large retailer revenue. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say Safeway hit customers with the tax between September 2019 and July 2020, but the grocer has denied any wrongdoing.
Customers can only receive a maximum of $200 each as a result of the settlement, and the amount varies on the number of claims filed.
May has been the month of settlements for Safeway and Albertsons. Last week, Safeway and Albertsons recently agreed to pay a $107 million settlement for a buy-one, get-one-free promotion which allegedly tricked consumers into thinking they were getting a deal.
That lawsuit was submitted by a pair of customers, who alleged Safeway was “...paying more per pound than regularly priced meat, and they are buying more meat in order to obtain the illusory ‘free’ product.”
Originally filed in 2016, the lawsuit went on to list an example: boneless pork chops were typically $4.49 a pound, but under the buy-one, get-one-free promotion they were listed at $12.99 a pound.
Safeway and Albertsons have not admitted to any wrongdoing in the BOGO case, either, but instead agreed on the settlement that will only be applied to those customers who bought meat at Oregon Albertsons and Safeway stores using the Safeway Club Card at Safeway stores and coupons at Albertsons grocery stores.