The Attorney General of Missouri filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against Walgreens for allegedly engaging in deceptive pricing.
Attorney General Chris Koster says the results of a two-month investigation of Walgreens in the state showed the company deceives customers and uses pricing schemes to lure customers into buying certain products.
According to the lawsuit, Walgreens would show a lower price on a product display tag, then charge a higher price at the checkout.
“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 in a statement.
Undercover investigators with the Attorney General's Office visited eight random Walgreens stores in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City and Osage Beach this summer.
The investigators found that nearly every store had discrepancies in which the price of a product at checkout was greater than the displayed price for the product on the shelf.
Investigators found 43 price discrepancies out of 205 items they purchased.
The lawsuit also states that investigators did not always receive the Walgreens membership program savings as advertised.
Koster is demanding an injunction prohibiting Walgreens from engaging in deceptive pricing, as well as civil penalties and reimbursement for the cost of the investigation and prosecution.
Last Tuesday, Walgreens released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:
"We have a 112-year history of acting in our customers' best interests, and that will continue to be our focus. While we won’t comment on the complaint itself, we were disappointed and disagree with the attorney general's comments. However, we are prepared to have a constructive dialogue about the issues he raised and address any appropriate concerns."
The Attorney General's Office is asking any Missouri consumer who may have purchased products that were priced inaccurately at Walgreens to contact their office at 1-800-392-8222 or online.