Walmart Customers Are Furious After Chain Allegedly Over-Charged At Self-Checkout
Photo By Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart Customers Are Furious After Chain Allegedly Over-Charged At Self-Checkout

Welcome once more to "The World Is A Dystopia" News! Today's subject? Walmart's new, controversial self-checkout mandate! (We'll get to the technical goofs, I promise.) Are you like me, an asocial citizen who wants to go to a store, get in and get out, and not have to interact with anyone? Sorry, looks like our way of life is being threatened!

So, where do we start? Ah, I know! Walmart putting the boots to its self-checkout lanes! Walmart did some soul-searching and decided to limit its self-checkout services. ("Soul-searching" meaning "analyzed 'customer patterns'" and "spoke to employees and customers," of course.)

On paper, it makes sense. I'm the kind of person who strolls into the self-checkout lane with 30+ items. I'd say I'm fast, but you've been standing in a line and waiting as someone with more items than necessary slowly scans and organizes everything. I understand wanting that process to be more efficient! Heck, Target did it and I'm still reeling from that!

But whereas Target said, "From now on, if y'all got anything more than 10 items, you can't go through self-checkout," Walmart said, "Hmm. How about we hide some self-checkout lanes for Walmart+ users?"

Indeed, some of Walmart's self-checkout lanes are now "reserved" for either Spark delivery drivers or Walmart+ subscribers! Otherwise, you either gotta hope you get there before anyone else or wait a little longer! What, you don't have $98 (annually) to go to the VIP self-checkout lanes?

Somehow, things got worse for Walmart!

Walmart Customers Were Either Over- Or Under-Charged Due To Technical Glitches

Across hundreds of Walmart locations, shoppers were met with upsetting news when they approached a self-checkout lane. Reportedly, certain items at self-checkout stands were either lower or higher than advertised. According to Bloomberg, Walmart "suffered an internal system failure that stopped price data from flowing to the self-checkout stands." 1,600 stores were affected, resulting in widespread mispricing.

Though the technical issues have since been resolved and around 80% of over-charged customers have been reimbursed, it still leaves some dicey legal ground regarding certain consumer protection laws.

"Because Walmart is such a large retailer, even a small mistake like this can cause millions and millions of dollars of illegal overcharges," said Christopher Peterson, a former attorney with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

It remains to be seen if Walmart will answer for such an error. Maybe you'll find out if you subscribe to Walmart+!