LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ralphs Grocery Co. has pleaded no contest to overcharging customers for prepackaged and weighed products at stores in Los Angeles.

The city attorney’s office said the grocery store chain entered pleas Monday, shortly before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

The no contest plea was entered for 62 misdemeanor charges, including false advertising, mislabeling and selling items that weigh less than they should.

A sentencing date will be set Thursday.

Ralphs believes the charges involved isolated events, but it has redoubled its efforts to ensure accuracy, according to Kendra Doyel, vice president for marketing.

The case originally named Ralphs’ parent company, the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., but Doyel said those charges have been dropped.

In a statement, Ralphs said company representatives “spent countless hours working with the city attorney’s office to try to reach a settlement agreement that was acceptable to both our customers and their office.”

City prosecutors alleged that undercover inspections at 14 stores found customers were being gouged.

Ralphs was cited for similar violations in 2008 and 2009 and paid nearly $17,000 in fines.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (31)
  1. carriw says:

    Ralphs offers cheap food for cheap people. So, they overcharged a bit for somethings, try going to Gelsons and see what they charge! It’s ironic that they would fine Ralphs for charging less than half what Gelson’s charges for the exact same thing.

    1. Gram says:

      The issue isn’t how much they charge for something – it’s that they charge MORE THAN IT IS MARKED. Gelson’s at least shows you in advance how much you are going to pay and you can decide if it’s worth it to you to pay their over-inflated prices. RALPHS shows one price but charges more. Interesting isn’t it that they NEVER charges LESS than it’s marked….

    2. Disgusted by carriw! says:

      stating that ralph’s has cheap food for cheap people is a dispicable comment. What you are trying to say is that YOU are better and not cheap because you shop at Gelsons. You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You sound like a freakin elitist…and I seriously doubt that you are. People with money don’t flaunt that they have it! You are uncouth and probably on welfare!
      Your post is more about you and Gelsons rather than the real issue at hand: price gouging!

    3. rollerderby79 says:

      You go to Gelson’s for special things….not for daily shopping. Try Stater Bros. for your everyday shopping. I stop at Albertsons on my way to work. It just depends where I am and what I am shoppping for…..

    4. Ben Hatteras says:

      Are you that stupid? Ralphs said they gave you 2 lbs, but gave you 1 pd point 5 and charged you for 2… Get it now?

  2. Lou says:

    went there once, the H&r block of groceries ,never again!

  3. gramma says:

    How convenient – WE get overcharged…. They give money to the government?!?!? Tell me again how that helps me. Isn’t that the same thing as me just giving more money to the government?

  4. jenn says:

    Yeah but it’s still more that Vons & Alberstons… But they are all too expensive! When I got to one of these 3 stores & pay $100 for like 4 bags of groceries & if I go to Super Walmart & get more like 8 bags for $100 that says alot!

  5. HANADA says:


  6. not a fan says:

    going to ralphs is like going to the welfare building all around low quality

    1. TT says:

      i dont agree with that at all…Our family shops there nearly everyday .. We get great meat, especially on sale, My husband likes the produce- I find it a little high in price, as for everything else – I sale shop – so alot of the 10 for 10 dollars deals are foods we eat and we do save money. They also have a manufacturing plant here in the states – which creates jobs… ask them – they will tell you all about it … And no – i dont work there.

  7. Al says:

    The problem here is not the overcharging per se, but that it appears habitual. Their spokesperson said they spent time negotiating a settlement satisfactory to the city attorney and “our customers” .. ridiculous! Hey Ralphs, here’s a news flash – all your customers care about is being charged right. If you don’t knock it off, your board of directors should be charged with some form of corporate conspiracy, since you will now have been convicted thrice of this behavior.

  8. ralphs shopper says:

    How can you compare Ralphs, a union company to a non union store like Walmart? How do you think union wages are covered? We all pay for unions and their gouging of the companies their employees work at. Get rid of the unions and the stores will not be overpriced.

    1. c says:

      The CEO of Vons made $40 million last year…WITH UNION EMPLOYEES!!! He would make at least TWICE that without the union. If the Union were to disappear today, prices would not go down. Corporate would just make a hellofa lot more money. You already pay those “overpriced” grocery items!! What are you going to do, stop eating??? You will continue paying because you don’t have a choice…and Corporate knows that.

  9. Mister Mister says:

    Does nobody realize that Gelsons’ is owned by Ralphs which is owned by Kroger?

    1. Fact Finder says:

      Yes, nobody realizes that…because it is not true. Gelsons is owned by Arden Group, Inc. (ARDNA). Ralphs is owned by Kroger (KR).

      1. Mister Mister says:

        you are right… I am wrong.. was thinking vons/ pavillions….

  10. bullies says:

    Common, i beleive that is why they offer double coupons to make it seem like it’s a good deal when they are still highly priced. Went there a few times and it’s not a bad store but obviously overpriced. Question is, they states settled to what agreed with city attorney’s office and consumers. Did not know the consumers caould attend this settlement to agree with and what did the consumer get back in return for settlement. A big fat thanks for shopping, and $00.00 refunds. Maybe the chain should be foreced to drop prices for a month to recoup the consumer for their gouging. Just a thought since they can’t track the consumer who purchased..

  11. Cromwell F. says:

    The Ralphs in my area are beautiful. Not sure which ones you lot are going to.

  12. shopsmart says:

    I spend big bucks on a weekly basis at von’s and trader joes for shopping for my family. i stopped shopping at rip off ralph’s about 15 years ago for this same reason.

    Carriw……. your a idiot!

  13. geeM says:

    No Contest is essentially a guilty plea. As such, we are to assume……..

  14. Jm says:

    Maybe the customers who took the time to sign up for the Ralphs card that they have to scan to give you the prices they call sale prices, should be reimbursed for some of this overcharing by Ralphs!

  15. geeM says:

    Let’s try “If it’s mismarked, it’s free”. That would clean up this problem in a hurry at the corporate level.

  16. Letha Rivera says:

    Personally I don’t shop at Ralphs. Why would I when we have 2 Win Co grocery stores locally? Win Co offers much lower prices on almost everything.
    Just saying…

  17. Fred says:

    What stores? Don’t just say 14 stores – tell us which ones!

  18. joe ed says:

    Don’t you people have Bristol Farms?

  19. Josh Butts says:

    I don’t shop there and I never will after hearing this. I remember that people would tell me that Ralphs produce was horrible. A friend of mine asked an employee in produce section and he said that this particular produce gets put out on this certain day and he should come on that day. What a waste!!! Fresh produce should last a few days. I’ve heard that their produce looks bad the day after they put it out. Glad I don’t shop there. I’ll stick with Vons or Albertsons.

  20. Teresa O says:

    two words… trader joes….

  21. mark stranack says:

    How come the government gets the overcharging fines instead of the money going back to customers?

  22. jc says:

    O no! I never though im gonna say this but I got overcharged 2day 03/24/2011 @ Superior 3129 S. Hoover St.; can’t believe it!! when brought to their attention the manager’s supervisor insulted and embarrassed me infront of everyone.. I felt so bad….

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