http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/08/30/safeway-reimburses-rewards-members-overcharged-at-gas-stations


Pleasanton Weekly

- August 30, 2013

Safeway reimburses "Rewards" members overcharged at gas stations

Customers at stations in Campbell, Pleasant Hill, Palm Springs affected

Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc. has agreed to reimburse some "rewards" members and pay a fine after overcharging customers at a gas station in Campbell, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Safeway has repaid customers whose credit cards bills showed higher amounts taken out than on charge slips in more than 700 transactions at a Safeway gas station on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell, Deputy District Attorney Francisca Allen said.

The chain, in addition to reimbursing the rewards customers, also paid a civil penalty of $46,650 while not admitting any liability or wrongdoing and cooperating with prosecutors.

The district attorney's office learned about the overcharging in fall 2011 from a customer who noticed a discrepancy between what a gas receipt from the Hamilton gas station showed and what was charged on her credit card bill.

The discount price for her gas, when she used her rewards card, showed up on the printed receipt from the gas pump but not on the credit card bill she received later, Allen said.

According to Allen, the investigation revealed that a new but faulty software program would infrequently trigger a disruption and cause the undiscounted price for gas to be charged to credit card companies.

According to Allen, prosecutors found out that the glitch was also at Safeway gas stations in Pleasant Hill and Palm Springs that used the same software, Allen said.

While more than 700 overcharges were evident at the Campbell station, less than 30 erroneous sales took place at each of the Pleasant Hill and Palm Springs stations, he said.

Allen stated that Safeway repaid the customers by issuing credit to their rewards cards equal to what they were overcharged, Allen said.

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