Not Sure if Eligible for Walmart Class Action Settlement

I recently received an email informing me that I may be eligible for a cash payment regarding the Walmart Class Action Settlement. This pertains to people who may have been overcharged by Walmart between late 2018 and early 2024 if they bought “certain sold-by-weight meat, poultry, pork, and seafood products (called “Weighted Goods”) and certain organic oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and navel oranges sold in bulk in mesh or plastic bags (called “Bagged Citrus”)…”

Specifics regarding this can be found at https://www.walmartweightedgroceriessettlement.com/

The claim form seems fairly straightforward. If you have receipts for these specific items (you can use your online receipts if needed), all you need to do is put in the total number of items and the total dollar amounts of the items on the claim form, send in or email the claim form along with copies of your receipts, then wait for payment.

However, the actual instructions refer you to documents that give listings of hundreds of specific items and their UPC codes that you can receive payments for. I looked at my online receipts for the one year that I shopped at Walmart the most, and found that although what I bought matched the specific product descriptions, none of my items matched the UPC codes. These items included various types of beef, seafood and citrus fruits. The Product Descriptions online document has a line that states “Please note - only the first 8 numbers for the Weighted Goods UPCs appearing in the list will match what appears on the product or a receipt.” Out of the 15 items that I looked at for that one year, a grand total of 1 item matched the first 7 numbers rather than what seems to be the required 8 numbers.

I take this to mean that even though I bought weighted meats and bagged citrus fruits at Walmart during those years, I’m not eligible for compensation. I believe that only people who bought very specifically priced items can receive payment.

There is also an option for people to file for compensation if they do not have any receipts. They have to attest to how much they spent, and their payouts will be more limited. I can’t in good conscience file a claim when it seems that I’m not eligible, but I feel that a lot of people will go ahead and file without receipts just to get their little cut.

So, I guess my questions are: 1) Am I missing something? Should I still file a claim even though my product UPC codes don’t match anything in their listings? I certainly don’t want to spend a lot of time documenting my purchases if I’m likely to get $0 for it. 2) Why did I get emailed the notice that I may be eligible for compensation? Did everyone with a Walmart account get this notice or did just people who bought weighted meats and citrus fruits?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice on this matter. I have a feeling a lot of other people will be in the same situation as me.

In general:

Manufacturer identification number. This is a 6-digit number that forms the first half of the UPC.

Item number. The following five digits after the manufacturer identification number form the item number.

Check digit. The final digit in the 12-digit UPC is the check digit.

So if the first set of digits don’t match it may be that there is a second provider. Perhaps the different companys supply different areas of the country.

Thank you very much for your response, Lavarock. It gives me a little more to think about. For example, I was fixated on the first several digits of the UPC. I’m curious to see if I have items where the middle part of the UPC is a better match than the beginning digits

Here is the “short story” of those codes. Years ago I bought some “second-hand” UPC codes. Original UPC codes are distributed by a non-profit organization which charges an arm and a leg for them. I think it was year 2000 or so that companys realized tha tthey could sell off some of the unused codes. Then the non-profit changed the agreement for people buying new codes that the ycould not be resold. Small companys that wanted to sell in stores (like I did) could not afford thousands of dollars for codes so we bought them in the second-hand form, sold by companys who did not have the “don’t sell” in their agreement.

There are a few retail companys which only allow official UPC codes sold to a company. One of those retailers is Walmart. So I cannot use a valid UPC code to sell prodocts at Walmart but the company I bought the codes from could. My codes are just a block of their codes but they are listed as being owned by the original company, which I am not. Other stores and and companys may not care that I was not the original owner as long as the UPC barcode is mine now.

Unlike domain name purchases which are easy to perform and resell, these UPC codes are not. The non-profit who manages them does not reatil much information except who they sold them to and how to contact them. Generally they also offer classes and help to the company on how t obest use the codes and so on.

That code that you see is just a number traceable to a company that bought it. The non-profit does not know what product it is used on, the price or anything. That description, price and so on is kept in the computer system of the seller of the product. Thus you could scan an item at one store and see it is $10.00 but $11.00 at another store with a different description on the receipt.

The codes are important for the stores because it allows them to track inventory and perhaps its location in the company. There is no magic, it is just a number. Other forms of the number scheme (using barcodes or QR-codes can be used for boxes containing multiple of the same product. Books contain a similar barcode but use yet another form of the number. Places like Amazon want that book number to be able to group the same book together with others from different sellers and at different prices.

Back to the UPC codes, there are some websites and postings that tell you not to buy a certain item starting with certain numbers because the product is made in a specific country overseas. That is not necessarily correct. The number may have b een sold to someone in the country, but can be used on any product, made in any country that the buyer of those numbers wants to. Sopme of the groups of UPC codes I have purchased are from overseas.

There is no official website that lists a specific product for a specific UPS code. There are a few sites where you can upload your UPC number and a description, but that is akin to just pasting it on the bulletin board at a laundramat. That is not to say that you can’t find a product. Since many companys and sellers post items with UPC codes on the internet, you can Google the number and see what product people say it is.

The non-profit selling these official UPC codes is GS1 in the U.S. and the yoffer 1-10 UPC codes for $250 and then $50 a year each year thereafter for them to keep the numbers linked to your company. That is a lot of money consideing someone who wants to sell a single product in a local supermarket. In my case, I needed 100 codes which would cost $750 to buy and $150 a year fee each year thereafter.

A UPC code should be used on a single product. So 1 widget in 3 sizes would be 3 codes. I use the example of a small farm growing coffee and wanting to sell it at a local grocery store. 3 different sizes (4 oz, 8oz and 1lb) in ground or whole bean and dark and medium roast would be 21 different codes because each product would be priced differently. Imagine what happens when your detergent company changes the size of the box from 8oz to 7oz. The code should change because stores could have both boxes in the store at the same time.

As for fruits and vegetables sold loose, the stores use a PLU (Product Lookup Code) especially for items needing to be weighed or counted. These codes are assigned for different varieties of items, so Macintosh apples woudl have the same PLU code in multiple stores but different prices.

All of the codes are popular because they allow stores to track inventory and even betetr, change a price in the computer and print one new label to be put on the front of the shelf, thus eliminating having t oreprice each box or can. It used to be that a guy would sit in front of a pruct with a little price gum (like a label gun) attaching new price stickers on each item when the price changed. Some store repriced some items every week.

Anyway, that is the short verison of the story :slight_smile:

Sounds like a lotta work for $5 or $50 or less that you’d likely get. :slightly_smiling_face:

Customers who provide proof of purchase can receive 2% of the total cost of the weighted goods and bagged citrus they purchased, capped at $500 per person.

Lavarock, thanks for the education on UPC codes. I had always taken them for granted and before the last few days I’d never given them a moment’s thought. I hope to read the long version of the story some day. :wink:

H200h, you are spot on with your response. Somehow the phrase “sunken cost fallacy” keeps circling through my brain.

I just put my best guess into the claim form. I have receipts for the last six years I could dig through, but it’s really not something I want to do. Everyone involved in the class action lawsuit knows that’s not a reasonable thing to ask you to do, and if you decide to not file because of that, that leaves more money for them.