Woman Sues Walmart For $0.02 Price Discrepancy, Wins $180, Not as Frivolous as It Sounds
There are a lot of people who will say that Walmart has some bad business practices, treats their employees and customers poorly, and puts small companies out of business. There are less that are willing to take them to task on it. There is only one who would do it over 2 cents and principle: Mary Bach of Pennsylvania. When she was charged an additional 2 cents on top the listed price for her Banquet “Brown ‘N Serve” sausages –something she claims has happened more than once — she decided to sue, won, and was awarded $180.
From the get-go, this case seems to have all the hallmarks of frivilous, “I’ll sue you and your dog!” litigation, but Bach claims there’s more to it and I’m inclined to believe her. This is not Bach’s first suit against Walmart. In fact, she’s sued five times in the past for exactly the same thing: Being charged more money than the listed price. While it’s only a few cents, given the freqeuncy of the event and the number of customers Walmart has daily, Back thinks this amounts to some serious unearned, dishonest revenue.
This story, despite having a distinct weird-news vibe, also relates back to a growing problem we’re seeing in the corporate world today: Patent trolling. While the two have their differences (and a lot of them) both function on the basic concept of gleaning small (or sometimes not so small) amounts of money from arguably innocent parties and leveraging the loss against a larger loss or massive inconvenience. It seems insane for Bach to have sued (five times no less) over a matter of cents, but from a matter of principle, it really is something worth fighting and calling attention to. So far, the litigation hasn’t any result on policy it seems, but although it might be easy to label Bach as the woman who sued over 2 cents, she’s really the woman who bothered to sue over a matter of principle, because principle is worth way more to her than it is to the rest of us. Good on her.