A Pennsylvania resident has sued Safeway, Inc. on behalf of a putative nationwide class of consumers who placed online orders for the home delivery of groceries and were allegedly charged about 10 percent more for each item in addition to a delivery fee. Rodman v. Safeway, Inc., No. 11-03003 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., filed June 17, 2011). According to the complaint, Safeway assures consumers that they will pay the same prices for home-delivered goods that they would pay in the store. An “FAQ” section of Safeway’s Website allegedly states “You will be charged the prices charged in the store on the day your order is picked and delivered.”

Believing that the prices charged for his initial online order were high, the plaintiff apparently compared the prices for his second order with in-store prices and found that prices for 10 of 14 items included the “secret” add-on cost. Alleging breach of contract, violations of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, false and misleading advertising, and unlawful business acts and practices, the plaintiff seeks an injunction to stop the grocery from continuing to engage in the alleged unlawful practices; restitution and disgorgement; an accounting, statutory, general, special, and exemplary damages; attorney’s fees; costs; and interest. The plaintiff alleges damages exceeding $5 million.