Wal-Mart has paid a US$25,117 settlement fee to resolve allegations it overcharged consumers for bulk items such as grapes and grind-it-yourself coffee at five of its stores.

The retail giant had not subtracted the weight of the packaging when weighing these bulk items, as required by law.

After Weight and Measures inspectors with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection discovered problems – at stores in West Bend, Fond du Lac, Antigo, Shawano and Appleton – Wal-Mart’s corporate office alerted all Wisconsin stores for correction.

In the US, for commodities sold by weight, the declared weight must be exclusive of packaging including boxes, trays, soakers, bags, labels, glue, ties, wrappers, gifts, coupons, garnishes, sauces, glazing, ice, wax and any other material that is not part of the actual product.