Hy-Vee, Inc

Hy-Vee, Inc. is inducted into the Hall of Shame for its new policy, effective May 2019, of charging price-gouging fees to have groceries delivered to a person’s home. Hy-Vee is a chain of more than 245 supermarkets located throughout the Midwestern United States in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Hy-Vee was founded in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in a small brick building known as the Beaconsfield Supply Store, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a grocery store with a reputation of listening to customer concerns until now… The previous delivery policy was to charge a $4.95 fee if the grocery order was less than $100. If the order was $100 or more there was no fee. This is a reasonable plan. The new policy is to charge $9.95 per order unless one purchases an annual subscription costing $99 (in which there is no per order charge). It is obvious that the price-gouging per order fee is meant to inspire folks to get the annual subscription. We find such a tactic to be unethical. While there may be regular people using this service, the service is critical for the disabled, informed, and elderly (often who are poor) who may not be able to travel to the store itself. The new policy pays no mind, no sensitivity, no caring on how this constituency may be gravely effected. The poor may not be able to make a lump sum of $100. Thus, they may be forced to pay the $10 per order fee. For example, if one were to buy groceries three times per month, the fee will be $29.85 for the month (a whopping $358.20 per year). No wonder than people are effectively force to pay the annual fee of $99.00, but the poor may have no choice as they may not be able to come up with a lump sum of $99 (and may not be able to save up for it because to the per order charge). As a result, the poor may have to go without some food they need. Nearly $30 per month less food is a lot of food. We contacted Hy-Vee about this twice. The response to the first contact was to merely repeat the new policy. There was no response to the second contact. By the company’s silence we can only deduce that Hy-Vee does not care how this new policy may adversely effect its poor customers. We found this not only to be ethical bur despicably immoral. We encourage letting Hy-Vee know your opinion (even if you are not a Hy-Vee Customer) Corporate Office Hy-Vee, Inc. 5820 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, Iowa 50266-8223 (515) 267-2800

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