A BIG heads up that we are currently in a wave of pricing errors that can cost you a lot. With constant inflation changes and labour shortages, the error rate between the price you see on the shelf (when you decide whether to buy something or not) and what rings through at the register is at an all-time high.
The quantity of “errors” has reached the levels where Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are currently being sued in multiple states in the U.S. for consumer protection violations in increasing prices at checkout over those posted on the shelves.
As always, watch the screen when a cashier scans your items. If you’re not sure it’s right, or missed something, ask them to go back, to stop, to check it. If you’re in the self-serve lane, you can scan at your own speed and, if something doesn’t seem right, leave it out or get it checked. After all – it’s your money!
How careful are you to watch the prices of items scanned at the checkout? Unfortunately, most people don’t look. It’s pretty easy to tell what others do: Just watch what they’re doing and where their eyes are looking when they, or a cashier, are scanning their purchases.
As a result, we just look at the displayed total and pull out or debit or credit card to pay. I normally keep an eye on the scanned items, especially those sold by weight. I’ve stopped a cashier when some fruit came out at (what I thought) was an insane price to delete it. But confession time: I clearly need to be doing it all the time!
At Costco a couple of days ago, I just needed some crackers, cookies and croissants. I ran all six items through the self-serve checkout, saw the $100.84 total and paid with my debit card thinking: Yup, can’t get out of Costco for under a hundred bucks.
Five seconds and two steps later I stopped. Wait a minute. A hundred bucks for THIS? That’s when I saw the sixty buck charge for a dozen croissants. Yes, they’re really good, but not sixty bucks good!
The bakery department person doing the labels that morning simply entered too many digits to print the scan sticker. Mistakes happen, it was fixed at customer service, but hopefully the lesson will stick. According to a report from the Journal of Retailing, about 4.08% of scans are incorrect. 2.33% are priced too low while 1.75% are too high.
The Retail Council of Canada also has voluntary rules for compensating customers. Sadly, it appears Costco either isn’t part of it or wouldn’t honour it.