Nothing is more annoying than standing in a long line at a store, arriving at the cash register, and realizing that an item that you want to buy is more expensive than you thought. Too often, consumers just pay the extra dollars and cents to avoid the hassle of waiting longer than they already have or fighting with an employee/manager.
Not too long ago, Wal-Mart was sued by the Attorney General in California over the difference in price between the shelf and register. Within the terms of the suit, any consumer that suffers from a difference in price will receive three dollars in reparation.
This judgment is in its 2nd year of implementation and is scheduled to continue for a span of four years. The judgment was earned after a three year investigation into Wal-Mart’s business practices, across many state borders. Through random price checks, state investigators found that 164 Wal-Mart stores in thirty counties had made scanning errors, which averaged $8.40 per customer, according to California Attorney General Edmund Brown and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
The terms of the lawsuit also entail what should happen if a Wal-Mart employee were to overcharge a customer in the future. Per the terms, the employee must refund the customer three dollars upon discovery of the error OR if the total price is less than three dollars, must reimburse the complete total for free.
It isn’t too hard or inconvenient to protect yourself from such things. If you are worried about erroneous pricing (or labeling), take a picture of the item with your camera phone, making sure the labeled price is clearly visible.
Take the time to watch the prices of items as they are scanned at the register. If you see an erroneous price, address it then, versus at the end of the check-out, as sometimes the register program is designed to be much harder to correct after moving on to other items., or requires a manager to intervene. If you are too busy to track every item, check your receipt carefully when you get home. Make sure to return items in a timely fashion if a price is erroneous.
If you are shopping at a Wal-Mart, and find yourself in a tricky situation, call on a manager and request a price check. By law, they have to double-check the price and adjust the price accordingly if they ring something up incorrectly.