Who checks the scanning systems to insure accuracy?
Most businesses have employees assigned to full or part time duty maintaining scanner price databases, managing price changes, hanging sale and shelf tags, and verifying systems. The City of Appleton City Sealer Eric Maggio and Weights and Measures Inspectors regularly conduct price verification inspections at local stores. These inspections are always performed unannounced. During normal inspections, a sample of items is tested by using a hand-held bar code reader that produces duplicate bar codes to be scanned at the checkouts, and the shelf or advertised prices compared with the scanned prices. In the case of a complaint, items are actually purchased undercover. Enforcement actions against stores that violate price accuracy laws include written warnings, administrative civil penalties, and criminal or civil prosecution. In recent years, high-profile statewide actions have resulted in large monetary judgments against several grocery, drug and department store corporations.
If an advertisement states "regular price $0.50 each, on sale 3 for $0.99," do I have to buy 3 to get the discount?
If the store does not apply the lower price to fewer than three items, the store should clearly state the limitation, e.g. “sale price applies to three or more items,” “3 for $0.99, 1 or 2 for $0.50 each,” etc.
When made aware of a scanner pricing error, is the store fixing the overpricing scanner problem just for me, or for the customers that follow me, as well?
The store is required to charge the lowest price that is then advertised, posted or quoted. Most businesses have a policy and procedure to correct pricing errors immediately. In addition, many stores have a policy of giving customer the item "free" if a verified scanning error occurs. Often stores will post at the checkouts and other places their "scan guarantee" and its limitations.
What if the cashier tells me the price I saw posted is wrong because the item is no longer on sale?
Ask for the manager and explain that according to law, the price posted is the correct price, regardless of the expiration of the sale period, and regardless of any expiration date marked on the shelf tag or sign.
What should I do if an item is scanned at the wrong price?
Ask the cashier to do a price check on the item and detail where the item was picked up. The store should have a clerk go to the aisle or display where you found the item, verify the price, and explain the apparent discrepancy. If you are not satisfied with the price explanation, still feel that you were overcharged, suspect that the pricing problem is not corrected, or have concerns regarding deceptive advertising, please forward your complaint to Weights and Measures at 920-832-6429