General Question

LadyMarissa's avatar

Do you pay attention to price scans while shopping?

Asked by LadyMarissa (16205points) December 12th, 2022
17 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Seventy stores in 38 counties in NC have been fined for charging more than the item was priced on the shelf. Some were only 2 cents, some much more. That’s one thing I like about self-scanning, I can closely watch what the scanner is pricing. I tend to pay attention to the price showing on the shelf for the item. Then when I check out, I usually remember & compare as the register rings it up. If it’s only a few cents off, I don’t worry about it; however, if it’s over a dollar, I call the person who watches the scanners to assist in fixing the problem. I had one item that rang up $10 over the shelf price. Needless to say, the people behind me called me a lot of names that day. Funny thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m never undercharged as it’s always in the store’s favor.

Do you pay attention to prices & know when you are overcharged for an item when shopping?

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chyna's avatar

Yes I do. I’ve done that for many, many years. My ex-husband even told me he didn’t realize how much he was getting ripped off until he married me. But because I don’t buy that much at a time, it’s easier for me to keep track, in my opinion. If I was shopping for a family, I would probably be distracted and miss quite a bit.
But, like you, the error has never been in my favor.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, although less assiduously than I did before. I probably should pay closer attention.

What has happened most recently – in fact just last week – is that an item will double post. (Meaning: buying a single jar of salad dressing – but two scanners read it at the same time so it posted twice.)

The cashier fixes it, but she wouldn’t have noticed it if I hadn’t pointed it out,

jca2's avatar

Yes. I don’t do self check out but I am usually aware of what the price of each item should be, and I pay attention when the cashier rings it up. I will also look at my receipt before I leave the parking lot to double check if I get distracted while the cashier is ringing.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@chyna Funny how it’s always in their favor, huh???

@elbanditoroso I thought any double scan was my fault, so I do my best to be more careful. Never thought about it being both scanners reading at the same time.

@jca2 The main store where I shop only has 2 employee assisted checkouts, so I find the self more efficient. Living alone, I don’t normally buy large amounts & I can be out in less than 5 minutes if I do it myself. The cashier assisted lines are always very long!!! Plus, the cashiers tend to turn the screen to where I can’t see the prices & I want to know. My choice of self-checkout is more for MY convenience…NOT necessarily my preference!!! Before I leave the store, I scan the receipt just in case I missed something. I don’t wait until I get outside because I heard a customer arguing with a store manager that she had an item missing for which she was charged & the manager refused to make it good because she had exited the store & could have hid it in her car. Since then, I leave the register lane, stand at the end of the row to look over my receipt. When I’m satisfied that everything is OK, I go to my car.

jca2's avatar

@LadyMarissa When I am looking at my receipt in the parking lot, it’s to ensure that the prices on the receipt are all correct. It’s not because I want to see that the items are in the cart. I do know, however, that if there’s an item that for some reason was not put in the bags, the managers of stores here are very polite about it and accomodating and not accusing people of theft.

I will turn the screen around if the cashier has it facing her. Here, I think it’s a law that it faces the customer. Since the cashier has the big screen (like a TV screen) that shows the scans, I don;t see why they need to have the small screen, also. The small screen is for the customer to see the prices.

There is a Walmart that I don’t go to, too often, which will often have only one cashier lane open and the rest is self scan. I still don’t do it. I’m stubborn like that. I feel like if we give in and do the self scan, that fulfills what the store wants. If the lines are long on the cashier lanes, it looks bad for the store, so that’s on them, not on me.

Jaxk's avatar

Just a quick answer is that no, I don’t pay close attention to the price scans. If the total is in the ballpark, I don’t question individual items.

A quick comment in defense of the store owners (I used to own a convenience store) keeping the labels on the goods coordinated with the computer is not an easy task.When an item increases in price the computer gets updated and then all the current items on the shelf need to be relabeled. It’s easy to miss an item and bang the customer gets over charged. The error is always in the stores favor because prices almost always go up. It’s not something the store does on purpose since the Dept of Weights and Measures periodically checks for this and if they detect an error, you get put on a watch list which takes for ever to clear. In normal times this is a labor intensive task but with inflation running over 8% it is much worse. It’s not the store trying to cheat you but merely a sign of the times.

Entropy's avatar

I very very VERY much don’t. This is partly due to the fact that I have a pretty good job and make a pretty good salary. I’m not rich by any means, but I’m doin’ pretty okay. I also use the self-scan when I can, and I’ll mildly pay attention to the point where if I got charge $10 for a pack of iced tea or something, yeah, I’d notice. But I would never notice 2 cents.

Smashley's avatar

Yup, everytime. I have a pretty good head for short term memorization of numbers, and I’m usually running a constant total as I shop. I have bitched over 10 cents because fundamentally I know this isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

It’s funny how those “errors” are always in the store’s favor. They should open a casino since the laws of probability are seemingly not in effect within their walls.

gorillapaws's avatar

My memory isn’t good enough to remember the price on the shelf while I’m checking out. I’m impressed people are able to do that.

JLeslie's avatar

Not close enough. I try to make sure my 2 for a price and BOGOS scanned correctly, but everything else I’m more often oblivious to. If something was a few cents off I’d probably not notice. Hopefully, I’d notice dollars differences, but there are times (rarely) I don’t look at the receipt at all.

It’s hard to keep up with the price changes in stores, I think the stores generally do a good job. They have to coordinate the shelf sticker, advertising, and the actual price in the system. I think sometimes buyers don’t take into a consideration enough the amount of work it is at the store level.

If there is a consistent significant problem at a store then it needs to be addressed. I’m not sure a law suit is necessary. Stores want to get it right. It’s easy to type in a price incorrectly. Think about the thousands of sku’s in a store.

Funny, when my parents used to visit me in TN my dad would always question how groceries were rung up when he would first arrive. I guess he was totaling in his head as he shopped, and then the total bill would be off by several dollars, even ten or twelve. He was right, it was because in TN there was tax on groceries and he wasn’t used to it, and even on clothing since the sales tax was so high 9.25% the total was unexpected.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk I just read your answer after I wrote mine and we basically agree about having some empathy for the stores. Price changes are not easy to keep up with. In department stores it’s more the sales that are a struggle not the inflation. Groceries as you point out can have price increases.

Your comment about the department of weights and measures reminded me of a show I saw where W&M was evaluating gas pumps, and they found gas stations that weren’t giving the gallons actually registering on the pump. It might say you pumped one gallon, but it was actually .95 or whatever little bit off. For a tank full of gas that adds up. I was happy to see we have oversight for that.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie I didn’t see anything here about lawsuits but the OP did mention fines. Fines are good. There has to be some repercussion so the stores are inspired to get things done the right way.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 You’re right. Somehow I changed the wording in my head. Maybe because it’s 2am. Lol. Thanks for the correction. I agree fines are good. I wouldn’t go straight to fines, I’d like a warning first.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Unless I have only a few items, honestly, I don’t look. If I have 10 items in the cart I won’t remember what the prices are supposed to be. I do my grocery shopping mostly at Wegmans, Hardware shopping is mostly at Lowe’s. I (naively?) think their scanners are correct.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I do, it’s not uncommon I find something around here too. Funny how it’s not in your favor around 75% of the time.

wearemiracles's avatar

I tend to be paranoid about this and try and catch something with my eye but almost never do because they go too fast and sometimes the scanners do funny things like a delay or sometimes you can’t even see the scanner display. And it seems like every single person around you just can’t wait for this whole damn thing to be over, both the customers and workers. And if you should dare to make a query about the actual price of an item, it’s like the whole world is silently praying for a lightning bolt. Then if it turns out you were right, they continue praying because now it means they have to reverse it. I don’t get people sometimes.

I think online shopping solves allot of these human problems.

Also now if I do go to the store I add up a tally and compare it with the final checkout. You can always check afterwards and then have someone sort it out so you don’t have to worry about getting shivved in the back by people waiting angrily in line.

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