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Gift List? Check. Store Receipts? Double Check!

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 November 23, 2010

The holiday shopping season is here again, and shoppers should remember to double-check their receipts to be sure they’re not overcharged by faulty cash register price-scanners.

So far this year, 22 percent of the 1,340 stores inspected by the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures showed price-scanning errors – and not the kind of errors that would put smiles on consumers’ faces.

County inspections rang up 21,729 items at the 1,340 stores. The inspections found that shoppers were more than 2 ½ times more likely to be overcharged than undercharged. For every $1 in undercharges, inspections showed $5.45 in overcharges.

Bob Atkins, the County Sealer of Weights and Measures, said the County continually inspects stores to find price-scanning problems and that he knows it’s important in these tough economic times that people pay the right price for products.

“Know the price of the item you’re buying before you check out and bring the sales ad,” Atkins advised. “The County is dedicated to ensuring that consumers pay no more than the lowest advertised, posted or quoted price.”

The County’s Consumer Confidence Protection Act requires stores that are found guilty of overcharging to post a “Notice of Penalty for Failed Inspection” sign at each entrance for 10 days. The 1999 ordinance also requires stores to post “Notice to Consumers” signs at each sales station that tells consumers of their rights. To find the list of businesses that have been penalized or fined for overcharging in the last two years, visit our consumer protection website.

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