County advises shoppers to double check prices
The Christmas holiday shopping season, as well as the weeks following Christmas, are especially hectic for many local retailers. Stores do everything they can to attract holiday shoppers with advertised specials and reduced prices. After- Christmas and end- of-year sales often provide further price reductions. Discounted prices offer great bargains for shoppers, but if the price charged at the register is more than the lowest posted or advertised price, any anticipated bargain is diminished.
“Retailers know it’s the law to have accurate prices. However, the potential for inadvertent overcharges is greater during the holiday shopping season because of the high volume of sales and the quickly changing discounts that are offered,” said Martin Settevendemie, San Luis Obispo County’s Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures.
To protect consumers from being overcharged, Settevendemie offers the following tips:
- Pay close attention to prices posted on store shelves and in advertisements before you buy an item to ensure you are charged the lowest advertised price at the cash register.
- Stores are required to display to the purchaser the price of each item on the cash register screen before the transaction is complete. Watch the display screen as items are scanned. If you believe you are overcharged, speak up and ask for the lower price.
- Review your receipt before leaving the store. If an overcharge has occurred, bring this to the attention of store personnel and request that the store policy on overcharges be provided to you. In some cases the store policy may provide for further discounts or call for the overcharged item to be given to the customer for free.
Inspectors from the San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures routinely inspect retail stores to confirm that posted prices are correctly charged at check-out. Consumers should contact Weights and Measures at (805) 781-5910 to file a complaint if they experience a scanner overcharge. For more information visit their website at www.slocounty.ca.gov/agcomm.