The Business News Source for the Community of Sarnia - Lambton

No Savings Unless the Price is Write

Phyllis Humby's picture
Wed, 08/07/2013 - 10:25 -- Phyllis Humby

Do you ever leave a store wondering how in heck the few items in the shopping basket added up so quickly? Little things do total up fast. That’s just the way it goes. Money, that is. But what if the total on that bill is out of whack because you’re paying more than the advertised price. If you think that never happens, then think again.

Lately, there have been too many grrr moments at my house. They happen when the grocery receipt shows that I paid twice for the same item – oops, touchy scanner – or when I notice that I’ve been charged the regular price on a couple of sale items. Seriously, even if it’s one item, it ticks me off.

It began as a minor annoyance. A tsk moment before tossing a receipt in the garbage. For the two or three dollars difference in price, it wasn’t worth being worked up over. Besides, it would cost me more than that to drive back to the store for a refund. Unfortunately, those few bucks add up over a period and then it’s significant enough to seem like a royal rip-off. Come on people, it’s the principle of the matter.

One time, the cash register tape dangled from my fingers over the garbage can but I couldn’t let go. It was like throwing out a lottery ticket without checking the numbers. I pulled it back for a look. What?? Not again!!! Grabbing the flyer from the recycle bin, I double-checked each item against the charges on my bill. Fleeced to the tune of $23.00!
Seething, I flung the window open and screamed, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. You’re right, I didn’t do that, but I sure felt like it.
When I called the store, they advised me to bring the items back. I objected, but the woman on the other end of the line explained that it would be easier for me to do that than for her to collect the sale items from the shelves.

She rang them through the same register. Yep, $23.00 in overcharges. According to the manager’s explanation, that particular cash register hadn’t programmed properly for the weekly sale. Hmmm, that means everyone who checked out in that aisle was cheated.

In another exasperating incident, I paid for seven pounds of extra lean instead of the three plus that I purchased. On the phone, they suggested that maybe I bought seven pounds and some of the packages fell out of my cart. Sure, that’s possible. I forgot that I bought twice as much meat and then didn’t notice it rolling from my shopping bags in the parking lot. Yes, they realized that didn’t make much sense and gave me a refund the next time I was in town.

These mistakes are making me crazy. After loading my trunk, I sit behind the wheel clutching my receipt like a maniac. On occasion, when I do find a mistake it’s almost like getting Bingo. I rush back into the store to collect my winnings – I mean my refund.

Now it’s a game to see if I can catch them in the act. Not always possible. If I’m first in line, the clerk is ringing the items through as I’m still unloading my cart. Last week I got lucky. I was monitoring the items as she rang them up and noticed two packages of cheese at $7.49 each. I immediately spoke up. Oh, the cheese is on sale this week, I said. The clerk gave me a sullen look, and then glanced at the loaded carts behind me. I’d have to go back to that aisle to check the price, she said, as though that was enough to make me say fuhgedaboudit. Though sorry for the people standing in line, I smiled, and told her I’d wait. Sure enough, when she returned to the checkout, she voided the two packages of cheese at $7.49 and re-entered them at $4.99 each. A savings of $5.00! It was all I could do to keep from shouting, Bingoooooo!

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