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Frugal Friday Week 44

This is the accurate-pricing law of my state, your state may have a similar law –


As required in 202 CMR 7.07 if there is a discrepancy between the advertised price, sticker price, scanner price, display price and checkout price on any grocery item the consumer pays the lowest price. In the case of food stores or food departments, if the checkout price or scanner price is not the lowest price or does not reflect a qualifying discount: the consumer:
a.) Shall not be charged for one unit of the grocery item, if the price is $10 or less;
b.) if the lowest price is more than $10 the consumer shall be charged the lowest price less $10 for one unit of the grocery item,
c.) and shall be charged the lowest price for any additional units of the same grocery item purchased.

There’s one grocery store I frequent where I’ve discovered more and more errors in pricing at the register. Sometimes I catch it right then, sometimes not till I get home, and then it’s usually forgotten. A couple weeks back, I went to buy a bag of popcorn. (Did you know you can make a homemade snack similar to Cracker Jack at a fraction of the price? And if you or a family member has a peanut allergy,  just leave the nuts out. But, I digress.) This was an item I saw I was charged 40 cents too much on the last purchase. So instead of going to the register, I stop at customer service. I figure that when they price-check it for me and it rings up wrong, they’ll at least thank me and say they’ll fix the pricing in the computer. Nope. They tell me to just let the cashier know and she’ll adjust the price. Which she did. You see what’s missing. My free popcorn. Sometimes I’m too easygoing, I suppose. If the cashiers don’t already know this, and it seems the customer service booth people don’t, either, then it’s really something the store management needs to be aware of.  I ask myself if I really want to be the guy to print the document from our state government site to bring to his attention.

The law goes on to state that the above excerpt is required to be posted at every register. My local Trader Joe’s locations all have it taped to the side of the register, but not the other local supermarkets.

What would you do? Would you be comfortable bringing this to the store manager’s attention?

  • cm July 6, 2013, 11:22 pm

    This is a little late now, but: I *do* bring it to the attention of anyone I have to, *every* time it happens. My reasoning: a) I couldn’t care less what they think of me, especially because of (b) the law, or store policy, is there for a reason, namely that it is harmfully deceptive to switch prices at the buy point, particularly for those who don’t or even *can’t* catch the switch (such as people with disabilities, harried moms, etc) or who at that point just can’t be delayed further and yet do need that item, and c) I want the savings (of course), which often is substantial.

    I’ve only had the chance to do it about 3-4 times so far, but it’s a lifetime lock-in.

  • Joe July 7, 2013, 10:59 am

    Never too late! I appreciate the note, and your excellent points. I bet the items at my supermarket are still ringing up wrong.

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