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State Warns of Price Scanner Errors

Ruby de Luna
11/26/2003

Attention shoppers. The price you’re paying for that Christmas present at the check out line may be different from the actual price. KUOW’s Ruby de Luna has more.

AS THE NAME SUGGESTS, THE STATE’S WEIGHTS AND MEASURES PROGRAM ROUTINELY INSPECTS GAS PUMPS, SCANNERS AND OTHER DEVICES USED IN THE MARKETPLACE. RECENTLY INSPECTORS TESTED SCANNERS IN 93 STORES AROUND THE STATE. THEY VISITED STORES WHERE PEOPLE ARE LIKELY TO SHOP FOR GIFTS, LIKE TARGET, OLD NAVY AND NORDSTROM. PROGRAM MANAGER JERRY BUENDELL SAYS THEY FOUND DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE LISTED AND SCANNED PRICES… "About 4 out of every 100 that go through a scanner ring up incorrectly. What we found also, is that one out of those 100 usually ring up in favor of the store, that is you’re getting overcharged. And the other 3 is you’re getting undercharged." BUENDELL SAYS MUCH OF THESE DISCREPANCIES ARE DUE TO HUMAN ERROR, WHETHER IT’S PEOPLE WHO ENTER THE PRICES IN THE COMPUTER OR THE CASHIER AT THE CHECK-OUT STAND… "What happens there is there’s a markdown or specials in the store and the rush to get people through the line, and sometimes the newness of the cashiers during the Christmas season they’ll fail to apply the discounts or do the price reductions and the consumer ends up paying a bit more." BUENDELL SAYS YOU CAN AVOID THESE PRICE ERRORS WITH THESE SIMPLE TIPS: BRING THE ADS WITH YOU. WRITE DOWN PRICES AND POSTED DISCOUNTS AS YOU SHOP. CHECK RECEIPTS BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE. AND CERTAINLY SPEAK UP WHEN YOU NOTICE AN ERROR. I’M RUBY DE LUNA, KUOW NEWS.
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