Grocery Scanner Mistakes Cost Consumers Billions Each Year - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Grocery Scanner Mistakes Cost Consumers Billions Each Year

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Do you ever walk out of the grocery store and think your groceries cost more than you thought they would?  Well, they may have.  Each year,  supermarket scanner errors can cost consumers up to $2.5 billion. 

A recent GMA investigation found the most common problems:

  • Sales not programmed into the register.
  • Scales that charge for the plastic package when they're just supposed to charge for the food.
  • Stores that charge tax on non-taxable items.

More mistakes are found during times of high volume sales like holidays, but it can also happen on everyday purchases, the investigation found.

So what should you do to avoid paying too much?

  • Either jot down shelf prices or snap a cell phone picture of them.  If you don't want to do every item, choose a few and spot check.
  • If you can't keep up at checkout, review your receipt before you leave the store parking lot so you don't have to go back for a few cents correction.

The Food Marketing Institute, which represents grocery chains, told GMA that supermarkets strive for 100 percent price accuracy even though an average store stocks about 45 thousand different products.

If you want to complain about overcharging at a grocery store, or any type of store, contact the state department that oversees the issue.  In Oklahoma that's the Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry.  Click here for a list of those agencies, listed by state.

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