Check your sales receipts

ilene_in_neokDecember 8, 2008

I just saw an investigative piece on a local news show where they went to various stores and bought things to see if they scanned correctly.

They found scanning errors everywhere they went... J.C. Penney's, Target, Macy's, to name a few. They said some stores were charging only pennies more and others quite a bit more than that. I believe it was Target that has been overcharging so consistently they actually got fined. If you buy a lot of things, and if you are using your credit card, it's kind of easy to miss an overcharge while you're at the check-out.

Last summer I went to Lowe's to pick up a few things and after I got home discovered I had been charged $19.99 for hardware cloth that I didn't buy. DH went to our local Dollar Store and was charged for $20 cash back that he didn't get. (In that case I think there was some out-and-out thievery going on by the sales clerk but he gave her the benefit of the doubt when he went back to get it straightened out.) And Lowe's took the charge off by phone when I called.

But the point is, if you're someone who just throws the receipt in the trash after you get home, you might want to reconsider that. Maybe you didn't get the good deal that you thought you got.

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Ilene, that happened to me at the grocery store. A man in line behind me had a couple of items, and he was holding them very close to the end of my groceries, so I became suspicious and watched him closely. I noticed that he left the store with his stuff without handing over money or anything, so I checked my receipt. Sure enough, the checker put his merchandise on my ticket. I went to the manager and told him what had happened. He refunded my money, but said nothing to the clerk. This is probably more common than we know.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Oh, Lexi, I hadn't even thought about THAT happening! You were really alert. Good job!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Several years ago my dh had someone try to walk off with his cart full of sacked groceries while he was still paying.

I find errors and double charges too. It's irritating.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 1:59PM
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My husband, bless him, always checks our charge card receipts. Outback SteakHouse charged us three times for the same meal. When he called the manager, there was no apology, no regret, just "We'll check and see if our balance tallies." Fortunately, it didn't and we got the excess charges removed. Needless to say, we don't dine there anymore.
Always keep your receipts, and as you are checking out, if the amount seems too great to you, check the receipt before you leave the store.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Some of that involves remembering what you thought you were paying for something, also. One of the points of the investigative report was that when there are in-store mark-downs, the marked down price doesn't always register. If you've spent some time shopping you might forget exactly what it was supposed to be. That happened to me once at K-Mart. They had a sign on the shelf. When I got to the check-out line, I was able to compare because I had carried in a list and a pen, and I had just jotted it down on my list when I put it in my basket. It did not ring up right. I told the checker what it was supposed to be and she said, "Oh, that special was over yesterday." But she gave me that price because the sign should've been taken down and wasn't. That was something else they pointed out on the report, that they're not taking down their signs when the sale is over.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 3:04PM
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This sort of thing seems to be the norm now days. I stopped shopping at Walgreens because EVERY SINGLE TIME I went there they over charged on at least one item and sometimes on ALL of them. It did not matter which store it was either. I am not talking about pennies either but DOLLARS more on some items and 30-80 percent more on smaller items that I am sure adds up when they do it to everybody.

When the first Piggle-Wiggly went into my area I went in and shopped. They over charged on the first item and I caught it. They had to run back to the shelf to check. I was right. Then they overcharged with the second item. They had to run back to check the shelf and I was right again. Then it happened with the third item they rang up. They refused to run back to check the shelf "because they were washing the floors in that area". I walked out and never set foot in a Piggley-Wiggley ever again.

I catch these type of things all the time at almost every store. I am not one who writes down prices and nit-picks holding up the line. I just happen to notice this theft frequently. I'm sure I've been ripped off more times often than I have caught them.

Back in the days before coupons had to be scanned to be used I caught clerks taking the coupons and then not deducting the amount from my total. All free money for them when they balance out at the end of the day! Now days coupons have to be scanned for accounting purposes.

Also watch out for clerks who will try to steal gift cards when you use them. Happened to me TWICE. One time at Best Buy. I had a $200 gift card and made a $99 purchase. I saw the guy scan it and then lift the tray in his register and slip the card in under the tray. He complete the transaction and then turned his back on me ignoring me. I stood there with my arms folded. Twice he glanced over his shoulder to see if I was still there and winced a bit when he saw me still standing there. I finally said "GIVE ME MY GIFT CARD BACK!" He gave me some babble about how I had to write to the Best Buy Corporation to get my gift card. I told him I would call the police and report the theft. Quietly he slunk away. He returned with a manager who opened the register drawer with a key and my card was handed back to me. No appology from the manager. Nothing. I think they know that people expect their credit cards back but are not attuned to getting their gift cards back. Or that the customer doesn't know the dollar amount of their gift card when they use it and will assume that the entire amount has been used in the transaction. Unlike a stolen credit card a gift card can be used by anyone and cannot be cancelled by the owner if it is stolen. I had a similar experience at a gas station with a gift card that the clerk tried to steal from me. I wonder how many people get taken by this?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:24PM
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On the cash register receipt at a local store where we once shopped always had a $1 charge for 'groceries' every $50 in products. In other words, when the register had rung up $50 worth, an additional '$1 groceries' appeared on the tape. When we finally noticed it, we got our money back and didn't shop there again.

I love to shop with my daughter, though. She knows the exact price of everything she buys and she calls them everytime. It is fascinating to see her correct them.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:24PM
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What I'd like to know is ... in these days when each item goes over the scanner and its passage is accompanied by a beep ...

... how does that extra item that you refer to get entered into the machine? Does the checker enter it by hand? If we had a witness, and caught the person doing it, if we called the manager, what kind of situation would ensue?

Suppose, lacking their claim that it was a mistake, accompanied by an apology ... we asked to have the police called and attempted to charge them both with fraud?

Back about the time that the bar code system was being introduced, when I visited a major chain store there was sign over a bunker holding frozen fish advertising a certain (sale) price per pound.

When I looked at the price sticker on the package I saw that the price quoted there was different (somewhat higher), so sought a clerk, telling him of the difference. He said that the price on the card was last weeks sale price. Then I told him that the price on the card was the price that they were claiming that it was being sold for ... and that was the price that I expected to be charged. He gave me an argument about changing the price, but finally did.

I walked around the store for 10 min. or so, then returned to the bunker. The card was still there over the bunker.

I sought out the manager, took him over to the bunker, told him what had happened and asked why the sign had not been removed.

As I reccall, he didn't have much of an answer.

And told him that such an issue was what troubled us about the new price coding system - without a price sticker on each item (remember them?), how could we be sure that the price quoted on the edge of the shelf would be the same as that printed out by the computer on our bill?

Again, he didn't have much of a satisfactory answer then, either (if I remember correctly).

Sometimes recently, and it seems to me more frequently, I find a pile of a single grocery product on the floor, sometimes on a skid ... with no sign of a price anywhere in evidence.

Often difficult to find a staff person to find out what it is ... and when found, like as not it's not their dep't. and they don't know (either). If you go to the check-out to find out ... you have to wait in line.

A nuisance.

They don't mind giving us difficulties ... but they don't like it when we turn the tables ...

... try holding up a checkout line till the checkout person notifies a staff person in back to get that price label in place ...

... and come up to notify that it's been done ...

... with the suggestion that you're not going anywhere till the confirmation arrives.

Good luck!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 2:47AM
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LOL, Joyful.

Our local WMT has scanners in areas throughout the store so you can check what the bar code price is. But it's not something most shoppers notice and it is inconvenient to go and find one. Some of the stores in my area use the bar code system AND print the price on the item, which I appreciate.

I always go shopping with a list. I normally shop the loss-leaders and wait till the Wednesday newspaper comes out so I can see what they are. There are three stores kind of close to one another and another two a little further out. If there are enough specials to warrant my time and the gas, they get on my list. I use the back of a recycled letter envelope on which to write my list. I write the name of the store then the things under it that I plan to buy and at what price. If there's a limit, I add "L1". If you also have to buy $20 worth of other things, I add "L1w20". And I might add, if what I'm buying there won't come to $20 then I'll either pass it up or stock up on something that that store is known to have the best price on. If it's buy one get one half price I will note b1g1/2. But most of the time, I find they've jacked up the price so much on these particular items that they're not much of a bargain at all.

Here's something else I noticed, though. One of our grocery stores has a big sign in the front window that says, "Meat sale! 5 packages for $25!" Imagine my surprise when I picked up one of those packages, which had a red sticker on it saying "5 for $25", and then on the white sticker below it which shows weight, price per pound, and total price, the total price computed out to $3.95. How did it ring up? $5. Even on those which had no price difference on the label, by the time you figure price per pound you really aren't getting as good a deal buying 5 for $25 there than you would if you bought somewhere else.

There's another practice that everyone does that I just hate, and that is that they add water to the meat. They inject hams with water. That's why they come in waterproof packages. They add water to hamburger and other ground meats. Hamburger patties. If you ever have any doubt, throw some in the skillet, turn on the fire and put a lid on. You might even pour off the resulting liquid, refrigerate it so you can take the solidified fat off the top, and then weigh what's left to see how much water you paid for.

There's an art to shopping, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:41AM
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OJ, I don't like the practice of not marking each item either. I take a marker with me and will write on those items the "sale" price. I try to put all sale items in one area of my cart so that I can watch to see if they ring up correctly. I am talking large discounted items, not just a few cents.

Ilene, I do try to watch all my items, but I still find errors once in a while. A store that uses cards in order to take advantage of sale items recently over chargd (theregular price in lieu of the sale price) me one package of lunch meat. I had bought 3 packages of different flavors. And a 50 cent coupon on an item, was removed and presented to the cashier, who did not take it off. I didn't catch those until I had gotten home. However, the amounts were not enough for me to return to town; I will point it out next time I am in the store. I will say that store and WGs both have much higher regular prices. Any time there is a 2 for 1 or even buy1/g1 at half, one has to be careful.

I don't like the "natural flavors added" to meats either. What exactly is that? And how much salt is in it to help hold the moisture in the meat, especially since salt is restricted in any one who has high blood pressure?


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:28AM
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Awhile back, I bought a pack of newborn Pampers at Kroger to enclose with the gift I bought for my neighbor's new baby. After I checked out, I checked the receipt and found I had been charged the full, not the sale, price. I went to customer service and they refunded the whole price to me. I told them they'd only overcharged me $1.50, but they said it was their policy to give the item for free if a customer was overcharged. More than fair, I thought.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Well, the Wednesday ads came out yesterday and I needed a few things so I went off to my local United grocery store.

You just really need to go grocery shopping when the store isn't busy and when you have time to spend so you don't feel rushed.

The display where the ham that I wanted to buy was empty so I had to ring for help. Then the display where the flour I was going to buy was empty so I went up front and asked one of the checkers if they were out. She was nice enough to close up so she could go look for me. I told her I didn't mind substituting another brand, so she decided that would be OK. While she was looking for flour, I went to get the bathroom tissue that was on sale (12 double rolls for $5.99) and there was only one package. So when she came back I asked her if there were more in the back. There were not but she substituted two packages of 6 double rolls. I started thinking, "Boy, I'm going to watch how this rings up!" So I asked her if she'd be checking me out and she said she would. So we're checking out and things are looking OK, until the cans of pie filling I bought started ringing up for $2.69 and 3.45 each! I told her they were in a display up front priced at $1.99 each. Now, when I saw that sign, I thought that was an awfully darn good price for cherry and blueberry pie filling so I got 4 of each. There was apple there too but I have apples from my apple tree in my freezer. Turns out, the $1.99 price was just for apple filling but since they had made a mistake and stacked blueberry and cherry there too, she gave me all of them for $1.99, even though I told her I would be OK with just putting them back. There's really no way I'm going to pay that much for pie filling.

But the thing is, if I hadn't been watching, I'd have bought something for more than I thought I was paying, and that would've meant I'd have bought something I normally would've passed up. And if I hadn't checked the sales receipt till I got home, I probably wouldn't have taken them back because that store is a little out of the way for me. But I would've felt a little mad every time I made a pie.

Mistakes are easily made, stores easily run out of sale items, and the clerk really bent over backwards to make everything right so it wasn't a bad experience. It just took more time and required me to be alert. As I walked out the door I thanked her, laughed and said, "Maybe I'd better come back in and buy some more pie filling!" She said, "OH, no! I'll be changing that sign before you can get into your car." LOL

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:28AM
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Sounds like you, and a nice employee, turned a potentially bad experience into a good one.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:48PM
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I know Target also has the scanners and they're all over so I often check prices. Easy to verify sale/clearance prices. Menard's has them too and I like that. I usually watch the register as it's being rung up and watch the prices so it's seldom that there's an issue. And usually I have an idea when there might be a problem. Coupons can be an issue. If I have a lot of coupons I make sure I count them before I give them to the cashier, then watch them scan and that they ring in and then check the receipt before I walk away to see if the prices look right for the coupons. I seldom have trouble but it is annoying when it happens.

I caught a cashier at Kmart a few months back, she faked scanning the coupons in and put them in the pouch. I checked the receipt and she argued right and left. Kmart is not on my list of stores to shop at anymore unless I have to and I watch them like a hawk. You have to have the ad with you and they argue it. Don't know what the issue is. One supervisor said they're holding the cashiers responsible now for errors and when they ring in reductions for people if for instance the ad doesn't ring in right. I know better.

I've been in retail a long time so I know the problems from both sides. Yes there's crooked cashiers but there's also a lot of crooked customers! A lot of people try to get away with stuff. Using coupons that are expired, don't apply or don't meet conditions. Claiming it was on a display with a sign up. So what? Someone put it there and the store can't help that. And yes price signs can apply to certain things, though it should be clear and often isn't. Then of course there's the ones who try to claim "the law says", when I know it's BS. More than once I kicked people out and told them to never come back. Of course they did because we were cheaper than competition and they were chintzy people. These weren't frugal people, these were crooks.

When I managed the gas stations I had customers come dickering on the price for gas! Telling me how I was making so much money on the gas I should be giving it to them! I asked them if they knew what the profit was to the station, and they were quite surprised when I told them it was 5-7¢/gal on a good day! And they'd try to say driveoffs were no big deal until I asked them if they can do simple math. I asked them to figure out how many gallons of gas I needed to sell to make up for just one $20 driveoff at 5¢ per gallon! And they still figure that it must be about 95% profit! Dealing with the public is not an easy situation.

Crooked people are part reason individual price tags aren't used anymore. The price tag switchers were notorious. And the old crook's quote of the customer is always right! makes me laugh.

Now a little vent. I'm getting more crippled up so whenever possible I use one of the electric carts in the grocery store. I've been to 3 stores now that all pull the keys out of them so you have to wander around to find someone to get a key for it. Why have them if they don't have them useable? I understand that some people steal them. Sheesh, what people won't steal these days! But they could fasten the key like many places do, or bypass the keyswitch like many do. I now walk out if they don't have them ready to use. I'm going to make some phone calls to complain. Guess I should steal a key from one, make a copy and then I have it. (End of rant)

Oh, a friend of mine lives in an old folks home and goes grocery shopping every couple weeks. They have a bus that takes them - he doesn't drive. Well right before Thanksgiving he went and got his groceries and when he got home and unpacked, there was a big ham in the bag! He didn't know what to do, he had no way to go back and he doesn't eat ham anyway. But he felt really bad since someone went home and wouldn't have their Thanksgiving ham! Hopefully it wasn't someone financially strapped. That's another point, I check, double check and triple check that I have all my bags and I like to bag my own stuff. I don't like Walmart's "spinner" thing. Especially when they set some things on top. I watch them carefully and load the stuff into the cart before I even pay for it and watch the cashier so they don't set things aside as they sometimes do.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Thanks so much for the reminder. It still hasn't "sunk in" for me even though my husband is a math whiz, does all the grocery shopping, and can add up the items as quick as the till. It really does happen a lot. . . .strange how it's almost always in favor of the store.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 11:20AM
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i think cynic is absolutely right that there are MANY, MANY customer thefts occuring and that's one of the main reasons some clerks have an attitude when price differences arise. i also tend to think that the stores who offer "if it doesn't scan correctly, it's free" have fewer pricing errors... i have gotten numerous things "free" over the years, but i think over all, the places that have that policy employ better people to load the prices into the computer. i would never return to a store who argued giving me the CORRECT price of an item...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 7:53AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Checking your receipt is always a good idea as well as checking the receipts against the credit card statement if you charge it. The grocery store I use most issues gift cards for returns now and on two occasions they scanned it, the receipt looked okay, but when the CC statement came the credit had not been deducted from the amount of the bill. I took both to the store and they gave me the cash back.

Now I pay cash if I can when I have a 'return gift card' so that problem won't come up. Also I have a little box I drop all receipts in case they might be needed to support a claim.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:52AM
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This happened to me once at KMart. I was buying a bunch of home and bath items and there was this random $18.50 charge for some type of hardware. Of course I didn't notice until a few days later when I fished the receipt out of my bag just to tell a friend how much I had paid for a bath mat. They adjusted it, but otherwise I wouldn't have noticed!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:51AM
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Well, I got dinged at WMT!

In the produce section, they had tomatoes marked down and also cranberries. The store was so busy. There was an annoying old man who seemed to get behind me in nearly every aisle, and he would back up his cart just enough to make it beep several times and then pull forward again. He was with his wife, she was doing the shopping. I kept letting him get in front of me and by the time I got to the next aisle he was behind me again. Tell me WHY this man needed to be in this crowded store AT ALL! Cripes, people. I just wanted to deck him but that'd look nice, a disabled person on the floor with me standing over him, especially just before Christmas. (LOL) Then there were people stepping out in front of me almost all the time I was there, and I can never be in that store but what somebody's child is not screaming it's head off. Plus I really miss how WMT doesn't have people to carry your groceries out for you and load it in your car like the grocery stores do.

I only go to WMT about once a month, less if I can manage. The only reason I go there at all is because they have the best price on certain things I buy that don't go on sale other places regularly. But I hate every minute that I'm there and I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth it.

By the time I got to the check-out line, I had $240 worth of groceries / OTC cold meds / misc in my cart and I was so jangled. By the time I had all my stuff loaded on the conveyor belt, she had rung up most of what I bought. That's how I missed it. And of course you can watch things ring up on that little screen where you scan in your credit card, but it was already past that.

Well, I figure I got cheated out of $6. Let that be a lesson to me. Never again will I shop at WMT unless I am there VERY EARLY in the morning. And I think I'll bring sticky notes and a marker, like Calirose said. Where I can't mark on it with a marker, like trays of produce, I can stick a sticky note on it or on the basket and make sure to check the price before I leave.

WHY must we have be this vigilant, that's what I want to know? WHY, in this day and age, can't stores find a way to make sure the customer pays what they think they're paying? I wonder how many people bought cranberries and tomatoes that day like I did, thinking they were getting a good buy, and never even knew they got cheated?

Will I go tell them about it? Probably not, because the signs are probably gone and they'll look at me like I'm one of those customers trying to cheat THEM. That'll just annoy me more.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Many of the supermarkets I've used will give you the first item free if they charged you the wrong price. I found this out when I asked to see the store manager because the cashier kept telling me I was wrong about what the price should have been. I wasn't and the manager told me of their policy and I got it for free. This happened a few times after that with different cashiers at that store and they had no idea about the store policy. I would just ask to see the manager again. BTW, he told me that they had a problem with changing the prices in their system because of a girl not working on certain days.

I now ask about this policy from all the supermarkets I go to. Most do have it.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 8:45PM
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One thing that POs me about Wal-Mart in particular, and any stores that follow this practice, is the cashiers are in such a blasted hurry they start scanning before the previous customer has moved away. Plus, I'm still unloading my cart, so I *can't* see the register display to monitor the prices. As Ilene noted, by time one gets to the ccard display, initial items have scrolled off it. I've considered making a sign to place on the conveyor instructing the cashier not to start scanning my items until I'm finished unloading and moved up to see the register display.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 3:04AM
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You know, I never really thought about this before, but shopping at WMT and KMT is just more laborious than at your normal grocery store, because you have to handle your purchases so often. So much nicer when you can just wheel your basket up to the cashier and she or he takes it from there. Even when we used to go to Sam's, they would transfer stuff from one basket to another as they rang it up.

I've gotten older (somehow!) and have back problems so there are several things that are really hard to lift into and out of my shopping cart. Last time I was in KMT I bought my dog a big bag of food on sale and I did ask if someone would bring it up to the cashier for me and they went to my car with me without my having to ask. That was nice. But the store wasn't busy so there was no one in line behind me to complain because I held up the line while they rounded somebody up. I prefer KMT over WMT because they're not so crowded, but it seems like they only keep two of certain things in stock.

One of the things that irritates me about WMT is that by the time you've made your way around the super-center you've spent a lot of time and you're already tired. You've run into someone you knew and had to stop and chat for a few minutes. You made a second trip all the way back to the back of the store because you forgot to get something while you were there. You got paint and had to find and wait for someone to mix the color for you. You bought a new watch battery and had to put it in yourself because the girl behind the counter said she was just "watching" the counter for the regular person, who had to go somewhere. They don't carry fabric any more. They rearranged the whole store and I've never really gotten used to the new layout. The aisles are too narrow so if the store is at all crowded you're dealing with people in your way and being in other people's way. And their bulk quantity items are not but just a few pennies cheaper than the smaller ones, in fact, some things are actually more expensive (big bags of Malt0meal cereal vs. boxes of store brand cereal, for instance) -- what's up with that, anyway? So you get all the way to the check-out and you think you're done, right? Wrong. You still have to stand in line for awhile because there are never enough checkers. Then you hoist all your stuff on the conveyor belt. (although if I have something big I can leave it in the cart and wheel it around so the checker can scan it from there.) The checker is there alone so the wait is a little longer because he or she has to hoist your stuff in the cart for you, unless you do it yourself, which I almost always do to speed things up a little, because by then all I'm thinking is, "GET me out of this place!!!" Then you wheel your own cart out to your car and you're hoisting your stuff again, and put your cart away. You get home and you're dragging it all into the house. Whew! Oh, and I hate those plastic bags they use. Ever had a jar of mayo break through the bag right at your front doorstep? Set the bag down and things roll out. If you're in a pick-up truck, everything's rolling around in the back and the bags are flying away unless you tie each bag closed at the start. If you plan to reuse the bag for trash or something, though, then you have to untie the bag when you're unpacking. Give me a good old brown paper bag anytime.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the checkers. It's the way things are set up that is the problem. I'm sure the conveyor is better for the checkers because they don't have to be bending over all day. It would just be nice if it was easier for the customer, too.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 7:55AM
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When I have a lot of items to put on the conveyer belt at the supermarket, I tell the cashier to wait until I've finished putting everything up there. Most of the time, I don't have a problem doing this. To be fair to other customers, I try to find a line where I won't make other customers wait.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 8:22PM
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A pet peeve of mine....when the local Safeway or Giant runs out of an item they fill the spot w/something else. Sometimes it's a sale item that's out and the item they "fill in" with is not on sale...that's a type of "bait & switch" IMHO! It's gotten so I have to read the label of every item to be sure I'm getting what I think I am and at the price I think I should.

As to WalMart...I find it depends on the store. Our somewhat local one isn't too bad...cashiers & clerks are actually very helpful and pleasant. But, many others I've been to it's just the opposite and the distrust they have for the customers is insulting...I can only assume they have a bad clientele. I was at one the other day where they stopped everyone b/f they left the store to check & mark their receipts and then they had what appeared to be 2 policeman right outside the door to check that your receipt was marked! I will never shop at that one again!!!! [Oh, and I think a couple tried to do the same thing to me that happened to lexi7 at that WalMart...they pushed their stuff right up next to mine and the cashier started ringing their stuff up w/mine and I called him on it. The people behind me didn't seem too disturbed or apologetic about it. I just assumed it was a mistake, but now, as I think back, I think it was deliberate...but at least I caught them!]

Which just reminded me of something that happened a couple of months ago when I bought lunch at a local sandwich place...I was paying and the cashier said "oh and you're paying for that man's lunch too"...I asked "what man?" and she said the person in front of me said I was paying...I denied it and she kept insisting that I had to pay. The manager asked what was up and told the cashier of course I wasn't paying for it, got a description of the man, and took off after him (she actually said she likes confronting these people on the street about it!) I gather this happens fairly often at sandwich places!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 2:10AM
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I do have to say, if someone in front of me told the cashier to wait while they unloaded, I'd tell them to let me go in front of them then! Or I'd blow a cork and let out with some choice phrases. There's no right to hold people up while you put your stuff up there, the cashier is SUPPOSED to move people through quickly! Can you imagine how much longer it would be if the cashier had to wait for everyone to say "OK" before they started doing their job? If you want to watch it ring in, bring someone with you to unload the cart for you. That's your expense, not the store's nor the other customers'. As for the first items you didn't see, it's a simple thing. Look at the first few items on the receipt! Granted, some receipts sort items but still it'd be the first items in the category on those.

Couple things I do when going on a "larger" shopping trip. First I organize my list into groups. For instance, produce/deli, canned goods, meat, refrigerated, frozen, bakery, etc and then I can go through with minimal backtracking. Then, if I have a price I want to remember, I write it on the list next to the item. This way if I need a certain dollar amount for a special purchase or coupon or something I have it on there to total up too.

I also prefer to bag my own groceries. I double bag, sort by refrigerated, frozen, canned and fragile items. This time of year there's a lot of fundraising where high school kids offer to bag your groceries. Usually I politely decline otherwise I have to do far more sorting when I get home.

I don't really mind putting my own groceries in my vehicle. But I DO object to this business of checking out twice at a store. I can't stand Scam's Club and Crustco just because of that. I don't go to Walmart much but if they're doing it now too, I would turn around, return EVERYTHING and never return.

I should give praise though where it's due. I was at a Target picking up a few things and they had cat litter on sale. I put two buckets in the cart and one of the clerks came up and asked if he could bring them up front so I would have more room in the cart and less weight to deal with! That was kind. I happened into another Target later that week and the sale was so good I thought I'd pick up two more. While I was checking out, the cashier asked if I would like some help loading it into my car! I thanked her and said no, I'd be fine, and she got a real sincere, concerned look and said "Are you SURE, it'd be no problem!". Wow. Either I really look like death warmed over or they are some nice people. Granted, not all are that way, but these episodes deserve recognition.

And in fairness, I do have to say, even though we all hate it when something is mispriced, the number of times is actually quite rare. Consider the number of trips you make when you check them and things are right. And also, there's a number of times that I've been over-credited, or something wasn't rung in or whatever. Even though I watch pretty close, use the self scanners in the stores and actually I like to use the self-checkouts too. Then I can watch the prices more closely, bag things the way I like and feel more confident about the entire thing.

I still would like to see the smaller grocery store come back. But I know it can't. People want Walmart. People love Walmart. People want supercenters. For some reason people want to go to a Megabucks to get their morning coffee, then to a Boozers Bagels for breakfast, but they want to be able to buy their paint and car batteries at the same time they buy their green beans and hamburger. Argue all you want but it's true. Walmart is the way they are because people want it that way. If they didn't, Walmart wouldn't be the size they are. People are cheap. Not frugal people, but people as a whole are cheap and don't want a mom & pop store to make a dollar. And that's sad.

Remember the mom & pop stores? They'd pack your groceries carefully and carry them out. No need to ask for double bagging, if it needed it, it was done. They'd extend you some credit and put a candy bar or two in for the kids. If the apples were bruised they'd mark them down or replace them. Even the "super markets" would bag and carry out and you didn't have to stop for lunch going from one side of the store to the other. C'mon now, do we REALLY need 67 different kinds of peanut butter? 140 kinds of laundry detergent? 8 different brands of canned corn? I guess today we they do.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 3:55AM
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Cynic, I go into lines with people already lined up so that I will have the time to put items onto the belt while waiting in line. But it drives me nuts when the people in front of me take up practically the whole belt when they have very few items instead of leaving room for the person behind them. Also, there are many times when the belt has lots of room by the cashier when she is finishing up with a customer but she doesn't push the button so the next person's food is moved forward.

I also sort them by how I'd like to put them away at home.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Ha! The last 5 times I have been at Kmart- I ended up at the customer service desk on 4 visits to correct overcharges and the last time, I watched and asked the cashier to take the 40% off that the signs were posted offered. So irritating.
Last week at Walmart, the clerk left the 2.5 lb pkg of ground beef on the scale and weighed the onion. I stopped her and asked her kindly if she would void that and weigh the onion by itself. Would have been over $3 for that stinkin onion...
I worked at the WM supercenter for 4 years. I unloaded baskets of groceries for people who couldn't, I turned off my light and pushed the cart of groceries out the the van that the legless couple (both of them) were driving and packed them in the van, I went back to check prices if there was a descrepency, replaced produce that had bad spots, reported pricing errors (that rarely got corrected),
bagged things correctly, and PUT THEM IN THE CART for the customers, all the while with a smile and a friendly attitude. I know that was not the norm. I saw the ones around me being rude, thoughtless and shirking their work. I enjoyed the customers and miss them.
I do just about anything to avoid shopping there now. (ask my family) I always end up in a line with inexperienced cashiers that I still have to instruct how to override or correct something, watch prices, etc. After one experience recently and calling the 1-800 Walmart line, I understood why so many customers avoided one cashier in particular...
43 min, 27 bags, 53 items, (4 of them 12 packs of soda)..get the picture? All of my stuff was double bagged even if there only 2 cans of tuna in the bag!! Except the 2 pkg's of ground beef. They were shoved into 1 bag that ripped at the car.
Sorry for the vent....

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:25PM
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My mother in law used to be a greeter at Walmart. You would not believe how many people try to walk off with things -- big things like tv's and computers. They put the item in the cart, and say that their wife or son or whoever has the receipt. She would never let them out of the store. She would say, just wait here until they come, or go find them. They never would come through her door with the receipt.

I shop at Publix, and they do give the first mispriced item free. When I shopped at Albertsons, they had one employee who worked full time changing price labels on shelves. That is all the person did. That was an almost 40 hour a week job just to keep up. This wasn't the sale prices, this was the permanent price changes. When you think about just how many items are in a typical grocery store -- even worse at a walmart-- it must be a staggering job to keep things current.

I don't usually shop at our super walmart. I hate going in there. The extra money I spend at other stores is worth it to me to keep my sanity. Walmart never has enough cashiers.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:59PM
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khols is the worst one in our city. they have been fined many times. i shopped there one christmas, fell for their percent off. the next day i checked and we were cheated out of 30% off our total purchase. i was so mad i took it back and returned it all. even with the 60% off wal-mart was cheaper. i don't even go in there anymore.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 10:08PM
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At the chain grocery here I am constantly getting overcharged. I thought the reason was they employ (and fire) many teenagers at minumum wage that could care less about getting the scans correct.

Finally, one day I wrote the manager a letter. He sent me a $150.00 gift card in apology. My husband says it was less to do with his generousity, than the fact I 'outed' his scam practice of sticker pricing items that ring up over at the register. He saw it as gesture to keep me from reporting his store to higher authority.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 11:59PM
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