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Why It Pays to Pay Attention at the Checkout Lane

Do you pay attention to the screen as your groceries are being rung up in the checkout lane? If not, you could be regularly being over-charged — and not even know it!

Case in point: See those bags of apples? They were in the Reduced Produce section at our Kroger store. And everything in the reduced produce section is just $0.99 per bag of produce.

Well, when I went to checkout at Kroger, the kind man who was ringing up my groceries didn’t know this and he punched in the code on one of the apples and charged me by weight — which was $3 more per bag of apples than it was supposed to be!

I caught it immediately because I was watching the screen and I asked him if he could fix it, which he did.

But it was a reminder of how important it is that we pay attention to what we are being charged, know what the prices are on items we are buying, and ask for something to be corrected if it’s not accurate.

These simple actions could save us hundreds of dollars every year!

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  • Kimberly says:

    Thank you for this reminder…it’s so important!

  • says:

    In some states not only will they correct the amount that is rang up wrong, but you will also get money back. In Michigan it is called the bounty law, but the catch is you have to wait until the transaction is totally finished and then go to customer service. You will get 10x the difference up to $5 back for one item.

  • says:

    Wow, 10x the money back… that would be great!

    King Soopers, the Western equivalent of Kroger, will actually give you the product free if it rings up improperly. That’s always a nice savings.

    But I agree — you MUST watch carefully. And that’s difficult, when stores now often wait until the very end to add discounts. In fact, I am headed back to Safeway today because their electronic coupon (4 cans of veggies for a buck) only worked for the corn — and not the green beans. Irritating.

  • Rhoda says:

    I always check my receipt before I leave the store. Publix will give you the product for free if you are charged incorrectly.

  • Eva says:

    That is so funny…I have those some apples from Kroger’s last night…99 cents! And yes, I ALWAYS check my receipt and don’t walk out the store til I do. So many times I’ve caught errors. Just last night, again at Kroger’s my vanilla extract rang up at almost $10 yet the sign clearly said $8.69. It’s just a little bit, but I caught it and she fixed it. I can say just about every time I go through the check-out something doesn’t ring up correctly so you really have to look!

  • Jessica says:

    Even if I find an error on my receipt, the cashier won’t do anything. The Kroger cashier tells me to go to customer service, which always has a line of 10+ people waiting to do Western Union transactions… each transaction takes about 5 minutes. I won’t wait 50 minutes to get $1 back. Which I kind of wonder if they are banking on that? I have seen the same people still in line for the customer service desk after I have shopped for a full cartload of groceries and paid for my order and am on my way back out the door. So what do you do in that case? They claim I can only go to customer service to get it fixed.

    • says:

      Maybe try shopping at less busy times? If that’s an option? I try not to shop when it’s really busy times because I’ve found that sometimes cashiers are more rushed as a result and not as willing to take time to fix an issue if there is one.

      You can also kindly ask them to call a manager if they tell you to go to customer service. And I try to look for cashiers who are experienced at efficient, because I’ve found that they tend to know how to fix issues than those who might be newer.

      I can’t remember a time that I’ve had them tell me to go to customer service… but I also try to ask them to correct issues immediately after they ring up — not at the end of the transaction. If I already have my receipt in hand, then I believe they are supposed to direct you to customer service. So definitely ask them to correct something immediately, not at the end of your transaction.

  • Jen says:

    I bought a pie at Harris Teeter advertised for $7.99 and it rang up $9.99. Also, one of the buy 2 get 3 free deals did not ring correctly. Went to customer service to get it corrected. They gave me the pie for free and refunded money for mistakes totaled $19. Certainly paid in this case!

  • Jodi says:

    For some reason, this is especially true at meijer. I regularly go from the checkout to the customer service line b/c of errors. Kind of frustrating but I’ve found the customer service reps to be very helpful.

  • says:

    I may not always catch this at checkout since I’m usually unloading my cart, but I try to stop before exiting the store and checking my receipt carefully. Both the Publix and Kroger in my hometown will give you the item free if it rings up incorrectly. Another reason I do this is sometimes I make a mistake and pick up the wrong size item, etc. Then I can replace it before I leave the store and get the difference in price. Anyway this little habit has saved me a lot of money.

  • Anna Rose says:

    In Richmond VA, when the register rings up the wrong price at Kroger, Customer Service will give you the item for free $3 if it is less than, something like that. BUT the catch here is you have to tell them they need to give you $3. There is a sign called Scan-Right Guarantee to look out for at Customer Service.

    (Wal-Mart used to do something like this too but I’m not sure if they still do.)

  • says:

    I had a similar thing happen last week. I was charged for turnips at 99 cents a pound instead of beets at 39 cents a pound. I didn’t catch it at the checkout, (it’s hard to catch everything with a baby in tow) but checked my receipt before leaving and got $1.89 back. I posted on as a reminder to check. I have found many mistakes over the years and would have thrown away a lot of money had I not checked my receipt.

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