NYC Deputizes All Citizens As Secret Shoppers

Inspections by New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs found that two-thirds of the supermarkets they visited were overcharging customers at the checkout counter. That’s up from 1 in 3 last August. So now they’re turning all shoppers into “deputized inspectors” to report malefactors.

The Department is encouraging consumers to keep an eye out at their supermarket and send in reports of any unlawful practices. Shoppers should watch out and see if items don’t ring up for their advertised prices, individual items haven’t been taged with price labels, unit prices not posted on the shelves, and a lack of a scale in the store where consumers on their own can weigh items sold by weight.

Consumer Affairs wants people to send in field notes by tweeting @NYCDCA using #nickled&dimed or on their Facebook wall. They’ll look at the complaints to build a list of places to target for followup inspections.

They ask that consumers include the name of the supermarket, address or cross streets, and an explanation of the overcharges.

DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS LAUNCHES #NICKELED&DIMED ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK, DEPUTIZING NEW YORKERS TO ACT AS “SECRET SHOPPERS” FOR SUPERMARKET OVERCHARGES [Press Release]