Check Your Own Receipt Before You Leave The Store

Although stores often claim they employ receipt checkers to make sure you got everything you paid for, you still might get ripped off. This past weekend, three stores tried to sell us items that did not match their price tag or description. Each time, we politely pointed out the difference to a manager, and each time, we were rewarded for doing so, either with a reduced price or a better item than the original one we wanted. Let us tell you about our exciting weekend, inside.

At Ikea, we were interested in a $20, natural wood step stool, until we found a bright blue floor model for $15. We couldn’t find anything but the natural finish in the warehouse, so we spoke to a manager, who told us that the blue one must have been from last year (it was kicking around in one of those “Look at how much Ikea furniture I can fit in my 200 square foot apartment!” displays) and the price had gone up. She happily wrote us out a price override, which allowed us to buy the step stool for $15 instead of $20.

We tried to buy a cheap drill at Home Depot, but when we brought home the drill that was advertised as coming with 26 bits, we were surprised to find only Phillips and flathead bits. We went back to Home Depot and returned the item, thinking we had grabbed the wrong one off the shelf. Then we noticed that they were advertising one model but stocking and selling a different one that only came with two bits. We pointed this out to a manager and suggested he give us a separate bit package for free, and he ended up giving us a package with more bits and lowering the price of the drill. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem very interested in removing the misleading sign.

The next day, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at towels, and picked some nice towels that rang up at twice the price. It turned out that all of the bath towels that were advertised were actually extra large bath sheets, which cost twice as much. The employee we talked to suggested coming back the next day and seeing if they had any towels, but we instead went to a manager, who rang up the sheets at the same price as the towels.

At the end of it all, we got a drill for a reduced price and a better bit package, a 25% discount on a stool we were going to buy anyway, and two bigger towels for the same price as the smaller ones. We did this by speaking with someone who has the authority to change the price of an item—each time the corrected price rang up, the cashier selected an option called “customer satisfaction.” That such a menu item exists shows this is not an uncommon procedure; we didn’t have to argue with any of the managers, and they all seemed happy to oblige, but if we hadn’t sought them out and complained, we would have been stuck with overpriced, mislabeled items. We have friends who wouldn’t bother complaining; they’d either keep an item they’re not satisfied with, or return it and buy something more expensive. We doubt we have to tell our readers this, but just in case: don’t be afraid to complain.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Alex, you have really bad luck with getting charged the correct price for the things you buy. That being said, these are all amazing compensation for your persistence and patience.

  2. purplesun says:

    Another good thing to do is to take advantage of your camera phone, if you have one.

    There have been times when I looked at the price of things felt little iffy about it – for example, a “sale” sticker over the cheaper price or a haphazardly written sign for a mark down next to the item. Working as a cashier for a number of years, I know sometimes the stockers beat the computers.

    I take pictures of the items I’m iffy about with my camera phone and if something comes up, I can just show it to the cashier. That way, it doesn’t turn into a big production and everyone can move on with their day. I’ve used this technique a couple of times and I’ve never had a problem with it (but I did get a few nice compliments on my new phone!).

    So, yeah. Just a suggestion.

  3. Alex Chasick says:

    @purplesun: Absolutely. I had pictures of all of this stuff in case anyone did give me trouble. It’s nice having posting privileges for those situations…

  4. Alex Chasick says:

    @defeatism: Hey, congratulations, star commenter!

  5. I agree, don’t be afraid to complain- but you should be nice about it. Not saying you weren’t, Alex, but some people forget this.

    If you’re angry and pissed off the manager is just going to want you out of there. But if you are nice about it (you can still be upset, just be respectful) the manager will be more willing to work with you and, ultimately, more likely to get the problem fixed and, oh yea, let’s not forget the free stuff!!

  6. @Alex Chasick: Was it the Ikea in Woodbridge or College Park? I’ve had to rock the price override at the Woodbridge location several times. :(

  7. linkura says:

    Yeah, just yesterday at the grocery store the register tried to overcharge me about $2.50 compared to the tag on the shelf. I reported the problem and they ended up taking $5 total off the bill instead of just the difference. Not bad.

  8. Amelia Subverxin says:

    It always pays to double-check. I had a customer two weeks ago who confused me about something and never noticed that I rang her up for someone else’s merchandise. She didn’t even blink when I gave her the total for someone else’s larger order. She paid it and the only reason I realized my mistake was when the other customer came back to the register and wanted to know why I gave her bag to someone else.

  9. Danairyeah says:

    Staples…is a horrible store when it comes to sale pricing, esspecially when it comes to the checkout counter…I purchased a Canon Rebel XTI camera lens kit with a Free Epson Printer for $599.00 which is absolutly great…

    But wait a mintue…what sounds bad???? I went to 4 staples stores!!! 4 of them…and only 1 of them had 1 of the cameras in stock..Which is also the first day of the sale at the time they opened too!!!

    And we doubted that they were getting a shipment in on Sunday too….

    What a horrible store…Nothing rang up right eaither…After probally using a whole role of reciept tape the manager gave us a $20 staples rewards for our problems…

    Hold on….$20 for complaing…too good to be true…well of corse!! I go back into the staples only to find that the $20 isnt for real becasue the manager forgot to sign the rewards valture and also wasnt there that day as well…

    What a horrible store that is……

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    I wonder, in this Age of the Shrinking Ray, if stores aren’t playing the odds with lackadaisical coordination between shelf price and cashier ones. I scoffed before (and believe the TV consumer-type shows demonstrated that, while there were errors, they fell on both sides of the curve), but perhaps it’s changed now?

    @purplesun: That’s a brilliant tip.

  11. The collective “we” here makes me picture a lone Alex talking to himself while he’s picking out that stool:
    “Nah, we don’t like that color. We wanted natural.”
    “I can knock $5 bucks off it for you, sir.”
    “Great. That’d make us happy.”

  12. FLConsumer says:

    Wow you guys are having bad luck with pricing. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen a store overcharge for something.

  13. MalcoveMagnesia says:

    Which state has the grocery label law that says if the price that scans up at the register is different than the one printed on the price tag, you get the difference in price refunded plus some XXX % bonus to you (i.e. penalty to the store). It’s one of the states I’ve lived in, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.

  14. ChuckBlack says:

    Up here in Manitoba Canada we have that law. The trick is to wait till after you pay for the overpriced item, then go to customer service and complain. That’s when you get the discount. If you complain at the register they do a price check, everyone behind you gets pissed, then they correct the mistake and you get nothing for being alert.

  15. CG72 says:

    Erie County (home of Buffalo) in the State of NY has a scanner accuracy law. I wrote about it here, along with my most recent scanner story (to avoid repeating myself):


  16. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Giant Eagle grocery in PA/NE OH used to have a policy that if something rang up wrong, you got the first one for free. This made it fun to shop on Sunday morning with the new ad :)

  17. Trencher93 says:

    ALWAYS CHECK YOUR RECEIPT … Sears, where America used to shop, rang up a pair of pliers twice on mine – I did complain, but the guy wanted my phone number to give me a refund – I refused – I don’t have to surrender my personal information for their screw-up – he finally gave me a refund. Another guy, who looked like a supervisor, just stood and watched – I got my money back but they weren’t very nice about it – I haven’t been back since. (Memo to Sears: Harbor Freight doesn’t do this.) You just have to almost audit every line of your receipt these days.

  18. lingum says:

    @Trencher93: Don’t mind Harbor Freight ever since they closed the Sears here. Right next door to a kick ass chinese cookery too. Got a 15% off coupon about to expire as well so I might have chinese again today.

  19. balthisar says:

    I once got charge for 225 rolls of electrical tape at a Home Depot, instead of 25. And, it was all I was buying. Since it was a company expense, I didn’t even think about it until I got back to my car. They fixed it for me right away without a hassle, though, although I think that has more to do with Ontarioians (or whatever they call themselves) than Home Depot.

  20. Canino says:

    I thought computerization and bar codes were supposed to fix all this. It’s 2008 and I still have to make sure a freakin can of peas rings up correctly. Why can’t the system reliably say, “hey, that’s bar code number 123456789, it costs 79 cents”? I don’t get it.

  21. B1663R says:

    @balthisar: i think its Ontarians.

  22. Coles_Law says:

    @Canino: Because somebody has to tell the computer item 123456789 costs 79 cents. Somebody could forget the item went on sale, they could key it in as 7.90 or 0.079, lots of things can happen.

  23. Coles_Law says:

    Also, I’ll add none of the cases here were a true incorrect pricing-two were the store not having the advertised produt in stock, and one was a floor model that was outdated. It still pays to be persistent though.

  24. bohemian says:

    Our nearby Walmart is horrible with this. Last xmas I tried to buy an $8.99 camera. I made sure to match the sku to the item because there were similar ones and the display was a mess. I got to the self checkout and it rang up as $35. I mentioned this to the staff member and she just stood there with a blank look. I asked her if she could price check or correct it, she told me no. She couldn’t even erase the transaction on the register. I left in disgust.
    Stupid me went back in spring. Found a cheap pair of sandals (earth shoe?). They were pre-priced (box and shoes). I honestly didn’t pay attention when swiping my card and signing. I got home, looked at the receipt and I was charged an extra $10 for the shoes.

    I am guessing that some stores are knowingly doing this to pad their sales. The Home Depot incident sounds like it. Better stores seem to be more willing to listen or believe you.

  25. AdvocatesDevil says:

    Cue all of the retail workers to start posting that you should feel grateful that they even LET you in THEIR stories and what right do you have to complain and if you don’t tip well they’re going to spit on your drill! :)

  26. emington says:

    @bohemian: Cashiers aren’t trained very well for the most part and cannot do everything with the computers (i.e. change prices, erase transactions, etc.). You should have asked her to get a manager to do it.

    I know where I work if the price comes up wrong we immediately change it — even if the price it scanned as is less (i.e. 35$ in the computer but 40$ on the ticket). It’s a two way street ;)

    I try to help people out as much as I can and I will run around trying to find them a manager who can deal with it ._. but if they get very angry and insulting I will tell them that it’s not possible — I don’t deserve to be treated like dirt because someone is impatient and having a temper tantrum -_-

    To be honest, I shop too but I always make sure I know the price of an item before I buy it. If it scans wrong, for the most part, it’s usually a “I’m sorry but this was marked differently on the floor”. They check, they change the price. No big deal. In any case, I’m not going to freak out over 50 cents even though I am a student.

  27. Canino says:

    @Coles_Law: I guess that’s part of what I’m saying. There should be no method by which someone “forgets” to change a price. The decision is made at corporate to advertise that in this region item x is on sale for y amount between this date and that date, and it should be entered in a database at that time and be automatic from that point. If someone is having to manually do all this for every item in every store every day then I have some automation and efficiency programs to sell them.

  28. RandomHookup says:


    I know where I work if the price comes up wrong we immediately change it — even if the price it scanned as is less (i.e. 35$ in the computer but 40$ on the ticket). It’s a two way street ;)

    That’s cold and maybe illegal. What’s to say there isn’t a discount sign posted on the item or that the stocking crew hasn’t quite made it to that shelf to post the new price? Most of the laws are written to protect the consumer from misleading pricing rather than the retailer from their own mistakes.

  29. My wife is the queen of this kind of shopping. he is tenacious in getting stores to own up to their prices or admit they are not advertising the right product at the right price. And yet this is so prevalent — because the stores know that most people simply will not. I know cashiers don’t check anything, because technically they are supposed to check the back of your credit card for a signature, but in all these years, I have never once had a cashier look for it. I stopped signing my name on the back years ago to avoid the possibility of the car being stolen and someone having my signature to purchase items.

  30. floraposte says:

    There’s a place near me that has a good-faith-straining combination of high number of prices scanning too high and elaborate post-transaction procedure to get it fixed–you have to go stand in another line that’s longer than checkout and do paperwork. Which to me is the classic examples of why customers get cranky about these things–stores make it into the customer’s problem rather than acknowledging the store already screwed up once and that the store is obligated to fix it.

  31. highmodulus says:

    Great article.

    I have noticed that several places seem to always make “pricing errors” in their favor- one rhymes with Pig Sty.

  32. I’m honestly surprised that Bed Bath and Beyond did anything for you.

    The last time we had something ring up wrong (a couple of nice pillows), they refused to correct it for us. It was essentially a matter where they botched the signage (correct item on the tag, correct item on the shelf, wrong discounted price on the tag) and wouldn’t take responsibility for it. The manager initially tried to accuse US of changing the sign, then admitted that they made up the sign incorrectly, but wouldn’t honor the price because it was a mistake (and this wasn’t a $50+ mistake, it was perhaps $10 or so) and then just didn’t want to have anything to do with us. We just ended up returning the pillows on the spot and wrote a letter to BB&B regarding the manager at that store. Sadly, I didn’t know of Consumerist back then.

    Shockingly, we still shop there (they keep sending us those damn 20% off coupons!), but we’re extra careful with our purchases, making sure everything rings up properly while we’re still at the register.

  33. CandyRaver says:


    Then if someone stole your card, they could still forge your signature on the back of the card if it was blank and go on a shopping spree. Or shop online.

  34. BeThisWay says:

    @Nefarious – If you don’t sign the back of your card then the their can and the signature would be an exact match. Also, it’s part of your contract with the card company to sign the card.

    A better thing to do is to sign the card and also write “Check Photo ID!” in Sharpie. That way the back of the card is signed making it harder for a thief to match, and the cashier is told to ask for ID. They tend to ask more often because of the large Check Photo ID!” in Sharpie, too. I always make a point of acknowledging the cashier when they do, hoping they’ll be more likely to do it next time, too.

  35. teapot37 says:

    @Canino: After having worked at a Target for many years, I can say that most of the pricing errors stem from just a couple of causes:

    1) Somebody put up an ad or price cut sign and forgot to scan it into the computer, so it may be missed when people are scanning the signs back down.
    2) People either stock or ‘zone’ items in the wrong spot.

    In both cases, the computer shows the correct price, but due to human error, the shelf may not reflect that. If a customer told us that there was a price discrepancy, 95% of the time it was for of one of those two reasons, and we would take care of it as soon as possible.

  36. felixgolden says:

    My mother, who apparently has been training for the day they make shopping an olympic sport, taught me to always watch the items as they are rung up and to check my receipts before I leave the store. I usually catch mistakes before the sale is completed, though on a few occasions, I’ve been forced to complete the sale then go to customer service for a refund.

    The most recent big error was a cashier at one of the new CompUSAs (Tiger Direct-owned) slipping in an $80+ extended warranty for a non-existent item, raising my total sale by about 25%. I had a lot of items, so I didn’t catch it as it was being rung up.

  37. MomInTraining says:

    I used to shop at my WalMart Neighborhood Market (a mini-grocery store only WalMart). I would guess that 75% of the time I shopped there, there would be a misring on my receipt, usually in the produce area.

    I have gone to Customer Service a couple times to see if they would give me the item free or some other discount, but they always just gave me back the price difference which was usually less than a dollar. They never change the sign or fix the computer either as I have bought the same item again days later and the same thing happened.

    It isn’t the 30 cents they overcharged me that makes me mad. It is the 30 cents X 500 purchases or whatever that bugs me. There is no incentive for stores to be honest about their scanners vs. listed prices because most of the time all the consumer gets back is the price difference and 90% of shoppers never notice or don’t want to wait at Customer Service to complain.

    I wish my state would pass a scanner accuracy law, but I bet the retail lobbyist make that very unlikely.

  38. MomInTraining says:

    @felixgolden: That reminds me of when I worked at a movie theater in high school. We were rewarded for the number of extra butter sales we had. Extra butter on a large was 40 cents. So I would sweetly ask if people wanted extra butter and then charge them, or I would just tack on a couple extra butters if they weren’t paying attention. I realize now that was terrible, but I am sure that movie theater netted thousands of dollars a year from extra butter sales. And the management didn’t care a bit about the ethics of those extra butter sales. We can pretend it is all innocent data entry errors, but I am sure the “extra butter phenomenon” is fairly common.

  39. UnicornMaster says:

    From your article I gather you are 4’10” and building a treehouse with a shower.

  40. majin_chichi says:

    @ChuckBlack: If the item’s under $10, according to the law up here in Canada, you’re actually supposed to get the item for free. I think the extra bonus money applies if it’s over $10. I have yet to ever have a store acutally honor the free part, though. Usually the hassle of waiting in line at Customer Service is enough to make me take the difference between what I was charged, and what it should be, and go on my way.

  41. Geekybiker says:

    I don’t have a problem with people checking to make sure they get what they paid for. OTOH I’ve been in line behind people who like to argue over a nickle in price difference and hold up the line for 10 minutes while someone checks. Just saying if you’re one of those people who like to argue to the last nickel about price, show a little consideration and take it to the customer service desk.

    Not that it seems that is what the OP was doing but its worth the mention……

  42. Eilonwynn says:

    @majin_chichi: I have had grocery stores honour it like CRAZY around here, especially when shopping at about 3 am – no customer service waits, either – Especially RIGHT after sobey’s changes their fliers over.

    That being said, ONLY the first item is free, and ONLY to a max of $10 – no free money, as if it’s over $10, then they just have to honour the lower price.

  43. emington says:

    @RandomHookup: I know my section. I know most of the books and there are no discount signs in a shop that sells exclusively medical textbooks. It is not cold nor illegal. The price on the tag is the valid price, no? That’s the law? So if it’s more, why is it illegal? -_- We do not have a stocking crew. Prices are not on the shelves. Prices are tagged on the back of the books.

    If you had to price 10,000+ different books, you’d think differently. Each has a different price, SKU, description. There can be ocassionally mistakes. But it’s the marked price that is the “correct” price. More often than not it’s less and I’ll change it… but if it is more than I am equally obligated to change it.

  44. NikonGal says:

    At my local grocery store (Safeway) they give the item for free if the scanned price is wrong. Sometimes, the cashier wants to just give me only the price difference. But I remind them of their policy and they give it for free. I watch the register with eagle eyes and I get one free item at least once a week. It’s a good way to save on groceries. And I especially love when this happens on a buy-one-get-one-free item – then I get BOTH items for free.

    As for the original post, I really don’t see how pointing out a wrong price is “complaining”. I guess I don’t like the negative connotation of that word. If a price is advertised incorrectly, you’re simply notifying the store of the error.

  45. dragonfire81 says:

    Do the same with restaurant receipts, make certain you were charged for exactly what you ordered.

    It’s very easy to mix up a grilled chicken and a fried chicken and that could mean a $5 or more difference in your final bill.

  46. fjordtjie says:

    the other day at kohl’s there were towels i wanted to get, but i was confused by the signs. above one column of the towels, there were 2 signs, with one sticking up behind the others. the taller said buy one get one free, and the shorter said 50% off towels. over the column of the exact same towels next to that column there was a sign that said 25% off bathmats, which there were none of. i doubted that they would make them half off and 50% off, but since i wanted 4 anyway, i’d be spending the same amount to buy 4 whether it was 1/2 off or buy one get one free, and if for some wierd reason it was both, it would make my day. i went to check out, and they rang up regular price. so i told the cashier about the signs, the cashier called on her phone, and someone called back and said they’re not on sale. i went to the back of the store to get the signs and show her, and they were gone. now, i’m not crazy. i contemplated how much they actually were going to charge, and even showed my mother the signs to ask her if she thought the towels were worth the money (vera wang makes towels now?). i was pissed off they wanted to be sneaky about it and take down the signs, because i’m pretty sure they have to honor signs for the correct item posted over the damn item. so we left.

    i don’t have a camera phone, didn’t have my camera on me, and didn’t know i’d need to capture the image in order to get a discount! i would have brought all the damn signs with me if i’d known they’d do this, and now they get none of my money.

  47. scrooks says:

    @dragonfire81: Agree about restaurant receipts. I find a lot more errors there than anywhere else. Interestingly, the errors are pretty evenly split between over and undercharging. If undercharged, the waiter is always very surprised to hear, “Hey, you forgot to charge us for xyz.” Sometimes they’ll throw it in for free, but more often than not they’ll fix the bill to reflect the higher and accurate total. And I don’t mind at all because it’s not like I expected to get it for free in the first place.

  48. @fjordtjie: I once got dress shirts 50% of and BOGO at Kohl’s. The cashier wouldn’t work with me, even though you could see the BOGO sign at the back of the store from the register. I went to Cust Serv, and got the shirts BOGO and 50% off, which came down to like $4.00 a shirt. I almost always go walking to the area w/an employee so they don’t pull that hiding crap.

  49. RandomHookup says:

    @emington: I had no way of knowing what kind of retailer you work for and how you operate. I am speaking in the general and most retailers don’t fix a price that is under the tagged price because of all the reasons I mentioned.

    Is it cold? Dang, straight. That’s like saying to the patrons…”you can have any beer for a nickel, no, sorry any beer for $5.00″.

    Illegal? Probably not in your case because it sounds like the things that bigger companies do, don’t apply. If it’s only a one stop location, then there’s no corporate running specials and clearances you don’t know about. And no possibility of crossmatched prices. It could be illegal if the state scanner law covers it.

    I’ve barcoded the entire inventory of a pretty good size bookstore before, so I understand the magnitude of the problem.

  50. Nick1693 says:

    @Trencher93: I just say its 411. “Directory Assistance, what city and state?” “*sears robocaller* You can have the drill for just 99.99 Its a steal!”

  51. thelushie says:

    @fjordtjie: They were possibly in the process of taking down the sales signs. It is a little bit more complicated than most people think and takes a good bit of time because of the scanning,etc that must be done. (I have done the job.) Also, what did the sign say exactly? Was the sale only on colors as some colors are seasonal while others aren’t? Was there merchandise above the sign that it could have applied to? There are a myriad of possibilities besides “they were being sneaky”.

    My least favorite customers were the ones who assumed we “were out to get them”. They would bring an item, and see a different price than what they said they saw on the sign. When we would go check, they didn’t read the sign. All they saw was 50% off or whatnot and didn’t actually read what it applied to.

    Oh, and the ones who would see me scanning down signs and would run to grab an item with an outdated sales sign above it (as in beating me to the punch). When asked, I would tell the cashier that the price in the register was correct (I did look at it to make sure it was correct for that time period). I was working on the signs at the time and the sales sign had expired. Then I would alert the supervisor to what happened just in case the customer wanted to make a stink. But if I didn’t see you look at me and then get a wild look in your eye as if the world was ending, I would probably say give the old price.

  52. thelushie says:

    @Git Em SteveDave displays attention-grabbing vanity: Hiding crap? Paranoid much? Seriously, where are all of you guys shopping. I have never had a problem getting a price changed in a store if it rang up wrong. Of course, I also don’t treat the cashier or SA like crap and an idiot either.

    Kroger gives the item to you if it rings up wrong. It happens once in awhile and I have never had a problem there.

  53. fonetek says:

    Walgreens in notorious for this. Every item in their store seems to be off in some way. The last time I went in there to buy asprin it was labeled as $2.00 for the walgreens brand. When I got to the register with a bunch of other items, i paid and left the store. In the parking lot I noticed the receipt said $3.99 for the asprin. I went back in there and the cashier seemed genuinely pissed off that she has to refund $1.99 plus .16 cents in tax. Too bad… It was definately a matter of principle at that point. If this didn’t happen everytime I go there I would have probably overlooked the two bucks.

  54. Grabraham says:

    As much as many folks seem to scowl at the new fangled carry around hand scanners that my local Stop and shop has and feel like they are doing the ‘stores job’ by baging their own groceries. I love the fact that I can pick something up off the shelf and when I scan it I know that the price I am being charged is what is on the tag/shelf card because I can compare the prices as each item is scanned to the ringup and the shelf card. I dont have to carry around abunch of numbers of what things ‘should ring up as’ in my head :D plus I have a running total in my hand, and if something is not marked it is a quick ‘bloop’ to get the price. since you are bagging things as you take them off the shelf it takes all of 30 seconds to ‘checkout’

  55. karmaghost says:

    Always, always check your receipts! At the store I work at, even the best cashiers will accidentally ring you up for multiples of one item. And, our pricing department makes mistakes all the time, so make sure you’re getting the price you were expecting to get.

  56. RandomHookup says:

    @Grabraham: And it’s S&S policy to give you the item free if it over-rings. I’ve had some fun just finding price mistakes.

    Oh, and yes, I don’t have a life, thank you for asking.

  57. emington says:


    It’s not a big corporation. It’s a medical bookshop. We sell medical books and equipment. Usually the price is only 3-4$ off. I know it’s cold but I was told that I’d lose my job if I wasn’t consistent to the “tagged price is right” policy. I don’t want to but I have to. ;_; But we’re not so cold — we give sometimes a discount if a book is slightly bent or worn. 10% may not sound like much but if the book costs 300$…

  58. CG72 says:

    With the Erie County scanner law it’s amount of error x 10 or 10.00, which ever is lower…however if you bring up the error st the register you only get the price adjusted. You have to wait to be cashed out and go to customer service to get a super-refund. The store gets fined too – that’s why they have incentive to switch signs on a “price check for discrepancy” (explained in full detail to checker).

    It’s not paranoid to notice that your stale sale item sign has been removed, if escalating penalties are involved, but I don’t think any store does it on purpose…although a disgruntled employee might.

  59. @thelushie: As an ex cashier, CSR, Line Server, ETC…. I never treat people who deal with the public bad. I know that they have only limited power sometimes. But I have had them call for a price check, and the display “changed” between when I got it and when “someone” went to check the price. They have either removed the sign, or moved product around. So no, I’m not paranoid. Also, it’s easier to show someone why you were confused about a price when the shelf is as it was when you picked up the item.

  60. OntarioGuy says:

    That is NOT a law in Canada…it is a voluntary Scanning Code of Practice that some stores participate in. If the store has the SCoP posted on their front door and/or the cash they HAVE to honour it as part of their agreement…If a store doesn’t post the SCoP they do NOT have to follow its guidelines.

    Learn more: []


    In Quebec there is a law rather than voluntary guidelines.

    As a general rule…carry a copy of the rules in your wallet as many participating stores don’t train their staff about it!

  61. brian25 says:

    Went to payless today… they had a buy one, get one half off anything in the store. My 3 y/o wanted a high school musical purse and it was in a section that said $4… there were four others. I paid, not thinking anything of the price. My wife asked for the price and said it had to be wrong… she went back and the manager tried to refuse to give us the proper price and she insisted that it “must be in the wrong place”, but that’s not our problem… especially when there are four in the same rack in the same spot at the $4 sign…

    Fix your signage Payless!!!

  62. jfrovich says:

    I agree with you on this “don’t be afraid to complain.”

    To many people would just say o well, and lose out on the deal, its important that we take a stand and get what we pay for.

    I had a friend buy a computer at a box store, they manager matched the price from another competitor, after my fiend paid for the computer, the manager realizing he made a mistake, tried to block his exit from the store.

    Demanding my friend hand over the computer or he would call the cops, my friend stood firm, and knowing his rights, that since he paid for it , he owns it.
    He walked out and he kept the computer.
    Stand for what you believe in

  63. jonworld says:

    I was buying shoes at Sports Authority the other day and they rang up $15 more than what they should have. I talked to a manager, and luckily, she corrected it for me.

  64. brickouthouse says:

    target seems to be paticularly inept at charging the correct price, including an inability to count multiples…and they don’t fix at the register, you must go to customer service. However, they can err in your favor as often as not. The pasta tube works for straight noodle pastas, I find them for a dollar or so a piece at thrift stores, and yes, they make great bug proof storage. Kinoki? My grandma was a huge fan of foot washing, to the tune of several times a day. I adopted the habit and find it quite refreshing. And nothing to put in the landfill. Foot diapers-what a racket. What else you got?

  65. erichazann says:

    I think this is most important at places like Ikea where you have to bag your own stuff and can’t stand around and watch each item scan.

    I had a semi-frustrating experience with Ikea… I had 5 items that cost $3 each, and the cashier rang up $15 x 5! Instead of just $15. I didn’t see this because I was bagging my stuff. When I got home, I was sure I was screwed bc I thought I would have had to present this to a manager while I was still in the store, and there was no way I was going back to NJ from NYC until the next weekend.

    I called their Customer Service and they took a claim. The rep seemed overly cheery and was sure my claim would be granted and apologized for the inconvenience. They sent my claim to the Elizabeth, NJ store and I was contacted by the store asking for my original receipt! Even tho they had a digital copy of it, I had to send mine in. So I sent it in and called back multiple times to check on it. No word. Then my claim was closed with the note that they were waiting for my receipt. Eventually, I was able to speak with the woman who I sent my receipt to.. she was off, on vacation, away from her desk..etc every other time. I told her I sent it, when I sent it.. and she was like: “oh, let me look in my desk…” “oh! there it is!”.. like WTF, you don’t know what’s in your desk? Anyway, they took care of it right away, although the whole process took a month to get my $60 back.

    Now, I will never leave Ikea w/o checking my receipt!

  66. erichazann says:

    @brian25 Unless there is a picture or description of the item at the rack with the discounted price, most stores will deny you the cheaper price. A lot of times, things are in the wrong place.