Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Store Prices Accurate Says State

Kohl's The Exception, But Undercharged

LABELLE, FL. -- If you're out doing holiday shopping, chances are excellent you will be charged the correct price.  That's the conclusion reached by Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson following a pre-holiday scanner survey in which 43 stores in 25 cities were inspected for scanner accuracy.

In all, only 15 errors were detected at the checkout line among 2,150 items scanned -- an error rate of less than 1 percent -- and all but three of the errors were in customers' favor.

Only one of the 43 stores visited by Bronson's inspectors last week failed its inspection, which requires an accuracy rate of 98 percent.  It was a Kohl's department store in Tallahassee, which failed its inspection due to excessive undercharges.  Such a finding will trigger more frequent inspection visits in the future until the problems are corrected.

While scanning errors are relatively uncommon, mistakes do occur.  It means that consumers need to be aware of the price that they should be charged, Bronson said.

For example, among errors detected during last week's sweep was a $10 overcharge for a doll at a Jacksonville Super Target store.  The error and all others found during the visits were immediately corrected by store management when they were informed of them.

Bronson's Division of Standards tests checkout scanners, as well as most other devices that sell products by weight or measure.  Consumers who believe that they have been overcharged, or who detect problems with a store's scales, are encouraged to call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352).

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