Price check discovers mistakes can happen at checkout

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ads in stores which boast low or special prices tempt us to spend our hard earned money. But mistakes happen at the checkout line, costing you cash.   

Walgreens, the retail giant, has been in hot water over pricing problems . The Missouri Attorney General recently announced a lawsuit settlement against Walgreens for overcharging on some sale prices. An independent auditor will inspect each Missouri store for three years to stop these mistakes .

"We have essentially put a babysitter on top of this company for the next three years," said Missouri AG Chris Koster.  

Tracie Fobes teaches consumers ways to save with her blog, the Penny Pinchin Mom .

When she wrote about Walgreens, followers sounded off.

“Most people get really angry with it. They get furious when those prices are wrong,” said Fobes.   

But mistakes happen.

The Kansas and Missouri Departments of Agriculture inspect stores annually for pricing errors.

Call for Action went through inspection reports over the past year and a half and found stores over and under charging customers.

Some examples include Target at 135th and State Line Road.  A Missouri inspector found five pricing errors last December, all undercharges.  Westlake Hardware at 9301 Santa Fe is where a Kansas inspector wrote up 12 errors in May 2013. Only three were overcharges.  In February, inspectors also found 19 pricing mistakes at the Kohls at 10730 Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kansas. Seven of those were overcharges.  

For consumers, keeping prices straight in a sea of ads can be confusing.

Fobes suggests taking a picture of the price with your phone then comparing the price on the receipt.

That is what Call for Action did recently. We visited five Walgreens and CVS stores across the metro, buying two items in each store, snapping a picture then checking the receipt.  We found two pricing errors at two different Walgreens in Kansas. Both times, we were undercharged for the item.

Fobes said, "Unfortunately, as consumers we have to be more cautious and aware when we shop.”

Fobes also suggests using her shopping list . She recommends shoppers include what you want to buy and the price, and then double checks your receipt.  If you find a mistake, tell the store manager right away. 

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