Consumers warned to check receipts


Last updated 12/13/2007 at Noon

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it is important for consumers to be aware of the prices they are being charged at the cash register.

This year, the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures has scanned more than 24,500 items at 1,035 locations and found that shoppers have been overcharged in one out of every three stores.

Four items out of every 100 items purchased had pricing errors, and shoppers are five times more likely to be overcharged on promotional or sale items when compared to non-promotional items.

“During this busy time of year where people are spending extra money, it’s easy to overlook pricing errors,” said Robert Atkins, County Sealer of Weights and Measures. “The county is dedicated to ensuring that consumers pay no more than the lowest advertised, posted or quoted price.”

A county ordinance also requires stores violating the price accuracy statute to post a “Notice of Penalty for Failed Inspection” at each store entrance for 10 days following the completion of any administrative, civil or criminal action.

In 1999, the Consumer Confidence Protection Act was established by the County Board of Supervisors, which requires “Notice to Consumers” signs be posted at each cash register that uses a scanning device.

To view list of businesses with overcharging violations, visit

Tips for shoppers:

• Make sure the screen monitor is facing you when items are being scanned, which is legally required.

• Verify receipts and notify store management of any price discrepancies.

• To report a complaint, contact the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures at 1-888-878-3722 or visit


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