I don’t think there’s anything that annoys me more than being overcharged at the checkout.
Last year we aired a whole series on grocery stores and pricing. It was then that I learned that Kroger, H-E-B and Randalls all have a policy that if you are overcharged for an item, you can get one of that item for free. They don’t usually offer it. You have to hold them to it.
And as of last night at 6pm (Sunday, Dec. 13th, 2009), I intend to do just that.
Here’s the back story: For the last 4 consecutive grocery trips in 1 week, I have been overcharged at my neighborhood Kroger.
First, December 7th, I purchased 3 cartons of trail mix. They were on sale for $2.89, marked down from the original price of $6.89. At the register they rang up at the regular price. I was also overcharged for apples and a grapefruit that were both on sale for 10 for $10. The cashier rang them up at $1.39 a pound. When I discovered the inaccuracies on my receipt, I went back to the register. A quasi-manager discovered that the sale on the trail mix had ended 5 days earlier, but employees forgot to remove the sale tags. Kroger honored the sale price; but I didn’t ask for any of the trail mix for free because the sale was technically over. I did ask for and get an apple free because of that bad scan. I was overcharged $13.01.
Fast forward to December 12th. I picked up some powdered sugar. It was on sale for $1.50. The cashier charged me $1.79. I told her and she changed the price. Technically, she should have given me the item for free, but I didn’t make a fuss.
Later that same evening on Dec. 12th, I ran into Kroger to buy some Redi-Whip for hot chocolate. The sale price was $2.00. The can rang up for $4.19! I told the clerk and she corrected the price. I didn’t ask for the item for free because my in-laws and husband were waiting in the car.
My 4th trip was Dec. 13th. Every item rang up correctly except my ziploc bags. They sale price was $1.39. The bags rang up as $1.49. Really, ten cents is not that big of a deal. But at this point it was the principle. I pushed all of my groceries out to the car, loaded them up… and went back inside with just the ziploc bags.
I told a manager at the front that I would like to get a refund for the cost of the bags. When he looked at me a little confused, I explained that I had been overcharged on 3 prior trips. I was finally invoking the store’s policy to get the item for free. He never said a word to me. He looked at the woman behind the Customer Service counter and said “take care of this woman” and then walked away.
I received $1.51 for Kroger’s error. The correction took 4 minutes.
So here’s the Operation Price Check game plan:
Each time I go shopping at my neighborhood Kroger, I will post a blog to let you know if I was overcharged. (It’s only fair to let you know when they get it right).
I will keep a running total of how much I am overcharged and how much I get back for their pricing errors. Operation Price Check will run 1 full year (until Dec. 13, 2010). At the end of the year, I will donate the full amount I received due to Kroger’s errors to the Houston Food Bank.
Here’s my first entry:
Overcharged Refunded Time Wasted
12/13/09 .10 $1.61 4 minutes
Let me know what you think. At some point this may become a story that we broadcast. I am open to your ideas and suggestions.