Check Your Receipt for Overcharges

Stores guilty of charging shoppers too much

There is a simple reason to look over your receipt when you go shopping. 

According to Lisa Leondis, the Sealer of Weights and Measures in San Diego County, 25 percent of the stores they inspect have overcharging violations.

"We don't believe they are doing it intentionally, " said Leondis, "however the chances of being overcharged are greater than being undercharged."

So why do people get overcharged at the cash register? Leondis says it is usually human error,  the electronic price changes in the computer system but the shelf price or advertised prices was never changed.  That means if shoppers are attracted to the item at  the shelf they may not get that price at the register.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp just ordered Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to pay $833,136 in penalties and costs for overcharging customers.  Assistant City Attorney Tricia Pummill says the store was caught by investigators overcharging for items and charging higher prices on meat and seafood than the state price on the shelf.

"The bottom line is if consumers are overcharged and there is a pattern of that, we will take action," said Pummill.

But not everyone is good about checking  their receipts.  How often does Meghan Rubin check?  "Never, I don't really check my receipt."

But Lisa Leondis says it's important to double-check, the County Sealer says consumers are overcharged by stores about $50 a year.

"That's more than a tankful of gas or money they can use to buy more food or things like that," said Leondis.

Besides the penalties, for the next three years, Fresh & Easy has a greed to take $3 dollars off any items that are overcharged at the register.  If the items is priced below $3 the customer can have it for free.

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