Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
We’ve all been to a store and experienced the following: The price rung up at the register was more than what we saw on the shelf. Sometimes we might ask the cashier about it, sometimes we might think we just goofed up and keep it to ourselves.
In some cases, that feeling was accurate. Sometimes, retailers incorrectly price an item at the register from the price listed on the shelves, and in many of those cases of “overcharging,” the consumer comes out on the wrong end of the deal.
In recent weeks we’ve had very productive meetings with retailers regarding the serious problem of overcharging. At the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Division of Standards, we are proactively working on eliminating overcharging in an effort to make sure you are being charged the proper amount for an item.
We’ve met with CVS and Shaw’s, and plan on meeting with other retailers to discuss overcharging. Both CVS and Shaw’s have been very cooperative, taking the time to sit down with us to discuss their plans to improve their pricing. After they have put their plans in place, the Division of Standards will continue its effective inspection program to ensure those plans are having an impact on overcharges.
In the case of overcharging, it’s important for consumers to be their own best advocate. When you’re at a store, try as much as possible to take note of prices. If a price seems out of whack, ask for a check of the shelf pricing. If you’ve been a victim of overcharging, let us know by calling our hotline at (888) 283-3757. We’d like to know about it, and we’ll make sure the Division of Standards is aware of the incident and schedules an inspection of the store.