Holiday Shoppers Reminded to Double-Check Receipts

December 12, 2013 | 4:24pm

‘Tis the season and holiday shopping is in full swing!

So remember — as you’re dashing through the stores — double-check all your sales receipts to make sure you’re not being overcharged by faulty cash register price scanners.

There aren’t many things that can give jolly happy souls the holiday blues faster than being charged too much. But overcharges can happen.

The County’s Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) department inspects thousands of businesses every year to make sure that all the devices that scan, weigh or measure the things that people buy are actually charging consumers the right prices and that people are getting what they pay for. And inspections routinely show that about 20 percent of businesses have overcharging errors.

However, AWM officials want to remind people that they can help protect themselves — and their wallets — by following some very simple steps:

Protect Against Overcharging:

  • Always verify receipts and immediately notify store management of any price discrepancies.
  • Take sales advertisements with you when shopping to verify prices.
  • Know that stores cannot legally charge more than their lowest advertised, posted or quoted price.

Shop Smart:

  • Plan ahead. Start watching for store sale fliers, flea markets, garage sales, clearance sales, etc.
  • Make a list of what you need.
  • Comparison shop with at least five different sources for the best values.
  • Don’t buy everything at once. Establish a spending plan and timetable to buy what you need over several weeks or months to take full advantage of future sales and true bargains.
  • Call AWM at 1-888-TRUE SCAN (1-888-878-3722) to report overcharges you can’t resolve with store.

For more information, visit AWM’s consumer protection Web page.