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Don't Waste Your Money: Faulty grocery store scanners could cost you

(Toledo News Now) -

Cash register scanners are faster and more efficient than ever before, scanning a weeks' worth of groceries in just a couple of minutes. But a new test finds they may not be much more accurate than they were 20 years ago.

There are few things more frustrating than thinking you got a great price at a sale, then getting home and finding you were charged the original price, before the markdown.

Store scanner errors are more common than many of us think and they cost consumers nationwide millions of dollars a year.

"Yes, they have done that before and I had to tell them it's a different price," said Vonda Schloss.

"The stuff on sale, they will ring up the regular price," said Dorothy Trimm.

Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes says it's more common than it should be

"You expect to buy something, and the price rings up different, it's an issue," said Rhodes.

Our hidden camera test of one supermarket found eight percent of items we bought scanned wrong.

For instance, frosted flakes were $1.69 on the shelf, but we were charged $1.79. Rice was stickered at 69 cents, but our receipt showed 79 cents.

We then checked an office supply store, where 10 percent rang up wrong. We overpaid for an iphone speaker: the big shelf tag said $3, but it rang up for $4.

Rhodes believes the mistakes are due to sloppiness, especially during sale events -- not deliberate deception. But, he says stores should not have more than 2 percent of items wrong.

Rhodes suggests consumers watch receipts and contact the manager if errors are found.

"So we want to maintain an honest market.  That's the success of any free enterprise system," said Rhodes.

Check your receipt when checking out. It's a lot easier to get a price adjustment when it happens than days later. Don't blame the cashier. In most cases they have no idea which of the thousands of items in their stores are priced wrong.

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