The great supermarket rip off

Rue the day that price scanning came into being. I have never been a fan. It only serves to make the supermarket owner richer, faster and dishonestly. It also serves to frustrate consumers like me who habitually check their bills. For shoppers who don’t, you are playing right into their hands.

As a regular visitor to the supermarket, two to three times a week, I consider myself a highly valued customer, making a real contribution to the company’s bottom line.

So being a very important person, I get extremely irate when I feel I am being rip-offed.

There are two kinds of rip-offs. There is the one kind that is controllable and the other kind that is uncontrollable.

The controllable kind is where you notice that an item is overpriced, you know you can get the exact same thing elsewhere a lot cheaper. You make a conscious effort to leave the item and move to the next one on your shopping list. You are in control.

The uncontrollable kind is where you check the price, feel comfortable with the amount that you are going to pay, but when you get to the checkout the supermarket scanner shows up a different, much higher price (that’s if you can even see the monitor or are watching it as your goods check through).

If you don’t manage that, you may be alerted to the fact that you have been ripped off when your mental calculation of the cost of all the goods in your basket does not tally with what you are asked to pay at the till.

Do you check your bill?

This is the main point of this blog.

Check your bill.

I always check my bill and there if often, I’m even prepared to say, usually, a pricing discrepancy. There is one supermarket where I shop which regularly has many specials. But the price advertised in the promotion leaflet, differs from the price you pay at the till. It seems to happen a lot with their fresh fruit and vegetables.

I was once given the explanation that the computerised cash registers do not update as quickly as the promotions are listed. No excuse. You must insist that you pay the shelf price when you get to the till. In some countries, not only do you get to pay at the advertised price, you are entitled to a free item. See the code of scanning on:http// (1)

When I check my bill, there can be a 50c to $3 price difference. This may not be much in itself, but multiply that by three times a week, four times a month. Then take that number and multiply it by the number of shoppers who visit the store every day.

Supermarkets are making a huge amount of money by scanning in goods for more than what they are marked on the shelf. It must be millions and millions and millions. Enough to put you off shopping for life.

But, since you can’t stop buying groceries, get into the habit of checking your till slip.

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