State Capitol News
9:34 am
Thu May 24, 2012

State Regulators: Be Careful of Store Promises

A new study shows that some merchants may not be giving consumers what they were promised. 

The Sunday paper is full of ads with specials designed to lure shoppers into the stores. So the state Department of Weights and Measures grabbed those ads and, over  2  1/2 month period, actually went to 57 retailers all around the state and picked up about 36-hundred advertised items to see if they were actually being sold for the prices claimed. Agency director Kevin Tyne said he found 19 stores that had at least one item that rang up for more than the advertised price, with overcharges approaching $400. But shoppers came out ahead at 20 stores where the price at the register was actually lower than what was in the paper. Tyne said customers need to be on their toes.

"The best advice we can give for consumers if they're actually utilizing advertisements and coupons is to bring those in to the store with you and be conscientious of what the price is being charged when you are at the cash register," he said.

He added that if the price at the register is higher than the ad, say something. But nothing in state law requires the retailers to sell it at the lower price. He said what happens depends on the store.

"All retail locations in Arizona are required to have a price error policy which dictates exactly how the store will handle those pricing discrepancies and we encourage all consumers to be mindful of that," Tyne cautioned.

Tyne said those policies have to be made available to consumers on demand.  

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