Audit finds most Ariz. shoppers not overcharged

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Most Arizona shoppers are getting the discounts promised to them by area businesses this holiday season, according to an Arizona Department of Weights and Measures audit.

With Black Friday approaching, the government agency conducted inspections at 38 retail businesses across the state, including department, big-box, sporting goods and pet stores.

Inspectors printed online advertisements or used in-store sale ads to test whether the products actually rang up at the advertised price. They also verified that stores carried and properly priced the items.

The unannounced inspections found an overall compliance rating of 99.3 percent.

Of the 922 individual items scanned, 11 rang up higher than the advertised discount price and amounted to $118 in overcharges. Sixty-two items rang up less than the advertised prices, totaling $1,342 in savings.

"During the busy holiday season, Arizona consumers should be thrilled at these inspection results," said Kevin Tyne, Director of the Department of Weights and Measures. "It's evident Arizona retailers are working hard to provide their customers with accurate prices and are serious about ensuring a clear and concise pricing program throughout Arizona."

Arizona law states that each item presented for sale by a business must have a listed price and scan at that price.

If there is a discrepancy between the prices, shoppers can ask the clerk to re-scan the item or for the store's scan error policy. The policy is required by law.

The Arizona Department of Weights and Measures said many retailers offer discounts to shoppers who point out pricing discrepancies.

To avoid problems with pricing, state officials recommend shoppers read the find print on advertisements, bring newspaper and online advertisements with them to stores, save receipts, and research businesses' return policies.

To file a complaint, visit www.azdwm.gov.