Ariz. shoppers not overcharged for Christmas items

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A series of government audits showed Arizona retailers are not overcharging customers for Christmas-themed products.

Inspectors from the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures audited 34 retailers statewide to ensure holiday items were displayed with prices and rang up at the register for those prices.

The businesses included department, membership and hardware stores of all sizes.

Items inspected included artificial Christmas trees, poinsettias, holiday lights, wreaths and plastic snowmen.

The unannounced audits found a 99.5 percent overall compliance rating.

Of the 695 products scanned at the 34 businesses, three rang up for more than the advertised price, totaling $8.95 in overcharges. Eighteen items rang up less than the advertised price, totaling $53.83 in savings.

State officials also inspected 3,050 Christmas-themed items to ensure they were displayed with prices, which is required by state law.

"During the busy holiday season, Arizona consumers should be thrilled at these inspection results," said Kevin Tyne, Director of the Arizona 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."

If there is a price discrepancy, state officials recommend asking to have the item rescanned or asking for the store's "scan error" policy. The policy is required for all retailers in the state.