Are barcode scanners ripping us off?

  WhiteTruckMan 22:44 17 Sep 2005

I've noticed a disturbing trend this last six monthes or so, although it may have been going on for lots longer.

I've been in the habit of calling into one of a number of local large chain supermarkets to pick up multi pack items (canned soft drinks, crisps etc) to take with me to work. This works out a LOT cheaper than relying on vending machines or buying individually in shops. Because of the small number of items I buy (as opposed to a weekly shop) I pay particular notice to the prices I pay, and especially with canned drinks I shop around within the store to get the best per unit price. This sometimes means choosing between a 6 pack, 8 for the price of 6, buy one get one free, buy 2 six packs for £3, boxes of 12, 18 or 24. All this in one brand of soft drink in the same unit sizes! All very confusing, especially as you have to walk all over the stores to find these differently packaged products. Here's the point. because of modern systems, individual items are very rarely priced. Usually when you see a price on an item it has been printed on by the manufacturer, not the retailer. the only price indicators are usually found on shelf edges. All too often I find that when I get to a checkout the items scan at a price around 3-12p more than the shelf edge price. Most people would probably not comment, even if they noticed but I make a point of refusing to pay the scanned price as I selected the goods based of the displayed price. I have never yet been refused the lower price. While I appreciate that errors are made, and it can take time to update the price database, the errors that I have found are without exception in favour of the store, never the customer. If this sort of thing goes on with other products, then large stores seem to be on a nice little earner, all because of the prices associated with a barcode being greater than a (sometimes) difficult to read price on a shelf edge. Admittedly it is difficult to remember every price on a trolley full of goods, especially if you want to get through the checkout quickly.

Has anyone else noticed this, or has it passed people by?

(Please note that I have taken care NOT to name any store chain, or even product name)

  Forum Editor 23:08 17 Sep 2005

not really a computer-related topic is it? Something you should take up with the supermarket concerned perhaps.

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