Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not always a bargain

From the NY Post:

Supermarkets socked with $380,000 in fines five months ago for violating city regulations haven't learned their lesson: A new blitz by Department of Consumer Affairs inspectors found the compliance rate actually went down from 48 to 33 percent after the penalties were issued, officials said yesterday.

More shockingly, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz said that based on the experience of its inspectors, New Yorkers can expect to get ripped off one of out every three times they pass through the supermarket check-out counter.

In a sweep over the last four months, inspectors visited 408 supermarkets -- 83 of them twice -- and issued almost 750 new violations totaling $310,000 for infractions that included inaccurate checkout scanners, no prices on individual items, taxing merchandise that's not taxable and not having produce scales available to customers.

Inspectors have now issued $690,000 in fines since August.

But, as Mintz put it, "The real story is the overcharging."

He said his inspectors would typically pick 25 or 50 items off supermarket shelves -- about 20 percent on sale -- and run them through the register.

In nearly a third of the cases, Mintz said, inspectors were overbilled for at least one item -- a rate he described as "appalling."

Overall, only 33 percent of city supermarkets are in compliance with all city regulations.

During a previous sweep in August, the compliance rate was 48 percent -- a record low at the time.

In other supermarket news, Douglaston will be getting a Fairway soon.


Anonymous said...

Let's use Stop and Shops "price scan guarantee". If it scans for more than it should you get that item for free, only once, if you purchased more than one of that same item the price would be adjusted on the subsequent items. Give us a chance to get something for free and the public will treat it like a game.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

Sometimes I go to Walbaums in Bay Terrace Shopping Center in Bayside. Every week there are signs, in every aisle stating that due to a misprint the sale price will not be honored.

This has got to be scam - or they need to fire their printing service.

And for those who ask why I still shop there - because their fruit and vegtable section outbeats Stop & Shop on Grand Ave anyday.

Anonymous said...

I contacted Walbaum's corporate about being frequently overcharged at the Walbaum's on 20th AV in CP, and having to waste my time at the customer service counter getting my money back (and some of the reps were just rude) and corporate wrote back that it is the Walbaum's policy to give you an item for free if they overcharge. The thing is, you have to know the policy and ask for it . . . .

Babs said...

"that it is the Walbaum's policy to give you an item for free if they overcharge. The thing is, you have to know the policy and ask for it . . . ."

I've known it for years, AND Walbaums (at various locations) have honored that policy several times over the years for me.

BTW - They also UNDERCHARGE in error (especially in the meat department).

Anonymous said...

If any worker in a store is rude to you, you must go and make a complaint. Too often I let it go and then decided that these people are lucky to have their jobs, and if they don't like them they should quit. I wouldn't stand for someone being so rude to me out on the street, why would I stand for it from someone who's job it is to "serve" me and provide me with "customer service".
Watch out cashiers and sales clerks who get snippy with me...I will see to it that your attitude will be better with your next several customers.
Trader Joe's at Metropolitan and Woodhaven obviously has a strict standard for customer service, the larger stores should follow their lead.

Anonymous said...

I have caught numerous mis-rings at trade fair registers that could only have resulted from numbers from the last customer remaining in the register (ie. the cashier used a sub-total instead of a total on the last order and added theirs to yours).

Look alive while shopping "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves." There is a good reason for those "low prices" they are fiction.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

I think rude workers in dept stores is off topic...but.. I had a incident in CVS on Grand Avenue with a Pharmacy TEch worker who violated the HIPPA laws - and spoke about my prescription purposely in front of another individual on line. He should have been fired but wasn' even after I complained he gave me a half thought-out apology. When I spoke with a friend that apparently knew him I found out that he is discussing everyones personal presciption information with his buddies. I moved my prescriptions to Grand Pharmacy across the street.

Anonymous said...

Mistakes can be made. I understand that.

But when the rate of overcharging outmatches the rate of undercharges by 10:1, something screwy is going on. Thats not a coincidence.