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Secrets to Houston Supermarkets

KPRC Reporter Amy Davis has a great report comparing the price-cutting strategy of Houston supermarkets.

I added this comment:

I want to mention a crucial and overlooked fact about these supermarkets. Look at your receipts seconds after your purchase! Frequently supermarkets will have old tags underneath an item and forget to  remove the label when the sale/promotion is over.  Customers assume they are getting the 12 pack of Coca Cola for 2.99 (which ended 2 weeks ago)  but don’t see on the receipt that the price is in the computer for $4.19.

I once had this happen at Walmart (which is the worst about correcting prices).  For three consecutive weeks I noticed they had incorrect prices for a 12 pack of Coke and I told the manager every time. But nothing was ever changed.

It’s worth remembering that supermarkets are now changing their policy about returns. Formerly, service managers used to handle voids/returns/exchanges. Nowadays, the courtesy booth is handling these things, causing you to have to wait in line. That means, if the courtesy booth is closed (which is customary after 8:00 PM), you won’t be able to make a return.

Finally, I’ve noticed that HEB has a policy where they won’t do refunds/exchanges for defective merchandise unless you have a receipt. Formerly stores used to do this on a case-by-case basis,  but now supermarkets are sticking to this rule more strictly. The notable exception is Walmart, which has one of the most liberal return policies out there.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Doctorate Online 2/5/2009, 5:09 pm

    You’re absolutely right about checking your receipts for incorrect prices. I myself try to watch the register monitor as the items are being rung up. I think stores are not vigilant about changing prices because they’re hoping to make a bit more money on items that are no longer on sale.

  • Nola Jones 3/5/2009, 5:16 pm

    I don’t always check my receipts but know it’s important to ensure accurate charges. I try and look at the monitor but all to often they dart those items through so fast you can’t keep track. I suppose keeping a close eye on item prices and your sales receipt is your best form of protection.

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