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Consumers have rights

September 7, 2011
Daily Press

With the implementation of the Michigan Shopping Reform and Modernization Act September 1, 2011, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding consumers of their rights and to be diligent while shopping.

Though items are no longer required to be individually marked with a price, retailers are required to display the price of items at the place where the item is located within the store. The price may be displayed by signage, electronic reader or any other method that clearly conveys the price to the consumer.

The new Scanner Law is essentially retained from the previous "Items Pricing Act" and provides the Scanner Error Bill of Rights. In the event an item scanned charges a consumer more than the displayed price and the transaction is complete including a receipt that shows the item purchased and price charged, then consumers have up to 30 days from the date of the transaction to notify the retailer in person or in writing. The seller may then choose to refund the consumer the difference of the overcharge from the displayed price plus a "bonus" of 10 times the difference up to $5.

BBB provides the following tips to consider while shopping:

- Be a savvy shopper: Make sure the price/item label displayed on the shelf matches the item. Some retailers provide UPC readers throughout the store so you can verify price accuracy. Whenever in doubt, ask customer service associates for help.

- At the checkout: Keep an eye on each item scanned to catch any discrepancies before the transaction is complete.

- Be aware of sale prices: Sale prices may not always be reflected on the shelf or at the location of the items. If a sale item is scanned at the displayed price and not the sale price, you are not entitled the scanning error "bonus" because you were not charged more than the price displayed. Always carry copies of sales circulars or advertisements with you as verification of sale prices.

Complaints regarding a retailer's failure to properly display the price of items for sale or regarding a scanner error overcharge should be directed to the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Weights & Measures Section at (517) 655-8202 or in writing addressed to 940 Venture Lane, Williamston, MI 48895.

For more consumer tips and news you can trust, visit BBB's news center at



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