I had a reader mention that she was shopping at Albertsons and overheard the employees saying that if an item doesn’t ring up correctly, they have to give it to you free. She wanted to know the scoop, so I emailed various stores and here’s what I found out:
Albertsons: “If the price charged is higher than the shelf or advertised price, the customer will receive the FIRST item for free. After the first item, additional ones will be rung up at the correct price only.”
Safeway: “We guarantee the accuracy of our electronic checkout system. Safeway will give you the item free, if the price on their detailed receipt is different (higher or lower) than indicated in ads or shown on the shelf price tag. Limit of one. You will only receive one of the items for free with the remaining items at the correct price. This does not apply to Liquor, Tobacco, or Fluid milk items. The reason for this is there is a federal tax that must be paid on these items. In these cases you will get the item at the sale price instead of free.”
King Soopers: “If for any reason our checkout scanners do not match the price given on the shelf, you receive that item free. Limit one item per UPC Bar Code. Guarantee does not apply to key entered items ”
WalMart told me to contact my local store, and then a reader told me that they do not have a price guarantee policy. I know that they used to, but evidently not anymore. I’m always told “it was on the wrong spot on the shelf” anyway.
Target said they don’t have a policy like that, though from my experience they’re pretty prompt to adjust the price to the correct one for you if it is indeed wrong.
Now, you guys need to know that I’m giving you this information so that you’ll be informed consumers, not so that you’ll take advantage of it! If an item rings up incorrectly, I’d totally make them fulfill their promise, but you know that you need to do it ethically and not lie about it to save a few bucks. :)
By the way, if you ever have a question about one of these stores (and it’s not answered in the Safeway FAQ or King Soopers FAQ, and the soon-to-come Albertsons FAQ here on SpringsBargains), you can just go to their website and email them. They are usually pretty prompt to respond in my experience – Safeway, Albertsons, and Target almost always respond the next day; the one exception is King Soopers who can take a week or more. I haven’t contacted Walmart much, but they responded to my one inquiry within a day or two!
Or, if it’s a question that you think other people might have, too, you can always email me and I’ll email them for you and post it so everyone can know!