Check Your Receipts, Friends!
Saturday, May 5th, 2012
I’ve come to learn the hard way over the last few days that one of the best ways to lose money is to assume the products you’ve just purchased have been rung up correctly and you are paying what the sign stated they were worth.
In the last week alone, my husband and I have run into two instances when the register rang up orders incorrectly. Since I tally in my head what my total purchase price should be when I checkout, I knew immediately the first order had totaled incorrectly. I was buying swim goggles for my daughters and saw they offered some for $12.99 and some for $4.99. I bought two of the $4.99 pair along with some other items and my purchase total rang up over $50. When I reviewed the order, I saw the goggles had been mismarked in price and rang up $12.99, or $16 total over what I should have paid.
The very next day, my husband went to a local home supply store for weed killer. When the purchases rang up, the amount was well over what he’d expected to pay. He’d been charged $35 per bag for weed killer, not the $16.99 actual price – or over double what the weed killer cost. Luckily we caught the mistakes. If we hadn’t – if, say, we’d purchased numerous items on those trips and not paid attention to our grand total – we would have lost over $35.
This made me wonder how many other times I’ve been overcharged and not caught the mistake. I’m not good about checking my grocery store receipts when I shop, but I’m going to make a point now to stand at the cash register and watch the purchases ring up. How easy would it be for me to miss that a product or two didn’t get scanned at the sale price? Or that a coupon rang up incorrectly – or not at all? These two experiences just a day apart made me realize I am the only one who can assure I’m being charged what I’m supposed to be charged. Just because the ticket says a certain amount does not mean the machine will agree. In fact, it seems, it may disagree more than I know.
Do you check your receipts after making a purchase, and/or watch the cashier ring up your purchases? If so, how often do you think you catch mistakes and what are some costly (almost) mistakes you’ve caught during checkout?