Deceptive Practices by Grocery Stores

A summary of deceptive practices found in grocery stores. These practices cheat the everyday shopper.

The main deception you will find is an end cap or the end of the counter containing the same product that is on the regular shelf but the end counter will show a much higher price.

Some of this has been eliminated by the use of universal bar codes but in stores that still have to key in a price this is a common practice to watch out for.

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Tag Switching

Next in line is the switching of price stickers, this is placing a sticker for a cheaper product in the slot that is supposed to be for a higher price product. The customer sees the cheaper price and just grabs it without looking, they assume they are picking up the cheaper product. But, if you read the information on the shelf sticker you will see it applies to a different product. Stores do make mistakes but if you see this happening a lot especially in the larger chain stores, then the management is using deceptive practices to confuse the customers and most of them don’t realize it unless they read their receipts.

Meat Cover Up

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Some stores use deception in the meat department. There have been found packages of ground beef in which older meat that has turned brown or gray from exposure to air is covered up with a layer of bright fresh looking red meat. The whole package looks nice and fresh until you open it at home and see the difference. This meat is still good, it is not a health hazard, it just means that the meat cutter allowed it to sit uncovered and it has air dried. It doesn’t look as pretty as the top meat.

This is also done in larger packages of pork chops. Lesser or less pretty cuts of meat are on the bottom covered by nicer looking cuts of meat. To avoid this buy meat that is packaged in a single layer or smaller size package

Wrong Prices

If you‘re a thrifty shopper and purchase items that are on sale, check your receipt and make sure the cash register system picked up the correct price.. If it didn’t , don’t be afraid to approach the clerk or customer service and bring it to their attention. They will usually offer an immediate refund.

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If a register system cheats ten customers out of  fifty cents each, then they’ve made an easy five bucks.

With today’s economy, deceptive practices and outright criminal activity is increasing. We each need to be alert for these kinds of things in our own little parts of the world.

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Published in: Consumer Information


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  1. very informative thanks for the share…

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