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State Survey Shows Over 99 Percent Accuracy at Checkout Scanners

SHOPPING- MONEY

BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB) — A recent study conducted by the state’s Division of Standards shows over 99 percent accuracy at store checkout scanners.

The finding released Thursday show that 99.82 percent of the items scanned during their survey rang up at or below the advertised price. That figure, the agency adds, shows a continued improvement by retailers over the last few years.

The survey was conducted at 98 stores, representing 50 different retailers, from across Massachusetts. It compared the actual price marked on the item or the shelf against the price at the checkout.

Only five overcharges – which were when the checkout price was higher than the list price – were found from among the 2,480 items that were scanned.

One of those overcharges was at the Walmart in Westfield. The retailer was issued a $100 fine after an overcharge of $3.80 was discovered there.

Retailers could face a fine up to $500 if they don’t meet the 98 percent accuracy threshold required by the state.

The following local stores were part of the survey:

  • Barnes and Noble, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Bed Bath and Beyond, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Best Buy, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Best Buy, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Costco, West Springfield: 50 items scanned, 50 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Dave’s Soda and Pet Food City, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Home Depot, West Springfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • JCPenney, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Kohl’s, West Springfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Macy’s, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Marshall’s, Chicopee: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Old Navy, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Old Navy, Springfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Party City, Chicopee: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Radio Shack, Westfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Radio Shack, Chicopee: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Rainbow, Chicopee: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Sears, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Staples, Hadley: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • T.J. Maxx, West Springfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • T.J. Maxx, Westfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Target, Holyoke: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Toys ‘R Us, Springfield: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%
  • Walmart, Westfield: 50 items scanned, 49 correct and undercharges, 1 overcharge – 98%
  • Walmart, Chicopee: 25 items scanned, 25 correct and undercharges – 100%

Jon Hurst, the President of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, adds, “This nearly perfect score on scanner price accuracy shows that retailers here are focused on improving technology to deliver accurate, fair and low pricing to Massachusetts consumers. Under constant pressure from competitors down the street and online, our retailers are working hard to keep customers happy.”

The state offers these tips to ensure you get the right price at the register:

  • Bring sales circulars with you. Generally, retailers are required to sell you the item for the lowest marked or advertised price. There are some exceptions, such as when there is a limited quantity of items advertised or if there was unexpected demand for an item and it is out of stock. Ask the manager for a rain check, but be aware that exceptions to this rule exist.
  • If an item scans higher than advertised or marked, ask for a price check from the store manager.
  • Some retailers have a price accuracy guarantee. That will apply if an item scans higher than the advertised or marked price.
  • Check your receipt before you walk away. If you notice an error, ask the cashier to fix it. If you’ve already left the cashier, talk to a store or department manager.
  • Check for the store’s refund, return or cancellation policy which has to be clearly and conspicuously displayed. The merchant must display a written policy that the buyer can see before the purchase is made.
  • A store cannot use its disclosed policy to refuse the return of defective merchandise. You can choose to have the item repaired, replaced, or ask for a refund. If the merchant has an “all sales final” policy, it must disclose that policy upfront without limiting your right – for example, “All sales final with the exception of defective goods.”

You can CLICK HERE to see the entire survey.


  • heyd

    What, no big y or food city? Wrong price most visits and u have to walk across store with an employee to show them each time as if I’m going to lie about 59 cents.

  • TheScottishWeasel

    We are watching you carefully heyd. One slip up, even .58 cents, and we’ll get ya.