Yesterday, I visited a store and discovered, after leaving, that I was overcharged on a certain item by 40%; I paid almost twice as much as it was marked. When I marched back into the store and demanded they refund me the difference, they refused. I tried to return the item, but they wouldn’t allow me to because it was clearly clearance and their policy is “all sales are final” on clearance items.

What is your first reaction? Is it outrage? If they refused to offer a refund, would you sue them? It’s fraud, what if they’re overcharging everyone? The criminal behavior must be stopped before it gets out of control.

Let me bring this oversight, by the store, into perspective, I purchased an item on clearance that was $0.09 (nine cents) but when the cashier rang it up, I was actually charged $0.15 (fifteen cents).

Now, are you still outraged? Probably not because $0.06 (six cents) isn’t enough to get you worked up, is it? Of course, if every customer was overcharged $0.06, and let’s assume they only have 1,000,000 (one million) customers, that’s $60,000! Now, that sounds like fraud again.

Imagine if I continued my story, without ever saying exactly how much was at stake. Imagine that I named names and pointed fingers. Would you stop shopping at that store because they overcharge people? Would you tell everyone how crummy the store was based on my experience?

This is why I tend to research and ask questions when I hear outrageous stories like the one above.  Numbers are easily manipulated to lie. Next time you hear a fact that sounds outrageous, think about what it really means, how much is really at stake. Is it just $0.06?

Also, just incase you are worried, I didn’t march back into the store and demand the $0.06 they overcharged me, it’s just not worth it.


3 responses to “Overcharged

  1. There is a store in my town that seems to consistently have the wrong prices. I usually catch the problems as they are ringing them up, but if I notice the error in the parking lot I go back in for $0.25 and up. It’s just a giant pet peeve that 90% of my shopping trips have a problem with the prices.

  2. Where were you that you paid 6 cents for something … even 15 cents? Didn’t know you could buy anything for that little amount of money. Nice point, by the way!