Grocery stores rip you off
This is a public service announcement for New Yorkers, although it probably applies to everyone else everywhere in the world as well. Grocery stores in this city have a big problem with charging prices that are higher (very rarely lower) than the ones marked in the aisles. This is against the law, and in certain states there are serious fines for overcharging. According to an article in the New York Times, consumers lose more than $1 billion every year because of errors in the checkout line.
It’s important to know what something is supposed to cost when you get to the register. Today, for example, I bought a two-pound bag of onions at Gristede’s. A giant sign on the basket of onions said $1.49, but they rang up as $1.69. After I verified that I was correct, I alerted the cashier. She had no idea what to do, and she used the defense that “it rang up $1.69.” I told her I didn’t care, and that I wasn’t bothered by the twenty cents. I was bothered by the false advertising. She had to get a manager.
This happens almost every time I go to Gristedes or d’Agostino, and I always make sure I get the correct price. I may seem too thrifty, but New York is expensive enough as it is. I don’t need some crappy grocery store stealing twenty cents from me every time I buy a few onions. Sometimes I think, forget it, I won’t bother. But then I remember that everyone else who buys those onions will lose twenty cents, and by the end of the day Gristede’s will have stolen several dollars from hard-working people.
To make matters worse, sometimes they don’t have a price on something at all. I’ve been to known to leave a carton of milk at the register if I’m offended by the price. In fact, there always seems to be a pile of random groceries near the registers in these lowbrow stores; this pile is no doubt made up of items rejected by savvy consumers.
If you know that you’re being overcharged in a grocery store, a bar, or a restaurant, you have to bring it to the store’s attention. It’s probably an accident in most cases, although I think Gristedes does it on purpose considering how frequently it happens in that establishment. We can’t let people get away with ripping us off. Think of your fellow citizens!