Dear Lakewood Scoop,
I have always wondered why people write letters to the editor when they have a gripe with a particular organization, school, playgroup etc. It seemed to me that they should write a letter to the place they have a gripe with. What good can come of writing to a newspaper? Now however I am extremely frustrated and annoyed at a particular store, and I feel the need to vent. In addition you have been featuring local businesses and perhaps airing some of these complaints will lead to happier customers.
There is a grocery near me that I occasionally run into for a few items, despite the fact that it is a neighborhood store and more expensive than shopping at NPGS. I know that I should be prepared to pay a little more for the convenience, but EVERY time I go in there I come out feeling that I have been cheated in some way.
Firstly, most items are not marked with prices, and even the shelves are not marked. So if I need noodles for example, and I want to compare the prices of five different brands of similar noodles, I cant do that. These different brands can vary pretty much in price, and as a frugal shopper I am denied the opportunity to make an informed decision.
Secondly, even when the prices are marked on the shelf, they are wrong. Last week I ran in just for a bottle of vinegar. The shelf said .99. When I got to the register, it rang up as 1.39. Now you may think that 40 cents is not much, but it is 40% more than the price on the shelf! That is a considerable difference. (Imagine if everything in your whole wagonload is really 40% more than marked!) I brought it to the attention of the cashier and she just said, Okay, and changed it. She did not even go check the price on the shelf which leads me to believe that she was well aware that there are alot of discrepancies and did not even doubt me.
Then when I asked her to put in on my account (I had no cash on me) she told me that price – .99 was only for cash paying customers and if you put in on account you have to pay 1.39, so she changed it back to 1.39.
I feel cheated, because when an item is priced one way, that’s what it should scan. It does not say ANYWHERE in the store that if you put items on account you will be charged 40% more.
To me it was very obvious because I was only purchasing one item, but if I had been buying a whole wagon load of stuff, there was no way I could remember and notice every discrepancy, and that just seems like they are trying to pull a fast one, i.e. cheating!
SO I have been avoiding that store, but today I ran in there for a couple of things and I picked up a package of nuts. I know they run about $5.00-6.00 but of course there was NO PRICE on the shelf. I took it anyway, and when I got home I checked the receipt out of curiosity (for such a small shopping – milk, eggs, and some small items, I had paid almost $20 ) They had charged me $7.69 for a package of nuts that sells elsewhere for at least two dollars less! That is highway robbery.
I have come to the conclusion that the reason they do not mark prices on the shelves is because they are truly embarrassed at the prices the have the nerve to charge.
In any case, these experiences are really just the tip of the iceberg. If a store wants to be successful they have to be honest and upfront with their customers.
Thanks for letting me vent,
A conspicuous consumer