Are you getting savings you think you are?

December 5, 2011 3:47:05 PM PST
'Tis the season to save money with discounts, coupons and Internet deals, but are you really getting the savings you were promised?

The checkout lane is the one place it matters and if you are not careful, the cash register will ring it up the wrong way. From grocery stores to the mall, cash registers are ringing. But at this time of year when there are tons of shoppers and temporary helpers manning the checkout, mistakes can happen and they can cost you money.

Anytime you get a receipt, there is the chance it will include an error.

Shopper Nicki Holian said, "You see it on the shelf and you see it's on sale so you grab it and then you get to the cash register and it is not on sale, or rings up at regular price."

Holian says she sometimes corrects the checkout mistake, but not always.

"If I am in a rush and in a hurry then I just want to get out," she said.

Our very own Super Saver Erin Libranda almost always checks her receipts.

"I will," she said. "If I know what my total should be, I will go over the receipt and say, 'You missed three or four coupons here' and we will kind of sit there and go over it."

Libranda put that to the test this weekend when visiting Old Navy with a coupon.

"We had a coupon and it wouldn't take off," Libranda said. "I knew that it was supposed to come off, I knew that we were within the parameters and everything and the manager came over and she spent 15 minutes, but finally got it to go through."

Libranda says at this time of year it is not uncommon for receipt mistakes to happen because temporary workers may not know to correct problems at checkout.

"I think it happens every day," she said. "I mean with any cashier, any store, I think it happens all the time. A lot of people don't catch it, so I mean that is a lot of lost money out there."

Libranda says if you do spot an error, tell the clerk right away or go to customer service and get a manager if the discount does not show up. When using coupons, Libranda adds do not give them to a checkout clerk all at one time.

"If I go in with like 50 coupons, I will actually give them to the cashiers in batches, 10 at a time, so I can count the beeps, make sure all 10 came off, give them another batch," Libranda explained. "Because if you try to give them all at once, it just kind of gets lost in there sometimes."

A lot of times mistakes happen because discounts are not programmed into a store's computer system. Another reason mistakes get by consumers is that the registers sometimes don't face shoppers, so you don't have the ability to watch for the discounts as the clerk checks you out.

If you don't spot a mistake at the time of purchase, keep those receipts and go back to the store. Our Super Saver tells us she has even gone back a week later to get a missed discount and the store did give her the money she was due.

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