Do you check your receipts at the grocery store? You should!

We’ve started shopping in a new grocery chain recently. So far we’ve visited the store 4 times. Guess how many times have the cashiers made mistakes at the register? 3. Out of four visits. Well, on one occasion they made 2 mistakes (one we caught at the register and had it fixed on the spot, for the other one we had to come back to the customer service desk for a refund).

What are the mistakes?

  1. Wrong item code typed in (organic vegetable instead of the almost 8 times cheaper “regular” vegetable of the same kind),
  2. Wrong weight – in fact, it was the same vegetable. We bought 2.7 lb. of it, but the cashier weighted 2.4lb when typed in the wrong price. He had to adjust the bag very carefully to reweight it for the “correct” weight when he retyped the correct code.
  3. Item charged twice, twice.

Why does it happen and how to prevent it?

Well, first of all – check your receipts, and watch carefully at the cashiers’ screen. It will be much faster to fix mistakes while you’re still in the store.

But the particular chain I’m talking about is “Whole Foods”, and they’re known for their liberal approach towards the employees’ behavior.

While I’m all for it, a line should be drawn somewhere. Cashier who is busy talking with his buddy at the next register is not paying attention, doesn’t look at the items carefully enough, and is much sloppier. As the result, the items are misidentified (maybe that vegetable in its “organic” configuration sells much more, and the cashier automatically assumed it’s that kinds without looking at the label?), weights are not used properly (item not placed correctly on the weight, didn’t wait for the weight to stabilize to read the data, etc.), and cashiers aren’t paying attention (and type the same item twice, and likely not to type some other item at all, etc.).

Now, I understand that the store managers’ intention is to make the employees’ lives better and the store to appear less robotic and friendlier to the customers. I like it, too. I’m not a great fan of fake smiles and faux politeness. But, when it comes to the bottom line – a certain level of professionalism is required.

Worth mentioning that all the mistakes we’ve noticed were corrected and all the refunds issued to our satisfaction, but still – it’s an annoyance and a waste of time to deal with it at the customer service.

So lesson learned: don’t assume that cashiers aren’t making mistakes, and make sure to check your receipts carefully. Doing that got us back almost 15% of the original total price paid at the register.

Your Little Advisor

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