The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers up tips for back-to-school shopping, so you’ll get your money’s worth. Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator with the agency, says the most important thing to remember is that Wisconsin law requires stores to charge the lowest advertised price.
“If there is an overcharge and your item rings up at the register higher than that lowest advertised price, the store is required by law to refund you that overcharged amount.”
It’s always a good idea to watch as the clerk is ringing up the items, she says, but also check your receipts closely. That’s why it’s so important, Chalmers says, to take copies of the ads with you to the store … so you have proof of the sale price. If you do see a discrepancy, take it up with management right then and there. She says it’s the quickest way to resolve the issue.
Despite the warnings, Chalmers says Wisconsin businesses are really good at charging consumers the advertised prices. “Our inspectors consistently find that about 99 percent of the time in Wisconsin shoppers are charged the accurate price. So you can have a high degree of confidence at the cash register.”
A recent national survey found that the average family spends nearly $690 on K-12 back-to-school shopping, so it’s important to account for every penny spent. The majority of back to school spending goes toward clothing, and then electronics, followed by school supplies.
Before visiting a store, make sure to closely review the company’s advertisements for restrictions involving quantities, returns or rain checks. Customers can report pricing errors to state or local inspectors. To file a weights and measures complaint with DATCP’s Weights and Measures Bureau, send an e-mail or call the office at 608-224-4942.