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QUESTION: When you shop for groceries in Michigan, are you being cheated?

My wife and I just got home from grocery shopping at Meijers on West Saginaw in Lansing, something we do every week and usually enjoy doing together, but the question in the title for this post keeps being raised.  Why?

It's the periodic difference between the price on a product and the price that's scanned at the checkout.  Now if it was an infrequent experience, it would be easy to excuse.  But we are finding that it's becoming more and more common and it is becoming costly.

Now this issue has taken on new relevance with Michigan's new Gov. Rick Snyder demanding that the Michigan Legislature repeal the item pricing law that protects consumers when there are item pricing mistakes like this.  The Republicans who have a majority in both houses are poised to put this legislation on the fast track with the results that consumers would have no recourse.

What about our negative experiences with item pricing at our Meijers store?


Let me just recount what happened today.  While going through the canned fruit aisle, I discovered that there were cut-out boxes of fruit with no prices marked on the cans, but there were cards on the edge of the shelves with the prices.  There were other cases with the individual prices.

While putting our food in the shopping cart, I saw the store director, Mike Borek and introduced myself and share my observations.  He listened and seemed concerned and then talked about the in-store audits done to assure that each item has the correct price.  I believe, he mentioned, that they were in the 99 percent range. 

We had a useful conversation where he shared the challenges of keeping up with price changes and their attentiveness to the state item-pricing law.


The Meijers store director and I then shook hands after I thanked him for the time and we went to the wine aisle.  We were looking to buy a case of Great Lakes Red from Lelanau Wine Cellars up in the Traverse City area for our son's wedding out east.  I'm the best man and I was going to use it for the toast.  He and I both thought it was a great way to reconnect with his Michigan roots and it's a good wine.

Here's what we found.  My wife looked at the shelf which said it was $6.49 a bottle, but, the sticker on the bottle said, $7.99.  I found the store director again and asked him to see what I was concerned about.  He did.  The difference was roughly a $1.50 per bottle.  Do the math for a case.

I can provide other examples from our experience.


Is it time for grocery shoppers at Meijers to start matching-up their grocery receipts with what's on the item if it's marked as the state law requires?  There are waiviers for some items but not many.

How widespread is this problem?  Am I the only one to have this experience?  Do you match your grocery receipt with the prices on the item? 

How much money does Meijer earn from these errors between what an items is stickered at what it scans at?  A little?  A lot?