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The original item was published from 2/22/2022 3:07:21 PM to 4/1/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: February 22, 2022

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The cost for many goods is changing so rapidly that many retailers cannot seem to keep up when it comes to updating their pricing system and shelf labeling. In addition, retailers are still experiencing low staff levels which make this task even more difficult.

The Bucks County Consumer Protection/Weights & Measures Department suggest that residents pay attention to shelf prices while shopping at a retail store. When checking out, make sure that your items ring up at the same price that is labeled on the shelves. In addition, if an item is listed at a “reduced” or “sale” price, make sure that you receive that discount at the register.

Retail stores have an “accurate pricing” obligation to consumers. 

In February of 1997 an important law, the “Consolidated Weights and Measures Act”, took effect. That law requires annual inspection of Universal Product Code (“UPC”) scanning systems and Price Look-Up (“PLU”) devices. These systems and devices are the “bar code scanner” technology familiar to most consumers. These laws apply to any retailers, not just grocery stores, that have put into use a UPC scanning/Price Verification system.

Upon inspection by a Bucks County Certified Weights and Measures Inspector, 100% accuracy is the goal. A test result of 98% accuracy or better is required to pass inspection.

 In addition, all weights, and measures devices, including but not limited to scanning systems, in commercial use in Bucks County must be registered with the Bucks County Department of Weights and Measures annually.

You can learn more about this law by visiting https://www.buckscounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1998/Inspection-of-Price-Scanning-Systems-in-Pennsylvania-PDF?bidId=

Unfortunately, the law in Pennsylvania does not dictate how a store conciliates the consumer when an item scans incorrectly. They are not required to give that item to you “free”. They should, however, charge the consumer the price on the shelf tag or posted on signage even if the item did not scan properly. They are required to have accurate prices on shelf tags, sale information, etc. 

If you should have any further questions or have a Weights and Measures related complaint/concern, feel free to contact the Bucks County Department of Consumer Protection/Weights and Measures at weightsandmeasures@buckscounty.org or check out our website at https://www.buckscounty.gov/360/Consumer-Protection-Weights-Measures

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