When You Can’t Watch Them Ring Every Item

I’ve heard it.  You’ve heard it.  We’ve all heard it.  I’m going to remind you:


Check your receipt.


Sometimes I hear people insisting that you need to be super-vigilant and watch how much each item rings up for while you’re at the cashier.  I agree that that’s smart.  And prudent.  And pro-active.  I would just argue that, well, it’s not always super-possible.  Yes, I realize I could plan my trips around when my husband is home so he can watch the kids and I can focus.  But you want the truth?  When my husband’s available, I want to be WITH him!  That means I’m often running herd on one or two or three kids while unloading a cart, handing over my loyalty card, remembering my coupons, and thanking the bagger.  What I’m often not doing?  Watching every item ring up.


Just keeping it real here, folks.


However, I DO always pull my cart off to the side in the front of the store and scan my receipt.  It never takes me more than two minutes and I can ensure, right then, that everything scanned properly and any discounts were applied.  If something’s off?  The service desk is right there and I just mosey on over.


I mosey over there a lot.  (Still, just keeping it real here, folks.)


I hate to say it, but there are often errors.  My grocery store frequently runs these “buy xx items and save $xx instantly” deals.  Sometimes they’re even more complicated.  This past week, they had a promotion where you could buy four boxes of cereal, save $4 instantly, and receive a coupon for a free gallon of milk, up to $4.50.  With coupons and those savings in mind, I knew I’d be getting a great deal on our plain Cheerios and Rice Chex.  Except it didn’t ring through.  I didn’t save $4.  And I didn’t get my coupon.


So I headed over to Customer Service.


If you’re not always able to be vigilant about watching the cashier ring up your items, here are my tips for you:


  1. Check your list/coupons/promotions before you head out the door.  Carefully note brands, sizes, and quantities.
  2. Shop carefully– make sure your selections are included in any deal you’re doing.
  3. Make sure you DO give the cashier your loyalty card (if applicable) and any coupons you’re using.
  4. Check your receipt before you leave the store.  Just pull out of the way of traffic, and give it a once-over.
  5. If there appears to be an error, do a quick check to make sure you DID fulfill all the requirements of said deal.
  6. Assuming you did, do your best to have all your “evidence” at the ready– I try to have my receipt (with my finger marking where the items were rung), the sales flyer, and I note where the actual items are in my bags in the cart, just in case they need them.
  7. Greet the customer service rep with a smile.  Look him or her in the eye.  Be polite, direct, and go in to the whole thing with the attitude that “I know this is going to get fixed and that it’s not your fault.”  Seriously.  Assume the best.  Be confident and kind.
  8. Also?  Be patient.  If the rep needs a manager’s assistance, don’t roll your eyes or tap your fingers.  Be grateful they’re seeking help from someone with the authority or knowledge to help you.
  9. Once it’s resolved (see?  confidence!), there’s no need to be gushy, but a sincere thank you will go a long way.


And there you go.  Even when I can’t focus at the register, I can still ensure I save what I’m supposed to.  Armed with my receipt, a store flyer open to the appropriate page, and with the bagged cereal in easy view, I got my $8.50 in less than three minutes.  And the customer service rep whispered to the front end supervisor as I walked away,


“Man, she was nice.  And I’m glad she told us that wasn’t ringing right.”

Win, win.

linked to Frugal Friday
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Email Tumblr

4 comments to When You Can’t Watch Them Ring Every Item

  • My grocery people are always nice. Half the time I can’t even see the charges. I usually tell the checker “those are buy xx for xx off, did it work?” And the cashier can fix it before the transaction is closed out.

  • BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE being the key words! One time when I was single parenting in Nashville I actually left baby Libbie with some friends so I could go grocery shopping. Driving out of the parking lot, I scanned my receipt and realized they had charged me for 10 bunches of cilantro, not 1. Back to the store … back inside … I wanted my $9 back! That’s a big difference!

  • Victoria

    Yeah, the once over is important because these days, I’m trying to keep baby from eating my car keys and pressing the buttons on the credit card pad, or taking things from the side of the checker’s belt instead of watching the cashier scan my items. Although, more often when I’ve gotten home, I’ve realized they actually charged me less because they didn’t see the organic stickers on my fruit. :-)

    • LOL, now that’s a happy little accident, isn’t it? ;) I’ve been fortunate to get lots of organic fruit on the reduced produce rack lately… they price it all the same once it’s reduced.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>