Grocery store scanners, scales put to the test

KUSA - Thousands of Americans are getting cheated at the grocery store and gas pump everyday: are you one of them?

Every time you visit the grocery store, how do you know the scales and store scanners are working properly?

If they measure or scan incorrectly, it will charge you way more than you had planned - but you may never know you're being cheated.

Every time you fill your car with gas, how do you know you're filling it with premium and not regular-leaded gas?

It's Weighs and Measures Consumer Protection Week in Colorado.

But what does that mean for the consumer?

The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Agriculture wants everyone to know they are constantly working for Colorado family.

They want consumers to know that there are inspectors working everyday to ensure that you are not being cheated.

Most of all, they want you to know that you can turn to them if you believe you did not get what you paid for at the store or at the pump.

The Department of Labor and Employment's Division of Oil and Public Safety has a team of inspectors that visit gas stations across Colorado.

At each stop, they check to make sure of four things:

  • Did you get the precise amount of gas that you paid for? If the meter says you purchased 20 gallons, was it accurate?
  • Did the signage on the street match the price marked on the pump? And did the meter compute your total cost properly? If the meter is off by even a few cents, that inaccuracy can result in overpaying by 50 or 60 cents.
  • Was the gas quality what was advertised? If you chose to fill your tank with premium gas, did you really get premium gas? What about the possibility of getting a "watered down" product?
  • Were the pumps operating properly to ensure there was no safety problem?

The Department of Agriculture has a team of inspectors that visit retailers across Colorado. They also check to make sure of four things:

  • Are the scales in the produce or deli departments - or now in marijuana shops - weighing your purchases properly?
  • Are the flatbed price scanners reading the proper and current price? If the item you purchased was on sale, can you be sure the scanner recorded the current sale price and not the regular price?
  • Do the bar codes on the packages match the advertised price posted on the display counters?
  • What about hand-held bar code scanners? How accurate are they?


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