Taken to the Cleaners
Posted: 2007-05-29. Categories: Retail Stores
Taken to the Cleaners

I recently moved to a small town, so small there is only one small convenience store in town. As part of my routine I stop at the store for small items I need on my way home from work.

I have noticed that I have not been given a sales receipt for any of my visits. I only receive a copy of the credit card receipt with the total, and not the sales receipt with the cost of the items.

I noticed on my last few visits that the price seemed high so when I returned home I calculated the totals. On each occasion I was overcharged at least $1.50 (after tax) for each visit. I know this now because I went to get the prices of each of the items the following day.

My neighbor informed me that the storeowners that run the business do this to everybody, and if you don’t catch them in the process they happily keep their spoils. I don’t know how to handle this, but I do not like to be ripped off. Do you have any ideas on how to proceed? Or should I just take my money elsewhere?

~Johnny

1 Comment to "Taken to the Cleaners"

  1. Retail Bandit says:

    Dear Johnny,

    You can choose to handle this situation in many ways. If it happened to me (and it has) I would be sure to demand a receipt each and every time. Be obvious about checking the amount of each item.

    If they know you are going to check, they will be less likely to want to go through the hassle each time to correct the problem.

    You could as you suggest, choose to take your business elsewhere but if as you say, this is the only store in your town, would you want to see it go out of business?

    We live up in the mountains and have a 7-11 that is open 24-hours-a-day, everything else closes up either at 2:00 pm or around 8:00 pm. It would be very inconvenient to be forced to drive 11-miles in the middle of the night for some forgotten item.

    If you want to continue to frequent the store, you could also choose to have a chat with the owner, let them know that this practice of overcharging you each time is unacceptable.

    If after speaking with the owner and you don’t feel satisfied that things will change, you can call the Attorney General’s office in your state and file a formal complaint. The establishment could end up be fined and even closed down. Just be prepared with a great deal of patience if you choose to travel this route. It could take awhile to go through the process.

    It is no fun for anyone to get ripped off. The very worst thing you can do is — nothing. If you choose to do nothing, you are being part of the problem, instead of creating a solution to the issue.

    Thanks for writing. I do hope you will share with us the path you choose to take and its outcome.

    Best wishes!