Prices Optional?

I shop regularly at the Carrillo Ralph’s grocery store here in Santa Barbara. I’m a retired nurse and the caregiver for my retired and ailing husband.

Multiple times, I have been charged a different price at the check stand than the shelf price. I am asked, “Are you sure this isn’t an e-coupon price?” No, it isn’t. And I show them the price on the shelf.

They give me my money, and when I’ve complained to the manager and the district manager, they throw a couple of $5 coupons my way and say thank you.

The other morning, a homeless-looking man (sorry, I know I’m stereotyping) said his item’s price was not what he said it was. I didn’t get involved. Maybe I should have. Perhaps he was wrong. But it made me wonder how many other people are getting over-priced, and not knowing it or not saying anything about it.

Because when you do say something, the cashier is perturbed, the customers in line behind you have to wait, and you are seen as the bad guy or girl. A “problem customer…”

But really, isn’t it kind of unfair to a lot of people? Also, I hear Kroger is wanting to merge with Albertson’s stores. Then there will be no competition and they can continue to do this to more people.

I think it should be investigated. I know grocery store employees don’t have it easy and have to deal with a lot of customers of various types and complaints. I may just be another one. But I know this has happened too many times, and in this day of higher prices and inflation, it’s too hard for me not to say something.

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