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Back to School Sweep Results
Roughly 18 percent of stores failed a back-to-school price check sweep by the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
In anticipation of the statewide tax holiday the weekend of Aug. 5th, the department’s Weights and Measures inspectors conducted surprise sweeps of 34 stores to make sure consumers would get the advertised or posted prices on back-to-school items.
Six of those stores failed by ringing up the wrong price on at least one of 25 randomly selected back-to-school items.
The highest overcharge was $2.99 on a Carter’s summer dress at the Kohl’s at 17555 Southpark Center in Strongsville. Two other items at that store also rang up higher than they should have.
When Weights and Measures inspectors find pricing errors, stores are required to immediately fix them. In addition, inspectors will conduct a follow-up price check at stores at a later date. Weights and Measures does not give stores advance notice of inspections.
In addition to Kohl’s, other stores that failed were the Office Max at 4057 Richmond Road in Warrensville Heights, which had three errors; Walmart, 1868 Warrensville Center Road, South Euclid, one error; Walmart at 6594 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights, three errors; Target at 14070 Cedar Road, University Heights, one error; and Walmart Supercenter, 24801 Brookpark Road, North Olmsted, one error. All of those errors were undercharges, except for the error at Walmart Supercenter.
In all, inspectors checked prices on 850 items. The average undercharge – an error that favors consumers – was 27 cents. The average overcharge was 34 cents.
“It’s hard for consumers to find the best deals when stores ring up items at the wrong prices,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs. “Our price checks sample just a small number of items in each store. Errors – even ones that favor consumers – indicate stores aren’t taking the care they should to make sure prices are accurate.”
Stores that passed the recent sweep are H&M in Beachwood; J.C. Penney in Parma; Justice in Beachwood and Strongsville; Kmart in Garfield Heights, Middleburg Heights and Seven Hills; Kohl’s in Parma; Office Max stores in Cleveland Heights, North Olmsted, Rocky River, Strongsville and Westlake; Walmart in Brooklyn, Parma, Strongsville; Marc’s in Berea, Broadview Heights, Cleveland Heights, Euclid, Mayfield, North Olmsted, South Euclid and Westlake; Target in Fairview Park, Mayfield Heights, North Olmsted, and Parma.
Contact the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs at 216-443-7035 or visit http://consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us/ if an advertised price rings up higher at the register or if a sale price isn’t reflected on your receipt.
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.