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Make sure to check your grocery bill, otherwise you may pay more: survey


A majority of Canadians have seen a mistake on their grocery receipts in the last year, according to a new survey conducted by Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

The survey released this week, found 67 per cent of Canadians have seen a mistake on their grocery bill at least once in the last year.

When it comes to when people check their receipts, 67 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they do it on their way out of the store, while the rest check when they get home.

According to the survey, about four per cent of 5,525 respondents never check their receipts, while about half said they always check their receipts for mistakes.

What are the common mistakes people find on their receipts, according to the survey?

  • The price of the item was not the same as it was on the shelf -- 75.8 per cent
  • A daily discount was not applied -- 35.3 per cent
  • Cashier scanned too many items -- 31.4 per cent
  • Coding was wrong -- 16.1 per cent
  • Taxed on an item that should not have tax -- 9.2 per cent
  • Pound to kilogram conversion was not properly done -- 7 per cent
  • Other -- 9.7 per cent

Breaking down the data by region, Newfoundland and Labrador residents were more likely to find mistakes on their bills—84 per cent of respondents from that region noticed errors on their receipts last year. By comparison, 61 per cent of people from New Brunswick and Manitoba have seen mistakes on their grocery bill.

Most consumers (84 per cent) complained after noticing a mistake on their bill. Of those who did not complain, about 40 per cent said they felt it was not worth the money.

In addition, more than two-thirds of consumers purchased a damaged product and noticed it when they got home.

More than half of those who purchased a damaged product returned it to the store, while over 33 per cent threw out the product.

“This report provides us with an interesting glimpse of how consumers and grocers react to issues and problems, while food prices are increasing at record levels,” director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab Dr. Sylvain Charlebois said in a news release. “Despite concerns about food prices, it is clear most Canadians are pleased with how complaints and problems are addressed by grocers. Consumers need all the help they can get.”

The survey also found a total of 70 per cent of consumers purchased at least one recalled product, of that group, 57 per cent returned the products with receipt while 40 per cent returned without receipt. However, in about three per cent of cases the grocer refused to take the product back.

More than 87 per cent of consumers said they are satisfied with how grocers treated their complaints or errors on bills.

Additionally, more than 20 per cent of those who were involved in the survey said they’ve saved at least $50 a year after reporting mistakes.

Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta. Top Stories

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