Scanner Accuracy

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If you've ever wondered how accurate bar code scanners are, you're not alone. A consumer group recently checked out "checkout" scanners. It's likely scanners are more accurate than you thought.

We've all been there, checking out of a store, checking out our receipt, making sure we've been charged correctly.

Darlene Hewitt, a shopper, says, “You need to look at your receipt to make sure they didn't charge you twice because they have done that before, and check the prices, they aren't always what they say.”

But when it comes to accuracy, checkout scanners in Florida are not doing a bad job according to the Department of Consumer Services.

State officials tested 3,000 items in 59 Florida stores this month and only found 47 price errors. Most of the mistakes were in the customers’ favor, but consumers say they should still keep an eye on retailers.

Robert Kyle, a shopper, says, "It's good to check up on them. I think the state’s doing a good job. This is an easy way for somebody to take advantage of somebody that's older or not quite as sharp. If you’re not keeping an eye on things they could take you for a few dollars here and there."

Those that have trust in the scanners say a mistake at check out will most likely happen because of human error.

Peggy Richards, a shopper, says, “I'll still check my receipts because sometimes the checkers run it throughout twice. I'll always check, but I trust the scanners.”

To avoid being over charged, the most important thing you can do is know how much the item costs before you head to the checkout counter

The state's Division of Standards is advising anyone who believes that they may have been overcharged or detects a problem with a stores scales or scanners to call the Department of Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA.