Undercover county inspectors hit 8 stores; overcharges discovered

8 stores inspected, overcharges found at 1 store

SAN DIEGO - We are less than 24 hours away from some of the biggest deals of the year, but are you really getting what you bargain for? On Wednesday, undercover county officials went to find out.

With the holiday shopping season here, it pays to check your receipt.

The county's Agriculture, Weights and Measures Department told 10News one in five stores in the county overcharges its customers.

During routine inspections on Wednesday, three undercover price inspectors hit eight stores.

"Of the eight, we found overcharges at one of those stores," said supervising inspector Nancy Stalnaker.

Inspectors would not tell 10News which eight stores were inspected but they did say the items overcharged were lingerie and a pair of boys' jeans. The jeans rang up at double the advertised price.

"Advertised at $6 and we were charged $12," said Stalnaker.

It is typically nothing malicious and is usually an oversight by the store when they forgot to take the sales price down.

"When we do find the violation, we write them a notice of the violation right then," said Stalnaker. "We make sure the price is corrected before the inspector leaves the store."

The store could then face a fine, depending on how large the overcharge.

A recent Team 10 investigation revealed overpricing on several items at Walmart which involved an investigation by the District Attorney's Office.

From big-box stores to mom and pop shops, inspectors go in unannounced, take various items to the register and have them rung-up. Before paying, they reveal who they really are to the disappointed salesperson.

"It kind of makes you feel bad sometimes because they think they are getting this great big sale and then you tell them, 'Just kidding… We're just checking the prices,'" said Stalnaker.

There are 1,400 inspections a year. Those only covers a third of the 4,000 businesses in the county.

If you catch stores overcharging, by law, they must sell the item to you at the listed or advertised price, so make sure you check your receipts.

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