Being a huge charcoal grill fan, I was excited to see Kingsford charcoal on a big time sale. I was standing in the lawn and garden section of Walmart starring at a pallet of twin 15 pound bags of charcoal shrink wrapped together priced at $8.98.
A single bag usually retails for close to that amount.
As I was scanning my items at the self checkout lane, however, I stared curiously at the screen when the charcoal rang up at $14.88. From behind me I heard an employee ask if I needed some help. After explaining what had occurred, she asked if I wanted her to call someone. It was Sunday afternoon, the store was busy, and I noted there was quite the line waiting to use the lanes. Not wanting to block that checkout counter, I stated that I would go double check the sale sign when I was done.
I returned to the mountain of charcoal, and took a picture of the sale sign.
I explained my situation to the customer service attendant, who took my receipt and went to investigate. While I was waiting, I reviewed the picture I had taken, and looked again at the charcoal in my cart.
Notice the difference? The pack in my cart was a twin pack of 13.9 pound bags, not the sale advertised 15 pound bags.
When the employee returned I told her what I had uncovered. She agreed, smiled, and began the process to return the charcoal I had purchased.
I went to the lawn and garden center a third time to get the right twin pack of charcoal. I took a look at the pallet, and noticed that there were 13.9 pound twin packs intermingled with the 15 pound twin packs.
I was glad that I was again attentive enough to have caught the mistake at the register, as I would have ended up with 2.2 pounds less product, costing nearly $6 more. I’d like to think that it was a simple mistake, and that someone had accidentally put the two different product sizes in the same display, The thought did enter my mind questioning if Walmart might have done it on purpose.
What do you think? Do you think a retailer would pull such a stunt to increase sales and profit at the expense of customers not paying attention?