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Drug Stores Convenient? Not For the Wallet

By Shannon in News on Sep 21, 2007 5:30PM

If you’re like Chicagoist, you do a disproportionate amount of your shopping at Walgreens. It’s convenient, its inventory is always deeper than we remember (Necco wafers and Bolthouse Farms FTW), and it’s cheap. At least, we think it’s cheap. But have you ever gotten a hot itch in the back of your throat when you see the cashier’s readout? “I couldn’t have possibly spent that much,” you say. And you may very well be right.

some refreshing milk, perhaps?Undercover shoppers for the Department of Consumer Services discovered that one-third of Chicago’s pharmacies overcharged customers for a variety of products. More than 70 stores out of 190 surveyed borked the receipt something awful, and therefore will receive fines from $50 to $2,000 for each offense. Not only that, but six stores are suspected of having outdated baby formula on their shelves. Ouch. Shoppers fanned out amongst Walgreens, CVS and Osco stores, taking up to 50 items (!) at a time to the counter. (So that’s who keeps getting in front of us.) After paying, watchdogs checked their receipts against the listed price tag, and commenced scratching their heads and getting out their citations.

The main culprit? Scanning machines. Actually, we should amend that. DCS Commissioner Norma Reyes places the blame squarely on indifferent store managers. Most of the gaffes came from old bar codes that weren’t converted when items went on sale. But charging $79.99 for a blood glucose monitor marked $9.99? Either that’s one hell of a sale, or … jeez, we didn’t think anything cost $79.99 at Walgreens. So check your expiration dates and scour your receipts. And no matter what anyone tells you, a six-pack of Fresca is not $16.29.

Image courtesy of pantagrapher.