A study of supermarket price scanners in Massachusetts revealed that nearly half the devices failed to work properly and that 85% of stores had failed to meet state requirements guaranteeing price accuracy.

The study was conducted at 34 supermarkets in Massachusetts earlier this month by Consumer World magazine. The study concluded that retailers were failing to do what was required of them when a 2012 state law revision allowed stores to remove item-pricing stickers. This included providing working scanners and printers for consumer use and disclosing pricing guarantees with signage in stores.


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“In return for no longer having to item-price groceries, retailers are now required to provide a host of new consumer protections for shoppers,” Consumer World founder Edgar Dworsky said in a statement. “Stores lobbied hard and got what they wanted — no more price stickers — and they quickly removed them. But they are not living up to the other end of the bargain to the detriment of shoppers, and that is patently unfair.”

According to the study, 65 of 140 (46%) of scanner stations failed; and 64% of printing scanners in “waiver” stores failed and that 64% of all stores failed to display disclosures where required. 

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