Price Tags

I went down to the local convenience store today to purchase a tasty beverage. The sign in the glass cooler window read “$2.39” below the bottles I desired to purchase, so I grabbed a bottle of soda and went to the counter to pay. “That will be Two Sixty-Two,” the lady at the register announced. “Oh, ” I replied in my sweetest voice, “there must be some mistake – the sign in the cooler said this costs $2.39.” “That’s right,” the lady continued, “but then there are fees and taxes on top of that price.” “Well why doesn’t your sign read ‘$2.62’ then?” She shrugged her shoulders in reply.

Bottles of Pepsi In A Cooler at a Convenience Stor

This practice of posting the base price only even though there are additional costs that must be paid prior to purchase is preposterous.

It’s 2014 – Is anyone really being fooled?

Why not have the price tags just show the “this is how much it will cost you to walk out of here with one of these” price?  That’s what we’re all interested in after all, isn’t it? I took a look at the receipt, which outlined the additional costs involved:

  • Pepsi Cola – $2.39
  • Plastic Deposit – $0.10
  • Plastic Recycling Fee – $0.01
  • GST (National tax in Canada) – $0.12

Would it not make more sense to just show the customer what the bottom line price is at the product? You could still break out these line items on the receipt for those so inclined to know, but at the end of the day, I’m still going to have to pay all the fees and deposits and taxes anyway, wouldn’t it be better if I wasn’t annoyed and frustrated by the process? It’s almost a bait & switch.  I wonder if I’d have an argument to say that I was charged more than the advertised price of the product in this case? After all, the price tags on the shelves do not say “Plus Deposit and Taxes…”

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