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Belgian shops systematically over charging

Published on 17/05/2004

17 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian shoppers pay on average 5 percent more than they ought to every time they visit a supermarket, it was reported on Monday.

According to a new survey by the Belgian economics ministry, the prices customers are asked to pay at supermarket checkouts are on average 5 percent higher than those displayed on price tags inside shops.

The figure rises to 6 percent for do-it-yourself superstores, the survey continued.

According to the study, technical problems rather than deliberate dishonesty on the part of retailers are to blame for the mark-ups.

The survey found that shops often do not have the necessary computer systems in place to ensure that discounted prices displayed in-store are also recognised by electronic ‘bar-code’ reading checkouts.

The ministry is advising shoppers to check bills carefully before paying.

It also says it will be carrying out an increased number of random spot checks at supermarkets and superstores across Belgium throughout this year.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news