7 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Shoppers are regularly being charged more for goods at the till than the amount on the price tags, according to reports on Monday.
The overcharging happens particularly during the sales.
Freya Van den Bossche, the government minister responsible for consumer affairs, has threatened to force guilty shops to display warning signs to customers.
According to the Sud-presse newspapers and Het Nieuwsblad op Zondag, the authorities carried out price checks in 249 DIY, gardening and electrical shops.
They found that in a DIY store, a rushed customer paid 6.1 percent more than the total on the price tags while in a gardening store a shopper could easily go home with 3.1 percent less in his purse.
Electrical stores were overcharging by 6.1 percent, showed the study.
The middle-sized company union Unizo and the distribution federation Fedis argued the results painted an unfair picture of trading practices.
Fedis head Baudouin Velge said sometimes customers were also undercharged at the till.
Unizo said there could be price differences between the amounts on price tags and those rung up at the till.
The organisation estimated 90 percent of mistakes occurred at the start of one promotion and at the end of another.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news