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Consumer protection office warns of Black Friday ripoffs


MADISON (WRN) As shoppers head out to claim Black Friday deals, state consumer protection officials are offering some tips to make sure you get the right price when checking out.

For those looking for bargain-priced gifts, state Division of Consumer Protection administrator Sandy Chalmers says it helps to make a note of the advertised price and any signs displayed in the store. State law requires retailers to honor the lowest advertised price, so it helps to make a note of what any ads or in-store signs have listed when you put something in your shopping cart.

Chalmers suggests bringing newspaper advertisements with you and addressing price discrepancies right away. She says it’s far easier to take care of pricing issues at the register than it is to try and come back after the fact.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection does audits each year of check out scanners at retailers across Wisconsin. On average, over 98 percent of items checked ring up at the correct price or even below what was listed on the shelf.

Chalmers says shoppers should also be aware of special terms and conditions that might be attached to sale items. Those could include limited hours for sale prices and policies covering how merchandise purchased during Black Friday sales can be returned. She says it’s not uncommon for retailers to put limitations on returning items bought at deep discounts or under special promotions.