'Secret Shoppers' Keep Tabs on NYC Supermarkets

A new initiative educates customers about their rights and allows them to easily report any violations that may result in overcharges.
by | July 28, 2011 AT 4:30 PM

The customer is always right, right? Well, no. But the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs does want people to know more about their rights as a customer to avoid and prevent future overcharges at supermarkets. This week, the department launched a new initiative to educate grocery shoppers about their rights, and encourage them to report any possible violations via Twitter and Facebook, according to a press release. Last year, the department discovered that less than half of the city's supermarkets were in compliance with pricing policies. This year's findings, which are not yet complete, show an even lower compliance. Now, if a person picks up an item without price tags, can't find a scale to weigh items sold by the pound or ends up paying $10.99 for something that was labeled $5.99, they can post how and where they were overcharged to the department's Facebook page and/or Twitter account using the hashtag #nickeled&dimed. Three people have already shared their less-than-satisfactory experiences at local supermarkets via social media.