At Star Market: Buying meat? Check your receipt!

Siderea was not happy when the Porter Square Star Market charged her $2.89/lb for chicken that was advertised on sale at $1.79. She was even less happy after the cashier argued with her, told her to visit the (closed) customer service desk, and then re-rung the purchase at various prices ranging from $3.11/lb to $3.97/lb.

Now she's wondering who else has been ripped off -- and judging from the comments on her LiveJournal post, quite a few other people are unhappy with Star Market, in Porter Square and elsewhere. She helpfully links to the relevant state law and explains how to file a complaint.

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Comments

Why?

Discount doesn't mean "short pull date". Market Basket typically offers chicken breast for $1.99 and the pull date is well in the future because they sell so much of it.

Of course, if I lived over by Porter, I'd just be getting everything at McKinnons ...

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same here

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I shop at the Chelsea Market Basket, and yes chicken on sale is a steal. And you are correct, I bought some chicken breast today there, as a matter of fact, and it's due date is 4/10 (it must be VERY fresh).

And I second McKinnon's. When I lived in Porter, I never bought meats at Shaw's. EVER. Too expensive. Not when McKinnon's in davis is right around the corner. I loved going in there, dropping 100 bucks, and filling my freezer!

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Grocery circulars

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Haven't you ever seen a weekly grocery store circular? Most super markets offer all types of meat, produce, dairy, non-parishables on sale.

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The Star/Shaws mess is a likely candidate

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..for bankruptcy.

They bet heavily on that stupid marketing practice of a 2 tier price involving a 'member card'.

They rescinded that crap last year but the damage was done to market share as they discovered... surprise... people prefer everyday low pricing.

The Star stashed away in the Central Square Meridian Hotel is honest enough but it's a dumb location and is slowly dying.

And there is another utterly hurting one on Beacon Street Somerville about a half mile away from the Porter Square travesty and that thing has a look of doom about it.

They basically were gutted by merger costs during the easy bank money merger mania that made life suck in the 90s and early 2000's.

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Member card

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They ditched that several months ago.

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I know..

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I congratulated them for 'rejoining civilization' as the 'member card era' for basic stupid retail may well be the high water mark for basic stupid marketing consultant schemes.

Just sell the crap at the best price point you can find and shut up already.

The only hold outs seem to be CVS and Walgreens, but it's only a matter of time before they ditch the two tier contraption too.

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Loyalty cards?

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What a funny euphemism.

Pharmacy chains still believe. I'm beyond the reach of a Stop n Shop although I was able to identify an array of lower prices without much loyalty.

I bet it is a hedge so they can extract a bit of revenue from traitors who would otherwise leave.

I've mostly been able to move beyond office supplies so that one isn't on what passes for my radar screen and I reflexively despise anything to do with Lord Mittins of Romneyland.

This frees me up to save my loyalty for actual humans and ideas dear to me rather than a marketing profession scheme.

Also, too, Mackinnons in Davis Square!!!

Now there's a place to park some loyalty and I noticed Sessas, that bastion of civilization yet lives. Or at least it did the last time I looked.

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Hidden Star Market

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I wish you hadn't told everyone about that hidden Star Market in the Meridien Hotel in Central Square. Nobody knows about it so it's never crowded.

The only ones who seem to know it's there are MIT students, and they don't buy very many groceries.

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Is that the Shaws on the east

Is that the Shaws on the east end of Central Square? If so, the reason why it's never crowded is that (IMO) it's an awful store.

That's another thing about Shaw's, each store has an entirely different layout, so you can't figure out where anything is if you happen to try another location. Also, it seems to me that just as you get used to one layout, the manager moves everything around.

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central Square Star sucks

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If you're in Cambridge, why would you go to a Star under any circumstances? Mayflower Poultry and New Deal Fish Market in East Cambridge, Harvest in Central, and Martin Brothers liquors in Inman pretty much covers it for me. Even Broadway outside of Harvard Square is a better bet. I'll put up with the schlepping to be greeted by name when I walk in and know the merchants that I'm buying from aren't some faceless corpo greedheads.

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moving things around is deliberate

each store has an entirely different layout, so you can't figure out where anything is if you happen to try another location.

That's deliberate. The more time you spend wandering around the store looking for what you came in to buy, the likelier it is you'll impulse-buy random crap.

Store layout is a science unto itself.

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That's the fail

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I work a block from a Shaws, but I hardly go there. Why spend an extra 10 minutes of my lunch hour figuring out where the apple sauce is when I can go to Stop and Shop or Roches and find it in a minute?

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This is Shaw's we're talking about

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I suspect it has more to do with them buying stores at various times that just happened to have different layouts.

The West Roxbury and Hyde Park Shaw's were remodeled around the same time and have identical layouts. But the parking lots are different, so when I'm shopping in one after a long day I sometimes head for the exit I'd normally use in the other (yeah, I admit it: I shop at Shaw's).

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Oh I know. Seems to me that

Oh I know. Seems to me that Stop & Shop doesn't do it as often (or at all.). That said, I think there are good & bad S&S, interns of inventory. At least Shaw's seems to se the same stuff., when you can find it.

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Shaws in the Fenway

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The Shaws in the Fenway has the worst layout of them all. There are alcoves and nooks and crannies. It looks like someone's house was hastily converted into a supermarket. That might be fine for an antique shop or something like that, but a supermarket should be functional.

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Go back and demand your money back

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Once grocery stores move to a "scanner system" where each item doesn't have an individual price tag, the following applies

94.184c section (i)

…if there is a discrepancy between the advertised price, the sticker price, the scanner price or the display price and the checkout price on any grocery item, a food store or a food department shall charge a consumer the lowest price. If the checkout price or scanner price is not the lowest price or does not reflect any qualifying discount, the seller: (i) shall not charge the consumer for 1 unit of the grocery item, if the lowest price is $10 or less; (ii) shall charge the consumer the lowest price less $10 for 1 unit of the grocery item, if the lowest price is more than $10; and (iii) shall charge the consumer the lowest price for any additional units of the grocery item.…

Go back and ask them for the first of each item free. Star is the worst about this, better grocery stores (Hannaford, for instance) will give you the item free if you point it out, and thank you for pointing out the discrepancy to boot.

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Correct...

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Shaws even has signs posted at every register explaining the law. Better than S&S which spent months denying it was the official rule.

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"Top" rated

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Just read the Consumer Reports article on the results of a supermarket survey. Shaw's was at the top of the list of having the wrong price ring up at the register.

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Do check your receipts

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The Fenway Shaws overcharges for produce quite often, but I've always been able to get a refund.

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Is that intentional, or do

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Is that intentional, or do the cashiers making minimum wage just not get paid enough to give a crap?

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Not the cashiers

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It's not the cashiers. It appears the sale prices don't get programmed into the system.

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Rip off market at Porter

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I've shopped at the Porter Shaws for almost 20 years, thousands of times, and my purchases were correctly rung up 6 times. Six frigging times. Sale items are wrung wrong, well in fact everything is. I will be following up with the links posted for action against Porter Shaws.

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Like my grandmama said

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How's that old expression go? Try to cheat me once, shame on you; try to cheat me thousands of times and I *still* keep coming back to you, shame on me?

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There's an old saying in

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There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on...shame on you. You fool me, you can't get fooled again.

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Star Market on Morrissey Blvd.

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Since the new ownership/management took over, the Star Market in Dorchester has been awesome. Low prices and excellent customer service. No 'loyalty' card needed. They open a new register if they see more than 3 customers in a line.

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I used to go to that Shaw's a

I used to go to that Shaw's a lot--probably twice a month, and it was horrible. Glad to know they've changed. Has the lighting improved? I hate the lighting on that store (or did, haven't been in a long time.)

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Mistakes happen . It's is not

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Mistakes happen . It's is not a chicken pricing conspiracy. Really. Work in grocery.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of items.

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