A distrust of the technology and/or those who implement it can be the only explanation for Massachusetts having been the very last state to drop its requirement that every individual item on supermarket shelves carry a price tag.
That stubbornness ended in January and yesterday the state's Office of Consumer Affairs released the results of a spot check that not only found no problems but a remarkable - some will say suspiciously remarkable - 100 percent accuracy rate matching prices on store shelves to those registered by barcode scanners at check-out. Eighteen stores representing five chains - Big Y, Hannaford's, Price Chopper, Shaw's and Stop & Shop - were each checked on 10 common cookout items, including hamburger, hotdogs, chicken, buns, coleslaw, ketchup, and pickles.
Not a single error was found. Not a penny's worth.
Among the stores checked was the Price Chopper in Hopkinton that I shop at every Sunday morning (around the corner from EMC's sprawling headquarters). And this store, like the rest, aced the test, according to the state:
"Consumers planning their Fourth of July barbecues can eat easy knowing that their supermarkets, wherever they may shop, are doing the very best to ensure price accuracy," said a state official in a press release.
I'm glad that my state has joined the other 49 in finally doing away with all those price stickers. But I'd be eating even a bit easier this weekend if the state had found a mistake or two.
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