Business School | Even Checkout Scanners Make Mistakes

| December 8, 2014

Business School

Harvard Business Review:

4.08% of the prices picked up by retail-store scanners are wrong, about twice the error rate considered acceptable by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, says a team led by David M. Hardesty of the University of Kentucky that studied more than 231,000 products scanned over 15 years in the state of Washington.

Slightly less than half the errors were overcharges.

An intriguing finding: Error rates are higher in affluent neighborhoods, suggesting that stores may be more careful about mistakes in areas where shoppers are more price-conscious, the researchers say.

SOURCE: The Accuracy of Scanned Prices

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