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Receive the right price:
Electronic scanning is not foolproof, the wrong price can be charged. As a result our Weights and Measures officials often inspect stores randomly and unannounced to make sure their prices are right. Because of these inspections the pricing error percentage continues to fall, but there are steps you, as a consumer, can do.


  • Watch the display screen for prices. If you think you're being overcharged, speak up. Ask about the store's policy on pricing errors, and ask the cashier to make the adjustment before you pay. Although some stores simply adjust the price, others deduct an additional amount. Still others offer the mispriced item for free.
  • Bring a copy of the store's flyer or newspaper ad to the checkout counter.
  • Consider jotting down prices or special sales as you make your way through the store. In grocery stores, you may want to use a pen or crayon to note the product prices on the packages.
  • Check your receipt before you walk away. If you notice an error, ask the cashier to adjust the total. If you've already left the cashier's lane, see the store manager or department manager to correct any mistakes.
  • If the problem is not resolved, contact the Boston Inspectional Services Department.

    Receive the right weight
    Pay only for the product and not for the packaging. When you buy meats or produce wrapped in packaged materials, you should pay only for the net weight of the product. If you buy potato salad at the deli counter you should pay only for the salad, not for the weight of the container. In many stores, the electronic or computerized scales used at the check-out counter are set to automatically to deduct the weight of the packaging. On other scales, the sales clerk must adjust the scale to manually deduct the packaging materials. Scales must be placed so you can see the weight. If you are uncertain, ask to have the package weighed again before you buy. Ask if the weight of the packaging has been deducted. Our Weights and Measures officials visit stores often to inspect and weigh prepackaged products. They also check the accuracy of the scales being used.


  • Watch the scale and the amount registered. The scale should be placed so you can see the weight, price and other information displayed.
  • Make sure the scale shows a zero or minus sign before anything is weighed. Pay ONLY for the product, NOT for the packaging.
  • If you have any questions about how a store weighs or measures products, ask the manager for information first. He or she should answer your questions.
  • If the problem is not resolved, contact the Boston Inspectional Services Department.
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    ISD Hours of Operation:
    1010 Mass Ave.
    Monday - Friday:

       8:00am - 4:00pm
    Thursday Evening:
    Building Division Only
       8:00am - 7:00pm

    Please note that the cashier closes 15 minutes prior to closing

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