Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Inattention taxes: overcharging on checkout

Inattention taxes are the monies earned through overcharges. I'm fairly certain I pay a few hundred dollars of fraudulent or mistaken credit card and checkout transactions every year simply because I can't take the time to validate all my transactions. I just try to catch the thousand-dollar frauds that hit me very ten years or so.

So I pay my "inattention tax" and hope others, like Scott Gruby: fight my battles for me:
Target was issued a violation

I just got a call from the San Diego County Agriculture/Weights & Measures department about my complaint of Target overcharging me. They inspected the items I indicated I was overcharged for and also found that they were overcharged. In addition, they performed a routine inspection of 50 items and were overcharged on 9 of them. If that wasn’t enough, they got cited for not having the required notices about being overcharged.

I’ve never seen a public agency act so quickly on a complaint. While my overcharges were pennies, the inspector said that he was overcharged $5 on an item.
I suspect these overcharges are not planned, they are merely emergent. If an organization focuses limited resources on preventing undercharging, they will necessarily diminish resources that prevent overcharging. So the balance will shift to err on the side of overcharging. Scott's intervention won't make the problem go away, but he's helping keep it in check. If he had a micropayment donation box (soon to come via Amazon) I'd send him a $1 for doing what I can't afford to do ...

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