American TV shoppers urged to watch for checkout errors

MADISON (WITI) -- Bargain shoppers who are hitting up their local American TV & Appliance store’s going out of business sale need to pay close attention to the price at the register when they check out.

Weights and Measures inspectors from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) conducted a price verification survey at each of the seven American TV stores in Wisconsin on Monday and found that 5.5 percent of the items checked rang up higher than the advertised price.

"5.5% is significant when compared against what we find in other outlets statewide, but then the dollar amounts themselves of the overcharges -- when you have a consumer that could be overcharged by $300, that's significant. You have a company that may not be around in a month to issue refunds, so we saw a situation where consumers were at risk and decided to put out this alert," Sandy Chalmers with the DATCP said.

Wisconsin law requires that stores charge the lowest advertised price. Consumers are entitled to a refund when they are overcharged.

DATCP inspectors checked a total of 325 items at the stores. The highest overcharge on a single item was $314.44 at the Casaloma Drive store in Appleton.

The store with the highest number of overcharges was the West Beltline Highway store in Madison. Of the 50 items checked, seven were overcharged at the register. When the inspector returned to the store on Tuesday, February 25, the errors had been corrected.

DATCP advises consumers to:

    American TV issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

    The vast majority of the “Checkout Errors” claimed by DATCAP were on unboxed items from our Closeout and Demo centers where we were offering the item for less than the same item in a box. We informed the state investigators of that fact. Our process for selling Clearance and Demo center items has always included a markdown at the register, and we feel confident that consumers will pay the price as tagged.

    For additional information or to file a weights and measures complaint, visit the Bureau of Weights and Measures at, send an e-mail to or call 608-224-4942.