"Shoppers could walk away disappointed:" Holiday promotions can add up to confusion

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks shoppers to pay close attention to the sales stipulations in this season’s online and print ads.

“Ads set high expectations for holiday deals, but shoppers could walk away disappointed if they have not familiarized themselves with each retailer’s unique sales policies,” said Frank Frassetto, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “As you search fliers and online promotions, make it a habit to read and understand the fine print.”

Retailers’ hours of business, item quantities, and return policies can all differ from normal operation and have additional constraints during holiday special events. Some discounts are only offered in store while others may require the use of a retailer’s website or app.

Other simple tips to remember when you are shopping for deals this holiday season include:

    Wisconsin law requires stores to charge their lowest advertised price for a product and to refund any overcharge, so it is important for consumers to keep an eye on the prices at the register or in the online shopping cart. Special pricing may only apply to specific products, so be sure that you have the correct item and model name or number before you start to checkout. Speak up if you believe that an item did not register at its advertised price.

    If you are charged the wrong price on an item and the business will not correct the error, file a complaint with DATCP’s Weights and Measures Bureau, visit datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to datcpweightsandmeasures@wi.gov or call 608-224-4942.