Do you buy groceries at Food Lion? If so, double-check the receipt. They could be cheating you. In response to reader concerns, I have been keeping tabs on whether Floyd’s Food Lion finds ways to charge more than a sale price listed with a product. In mouse cases where we have found a difference, a clerk or manager has refunded any overpayment.
Or at least they used to.
In recent weeks, I have found clear violations of Virginia’s “Pricing of retail merchandise law,”, especially during so-called BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) claims.
Last week, the bakery offered fresh glazed donuts as a BOGO item, including those with the chain’s “MVP” discounts.
Yet, at checkout, the register charged for two containers of the donuts.
As the photo at the top of this article shows, the offer is “Buy One, Get One Free” with an inclusion of the MVP price. This means paying $5.48 instead of $2.74.
The cash register clerk referred me to the Customer Service counter, where I was told that the price was changed overnight from Tuesday.
“Wednesday is the day when prices are changed,” she said.
“If so,” I asked, “why is the sign remains with the sale price.”
“Our personnel is changing the signs today,” she said. “The changeover is not complete.”
I pointed out that Virginia’s “Pricing of Retail Merchandise,” law requires a store to honor prices if they are present at the time of sale.
“Our rules say otherwise,” she said.
I asked to speak with the manager but was told he was not in the store.
Ironically, I saw a “BOGO” offer for cans of Pepsi-Cola, my wife’s favorite soda, and paid the discounted MVP price for two 12-pack boxes and was charged for just one. But the BOGO offers from the Bakery have run into the same problem as the one described above.
Last week, I sent a description of the problem, with photos of the posted offer and receipt to the Food Lion offices but have not heard back. Any response will be posted here.
Food Lion, we have found, has aggressively increased prices on food items over the last few months. Many items cost more than twice the previously-posted ones. In a comparison with Kroger’s stores in Christiansburg and Roanoke, we have found prices on many items less than the Food Lion in Floyd. Many food staple items like canned food — chili or other meat offerings are priced less at Dollar General or Family Dollar.
Unusual pricing can also be found at area gas stations. Floyd is one of the few places where we have a chain gas station like Exxon and an independent like Express Mart, offering identical prices and changes in those prices. Prices between chains like Shell and Exxon are normally higher than independent stations in Christiansburg and Roanoke and, in some cases, the chains are priced lower than any independent in Floyd County.
At a Shell Station at 4083 Electric Rd, SW, in Roanoke County on this Monday morning, a gallon of regular gas is 14 cents cheaper than what Express Mart in Floyd charges, and the premium is 62 cents cheaper per gallon.
In Christiansburg, premium gas is 43 to 70 cents a gallon cheaper at BP, Exxon, Shell, and Sunoco stations than Express Mart and Exxon in Floyd.
Sadly, it is not always cheaper to live in Floyd County.