Check store signs before you buy

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A local grocery store changed its in-store advertisement after a consumer complaint about chocolate drink being advertised as chocolate milk.

Matt Michener is a careful consumer. So when he was at the Fort Myers Save-A-Lot grocery store and saw a gallon of chocolate milk for sale at a cheaper price than a half gallon, he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.

“So I started looking at it and what they had labeled as… milk, was actually chocolate drink,” he recalled. “To me it was like bait and switch. Um, the people weren’t getting what the sign said you were getting.”

Michener said he went in the store twice and each time, he said he brought up the incorrect sign with management.

“It was advertising a product for a price they weren’t going to sell you for that price. And I brought it to their attention and she said, ‘Oh, we know.’ She said, ‘that’s what corporate sent us and that’s what we have to use, but I’ll be glad to take it down while you’re in store but I’ll have to put it back up after you leave,’ which is really irritating,” Michener claimed.

So he called us at WINK News and we checked it out. We saw the same sign advertising chocolate milk for $2.39 a gallon. But the product was not milk, it was really chocolate drink.

One of the main differences between the two products is in the ingredients. The first ingredient in chocolate milk is “milk” and in the drink, the first few ingredients are: water, high fructose corn syrup, whey powder and non-dairy creamer.

When we contacted Save-A-Lot’s corporate office, they quickly got back to us, fixed the issue immediately and sent us this statement:

“Per our conversation, our retailer regrets the error made at the store level regarding signage and has addressed with the store team and removed improper signage. The situation was not done out of malice as the signs are preprinted and has a space for the price to be filled in locally. Unfortunately the wrong preprinted sign was used for the Chocolate Drink and the store team has been consulted. Again, on behalf of the retailer, I apologize for the misunderstanding and the issue been resolved.”

A spokeswoman with the store also told us over the phone, they wanted to send a gift card to Michener.

When we told Michener what had happened he responded, “I’m glad I called you. You got stuff done that I couldn’t.”

And he says, he will continue to be vigilant, when shopping for bargains.

Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.