PHOENIX - Sometimes Black Friday bargains aren't always what they seem.
Taking the proper steps to protect yourself as a consumer can help alleviate some of the stress as you head home, and calculate what's in your shopping bags.
The Arizona Department of Weights and Measures says they receive more complaints during the holiday season than the rest of the year.
Missing prices, overcharges and stores failing to honor advertisements are among some of the most common complaints the department deals with.
To avoid issues at the store, always be sure to take the ad with you while you shop. If you encounter any problems with your items, be sure to double check sale dates, fine print, internet versus in-store deals, purchase limits or other restrictions.
If your item rings up as a different price than what is advertised on the shelf, be sure to bring it to their attention. The Weights and Measures Department says that the prices must match according to Arizona law.
Most stores have scan error policies, but have the cashier re-scan the item. Some stores may offer discounts for pointing out the problem, but they do not have to give you item for free, which is a common myth.
Always keep a receipt for what you purchase. In some cases, you could be charged more for the exact same item than a friend or family member. Having a receipt to present to store management if you encounter a problem will help you solve the issue.
The Weights and Measurements Department says that a lot of the time, the error is simply caused by consumer oversight and that the stores are in line with policies, but on occasion, some incidents do occur.
Any shopping complaints can be filed at the Weights and Measurements Department online .