WASHINGTON — After pricing errors resulted in smokers being overcharged for cigarettes, AAFES has switched to an automated system, and will offer refunds for those who bought certain brands after May 1.
After Stars and Stripes raised the issue, spokesman Judd Anstey said, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service embarked on a two-month review of overseas tobacco pricing. AAFES “discovered that overseas tobacco prices effective May 1 were inaccurate due to human error.”
Prices overseas will be updated Monday, Anstey said.
“Prices as of July 7 (and all following updates) will reflect pricing information from an automated reporting system that extracts the average CONUS price per brand from the exchange’s retail point of sale system,” Anstey wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes. “This automated approach utilizes local CONUS survey prices (less 5 percent) to establish OCONUS tobacco prices. This process is expected to reduce the possibility of a price miscalculation.”
Assessing U.S. prices up to this point had been an “informal” process, Anstey said, that happened “a couple times a year.”
Overseas shoppers who purchased Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Kool, Pall Mall, Camel or USA Gold tobacco products from May 1 to July 6 can bring receipts to their exchange to receive a refund, Anstey said.
A pricing error on Pall Mall was corrected May 7, and refunds were offered.