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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Taking Screenshots When Conducting Online Transactions

Do you use the screenshot function on your computer very often? It's super handy when you want to remotely show someone a program that is malfunctioning and how the results appear on your screen. Screenshots are also super helpful when you need to "prove" something that you read online, after the fact.

I make it a habit to screenshot the final page on an order just before hitting "submit." This is the page that usually outlines the item ordered, the cost per item, and the shipping costs and delivery estimates. If I've used a coupon code, this page also indicates the associated discount.

I recently placed an online order for a bunch of small items that were on sale. I did as I always do, I screen-shotted that last page before submitting. After placing the order, I received an email invoice/receipt for the items. On this receipt, I noticed the prices per items on a couple of like-items were more than what I believed I would be charged. I went back to the website and the prices were now higher than I'd seen just 30 minutes earlier.

I reached out to customer support immediately and offered to send files of my screenshots to verify the prices I had seen online. After a few back and forth emails, I was able to get my account credited for this overcharge. Had I not taken the screen shots, I either would not have spoken up about the overcharge, or if I did, I would not have had any proof of what price I had been offered.

This week, everything was finally settled. I ended up saving over $8 by taking 10 seconds to screenshot my transaction with pricing info, then following up with customer support contact. I just wanted to pass this on for your future online transactions. Screenshots are a quick and easy way to document online information and could save you some real cash should you find yourself in a conflict over pricing with an online vendor.


  1. While I know that prices change online all of the time and are sometimes different for different people, I had never thought about the price changing before I hit send on my order. And I never thought about documenting the order before. Maybe now I will.

  2. Very good idea. Like L&L, I haven't thought about documenting my order prior to purchase.

  3. Another option to save an entire page is to "print as PDF." It saves the entire current page to PDF (even if multiple pages). This can easily be emailed as well. I do this when pages give a "print for confirmation" page as well.

  4. I find that I mostly get an email immediately with the summary including the price which I can see right away if it matches or not. At that point, I don't find it necessary to take screen shots because I can look back at my order and at the email confirmation. I've never had the prices change yet but it might be a good idea if I order from an unusual place. The second step is to look at my bank account right away to make sure the correct amount was debited and not something different.

    I have been trying Walmart online order to pickup lately and they make mention that if a price changes from the time I ordered to the time it is filled they will give you the better price so they are aware that prices change all the time.

    But I think you have a solid point to always be aware of prices when shopping online.


  5. Hi Live and Learn,
    this was the first time that I'd had this scenario happen, where the price in my cart differed from the price I was charged. The customer support person thought it was a glitch with the website that even offered the lower price to me to begin. I also use screenshots when I'm working on lengthy and high-paying surveys, in case the site locks up on me toward the end of the survey. I've had to submit those screenshots to get credited for my time before. Screenshots are a quick and easy thing to add to the process of ordering something, so I've just gotten into the habit of it.

  6. Hi Kris,
    it only takes a couple of seconds, so for me, it's been a no-brainer.

  7. Hi Doc,
    a PDF is another good way to document something that could be time-sensitive, like a price or confirmation of payment. Thanks for adding that.

  8. Hi Alice
    In this case, the price changed at the point of submitting my order, but I was not notified that the price would be higher. I needed the screenshot to prove that I'd been offered a lower price before submission. Anyway, screenshots can also be useful in "proving" a time and day that you perform something online (like paying a bill on time), as that's usually at the top right corner of the screen.

    Yes, I agree. When we're shopping online, we need to be just as aware of what is charged as if we were in a store. That;s good to know about Walmart adjusting prices for the better if the price changes.

  9. I’ve never done this on my pc, but do use the option on my phone often, for various reasons. It’s a great, quick form of proof (or sometimes a reminder, to myself).

  10. Last month I made an online order at Wal-Mart for store pick up. I recalled the price for a rotary cutting mat was $10, yet my credit card is being billed for $11.51. Our tax is 4.5%, and I did not make note of much else because my concern then was rushing an order via a shopping portal to save my American Airline miles from expiring. I am going to call Wal-Mart to inquire because it bugs me that they did not issue any receipts at pickup. And I think I also checked out online as a guest. If I recall correctly from a few years ago, Walmart charges a store pickup fee, and when I returned the order, I was not credited the full amount. I was told I must go to the store for a refund of the difference, about $1. Thank you Lili, good idea to either save the page or take a screenshot.

  11. Hi Vanessa,
    I totally agree. Screenshots is great proof. If it's a full screen then it includes a timestamp, too.

  12. Hi YHF,
    I sure hope you can get that last bit credited. It's so frustrating to return purchases. Lately, it's made me really think twice when I make a purchase at all. Better return policies would mean I might shop more, so would be beneficial to the retail places. But I don't think some stores can see that.

  13. I am writing to correct my earlier comment. I searched my email box for the Walmart order summary, and found the price of the cutting mat was $10.99, not $10. So that explains the price difference. I am not returning it either so there should be no other problems like years ago, when I had to go back to the store to get a little over a dollar refunded. Also Wal-Mart did NOT charge any store pick up fees this time.



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