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County Controller Uses 'Cheesy' Video To Criticize Higher Prices At Airmall

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Travelers and shoppers at the Airmall always suspect prices of food, beverages, sundries and everything else to be higher than at a traditional mall.

But that's a no-no, says Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner in an amateur video produced in her office.

"County leaders insisted on street pricing at the airport because those who paid to build the airport shouldn't have to pay more for a bite to eat or for a gift for their grandchild," Wagner says in the video.

A take-off of the CBS game show, "The Price is Right," Wagner's in-house, low-cost video is entitled "Is the Price Right?" to accompany her audit of prices at the Airmall.

"Would you admit it's a little cheesy?" KDKA money editor Jon Delano asked Wagner on Tuesday.

"Oh, it goes far beyond that," said Wagner. "I think it's very cheesy. It's more than a little cheesy."

Watch the full video here --

(Video Provided By County Controller's Office)

But it reinforces a serious point.

Airmall stores must not overcharge customers.

"Keeping this promise to residents is an important duty of my office that I'm pleased to carry out each year," says Wagner in her video.

Wagner's team surveyed 430 items from 45 stores -- 139 of them could not be found outside the Airmall.

Of the remaining 291 items, 260 or 89 percent were in compliance.

The rest had overcharges ranging from 19 cents for an Egg McMuffin to nearly $70 for a Harley Davidson leather jacket.

The controller says nine stores consistently overcharge some products year after year, including Black & Gold, Green Beans Coffee, Harley Davidson, Hudson Gifts, Hudson News, Martini, McDonalds, Paradies Gifts, and Paradies News.

The Airmall says prices have already been rolled back.

As for Wagner, she signs off her video in the classic price is right way.

"Have your pets spayed or neutered," says Wagner in her best "Bob Barker" style.

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