[Merged] Reminder! Code of Practice: Scanner Price Accuracy
More Information Here!
1. THE ITEM FREE SCANNER POLICY
Retailers will implement an Item Free Scanner Policy as follows:
1.1 On a claim being presented by the customer, where the scanned price of a product at checkout is higher than the price displayed in the store or than advertised by the store, the lower price will be honoured; and
(a) if the correct price of the product is $10 or less, the retailer will give the product to the customer free of charge; or
(b) if the correct price of the product is higher than $10, the retailer will give the customer a discount of $10 off the corrected price.
My last Future Shop visit got me:
Coach Carter for $9.99 (Incorrectly Priced at $24.99, scanned in at $19.99)
Machinist for $16.99 (Incorrectly Priced at: $34.99, scanned in at $26.99)
DavidLeR wrote: Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) F.A.Q.
1 - What is the “Scanning Code of Practice" (SCOP)?
The SCOP ("the Code") is a policy that some stores in Canada have agreed to follow. The main feature of the SCOP is the “Item Free Scanner Policy” [SCOP 1].
2 - What is the “Item Free Scanner Policy”?
When the "correct" price (i.e., the advertised or displayed price) is lower than the price that is scanned at the checkout, the customer gets the item for free, as long as the item costs $10 or less [SCOP 1.1(a)]. If the correct (i.e., lowest) price is more than $10, the customer gets $10 off the lowest price [SCOP 1.1(b)].
3 - What is the "Correct" price for an item in a store?
By law, the lowest advertised or displayed price is the "correct" price [Facts for Cashiers]. The exception is when the retailer has published or displayed a correction notice stating that the advertised or displayed price is an error. In that case, the "correct" price is the one given in the notice. [SCOP 2.2]
Note: all retailers in Canada are obligated by law to honour the "correct" price, whether or not they follow the Code.
4 - Which stores follow the Code?
In Quebec, all stores are required to follow a law that is similar to the Code. Outside of Quebec, many major Canadian retailers have agreed to follow the Code. This includes Canadian Tire, Future Shop, Costco, Loblaws, Rona, Sobeys, Metro, Pharmasave, Home Depot, Shopper's Drug Mart, and Wal-Mart. For the full list, see the "RCC" link at the end of this FAQ.
5 - What items are covered?
The code applies to merchandise with a UPC bar code. One exception is prescription drugs. Another is a “price ticketed item", which is one that has a price affixed to it [Pamphlet].
6 - I bought multiple, identical items. Does the Item Free Scanner Policy apply to all of them?
The Item Free Scanner Policy only applies to the first item [SCOP 1.2]. The "correct" (lowest) price applies to the remaining identical items.
7 - Is the Item Free Scanner Policy applied to the regular (scanned) price, or the lower, "correct" price?
The policy is applied to the lower, “correct” price [SCOP 1.1(b)].
8 - I pointed out an error, but I was offered the corrected price, and not the Item Free Scanner Policy.
9 - The cashier did not think they were allowed to apply the Item Free Scanner Policy.
10 - The cashier did not know about the Item Free Scanner Policy, and did not want to apply it.
The cashier should know about and have been authorized to offer the Item Free Scanner Policy [SCOP 7.1]. There may be a valid reason why the cashier did not agree to apply the policy. Often the Customer Service department can clarify the issue, or apply the Item Free Scanner Policy for you. You may also wish to bring this situation to the attention of the store manager, who may be unaware that the cashier needs further training.
11 - The store manager also refused to honour the Code. What should I do now?
There may be a valid reason why the manager did not agree to apply the policy. You can get information and assistance by contacting the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee at 1-866-499-4599.
12 - Can the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee do anything for me?
The committee may contact the retailer on your behalf to resolve the issue. The Committee also tracks complaints, and creates an annual report (see link below).
13 - The bar code and description don't match the item I bought, but it looks like the picture in the flier/ad.
14 - I found the item in a bin that was marked with a lower price, but the UPC doesn't match.
The code won't apply if item does not match the barcode and description on a sign or in a flyer, even if it was found in the wrong bin.
15 - I don't think the store has corrected the price, yet. If I get another one, will the Item Free Scanner Policy apply to it?
The limit of one free item only applies to a single transaction [SCOP 1.2]. When a new transaction is performed, if the error has not been corrected, the Item Free Scanner Policy should be applied again to this new transaction, and the item should be free.
16 - Does Zellers follow the Code?
No, Zellers does not follow the Code. We will have to see what happens when they are bought out by Target. However, it is still important to make a note of the advertised/displayed price, to catch errors and get the lower price. If the scanned price at Zellers is higher than an advertised or displayed price, the customer is entitled to the lowest price (unless there is a correction notice). However, if the scanner shows a higher price, Zellers does not have to follow the Item Free Scanner Policy.
17 - An item has a bar code, but also a price written on it, or a price sticker. Does the SCOP apply?
No, the SCOP does not apply to an item with a price on it, even if it also has a bar code [Pamphlet].
18 - An item scanned at a lower price. Does the Item Free Scanner Policy apply?
No, the Item Free Scanner Policy only applies when the scanned price is higher than the correct price [SCOP 1.1].
19 - I paid for the item, then found the error. The manager said the Code only applies if I point out the error BEFORE I pay.
20 - I pointed out the error before I paid. The manager said the Code only applies if I point out the error AFTER I pay.
The policy applies any time a scanning error occurrs, and the scanned price is higher. This is true regardless of when the error was pointed out, or when payment occurred. However, it is wise to point out the error as soon as possible.
21 - The manager said the Code doesn’t apply, because “head office” updated the database.
22 - The manager said the sign was left over from last week’s sale, so the Code doesn’t apply.
23 - The manager said that the sign was wrong, not the scanner, so the Code doesn't apply.
The reason for the scanning not matching the lowest price does not matter; the SCOP and Item Free Scanner Policy still apply.
24 - The manager said the sign was put up in error, so the Code doesn’t apply.
25 - The manager said the advertised/displayed price is just wrong, so the Code doesn’t apply.
The "correct" price is the advertised or displayed price, and the SCOP applies until the price is corrected.
26 - When the scanned price was wrong, I pointed out the sign. The manager pulled the sign down, and said the Code no longer applies to me.
The manager did not know about the sign until you pointed it out, so the SCOP still applies.
27 - The manager said they can’t honour the Code, because they’d lose money on the transaction.
The purpose of the Item Free Scanner Policy is to motivate the retailer to have scanner accuracy, not to protect them from financial losses.
28 - The manager said it’s a “voluntary” code, or is only a “guideline”, and refuses to honour the Code.
The store is a signatory to the Code, and cannot refuse to honour it, unless they formally do so through the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee.
29 - The manager said that the Item Free Scanner Policy only applies to items that cost less than $10. Mine cost more than $10.
You don't get the item for free, but you do get $10 off the lowest price [SCOP 1.1b].
30 - I saw a lower price on the sign, but after an employee "checked", a higher price had been substituted.
One option is to retrieve the sign from the shelf after paying, but before going to Customer Service to point out the error. Another idea is to use a cell phone or camera to take a picgture of the low-priced sign. You may wish to report an incident like this to the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee at 1-866-499-4599.
31 - Why do some retailers volunteer to follow the code?
The official answer is to “Visibly demonstrate retailer commitment to scanner price accuracy” [SCOP Purpose].
The unofficial answer is to prevent the Code from becoming law in all of Canada, as it did in Quebec.
Retail Council of Canada (RCC): http://www.retailcouncil.org/advocacy/n ... 02_eng.asp
CACDS (Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores) Pamphlet: [Link no longer worked]
CACDS, Facts for Cashiers: [Link no longer worked]
CB (Competition Bureau): http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/ ... 01262.html
Annual Report (2010): http://www.cfig.ca/docs/feature_scanner_accuracy.pdf