Shoppers Charged Full Price For Sale Items Could Get Them Free


Although it's not terribly uncommon for consumers to end up paying full price for items they swore were on sale, few people actually know that they might be able to get the item for free under the Scanner Price Accuracy Code.

According to a recent CBC article, some consumers may be eligible to receive certain items for free (depending on the store and item cost, of course) if they were scanned incorrectly after being placed on sale.

As the CBC points out, the Code isn't new—it's been around since 2002.

That said, few people know about it 15 years later.

Managed by the Retail Council of Canada, the Code was launched in the early aughts to help retailers ensure customers were paying the correct price for scanned goods.

"Incorrect prices can result in poor customer relations and legal sanctions," reads the statement of intent. "Consequently, many retailers are now implementing a variety of procedures that were developed to help achieve and maintain accurate scanner pricing."

According to the RCC, The Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code was born from a collaboration between the RCC, the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).

The Code applies to all scanned Universal Product Code (UPC), bar coded, and/or Price Look Up (PLU) merchandise sold in stores, with the exception of goods not easily accessible to the public (such as prescription drugs and behind-the-counter cosmetics) and individually price-ticketed items.

According to the RCC, The Code does not apply in provinces or territories where existing legislation or regulation covers these concerns.

As for how it works, if an item scans at a price that's higher than the one it's technically on sale for (for example, if a flyer or sale sticker says it's $10 and it scans in at $20), the customer can receive any items that's $10 or less for free.

If the incorrectly scanned items costs more than $10, the customers could get $10 off the sale price.

As for what retailers it covers, participating brands include Shoppers Drug Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Rona, Best Buy, Loblaw, Metro and more.

While the code certainly isn't new, an RCC representative told The CBC that few people know about it.

That said, he added that employee awareness in some stores is high and that the discount will be applied by savvy staff with or without the customer being aware.

So, there you have it—if you're sure that sweater was on sale but it's coming up full price on the cashier's monitor, you might be entitled to get $10 off if you mentioned the code to a retailer.


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