Scanning Code of Practice: Save Money!

4 May 2011


We got a lovely email from Mooser baggylady about the Scanning Code of Practice. You really should all read it, it can save you money!

Maybe a reminder to folks that some of the large chains abide by a Scanning Code of Practice. This is mentioned in a little sticker at check-out tills in small print that if an advertised price (incl what is posted in the store shelf) is lower than what is scanned, then the customer is entitled to the first item for free, up to $10. The cashiers don't always know about this, so if you point out the correct lower price, they just correct it and you pay the lower price when in fact you should receive it free (or less $10). Some stores that follow this include Superstore, London Drugs and I think Safeway. - baggylady

So I did a little research and you can read more about the code HERE, it is the Competition Bureau of Canada's website. If you enjoy reading more formal documents you can read the entire code HERE. The above letter sums up the code pretty well.

Now for a great story:

Last night my husband and I were at the Shoppers Drug Mart and he saw some corn chips on sale for $2.99, and took them up to the till. When they scanned, they cost $3.49. My husband asked 'aren't these $2.99' and the lady at the till went and checked, and indeed the barcode matched the sale tag for $2.99. She scanned them in and then handed them to us and said "because the price didn't match the advertised price when I scanned it, you get these for free." My husband was positively glowing for the next 10 minutes! :-)


  • LadyM
    This is a VOLUNTARY thing. Of course not all stores do this. Or have signed up to be on it (I think ALL stores should be required by LAW!) But I do know Shoppers, Lowblaws, Walmart does it etc Here is a great news story the CBC did...... Excellent video on how you can get duped into paying the missed price instead of getting it for FREE
    • Tracy
      I was at Loblaws and had 3 items go through at a much higher price than was posted and all I got (besides glared at by the people behind me) , was no , sorry , you we're wrong.
  • LadyM
    There are quite a few locations where this list can be found: Signatories to Scanner Accuracy CACDS Supporting Companies: Shoppers Drug Mart The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and Ont only) Lawton Drug Stores London Drugs Lovell Drugs Pharma-save (BC and Sask) Pharma Plus CCGD Supporting Companies: Canada Safeway Limited The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited Loblaw Companies Limited Sobeys Inc. Metro Inc. Thrifty Foods Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. Co-op Atlantic Federated Co-operatives Limited RCC Supporting Companies: Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. The Home Depot Canada Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd. Toys r Us Rona Wal*Mart Canada Corp. Giant Tiger Stores Ltd. The North West Company Best Buy/Future Shop 2 Home Hardware franchisees CFIG Supporting Companies: Thrifty Foods Overwaitea Food Group The Harry Watson Group Longos Brothers Fruit Markets + 1374 independent locati
  • Natalie C.
    Of note, Zellers DOES NOT abide by this!
  • joy
    I've had several free items because of this!
  • Terri
    I get at least one free item a week at Dominion. At lot of the cashiers are fully aware of the program and there are hardly ever any problems getting my free item. Wal-mart however is another matter, I have argued with them and have never ever received my free item and have made numerous complaints to the 1-866 number posted right next to their check out to no avail. For me, the free product is great, but it's more about the principle. So many people never question or notice and these companies are making loads of money from their mistake.
  • Ali
    That's funny that happened in Shoppers, because they're well-known for putting the sticker out but not actually following the policy. I had to argue with a manager over it once!
  • Sandra
    I find it very hard to believe that SHOPPERS DRUG MART actually gave someone a deal. NEVER, EVER have they admitted to me they owed me money and most times will not even accept coupons for money off products. THEY ARE THE BIGGEST RIP OFF drug store in Canada
    • Avigayil
      Wow! We have actually had a very positive experience at our local Shoppers! Maybe they are trying to change their image. :-) Either way, we had a great experience there. ^_^
    • Leanne
      I almost always have to ask the cashier to recheck an price at Shopper's. I've never asked for the reduced item to be free though. They are horribly careless about labelling their shelves and leaving tags up for deals from the previous week.... then claiming that the sale is over. I will hold their feet to the fire next time.
      • Aaron
        IT doesn't matter if the sale is old. I've gotten free items from some sale tags they've left up for a year! Don't let them deceive you.
  • kidbrock
    Further to this, if the advertized price (ie. in the weelky flyer) is lower than the scan price you get it free too!! I had a huge argument at SDM about this because an item scanned the same as the shelf price but both were wrong because it was on sale for cheaper in their flyer. I ended up paying for it but almost 2 mothhs later they mailed me a cheque.
  • SDM g.
    I work at a SDM, I was hired a few months ago. At our store we have the code posted but I have noticed many times when a supervisor stands over my shoulder they tell me to price adjust the item to the posted price but not give it free. I'm on your side people... I promptly remind the supervisor "Isn't that supposed to be free now?" I tell them (I used to be a supervisor in an OFG store and was vigilant with the policies there). I'm fighting for you all! Other then that the store I'm working in is great about accepting coupons, never had an issue with that that I've noticed.
  • Angela
    I work in retail and had an experience like this today. I have no problem following code and policies. I will happily help when I can, but my beef is the rudeness of the customers. In my 20 plus years of retail there has only been 3 people who have ever said anything 2 were at at store that didnt participate and one who had.(see below for explanation) All three were the rudest people I have ever dealt with. Word to all please be kind to the cashiers, no need to yell, threaten or meaness, also be kind to the managers. We have no control over what policies our head office deicdes to participate it or not. If they dont tell us we have no clue. In the instance of my store I was not told that we were part of this, we are under 2 chain names 1 name participates the other does not. On some lists the one that does particiapte is no longer there. If I hadnt gone looking myself I still wouldnt know and I am a manager. I think it would also be great idea if you are contesting something, and there is only 1 cashier and a line starts to form to please apologize to the rest of the people in line. For the most part they dont care that you are getting something free or $10 off they just want to get the heck out of there. And again please please be nice.
    • fred
      Sorry but the CUSTOMER should NEVER have to apologize to the other customers in line behind them. The cashier should do that!!! It isn't the customers fault that the line is being held up, it is the STORE who has caused the problem by not following through on their promise of a price! I am always kind to the cashier, unless they are rude to me, the customer who is the reason for them having a job!
      • A.
        100% correct!!!!! It's the store that is the root cause of the delay not the customer. and yesterday while a couple of items were being price-checked checked (incorrectly scanned, ----got them both free.) I even apologized to the people directly behind me saying. Sorry, but it's not my fault the prices scanned wrong.
  • Lisa
    Staples also doesn't participate. Shop at WalMart instead!!!
  • Robert
    Sorry but I do not agree. Most times it's not $10 but rather the cost of the item when its less then $10. I have been forced to wait at a checkout because some cheapskate wants a $2 item for free because the till was out by 5 cents. Please don't say that it's the principle cause its not. Anybody who would cause other shoppers to wait for 5 mins so they can save $2 is inconsiderate and rude. I know that it sounds harsh but I have too much self respect to cause that much grief over a 2 dollar item. And sadly this really happened to me at a Walmart. And the worst part was that the customer was actually rude to the cashier like it was her fault. Too many cheap people in the world that want to pretend $2 is going to make them rich.

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