The Scanner Price Accuracy Code is a “thing.”
The Code was implemented in 2002 in response to customer concerns about being wrongly charged for items.
According to information found on the Internet, it is used in 7,000 stores across the country, and lays out the framework for pricing accuracy in Canada.
I have raised three children, and am well aware of how important it is to be frugal while parenting, or one could end up on the wrong (red ink) side of a bank statement.
Having worked in various financial institutions for over 20 years, in what I refer to as a “past life,” I know a bit about budgeting, and “watching the sales.”
It is no surprise to see me checking off my grocery items to my till receipt after a trip to the store, and the same for household and other items purchased on a shopping trip. It is second nature and has resulted in determining that the stores “overcharge” way more often than “undercharge,” (which on extremely rare occasions does occur as well, and that is a different conversation).
One of my children who accompanied me on a shopping trip claimed to have been “scarred for life” when I was overcharged by 22 cents for a loaf of bread and insisted on a refund. This particular child wanted “to sink through the floor” as Mom argued with the cashier about the 22 cents, which was in a year prior to the code, (we were all so much younger then).
After the implementation of the Code, I now rejoice when I am overcharged, for I either get a free item, under $10, or receive a $10 credit for my trouble.
Under the Code, if a customer is charged more for an item than the advertised price, he/she is entitled to receive the product for free if it is under $10. If it is more than $10, then the customer will receive a $10 discount off of the price.
Items with a Universal Product Code (UPC), Price Look-Up (PLU) or bar code are all included under the Code, with the exception of prescription medication, behind-the-counter cosmetics and individually price-ticketed items.
The full list of stores which participate can be found on the Retail Council of Canada website.
The shopping frenzy of the holiday season is just kicking into gear, and with the Code in mind, I urge people to actually look at the prices charged at the till to determine if there is an error. It is a rare occurrence, but does happen. And something can be done about it.
Pricing is crucial to the shopping experience and incorrect pricing can lead to “poor customer relations and legal sanctions,” according to the retail council.
Most consumers are still not aware of the rule, and are unaware they can ask to have the Code enforced.
Please don’t quiz my children about the loaf of bread and the 22 cents. They all know about the story, but only one is “scarred for life.”