Have you ever bought something and the price at the cashier was different than the sticker or shelf price? If so, you might be able to score a discount on that item.
The Scanner Price Accuracy Code is a voluntary code of practice which seems to be pretty common in larger stores and chains.
The way it works is that if an item is scanned incorrectly, the customer is entitled to up to a $10 discount on that item. If the item price is less than $10, then it is free.
The discount can be applied to multiple unique items. If you buy three cans of Campbell’s chicken soup and the price is wrong, you only get the discount on the first can. If you buy three different types of soup and they are all incorrectly priced, the discount will apply to each unique product.
I’ve had two occasions to use this code, both times at Canadian Tire. The first time was when I bought some light bulbs on sale at 50% off, but the scanned price was the regular price. I paid for the items and then went to customer service to get my $7.38 refunded. Given that I spent about 10 minutes of my lunch hour getting that money, it wasn’t really worth it, but I wanted to check out the process. That time I had no problem getting my money back.
Recently however, I bought some camping items at Canadian Tire and there were two scanning errors. Unfortunately, I had my kids with me and by the time we got to the cash, I didn’t pay any attention to the scanned prices, since I just wanted to get the hell out of there. The bill ended up being more than I thought, so when I got home I checked the receipt and there were two items with the incorrect prices.
A cooler I bought was on sale for $24.95, but I was charged the regular price of $44.95. I also bought two small propane tanks which were supposed to be $3.89 each, but I was charged $10.98 each. After checking the website, I realized that these tanks were also sold in 3-packs which cost $10.98.
I went back to Canadian Tire the next day and asked for price corrections which they did without complaint. However, when I mentioned the Scanner Price Accuracy Code, she wouldn’t give it to me on either item.
For the cooler, she said that the sale had ended when I bought it, but she would honour the posted sale price. She also added that she couldn’t verify that the sale price had been posted on the shelf when I made my purchase.
As for the propane tanks, she said that the tanks I bought had been part of a 3-pack and had probably been broken up by another customer (I doubt it). She said there was no error because the price reflected the 3-pack price.
I disagreed – in both cases the items were on their proper shelf and had the prices below them. The fact that there were reasonable explanations for price differences and that it might have not been the fault of Canadian Tire, doesn’t change the fact that the prices I was charged were different than the posted prices and as far as I’m concerned, they should have given me the discount.
Tips for getting the scanning discount
- Look for a posted sign at the cashier station to see if the store adheres to this practice.
- Watch the prices as the scanning occurs. It’s a lot easier to prove an error at that time, rather than later on.
- Make sure you ask about the Scanner Price Accuracy Code if applicable. It’s very unlikely the cashier will mention it unprompted.
- Don’t shop with your kids.
What do you think? Should I have gotten a scanning error discount? Have you ever gotten a discount (or been refused) using this code?