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Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) In Canada…Did You Know?

The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP), also known as the Scanner Price Accuracy Code, may sound like legal jargon but far from the truth.

SCOP is a VOLUNTARY program that merchants opt to participate which offers peace of mind to customers. However, It is NOT THE LAW except in Quebec.

Keep An Eye On Scanned Prices At The Checkout

What’s your reaction when something rings in more expensive than the advertised price at checkout?

Most people don’t notice, but there are some perks involved for those of you who do.

If I catch a pricing error at the cashier or self-checkout scanners, my initial reaction is to jump up and down in excitement!

Huh?!?!

Yes, you heard me. I get excited because dollar signs are dancing around in my head.

I look forward to being overcharged on a product and not because I’m trying to scam the system, quite the opposite. 

Now I am confusing you aren’t I? 

Now that I have your full attention, I can explain myself.

Scanning Code Of Practice (SCOP)

What is the Scanning Code of Practice? (SCOP)

A little secret that a lot of shoppers do not know about is something called “SCOP.”

If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price, or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free up to a $10 maximum.

If the item is more than $10 the customer is entitled to $10 off the lowest advertised or displayed price.

This is a voluntary program which means not all Canadian retail stores offer this program.

See the complete list of Scanning Code Of Practice stores below.

Scanning Code Of Practice Alternate Names

You may have also heard about the SCOP program under different names such as:

  • Scanning code of conduct
  • Supermarket scanning code of practice
  • Retail scanning code of practice
  • Consumer scanning code of practice

Although they all lead to SCOP, the official name is The Scanner Accuracy Code in Canada.

2021 Photo of The Scanning Code Of Practice In Canada
2021 Photo of The Scanning Code Of Practice In Canada

2021 SCOP Update added to the original and that you should see in stores that participate across Canada.

The Code does NOT apply where the sale dates are printed on a shelf label or signage and have and the sale has expired, provided the regular price is on the label or signage.

Purpose of SCOP In Canada

What is the purpose of the Scanner Price Accuracy Code?

The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) is a promise from the retailer to their customers that there will be accurate scanning at the register on all Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and Price Look-Up (PLU).

The Scanning Code of Practice was implemented in 2002 to support customers and retailers to ensure top-notch pricing accuracy.

The system is voluntary, so not all shops apply it, but Canada now has over 7000 stores that offer SCOP.

SCOP is a scanning code that almost every major retailer in Canada follows voluntarily.

If you are unsure, you can ask or keep your eyes open for the scanning code of practice photo (you will see it in this blog post) of SCOP on the entry doors or at the cash register where you scan your debit and credit card.

It’s typically right in front of our faces, but we miss it. It essentially means, “The price we have listed on our shelves will be the price that rings up at the register.”

If the product scans in at a price HIGHER than the price listed on the shelf, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum (customer will receive $10 off when the item costs $10 or more).

What Products Do Not Apply To Scop?

The Scanning Code of Practice is NOT the law, even though many consumers believe it is.

  • SCOP does not include pharmacy-related products or price-ticketed items (ex. markdowns, 50% off tickets or red ticket items for quick sales).
  • As well, SCOP does not apply at the LCBO or gas stations.
  • SCOP does not apply when you buy items that are weighed such as produce or items from BULK.
  • Unfortunately, SCOP does not apply if there is no price displayed on the shelf or product unless the product is in the weekly flyer and rings up higher than the advertised price.
  • SCOP does not apply when an item does not scan. This simply means the cashier is having a problem with the UPC code or computer.
  • Lastly, SCOP does not apply when a store is not following the Scanning Code of Practice.

Scanning Code Of Practice (SCOP) Participants

What Canadian stores participate in SCOP?

Below is the updated list for 2020-2021 of voluntary participants’ Scanning Code Of Practice.

SCOP participants Canada
Stores In Canada That Apply The Scanning Code Of Practice
Stores In Canada That Apply The Scanning Code Of Practice

Common Questions and Answers about SCOP

Who is in charge of The Scanning Code of Practice in Canada?

The Competition Bureau of Canada endorses the Scanning Code of Practice (Scanner Price Accuracy Code).

The Retail Council of Canada collaborated with the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. 

Together they brought the Scanning Code of Practice to life.

Almost every major retailer in Canada participates in SCOP (Rexall and Zellers are not scanning code of practice participants, except in Quebec, where it is the law that all stores participate).

If the SCOP sign or logos do not appear on the store doors or register, and the store name appears on the list above, they participate in SCOP.

  • I have never had a cashier ever mention this to me before?
  • Do I need to remind them of SCOP?

In all of my years of shopping, I have never been told about the scanning code of practice until I learned more about couponing and saving money.

From one situation to the next, a cashier may not tell you about SCOP for various reasons.

For example, the cashier forgot, or the cashier lacked training about the scanning code of practice.

In either situation, it appears as though the customer has to be more on the ball than the cashier.

However, If you see something ring up incorrectly, bring it to the attention of the cashier.

When overcharged, remind the cashier to apply SCOP and to do a price check.

Related: How to ask your cashier to apply SCOP?

If they are not sure about SCOP, ask a store manager at customer service after you have checked out.

However, if a store follows the practice and will not apply SCOP, call 1-866-499-4599 to document a complaint.

UPC Codes and SCOP

What if I had 2 of the same item, and they both scan incorrectly? Are they both FREE?

SCOP only applies to the first item. The other thing would ring in with the adjusted lower price that was on the shelf.

What if I had three items, all with unique UPCs ring in incorrectly?

Each item with a unique UPC would be FREE.

For example, often shampoos, conditioners, and hairspray have different UPCs even though the store may be advertising a sale of $3 each.

If all three items ring in incorrectly, you would get the shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray free if they have different UPCs on the bottles.

Prices That Scan Incorrectly

What about items that scan incorrectly with price tags on them or ticketed for quick sale (ex. 50% off)? 

The Scanning Code of Practice does not apply when items have price tickets on them.

It only applies to displayed signs in stores for the correct product.

Price Tags and Signs

What if my store has not taken down a sign, saying that the sale was from yesterday and it is over? Does SCOP apply?

Yes, SCOP applies if the store has not removed their sign and is still advertising a lower price and your item rings in as higher.

Going back to the original intention of SCOP – it is a promise from a retailer to their customer for accurate pricing and scanning.

SCOP After You Leave The Store

What if I get out to my car and realize the price is wrong on my receipt?

Can I go back in and ask for SCOP?

Yes, absolutely, and you should ALWAYS check your bill before you leave the parking lot.

Just go back in with the item(s) to customer service.

Please do not go back to the cashier as they cannot refund your money.

How to Ask for SCOP

OK, I understand all the rules, but I am still nervous about screaming out “SCOP!!!” when I see I am entitled to it – can you help me?

Who doesn’t like FREE stuff?

It’s easy to ask your cashier to apply SCOP when you notice a pricing error.

What if I told you that you could get upwards of $100 or more worth of free stuff by looking at your receipts and finding errors?

Would you be more inclined to say SCOP?

Related: Why you should always ask for your grocery receipt

You are not taking money from the cashier’s pocket, and they will not be in trouble if you bring to their attention a pricing discrepancy.

So, stand proud and save yourself some CASH!

One extra tip is that SCOP happens quite often on Friday mornings.

Sales from the previous week are over, and new flyer deals are applied.

Some UPCs are not put into their computer programs correctly and frequently benefit from switching to new sales.

Scanning Code Of Practice Scenario

My favourite experience of SCOP was when I was out buying five jugs of laundry detergent.

The sale price listed was $3.99, but the scanned detergent price rang up at $5.99.

The cashier and I discussed the discrepancy, and she asked a fellow employee to go back to double-check the price.

UPC Codes And Muliple SCOP Freebies For Same Product

It took just a few minutes, but I was scanning over the UPCs while he was checking since I had three different detergent scents. 

Suddenly, I was mentally high fiving as three of them had different UPCs.

I was about to get 3 FREE jugs of laundry detergent

The employee came back, I was right, and the cashier scanned them at the sale price.

I also read that with each unique UPC, these three bottles are also free.

That meant I would pay for the remaining two bottles at the correct price.

She looked at me and said, “Wow, I need to meet your friend.”

“I never knew that, and I have worked here for months,” she exclaimed.

After speaking to the store manager, I walked out with five laundry detergent jugs for under $9!

Watch The Cash Register For Pricing Errors

It pays to watch products scanned or read your receipt before leaving the store to check for errors.

Nobody likes to pay more for a product, and it PAYS to watch – trust me, you will thank me in the long run after you get FREE stuff!

Mrs.CBB and I often get free or $10 off by scanning products on self-scanners, watching the cashier scan a code, and reading our receipts.

Ontario’s scanning code of practice has allowed us to get free products, but it also helps the retailer find blips in the scanning system they employ with their organization.

Fans are always asking me what is a code of practice and why is it needed?

The Canadian Scanning Code of Practice is in place for both the customers and the retailers to ensure accurate pricing.

Some stores may interpret the definition of SCOP differently, although it’s in black and white.

If you feel that a store charged you incorrectly and won’t apply SCOP, call the bureau.

If you want more information on the Scanner Price Accuracy Code (SCOP), you can read more at the Competition Bureau of Canada.

SCOP Discussion Questions

If you have a Scanning Code of Practice scenario you are not sure about, leave a comment in the comment section of this post and let’s see what the other fans have to say.

  • Have you had a cashier apply the Scanning Code of Practice?
  • What was your Scanning Code of Practice experience like?
  • Is this the first time you have heard about the Scanning Code of Practice?

Additional Reading

Scanning Code Photo Credit Competition Bureau of CanadaSave

Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) In Canada...Did You Know?

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222 Comments

  1. I just had a unique situation with Online shopping. I purchased items marked clearance all at really low prices. My order went through, I was charged correct listed clearance sale price. 2 days later I recieved an email saying my order was cancelled due too pricing error. I believe that since it was not an item stocking/inventory issue but rather a pricing error the transaction should still be honored.
    Do I have any recourse? I have not recieved my refund yet.

  2. SCOP does not apply if the price scans in lower than what is displayed or advertised. Plus SCOP does not apply to weighed items.

  3. What happens if an item or multiple items are placed in the wrong spot on the shelf? Can I get it for the lower price?

    1. Great Question Glenn.
      From my experience, No, SCOP is more about the price being scanned improperly as customers move stuff around all the time. We can’t fault the store for that. Even so if they make a mistake like that the product has to match the label on the shelf. I’ve run into this before and you know some stores have thanked us for finding that placement error and given us SCOP but 9 times out of 10, no. It was more a case of OH, I thought the item was $2 and when someone checked the shelf the item was just in the wrong spot so no SCOP. Perhaps someone else has a perspective on this that they’d like to share as well?

      1. Does SCOP applies to buying muliples, like buy 2 items for discounted price if purchasing just a single item you pay the original price?

        1. I had the same encounter. I bought 2 different types of miso paste (same brand). Both white and red are regularly, 5.99 and 3.99, however they were both on sale for 2 for 4.99. I only wanted one of each, so when the items were rung through, I was charged full price! I could have bought 4 packs total for that ridiculous price.

  4. Wow! I found this site while searching for specific information about the Scanning Code Of Practice. I knew SCOP existed but I really wanted to get educated about the specifics, I am so tired of things ringing in at the incorrect price – especially at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. The SCOP info is concise and I appreciate the list of participating retailers. I also can’t believe the wealth of other practical information here at Canadian budget binder! I can’t wait to share all of this with my friends and family and I am so grateful for finding you. THANK YOU!!

  5. I found this article while online in Walmart today. Thank you so much for writing it! You gave me all the info I needed! Shelf sticker on one of box of protein bars, 3/$20. The other kinds labelled 3/$24. At the self checkout they scanned 3/$24. I explained the pricing error to the attendant. She came back, after someone else did a price check. Then said it’s an old label and marked wrong. So I will pay 3/$24. I asked her to watch my purchases and went back to check myself. Someone had removed the sale tag!? So I asked the nearest person, the Pharmacist, who said, how can i prove that? OMG! 🤦‍♀️ So I asked another person which person did a price check a few mins ago? That person just went on their break. I ended up with 2 embarrassed managers, who apologized for of it, and immediately gave me the 3/$20 and the 3rd one free. It was a pain, but it was worth it! Next time I’m just taking a picture of the sale tag!

  6. I bought Children’s Advil from Walmart that was advertised as 2 for $11. It rang in as 2for $12. I didn’t noticed until I got home. I just went back to have them adjust the price but I’m not sure they processed it correctly.

    What should I have paid factoring in SCOP?

    1. You should have paid $11 plus the taxes originally. So they should have refunded you what you paid the $12 plus tax, ring it up again as $11 plus tax and you pay the $1 that is over the $10 max Scop. Some places charge you the tax other’s do not. What did you pay?

      1. The tax on SCOP is actually an interesting part – I don’t think the SCOP information on the Retail Council website really spells that out in detail.
        In this situation where the correct price is over $10.- I would see it this way:
        Refund original paid price, buy again at correct price, ie $11.- plus tax on $11.00 then get the $10 discount., ie retailer is penalized by $10.-
        But had the correct price be $10.00 or less, the SCOP rule is that it would be “free” so there it is not pay $10.00 plus tax and get $10.00 back – ie you end up paying just the tax.

  7. People need to realize that not all stores take part in SCOP and to ask first if they do have it in their business policy before they get angry at the poor retail worker for wrong costs. I work retail and am sick of being told off because of it

    1. i actually wish they’d do away with it entirely. It has gotten to the point where the consumer is starting to take advantage of the retailer that does do it.

      You tell them that this doesn’t qualify because the price is right on it. They want to argue that. Sorry but it only applies to non-ticketed items.

      On a display where there are multiple UPC’s….but only one price shown (not individual prices for the different UPC’s)…guess what? SCOP only applies to one item, despite multiple UPC’s, when it is on a display like this. Many do not know that.

      Product is not where it should be. People want to argue SCOP. No, it doesn’t apply here. The shelf label is for an entirely different product, not the one you are buying. So it is not scanning at the incorrect price.

      A lot of the prices not being changed is because it takes time to do it. When a retailer has hundreds of price changes coming down daily, it takes time to make the adjustments. The store is not out to rip you off, despite what you think.

      1. I agree with some people taking advantage and purposely running around the store looking for all the mistakes. Disagree on the ticket name not matching the item on the shelf. It isn’t the customers job to match the two barcodes that’s what the employee is there to do. Scanning code of practice clearly states ANY listed price meaning that the two bar codes do not need to match.

        1. Barcodes DO need to match. The shelf label, which includes the description, the UPC, the size, the brand, etc., is related to one specific product on the shelf, one particular UPC. If the UPC, the description, etc. do not match the item you are holding in your hand, SCOP does not apply. It is clear in the SCOP rules that the tag must match the item.

          And yes, you are responsible as well for reading labels. That is why they are there. Maybe we should just do away with shelf labels and you pay what it rings up at. Your statement that it is not the customer’s job to match the labels is ridiculous.

          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 correct price.

          1.2 Where the same error recurs in scanning multiple units of a given product during a given transaction, the retailer will correct the scanning error in respect of each unit of the given product purchased, but is obliged to apply the policy set out in 1.1 (a) and (b) in respect of only one of the units.

          1.3 Paragraph 1.1 only applies after the final sale price of the purchased item has been displayed at the checkout, including relevant rebate, discount or promotional coupons.

          1.4 To be eligible for the Item Free Scanner Policy, the product must match the product description on the corresponding shelf tag.

          1.5 The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply if the barcode or shelf label for a given product has been tampered with.

          1.6 The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply to a product where, in respect of that product, the law:

          (a) establishes a minimum price (or specified price); or
          (b) does not permit the retailer to offer a discount or a rebate.

          1.7 The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply to a product that government legislation or regulation does not permit to be provided free or below a minimum price.

  8. Does SCOP apply to items on a shelf with the price tag for a different (but similar) item in front of them?

    1. Not exactly sure what you mean, but the UPC on the product and the UPC on the shelf price label have to be the same for SCOP to apply.
      So the answer, if I read the question correctly, is NO.

  9. A chicken was weighed and priced at $1.03. Do I get that free because it was a mechanical error on the price ticket.

  10. Scop is not law. So as much as it’s exciting to get a wrong price and have many retailers recognize the practice, it”s strictly voluntary.

    If saving $10 or less is worth creating an awkward situation then argue it. The amount of times a nice cashier doesn’t understand the practice.. I just don’t have the audacity to ruin their day over it.

      1. It is the law in Quebec – at least the equivalent of SCOP with the same rules.
        Applies to all Quebec retailers – no exceptions.

    1. No awkward situation. If the retailer follows SCOP (there will be signs at the cash registers), there won’t be a problem.

      1. I’ve never had an issue. It’s up to the retailer to train their staff including management and supervisors. If a cashier is unaware of SCOP the manager has always stepped in without incident and the cashier learned something new. I am also amazed how many aren’t aware but that’s NOT the customers fault. 🙂

    2. There are people who cannot read and write, and also seniors who do not see so well, and trust the retailer, so what you are saying, if you can afford to pay the more, and you do not plan on doing your fair share to keep the retailers honest, and possibly save that hard of sight senior the issues by not knowing they charged them the wrong price until they got home. I guess that is your right as well, it is voluntary after all, but I think it would be nice if everyone did their part, cause my actions help save you money in that case, since you do not challenge them, I challenge them for you.

    3. One of the stores listed on that list did not abide by SCOP, is there a more current list to compare to?
      Also, I had a store list their price tag on a similar item but different SKU so it looked like it was one price but it was a different price. What happens in these scenarios?

  11. I purchased 3 “8×12 Cedar Shed Kits” from Lowe’s.ca. They discovered that the price they sold it to me for, was an error and cancelled my order. So not only did they have a wrong price but they charged my credit card and sent me a receipt. Would this apply?

      1. Ordered online….order isn’t scanned. It’s SCANNER Code of Practice.

        And websites usually have disclaimers in the Terms of Use with respect to errors.

    1. I contacted Retail Council with regard to online orders, etc. SCOP only applies in-store to scanned items. Not to online orders.

  12. I just saw a tv at Walmart the shelf price said 698 but the scan price was 848 they didn’t do anything for me what could I have done?

    1. go back and talk to the manager. i have found that walmart is the best retailer at honouring the code. never have a problem with them. the code offers a maximum benefit of $10, so you should have received the tv for $688.

    2. Hey Rob,
      You should have received the product $10 less. If that did not happen which is sounds like then simply talk to the manager if you purchased the item. There shouldn’t be an issues. You will pay the correct price though for the item. Hope that helps a bit.

  13. Why any retailer would join this program is beyond me. I’ve worked retail for 20+ years and I’m so sick and tired of entitled shoppers thinking that because the item scans in differently, they’re entitled to the price. Guess what? we don’t have to honor it. Deal with it. There is nothing stopping anyone from taking a cheaper price sticker off an item, and putting it on a more expensive item and demanding the price it’s now marked at. Stop being assholes to the poor cashiers and saying it’s the law, IT’S NOT. We don’t have to honor anything unless the company has signed up for this stupid program and has the sign posted.

    1. Chris – because That’s not how it works, idiot. It’s not the price tag, it’s the price that’s “posted”.
      As in the any number of times i pick up something posted (with a sign. On the display) at 1.99, then get to the register and get told with a smirky grin “oh that sale ended yesterday. It’s actually 3.49 – you still want it?” figuring I’m going to just sigh and say might as well.

      Stop playing the victim.

      This program ensures that shops keep honest and that employees do their job.

      1. sometimes a customer puts a item at the wrong spot and another doesn’t look at the tag description just the price and I’m expected to honour the price it was under? Clerks don’t run around aisle all day making sure customer put unwanted items back at the proper spot… Ive also caught customer switching price tags on pegs before.

      2. If that sale price has an expiry date on the label at all of the price, SCOP doesn’t apply. And you may find some stores that ensure an expiry date is on the shelf label so that they do not have to apply SCOP if a label has been missed or someone hasn’t yet gotten to that shelf label to change it.

    2. Was this post of Nov 18th deleted?

      Why any retailer would join this program is beyond me. I’ve worked retail for 20+ years and I’m so sick and tired of entitled shoppers thinking that because the item scans in differently, they’re entitled to the price……………….

      Pity, since that peson,after 20+ years in retail a stated, obviously has no clue why SCOP exists or how it works..

    3. Chris. it’s talking about bar code scanning not price tickets on items what store you work at that does ticket pricing. when it’s still going through a scanner. who gives a shot. about tickets on items. lit of people grab a ticket and place it on other items.

  14. Fortinos had 4.43 litre coldwater wash Purex on for sale at $9.99, according to the shelf tag. Regular price $14.99. It rang through at $14.99 so i got it for hst only ($5.24 for the detergent and a box of 120 dryer sheets).

    To those worried about it driving up the cost: don’t worry – the shop more than made up the loss on the number of customers who obviously paid regular price for a sale price item!

    1. If the sale price was $9.99 and it rang through at regular price of $14.99, then you should have gotten it for free. SCOP is not off $14.99. SCOP is off the sale price of $9.99, and since it is less than $10, it is free.

  15. Last Sunday, my friend and I were looking for a travel system at walmart. We saw in the shelf that the price of graco travel system is 145.99. We then saw an assistant manager to confirm it and he said maybe thats not the price but we told him it is the price displayed and it has the picture and description of the product together with the 145.99 price in the shelf. The assistant manager then called whom I think the department manager and she said she thinks that there has been a mistake for the price and later on she told as to just grab the item amd she will just change the price at the cashier. On our way to the cashier, the guy (assistant manager) was already talking to the department manager then walked towards us and said they cannot give it with the shelf price of 145.99 as it is 299.99. We had some argument as why in the first place the department manager told us to get the item and that she will just change the price at the cashier and will give the price as advertised in the shelf. The deapartment manager kater on denied that she will change the price.We then just got out of the store and ended up not buying the travel system. The assistant manager was really rude and if only they just apologized but they never did.

    1. They offered you the sticker price and they should have stuck to it however the manager does have the final call. With SCOP they don’t have to give you anything bye $10 off the product plus you pay the price you should be paying unless it’s under $10 then it’s free. In your case it was a matter of the manager making a final call but I think he should have just given you the price even if they made an error in judgement. Again, it’s their call as there is no law protecting you. Thanks for leaving a comment.

      1. I don’t understand why you think SCOP does not apply?
        If the travel system had rung up at $145.99 at the cash everything would have been fine.
        If it rings up at more than $145.99 then SCOP applies which means the price is as advertised less $10, so $135.99 in the end.

        And btw – sticker price and shelf price are two different things – the sticker price is the price actually attached to the merchandise. Walmart has items on the shelf where the “sticker price” is printed right on the package.
        In those cases, the sticker price take precedense over the shelf price – what should ring in at the cash is either the sticker price or a price lower than the sticker price. The shelf price is irrelevant at that point.

        1. Hi Krs,
          Thanks for the explanation for the sticker and shelf price for the readers. I thought that was the way I was explaining it. I’ll have to go back and read.

          1. I’m also trying to understand why Kris was questioning the price in the first place.
            According to the post, the $145.99 price was shown asd the shelf price with a description and picture of the item.
            What was not mentioned was if the UPC on the shelf price was the same as the UPC on the product – that’s key and they have to match.
            My guess is that the $145.99 was a special sale price where Walmart forgot to change the shelf price when the sale was over – happens all the time.

            I was interested what happens if a store makes a legitimate pricing error (which would have been the other possibility.
            As per the Competition Act:
            “Section 74.05 of the Competition Act is a civil provision. It prohibits the sale or rent of a product at a price higher than its advertised price. The provision does not apply if the advertised price was a mistake and the error was immediately corrected.”
            Well – the error was obviously not immediately corrected so the adverrtised price applies.

            BTW – when there is a really substantial price difference between the advertised shelf pricer and the normal price, I often take a picture of the shelf price tag.
            At some storeds, when one gets to the cash and the price rings in higher, they call the associate of that department over the PA to question the price and there have been cases where the associate either removes the shelf price or replaces it with the higher price (if they forgot to change the sale prices at the end of the sale).
            Doesn’t happen often, but burned once, twice shy…..

          2. I’ve had that happen before… question the price and someone puts a new tag up… yes that’s shady. I’m going to post on FB to see what everyone else has to say about this because I’m interested in feedback. Every situation is different and I’m assuming she was more interested in getting the lower price over SCOP… is that what you are thinking too? 🙂

    2. Regular price $299.99, sale price $145.99? It would be rare to have a sale where the sale price is $155 off regular price.

      Despite picture and description, yes I would like to know if the UPC matched the product since it would have to for SCOP to apply. Same said for the price that should be charged….if the UPC and everything matches the label for $145.99, then yes, that price applies. If it doesn’t, then no they do not have to give it to you for that price.

      Customers move product (and also have been known to move signs) in order to get a better price.

      As for stickers, when a price label or sticker, or imprinted right on the package itself, SCOP doesn’t apply since it applies only to non-priced ticketed items. If the register comes up higher on a ticketed priced item, the ticketed price is what should be charged.

      Also, if the shelf label or any other label with the price for the item (everything matching of course) has a date on it as to when it is applicable for (such as you might see when new dvd’s come out and there is a 2-3 day period where the price is lower than regular), SCOP does not apply as the label is indicating the valid period for the price.

      With Walmart, they have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of price changes that come down daily…it takes time to get out there and get labels updated.

  16. One time at Needs Convenience in Prince Edward Island I bought Altoids. Peppermints in a small tin. They always ring in more expensive than the tag on the shelf because Sobeys never fixes it. The cashier had no idea what the Scanning Code of Practise was even after I pointed to it on the wall behind her. She nearly lost her gob when I insisted I get the item for free and she should call her manager and explain it. She did it, and the manager said give it to him for free! It was a 3.99 item ringing in at 4.99. Lesson: The cashier isn’t paid to know everything and may not have been briefed on the SCOP. No worries, if the store shows the sign the rules are clearly written there. Have fun. I have done this at least half a dozen times.

    1. According to the people at the scanning code of practice, the stores are supposed to train their cashiers about the scanning code of practice. I do not think that they bother…at least not at our local wm. I also have to tell them. I also have to let them know that each upc is a different product as far as the scanning code goes. They make it sound like they are doing me a favor when they give them to me for free.

      1. Except in the case where you have an end display, or a bin, with multiple items of different UPCS. If there are no individual labels showing what the price is of each UPC, then it is a general display. In which case, no matter how many UPCs are under that sign, SCOP only applies to one of them, and the remaining items would be at the displayed price.

        This is something people don’t know, and I didn’t know, until a few months ago when someone posted that they had contacted the Retail Council about and end display for x price, but the items below it scanned higher and she was given only 1 free and the rest at that displayed price despite having multiple UPCs. They told her that because there isn’t individual labels for each UPC showing what the price is for that UPC, then it is a general display and SCOP is only applicable to one item under that display.

        1. I found the Retail Council makes up the rules as they go for any situations that are not specifically covered in the code.
          I remember at the beginning the PLU (Price Look-Up Code) was included in SCOP if the cashier typed it in correctly but the price came up higher; lately the ruling was that SCOP does not apply when a PLU is used.

          When I tread the last version of the code it essentially said SCOP does not apply to PLU and later implies it does apply.
          As to the scenario described about multiple items with different UPC’s in a bin.
          That rationale makes no sense to me – if these identical items were sitting on a shelf, say there were 5 different UPC codes and the price was higher than it was advertised as, the one would get one of each item (with a different UPC) free and the rest at the correct advertised price.
          Now, just because all the different items are thrown in one bin (saves the store a bunch of money not having to stock them on the shelf), SCOP suddenly does not apply to four out of the five?
          Makes absolutely no sense to me.

          1. SCOP applies on PLU items if they are not weighed items. The code mentions SCOP applying to all scanned (UPC) and price lookup (PLU) items. But it does state that it does not apply to weighed items. PLU items are not always weighed items, so some PLU’s the code applies to; others it does not.

  17. What about vegetables where the cashier enters in the code thinking she knows it by heart. It is clearly written on the tomatoes the code number but she refuses to look at it?
    I brought the tomatoes back and the cashier argued with me that she made a mistake and I could not have my item for free.

      1. It is true that SCOP does not apply in the case of cashier data entry error. However, as someone that supervises cashiers, I can tell you that the reasonable among us really do want you to bring it to our attention. We definitely struggle with some cashiers that make frequent errors, and we cannot correct or re-train when we are unaware that it happens. Sometimes we are also part of a union and we must document errors in a certain way when we have to deal with an employee that either cannot or will not try and improve their performance. Customers help us when they bring problems to our attention.

          1. I have one cashier who is a chronic numeral transposer. Drives me batty because it’s obvious that’s the way her brain is wired and there’s nothing more I can do but document and pass along to my manager. My only hope is that one of these days he will notice why customers will line up at other lines while that cashier’s line is free and I will remind him of all those notices I painstakingly wrote him by hand (because there is no computer for me to write then up on). That said, I won’t hold my breath.

  18. Safeway in Nelson is very bad for price errors, and they won’t give you the item for free unless you tell them that you should get it for free.

  19. I was at Superstore yesterday and when I got home I discovered that I was charged for three bags of sugar when I only had two. I called today and they will correct it. Does this fall under SCOP somehow?

    1. Hi Brenda,
      No this does not fall under SCOP. This is simply the store charging you for something you did not purchase. Had they charged you more money for the sugar than what we advertised then yes SCOP would be applied. I hope that answers your question. Mr.CBB

  20. Does SCOP have to be applied on the same day? I bought some apples on a Friday and realized later that afternoon that they rang in at the wrong price per kilogram. I called the store, talked to someone in produce, and she confirmed that I was correct. I wrote the information down on the receipt and went in the following Monday, only to be told that it has to be on the same day. I was refunded for the difference in price, but felt that SCOP should have applied even though it wasn’t the same day…

    1. Hi Wendy,
      We’ve never had an issue with SCOP and we’ve had your situation happen many times. We’ve always been told to bring our receipt in and to let them know the manager said it was ok or they had our name at the front desk. Sometimes customers can’t get back on the same day so they should never expect that from their customers. It was their error after all. Let me know what happens. I’d vall and talk to the manager or head office.

    2. Hi Wendy,

      As Mr CBB said – the answer is “no” – SCOP definitely does not have to be applied on the same day.
      Stores make up all sorts of reasons why SCOP does not apply, this is one of them.

      Except for Quebec, SCOP is voluntary in all other provinces so I don’t understand why stores feel they have come up with reasons not to honour SCOP. Nobody forced it on them, it’s totally voluntary – created to prevent legislation to force individually priced items which would cost stores a lot more than the occasional SCOP payment.
      And if the store/chain has their act together in pricing at the shelf and register level, they would never have to make a SCOP payment.
      There are many stores I shop at where I don’t even check the receipt most times because I know that the price charged is always correct.

  21. I have used SCOP a couple of times and it’s usually a positive encounter. I appreciate that the stores partake in it.

    I have a friend who is a manager at a RCSS in Ontario. She said they call friday, Free Fridays at their store. They have people who go first thing in the a.m. on the first day of a new flyer and use the price checkers to find inconsistencies, then go up and to “purchase” the incorrectly priced items and report all the incorrect prices. She said sometimes it is a lot of money (one instance of over $75 with multiple items) and that it’s the same people each week who do it. They’ve scheduled extra staff to try and reduce it, she said if it kept up and she wasn’t able to reduce the losses, she was no longer going to honour it. It’s unfortunate that a few, wreck it for all the others.

    1. Re: I have a friend who is a manager at a RCSS in Ontario. She said they call friday, Free Fridays at their store. They have people who go first thing in the a.m. on the first day of a new flyer and use the price checkers to find inconsistencies, then go up and to “purchase” the incorrectly priced items and report all the incorrect prices. She said sometimes it is a lot of money (one instance of over $75 with multiple items) and that it’s the same people each week who do it. They’ve scheduled extra staff to try and reduce it, she said if it kept up and she wasn’t able to reduce the losses, she was no longer going to honour it. It’s unfortunate that a few, wreck it for all the others.

      WOW and WOW again!!!
      I had to read your post twice to make sure I wasn’t reading wrong!
      So your manager friend things it’s OK for RCSS to overcharge customers and not be penalized for it?
      As a manager I would have been embarassed to admit that we can’t even get the pricing right – that just shows incompetence at some level of this chain.
      Zellers used to be the only big chain that didn’t participate in SCOP when it was first launched and see where they are now!

      1. People who purposely go into a store and search out SCOP are abusing the program. That is NOT the intention of the program.

  22. Apparently Walmart feels they do not have to follow SCOP they refused to sell me a product they had priced on a sign and sticked

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I would contact the manager of the store or you can call SCOP head ofice and let them know the situation. I believe the phone number is in this post. If not let me know and I will find it for you.

      1. They did ask a manager, when I told the cashier they made me wait at the cashes just to be told I had to pay triple the sticker price. It was displayed at $7 and they said I had to pay $25. I also was over charged for something else under $10 and they only adjusted the price they aren’t teaching their employees about SCOP at all. I will definetly be calling it’s not right and treating me like I’m in the wrong.

        1. Yes I would make a phone call to Walmart head office as well. I’m sure it will all get sorted out. Let me know what happens. I always like to hear how it all goes down.

  23. Wow, I never knew about SCOP. I am excited to have stumbled on a Canadian website that has great info on couponing and smart savings tricks.

  24. I’ve been offered free items a few times as a result of SCOP errors but I’ve refused them because we all end up paying for these free items in the long run. I just ask the cashier to charge me the correct price. Let’s face it, we all end up paying higher prices for items when these SCOP freebies are accounted for under a store’s loss prevention category.

    1. Prices are driven by competition and perceived value, not by SCOP or to account for shrinkage which is similar.
      Both SCOP and shrinkage the store has control of.
      There are some stores were the shelf pricing always matches the pricing at the check-out and where I don’t even watch the cash register any more as items get rung up; and then there are others, Zellers was a prime example, where I could almost guarantee that for every shopping trip there was at least one item that qualified for SCOP.

      If the charged price is higher than the advertised price (and it always seems to be higher, never lower, the store is really defrauding the customer and I don’t see why they shouldn’t be penalized for it.
      Beside, SCOP is voluntary except for Quebec (where it is the law), so nobody is forcing a store to participate – Zellers was one of the big ones that didn’t.
      If anything, I find the SCOP penalty too lenient when it comes to big ticket items, if I buy a $600.- item that’s on sale at $300.- and the store charges me $600.- instead of the sales price, then the $10.- SCOP penalty is a joke..

  25. I’m wondering 2 questions.

    This happened to me the other day, I purchases an item at a CT when I picked the item up off the shelf the tag for 5$ was there, I did more shopping then went to checkout, it rang in at 9 and apparently someone had taken the tag down in the 30 minutes it took for me to get from the shelf to the cash. Does SCOP apply?

    Second one is, does SCOP apply for my friend with me if he purchased any of the same items right after if they’ve taken the tag down from my purchase … Well I guess the first question is the same really as the second when you think about it..

  26. If I look over my receipt when I get home and notice I was overcharged, if I go back the next day does SCOP still apply??

    1. Yup, I’ve never had a problem. Typically I call the store and talk to the manager as soon as I find the error. If not just go into the store the next day. I’ve never had any issues. Let me know what happens. Thanks. Mr.CBB

  27. We have am Independent Grocer (part of Loblaws) here in Kemptville, Ontario. They refuse to honour the SCOP, unless you don’t notice it until after you’ve paid. If you mention the incorrect scan before paying, they simply reverse the item and do a price override and give it to you at the lower price. No free item. However, if you pay for it, then take your receipt to the customer service desk, they will honour the code. Their rationale (or so they say) is that the free item policy is for people who have been inconvenienced and have to make a trip back to the store.

    1. So in other words say nothing until after you pay. That’s odd. I wonder if that is the way it’s supposed to be as I’ve never once met with a shop that didn’t honour it either way. What are your thoughts about the way they practice SCOP?

      1. They have removed the SCOP notices from the cashier areas. No mention of it at all. I can’t help but to think they are avoiding the topic altogether, unless you have a cash register tape to prove you were overcharged, at which point they will then honour the SCOP.

        1. Hi,
          Could you tell me where this is that you notice they have removed the SCOP policy as it should be displayed either at the cash or around the entrance doors. If you are concerned about a store that says they comply you can call the number in this post and let them know you are wondering where the policy was located at such and such a store. Hope that helps.

          1. They used to be displayed at the cash. They have been removed at some point in the recent past. I am going to speak with the head cashier to get some definitive answers. I have been invited by one of the local newspapers to write an article about SCOP, giving some details of how the various local merchants handle the policy.

          2. That’s great. Let me know how that goes. Pass along the link to my SCOP post when you write the article if it helps at all. I’m interested to find out what you learn. Cheers Mr.CBB

      2. On the retail councils page it says once an items final price is displayed on the register you can invoke SCOP,OR after the transaction has been completed. So the cashier was wrong for that.

    2. As the Independent Grocer owns the store as a franchise of Loblaw, methinks s/he is trying to get around SCOP with their special snowflake interpretation. When they agree to be a franchise of Loblaw, they agree to that for their store. This owner is being naughty and you can report them to the Retail Council of Canada who will light a fire under Loblaw… Call and complain! 1-866-499-4599

  28. I was wondering, if the product is scanning higher than the advertised price, and we would use SCOP to get it for free, what if we were two people and we both saw the sign and wanted it for free? How would that work? Would they only honour it for the first customer or both as the higher price sign would still be up when the second person is cashing out. I think this is a grey area, what are your thoughts?

  29. got an art set from london drugs yesterday and the sale tag said 9.99, once we got to the till it rang in as regular price, 14.99.. i mentioned it to the cashier and the problem was eventually solved, i knew some places have a policy about things being rang in wrong but figured since theyre just changing the price to what it should be, maybe theyre not involved? after some research, they are involved.. am i entitled to receive the item i purchased for free?

    1. Yes if the sale tag said it was on sale and it rang up higher although not every retailer will honour this if the sale tag is an old tag. Like I mentioned in another of your comments we’ve never had an issue as most stores will honour it as it’s their error. I’d simply call and talk to a manager and that should sort your problem if the store uses the SCOP policy. Let me know how it goes and what you learned please. This is great for others to know. Cheers Nick. Mr.CBB

  30. During our grocery shopping yesterday at Walmart, I picked up 3 bags of chips (Lays, Doritos) that were advertized as “Any 3 for $ 8.00”. However after I checked-out, no discount showed up at the bottom of the receipt. All three were charged at regular price ($ 2.97, $ 2.97 and $ 3.17). When I walked over to the customer service and pointed out, the girl tried to tell me that Doritos did not apply to the discounts. I told her that Doritos were showing up in the picture advertized. She personally walked over to check. Came back and decided to refund the difference ($ 1.11+). When I pointed out the SCOP, she said it did not apply to “multi-item discounts as the price charged was accurate, however only the discount was not applied. Is this correct ? I think I should get the items for free. Please advise. Thank you.

  31. I was shopping at Walmart this morning and the product I got off the shelf did not match the upc , when they did there check they said it didn’t count even though there were 3 more of the same product sitting in the same spot I took mine from .. Is that a scanning code of practice problem .. Should I have got 10.00 of my purchase of the product ..

    1. No, I always match UPC codes with the codes on the shelf. People move product or place it in the wrong spots all the time. If the label on the shelf matched the UPC code on the product and the shelf price was lower than what scanned then yes you would have applied SCOP. I hope that helps.

      1. The UPC and product description MUST always match the product in question!!!
        I was in Zehrs Laurentian in Kitchener the other day, and witnessed this. A woman was in line with her husband. An item came up the wrong price. When the cashier did the price check, the UPC and product description did not match. The woman demanded the item for free, even after the store manager, cashier, and front end manager all explained this to her. She was yelling at them. I couldn’t believe she was treating them like this. The husband was telling her to stop even.

        1. Yes some people get a bit feisty when it comes to “free stuff” or using “coupons”. I’ve witnessed many situations myself. It’s best to just move on and then review the situation and if the store is in the wrong they will credit the customer.

          1. Something has to protect the store from those bad customers. If a customer knew they were going to get something very cheap or free just by moving product to a label with a price that would do this for them, stores would lose money galore “satisfying” the customer.

  32. Yesterday I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. There was a price differential on an item and I just so happened to catch it. When I brought up the consumer scanning code of practice, the staff had no idea about this. This makes me wonder as to how many other times things were mislabeled and I probably paid too much for it.
    Anyways, I received a call from Ms. Travis (Manager) this morning. She had spoken to the district manager who informed her that the company has not signed up for the consumer scanning code of practice. This is worrisome as to where is your accountability to the public?
    Overall I am very disappointed in this. It is not necessarily the cost, but the values associated with it. I spend a great deal of money here and I know others who do as well – I will be informing them and others of same.
    If I may suggest anything, it would be that Bed Bath & Beyond “signs” up for the consumer scanning code of practice to ensure accountability as well as transparency of your prices.

    1. It’s voluntary so if they don’t want to sign up there’s not much we can do as it’s not a law. I understand your point though. Sorry you had a bad experience but at least you are an informed shopper.

  33. I’ll definitely keep this in mind next time I go to my local Loblaws… I can think of a few things off the top of my head that are listed cheaper on the shelf than they ring up as. When I went to purchase them recently, I was just told “no, they’re this much” and so I left them behind. I’ll go back and get them for free now!.
    One thing I’ve noticed since moving back to Canada from the UK is that Toronto grocery stores (particularly Loblaws) are terrible at just simply putting a price on the shelf period. There are loads of things that haven’t got a price listed for them anywhere. Are there any rules or guidelines for displaying a price? Perhaps this is a way of getting around SCOP. If there’s no displayed price, how can the till ring up higher than the shelf price?

    1. Hey mate,
      No not that I’m aware of only the Scanning Code of Practice. It’s a pity because we are left with no price and nothing to go on especially if we want to know if SCOP applies. Not many cashiers will tell you about SCOP so now that you are aware the next time you grocery shop you know what to say. Perhaps it is a way of getting around SCOP or just someone not doing their job. Best of luck! Let us know how you make out.

  34. There were two tank tops at Walmart richmond hill ontario at bayview and major mackenzie

    They were priced at 2.00 each but scanned at 5.00

    I took them to customer service and tried to get them for free under this code but the rep was adamant that it the code excluded clothing and electronics.

    Loblaws at high tech road in richmond hill is great with this policy and applies it themselves without you asking when you notify them of price discrepancy and they verify.

    1. Hi,
      As far as I’m aware if the business follows SCOP it should be all the products. I’ve gotten electronics and clothes before with SCOP so I’m not sure what they are talking about. In my post there is a link that takes you to the official SCOP site where you will find a number to contact someone. Ask them and tell them your story. If they are excluding products on their own and they should be included I believe they will contact them to make sure it’s being followed correctly. Let me know what you find out.

      1. Spoke w Walmart Canada customer service and they said it only applies if the item does not have a ticket

        Doesn’t matter if It scans wrong apparently, u just get sale price, nothing else- and only if you notice.

        Other places like loblaws give u free or 10$ if it scans wrong, period.

        Walmart seems to do bare minimum – they say they are following the policy and it only applies to unmarked items that scan incorrecty

        1. If you are still unsure call the number in my blog post and ask them not the store. 🙂 Let me know what they say. Maybe this store is not understanding the policy or there is something further we as consumers don’t understand. Makes no sense why one store would apply it and not another.

        2. I agree with you Benn. Walmart is getting quite bad with this policy. They are somehow making up stuff to get out of it. For example “Multi item” discounts if not applied does not qualify for SCOP as per Erin at Oakville Walmart customer Service. I have yet to read that somewhere. I was not given the items for free however they somehow managed to give me the discount back ($ 1.28).

          1. Majority of clothing/shoes/dvds/cd’s, etc. at Walmart are ticketed items, and SCOP would not apply (as it applies to non-priced ticketed items only). One reason why a lot of those items are ticketed? Because they travel…people often do not put those products back where they got them from and just leave it on the nearest rack or shelf.

            So Walmart follows SCOP. Loblaws has decided they will just do it on everything, no matter what. It’s their choice. And could be why at alot of Loblaws chain stores, you see higher prices than you do at other stores. Anything that affects sales, eventually is going to come back at the consumer in the form of higher prices somewhere down the road.

  35. My best experience with the SCOP was at Walmart. I picked up a large pack of royals toilet paper advertised on the skid where it was displayed for 8.49!! When I cashed it out I was charged $22 for it! I got a full refund and got to take the toilet paper home after having to deal with attitude about being entitled to get it for free. It was awesome minus the attitude but I knew I was entitled to it so I stuck through it.

  36. To all of you out there make sure you check your prices at Rexall Drug stores because they do not practice or participate in this. I have been charged higher prices quite frequently and its to the point where I will no longer shop there. I will not go to a place that unethical.
    Hope this helps someone else.

  37. Safeway has had a policy, at least in the produce department, of refunding the price of defective produce PLUS a new package of the product. Don’t know if this changes now that Sobeys owns Safeway.
    This isn’t a SCOP issue, but demonstrates retailers’ commitment to customer satisfaction.

  38. Hi all,

    Just have a question regarding this, I was at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Ontario today and I had a tin of quality street and they rang in at $13.99 but the shelf said $11.88, I got the $10 off and paid only $1.88. But I had to ask for the price reduction because of the scanning code of practice. The manager said to the cashier-in-training that they only give the customer the price reduction if they ask. Is this allowed? I thought as retailers it is their responsibility to abide by the scanning code of practice, not for the customer to have to ask. What does everyone think?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ashley,
      I don’t know if they are supposed to tell you about it but I have yet to find one shop that has. If you don’t mention it then you will only get the change in price not the SCOP. You can call them to ask them direct about the procedure but this is what we have personally experienced in the past 6 years of using it. I will post your question on my Facebook page to see what the other fans say! Come by to read any responses. Mr.CBB

  39. Hello ,I recently went to an festival and when I paid my admission I was told to text the message on the entry ticket for a chance to win a trip for 2.i was contCted later that night notifying me that I had won this prize.
    10 months later and numerous phone calls they Are not giving me my prize.
    What can I do?

  40. I always use the SCOP. I jump up and down too when it rings in higher. i used to be shy about it but i figure they agreed to it so what the heck. A lot of cashiers do not know about it. A lot of cashiers will say ‘ok, i’ll enter in the correct price”…that’s when they get my finger wag 🙂

    I had one young cashier tell me that’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard and that ‘walmart’ would go broke if they gave free stuff because it rang in wrong. he looked at me like i was an idiot. i said ‘call your manager’. he couldn’t believe i asked for the manager. 2nd request he finally called her. when she finally came over, i let him explain situation and she said ‘yep, it’s free but charge the second same item for correct price’. his jaw dropped, he was speechless.

    If you don’t know about it, they won’t usually tell you. Tell them “the shelf price says X and it rang up Y, scanning code practice says it’s free (if under $10)”. if it’s $12.00, it’s now $2.00.

    Good luck 🙂

    1. Good for you standing up for yourself. You are right they are part of the practice so you might as well use it as a customer plus it helps them to figure out where their pricing weaknesses are.

  41. Does SCOP apply to deals such as buy one get one 50% off?
    The other day I was at a shoe store and they had that sale
    On certain shoes. When I went to ring them in they both came
    up regular price. When I questioned it, the cashier said the sale
    was over and the other employees were working on getting
    the sale signs down. So I walked out with just one pair of shoes.
    Could I have got them at the buy one get one half off deal plus an
    extra $10 off?

    1. I could be wrong but do they not manually over-ride the reg price to give you the second pair at 50% off? So they ring in the first pair then the second pair they scan then manually give you 50% off? If that is how their system is set up then no you would not get SCOP. If the system is set up to recognize the sale then you may but what I would do is call to make sure first.

      1. i think regardless of how there system works, scop states even if there are old signs up telling people of a sale which has since ended they arestill obligated to honour that sale

        1. Honestly we’ve never had a problem with an old sign being up and the store not honouring the sale. I agree with you plus we are alerting the store to a pricing error and that not all sale prices are being removed so maybe their system needs to be reviewed.

  42. I bought some orchids at Independent that were on sale for $13. They scanned at $13.98, so I went back and asked for the $10 discount. But since they were scanned as “Potted plant” and not as “orchid”, they said they couldn’t give me the $10. They did give me the $1.11 difference.
    I think for good customer service they should at least have given me a $10 gift card, as I was overcharged when the item was scanned. What do you think?

    1. As far as I’m concerned if the orchid scanned up as a bag of chips “it still scanned wrong” a problem in their system hence the SCOP policy. This is to alert them of a problem. I think you should have received the $10. I’d call management and if you don’t get an answer you like you can call the council and talk to them. Let me know what happens.

          1. I met with the owner, explained the situation to him, and he immediately agreed that I was owed the $10. Problem solved! When in doubt, go to the top.
            Thanks very much, Mr. CBB!

          2. I’m so happy for you. I had a feeling you would get your money because it only made sense. Thanks for letting us know Suzie.

          3. Forgot to mention that I brought the sticker containing the bar code when I met with the owner, and it appeared that the cashier overrode scanning and entered the code manually; hence the error. But the owner said I was overcharged and thus was entitled to the $10 discount. 🙂

          4. So the error was due to a manual error rather than a scanning error? Most places might say no then as it’s not in the system that way. Great that he gave you the deal though.

  43. Would SCOP apply to something that was in an end bin? IE I purchased cheese advertised by a “flip sign” for $5.98 in an end bin filled with the same brand of cheese, for regular $8.98. I brought it to the cashiers attention and she was told by a mgr to NOT abide by SCOP because there was no UPC, no title, just the price. How is that proper?

  44. This applies in Canadian liquor stores-CORRECT? You need to inform the ladies in Red Deer ,Alta. I;ve been in retail 30 years and they doubted me-go figure! My business can go else where I guess.

    1. SCOP is not law so your best bet is to contact the LCBO and ask them IF they participate. To be honest I’ve never seen the Scanning Code of Practice at the LCBO.

    2. I don’t think they are a participant, however, if they were it might fall under this part of SCOP:

      1.7 The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply to a product that government legislation or regulation does not permit to be provided free or below a minimum price.

  45. No-Frills had Neilson’s Caramilk on sale at $1.00, regular $1.67. I bought six. I didn’t check my receipt until I got home. I was charged $1.67 each. I went back to the store and followed a store employee back to the shelf. The ticket on the shelf said $1.00. On closer examination, it gave the size as 325 ml, but the product I bought was 310 ml (a new smaller size came out during the sale). The clerk said it was a different product and it was not on sale. I said, that makes no sense – the product is smaller than advertized – there should be no problem. But the clerk insisted a junior shelf stocker made a mistake and things like that happen. The store refused to give me the product at $1.00, and they refused to give me one free caramilk shake. Was the store in the right? Or should I have been sold the product at the sale price of $1.00? Or should I have been given one product free?

    1. Hi Bruce,
      I took the liberty of posting your question on my FB page to see what the fans would say. My advice would be to call the number provided if you have a discrepancy with SCOP and they will tell you like it is. Below is the feedback from the fans or you can LIKE my Facebook page….

      The description has to match exactly..even the milliliters. The fact that you bought the smaller one makes no difference..sorry. They give a bigger amount off on the bigger sizes to get you to buy it, if they gave that amount off they’d lose money each time.

      As long as the sticker was correct, the 325 being the size on sale, then the store was in the right

      If the product was stocked where the tag was then I think as a service to keep your business they should have removed the tag to ensure it doesn’t happen again and give you the sale price. Especially if they sold you the smaller bar for the same price as the larger one?

      Technically, the clerk was in the right according to the Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code. The size of the item did not match the size listed on the tag. However, there is some haziness because every item should have an accurate label on the shelf according to the code. I work in a grocery store and most of the managers where I am employed would more than likely not give a free item, but would give you the Caramilk for the sale price that was listed on the shelf. The few that would not have given you the sale price are petty people that value rules over good customer service.

      To show good customer service they should have given you the product for $1 each if they were out of the sale merchandise and had something else in the spot with the sale sign still attached . That’s the difference between a ‘premium grocery store’ and a ‘no frills grocery store’.

      I hope you returned all 6.

      The store is 100% right in what they did …. Unless the barcode on your product matched the barcode on the price/sale tag .

      Unfortunately the store was right- I try to double check barcodes

    1. Shoppers Drug Mart most certainly signed up to follow SCOP.
      They are actually the very first store listed:
      http://www.retailcouncil.org/memberservices/consumerprograms/scanner-price-accuracy

      The only large retail chain that didn’t follow SCOP was Zellers and they no longer exist.

      Also remember that in Quebec the equivalent of SCOP is the LAW, so stores in Quebec don’t have the option not to participate in SCOP like in the rest of Canada.

      And finally – some stores keep trying to find ways to wiggle out of SCOP – latest I heard was that the store claims SCOP doesn’t apply until one has actually paid for the purchase.
      Which of course is BS – SCOP applies as soon as the incorrect higher price appears on the register (subject to the exceptions listed in the code)

      1. I once bought bottles of Perrier advertised for 0.99 cents at shoppers,
        realized after I had left the location that they rang up as 2.99 instead.
        on my way back, i went to a different shoppers location to have them do a price adjustment for me (the bottles had the price stickers on them because they were on clearance) and they REFUSED to do a price adjustment. THEN i simply asked to return and she said clearance is final sale.. but i just told her that because i bought it for REGULAR PRICE, they are definitely NOT final sale. She ended up just doing a price adjustment for me at the end.. worst customer service ever tbh. whether it is 2 dollars or 20 dollars or 200 dollars, it is the principal that mattered to me. As a customer and consumer i had the right to everything i asked for and i had to fight for it for about 20 mins with the “floor manager”

  46. I have found that at some stores, the cashiers have clearly been told NOT to mention SCOP, but if the customer brings it up, then to give the item free without argument. At other stores, the item is given free without my asking (after I point out the pricing error). Sometimes cashiers have NO idea what SCOP is and they act like I’m trying to put one over on them. I really don’t see why all retailers can’t train their cashiers properly.

    1. I think many are told not to say anything because it’s posted in plain view and they expect the customer to bring it up as an option. I have had some cashiers just give it and like you some that had no idea what it was. Training all over the world is always a weak area and unless trainers follow up and find those spots to improve they lag behind.

  47. There are numerous errors in the article which really misleads consumers.

    SCOP does not only apply to shelf pricing as stated in the article or to “in-store” pricing also stated
    It applies to any displayed price, even an incorrect advertised price in a flyer if there is no retraction posted.

    1. Displayed price would be considered the shelf price to me. In terms of the flyer I’ve never used SCOP on a pricing error in a flyer as the store normally does retract. I’ll pass your comment to Christine to look into that and if that is the case then so be it. Thanks for your comment. Most stores have the right to change prices in flyers at their discretion so I’d like to know the answer.

      1. If you check the Competition Bureau web site you will find this:
        “If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum. When the item has a price tagged, the lowest price applies. When identical items are incorrectly priced, the second one will be sold at the correct price.”
        http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/01262.html

        …which makes it a bit clearer by stating any OTHER displayed price.
        There is a huge thread on this subject on the RFD site and it has been confirmed by myself and others that SCOP applies to any price advertised anywhere within the limitations of SCOP of course.
        Some merchants try to find excuses why SCOP does not apply in a specific situation but in most cases they are wrong.
        I find that compliance in Quebec is much better than in Ontario (the only two provinces I have first hand experience with), probably because the equivalent of SCOP in Quebec is actually the law whereas in the rest of Canada it’s a voluntary code.
        So merchants in Quebec can’t opt out as they can in the rest of Canada – Zellers was a good example of that before they disappeared, they didn’t comply with SCOP in Ontario but they had to in Quebec.

      2. Please don’t get me wrong with my comments about SCOP on this site.
        I’m very happy SCOP is covered and the information is made more widely available.

        SCOP has been around for quite a number of years and I’m still surprised how many people don’t know about it and especially the number or merchants/cashiers etc. who claim to have never heard of it.

  48. I have a question, I was at superstore earlier today and my rice went in at 31.99, n self where we got it from displayed price was 24.98. I didn’t look at the UPC numbers to match but it was a different rice n they stocked the rice in the wrong spot. I said this is SCOP then right. The young man rolled his eyes n said that because the UPC did not match I was not intitled to SCOP. Correct me if I am wrong but its the displayed price right?

    1. I don’t generally argue about stocking in the wrong spot. I always go by the UPC codes on the tags and compare the product to the product tag. There have been numerous times that product has been in the wrong spot with the wrong label in front. I don’t know if someone just sat product there in an empty spot or it was error by the stock person. I don’t bother but some others might have a different view. I would say it’s the displayed price that corresponds to the proper product. Hope that helps and maybe another fan will share their thoughts as well.

  49. This practice is not something the store widely advertises. But when you bring it up to a cashier it gets a response.
    I have used it many times with out problems at many different retailers. And many of the cashiers comment that alot of
    customers don’t know about this and unless you point it out that a mistake has taken place it goes without correction.

  50. I work for a small privately owned speciality retail shop. We had a new item we’ve never carried before come into the shop. We hadn’t set a price yet for it but yet needed to add it to our system for inventory purposes. So nonetheless our POS had 0.00 as the set price. Well as you could assume…a regular customer comes in and realizes there is no price set for the item. He demands that he be given it for free. Obviously a pricing error….but yet this customer severly pressured and even threatened legal action if he was not given the item for free.

    The problem i have with this article and so many more like it is that you fail to explicitly inform people this “Code” is purely voluntary. So many people misuse the word code to mean its law.

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for sharing your story. This is true that it is a voluntary system however once you opt into it as an organization you are then saying that you will adhere to it from your end. Errors happen, that is the meaning of the code after all to help you to spot errors so next time you can find a way or design a standardized plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think there are both pros and cons to the system but there also is voice so you could direct your customer to call for assistance if they are not happy with your decision and vice versa. If you no longer want to have the code with your business, opt out. Have a lovely day mate!

  51. At Walmart, Head Office updates the registers…then it’s a matter of associates getting out onto the floor and adjusting the sticker prices. That’s why you usually find a price discrepancy. Often the registers are at the correct price, it’s the signs that are wrong. But with often hundreds of changes a day, it does take time to get those shelf prices and overhead signage changed. You’ll see associates with the Telzon guns scanning the bar codes — the gun has the correct price in it, so once the associate knows the shelf price is wrong, they print off a new sticker for the shelf.

    Sometimes an error is made at the entry level and the register has an incorrect price (doesn’t happen often that the register is in error – it’s usually the signage that is). Once the associates become aware of it, they’ll just override the price on the register to the correct price. Updates to the registers are not immediate – not sure, but may be done once an hour or something like that. So when they do know a register price is wrong, they’ll advise the cashiers to manually override the price until the register update goes through. SCOP won’t happen then – the store knows about the error but can’t do much but wait for the register update to go through.

    Even though a store does not have to follow SCOP when the shelf sticker description/UPC does not match the product (we know how customers love to move product around — or place stuff where it doesn’t belong because they are too lazy to return it where they got it from so they just stick it on a shelf anywhere rather than waiting and handing it back to the cashier – which is preferred than one leaving the product wherever), some stores will sometimes allow the shelf price (but not SCOP) even though they don’t have to for one item.

    It’s not the stores out to rip anyone off. It’s either human error, or one part of the system is up-to-date and the other isn’t. The bigger a store, the more product they carry, the bigger the potential there will be a discrepancy.

    1. I would never ask for SCOP If someone just randomly put product on the wrong shelf which we see all the time, that’s just greedy. I also wouldn’t ask for scop if the tag did not reflect the product on the shelf. I think there is a point where common sense comes into play. Thanks for sharing your input.

  52. Unless the customer mentions it the cashier will not say anything about it usually the price is just adjusted and we move on with our life.

  53. Ok I was at a walmart in kitchener and the csm was saying I would get 10 off the item. Not the ticket price. I know for a fact it was the ticket item you get 10 bucks off. So I went to customer service read the scanning code of practice and discovered I was correct. So in the end I got the ipod docking station for 10 buck. It was scanning at 49. Its ticket price was 19.88 then I got my 10 bucks off which after my store discount I ended up paying only 10 buck for it.
    Their store really needs to learn how it is done. Is there a number we can phone to complain that their manager do not know about the right rules to this.

  54. I’ve always been a hawk for discrepancies at checkout, but usually just accepted whatever action the cashier took in terms of adjusting the price. Thanks for the reminder to be assertive about asking for the item free. Lately though, I’ve had a few incidents where the cashier has challenged me when I point a price discrepancy. “You’re probably mistaken” (Home Depot) and “That IS the special price” (Independent Grocer). In both cases, no offer to have the price checked. I had to do the legwork myself and bring back the display price. The last incident at Independent, the cashier wasn’t even authorized to do a price adjustment. I had to wait for the supervisor which gave me the chance to read the SCOP sticker. The supervisor adjusted the price, but when I pointed out the SCOP and should not the item be free…she gruffly responded “not usually” and credited the item, very evidently ticked. I’ve reported both incidents to the customer service websites of these companies, but I wonder if there’s not a trend towards trying to avoid SCOP at all costs.

    1. Many people are shy but the cashier should know and if you simple say “I would like to apply the scanning code of practice” they will apply it or talk to a manager. It’s worth it plus it helps the store to see areas they need to improve on.

  55. I caught this a couple of times at Loblaws! Got it free 2x, but have not noticed any since that time. Maybe they caught up with themselves 🙂

  56. I once got a bottle of hairspray free 3 times at the Real Canadian Superstore since it took them a few weeks to realize that their scanning price did not match the price listed on the shelf.

    And earlier this year, I went to Walmart to get some underwear. Regular price was something like $14.87, but their shelf price said $12 since they had a sale the previous week but forgot to take the stickers off. I was more than willing to pay the full $12, but it rang as the regular price, so I ended up getting it for just $2. Then I went to another Walmart and the exact same thing happened, so I picked up another pack of underwear for $2.

      1. I work at a store that participates in SCOP. I always thought that when the customer indicated a wrong price and we confirmed that indeed the signage was lower than the scanned price, that we automatically applied SCOP. However, recently found out from management that unless the customer actually specifies SCOP, then we don’t have to apply it. There are those customers that are well aware of it and will invoke it, but many others I don’t even think have ever bothered to read the SCOP policy posted at each register.

        1. You are so true, I mean we didn’t know until someone told us and the bloody sign is literally in our face. I try not to think back on everything we missed getting free. Oh well, live and learn I guess. Thanks for sharing your story. Mr.CBB

  57. ****Congratulations**** to: Crystal Alves for WINNING our Quickie Contest.. Please email me your mailing address so I can get your prize to you!!!

    I have familarized myself with the Scanning Code of Practice….It is a great tool that use daily – checking to make sure that the cashier has run my items carefully at the right price…..and as well, double checking my receipt before I leave the store….It is a great practice that will help me save money in the long run….

  58. I have used SCOP before and watch frequently for wrong prices. I love getting an item for free!!! I didnt think about different UPC though! Thanks for the tips!

  59. Thanks for the tips. I do follow a lot of these-unfortunately, a lot of stores in my city need to be educated on this over and over again!

  60. Ive always paid attention to prices since couponing, but this definately gave me a clearer view of it! shopping on switch days is always good 😀

  61. I found this post to be quite informative. I had never heard of SCOP until I started couponing and joined some couponing sites earlier this year. I will need to keep a closer eye on my receipts. I did not know about being able to use SCOP for different UPC’s. Thanks Christine for explaining the details. I am a fan of both of your sites and pages!

  62. It’s the first time I hear about SCOP, but I’ll keep that in mind from now on! Thanks for making our lives easier! 🙂

  63. I’ve seen people that don’t know about SCOP miss out on some free stuff.I’ve got a few things for free from this like ice cream. Thanks Coupon Christine this was a good read .

  64. I have familarized myself with the Scanning Code of Practice….It is a great tool that use daily – checking to make sure that the cashier has run my items carefully at the right price…..and as well, double checking my receipt before I leave the store….It is a great practice that will help me save money in the long run….

  65. I have kept a close eye on things ringing in since I learned about this last year. I have saved between 60-80 using SCOP!!!

    1. Unless you invoke the SCOP policy when you notice it ringing in higher, then the store doesn’t have to do the free or $10 off (whichever applies).

  66. I have received items for free because of SCOP. I watch carefully as the cashier scans in my groceries because it’s much easier to correct an error at the time it’s rung in, but I do check my receipts before leaving the store too. That little bit of extra effort has saved me a lot of money over the years.

  67. I love SCOP! Just last week I was buying a can of air to clean out my keyboard and it said the sale price was $7.97, reg $8.97. I didn’t see it scan incorrectly as I was looking for a coupon in my purse but I notcied afterwards and went to customer service. I ended up getting $10.14 back! (taxes) and a free can of air! I have also been able to get free ice cream, baby food and Tide but always checking my receipts 🙂

    Thank you for the article! I had no idea that it applied to each unique UPC! I can’t wait to put that knowledge to use!!

  68. I learned about SCOP years ago and I find many cashiers still have no clue about it. I am going to have to be more diligent in getting the free items. Only question I still have is if the item is over $10 would the discount be off what it is supposed to scan at or off the shelf price? I bought a hair straightener the other day and it was marked at almost $30, but the sale tag was in the wrong spot so it wasn’t actually on sale. They took the $10 off the regular price of almost $40. No big deal as I was still paying what I initially thought I would be but I thought it would be off the Sale tag price.

    1. It would be off the shelf price.
      EG, I was buying Jolly Rancher Halloween Candy and the shelf said 14.99. It rang up at 15.99. I paid 4.99 for the box. Hope that helps!

  69. First time I ever got a SCOP was when I wasn’t even a couponer yet! Pop Tarts were on a little cardboard display and said $1.99, yet when they scanned in they $2.49 (the shelf tag). My cashier told me about SCOP, and ever since then I ALWAYS check my reicets before I leave the store 😉

  70. I love this! I always speak up in the bigger stores but in the smaller ones I often feel bad for the shopkeeper and just pay the scanned price (if I still think that it’s a good price).

    Maybe this is just in Quebec but here the rule is that the first item is free but subsequent items are charged at the real/shelf price. Also doesn’t apply to alcohol and cigarettes

  71. This is pretty cool and there isn’t an official title for anything like that here in the U.S. However, some stores do offer the product for free if it’s rung up correctly, but that’s very uncommon. It’s cool to see that there is a program like this though!

  72. SCOP happened to me at giant tiger and i pointed it out to the cashier. She told me it only applies if i actually paid for the item. I guess i should of asked for the manager, i will next time!

  73. This was such a great read, I have noticed this once before. I think I need to write the price of everything on a piece of paper so I remember. I think coupon Christine’s shopping list pad would be a good investment.

  74. I’ve run into this situation a few times, not all retailers in the States offer it. It’s always nice to get something for free. That’s why I always try and watch the scanner to make sure the right price is being charged.

  75. I watch as the cashier rings in my purchases always! I did it even before I knew about SCOP. Thanks for the tips about different UPCs. That is something I did not know. *waves Hi @ Christine*
    Mr. CBB – I will be adding your blog to my favourites now. 🙂

  76. Great post! Lots of information i didnt know! I have only used this practice once……i just found out about it….i bought a box of family sized cereal that was advertised for 4.99 but came in at 5.74. Went out to the car and thought…hmmm…its only 75 cents….but then realized you know what 75 cents is 75 cents…went back in and was shocked when i got my money returned…and the box came with a 5 dollar gas card…..greatest shopping day ever! Now i scan and check everything 🙂

  77. I had no idea about SCOP. I have had prices adjusted many times, but now i know almost ALL of these items would have been FREE!

  78. Great article, very informative. I <3 SCOP! I am going to make it a point to remember that not only am I doing the store a service but that SCOP is there to ensure accurate pricing for the customer. If one item is ringing up at a store for $2 more than it should and most people don't even notice ~ the store makes a lot of extra money from those sleepy heads. So I don't feel bad using SCOP 😉

  79. Awesome post on scop Coupon Christine — thx for sending me over here to read this — I usualy pay attention to the register and my receipts in regards to SCOP however I didn’t know it also applies to different UPC’s, thx for that new tip, it will hugely come in handy.

  80. Since learning about SCOP I began watching my purchases as they get scanned in way more then I used to. I used to not give a thought to watching the register. I have gotten a few things free because of this now (most recently was a canister of propane for my portable bbq!) It was on sale but didn’t ring in at the sale price.

  81. Very interesting. Nice having all of this information. Will definitely feel more confident saying SCOP. Also thanks for the draw as well.

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