Canadian Scanner Code

Here in the Great White North life is not always easier. But one area that helps out is the scanner "code". When I go grocery shopping - I check every receipt - every time.

Probably once every 5 trips I get an item free. Yesterday, I bought some bulk mixed nuts. The bulk bin # did not jive with the item (came up as Jelly candy). When the cashier put in her bulk bin #, the price came up as $1.28/100 grams. The bin price was $0.98/100 grams (just under $4.50/lb.).


I went to customer servce -and the young manager there tried to tell me that I would get the difference back - plus 10%. I told him "no - I get back the $5.25 according to the scanner code."
He said "you know the scanner code?"

I told him that the code states that for incorrectly scan-priced items under $10, the item is given to the customer free, for items over $10, the customer receives the first $10. For multiple items, the first item (under $10) is free.

He promptly refunded me $5.25!

Check your local, state, and federal codes - they differ from area to area - and by type of store (here it mostly applies to grocery stores).

And - it applies to items without tagged prices.

By Goldy

Here is a portion of the Canadian Scanner Code.

Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code - Code of Practice


(PDF: 458 KB)


Statement of Intent

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

The Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code (the Code) evolved from the collaborative efforts of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS), the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD). These associations are composed of national, regional and local retailers selling a wide assortment of general merchandise, as well as pharmaceutical and food products. This diversity in the Canadian retail environment underscores the advisability of a voluntary code that can be widely used.

The Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code has been endorsed by the Competition Bureau.


The purpose of the Code is to:

Visibly demonstrate retailer commitment to scanner price accuracy;
Provide retailers with a consistent national framework for dealing with scanner price accuracy issues; and
Provide the retail industry with a mechanism for consumer redress in scanner price accuracy cases, to be managed by the industry through an industry committee.


The Code applies to all scanned Universal Product Code (UPC), bar coded, and/or Price Look Up (PLU) merchandise sold in stores, with the exception of goods not easily accessible to the public (e.g. prescription drugs and behind-the-counter cosmetics), and individually price-ticketed items. The Code does not apply in provinces or territories where existing legislation or regulation covers these concerns.

A retailer adopting the Code must abide by the policies outlined below.

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 corrected 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.

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

January 23, 20050 found this helpful

Does this apply to shopping at Superstore? That is where I do most of my shopping.


They have never offered this to me when I have pointed out "mistakes" on my bill, I just get the $ back.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 23, 20050 found this helpful

Most stores have this policy posted someplace where you can see it (not necessarily where you can actually READ it tho). Walmart has it posted someplace near the checkouts and it used to be on the door. If you can see the notice, then ask them to abide by it. I have had this error several times at walmart and they have never offered to follow this policy. Now that I have actually read it, I will ask them to honor it.

Thanks for this post!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By B. Stier (Guest Post)
January 27, 20050 found this helpful

Yes, this applies at Superstore. I have had them give me my money back but you have to point it out.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 23, 20050 found this helpful

It happened at Superstore! The grapefruit were coming through at 98 cents each but on the shelf in the produce dept. they were 3 for $1.00. I said that because they were coming through at the wrong price that the grapefruit should then be free. This time, they gave me my $.98 x by 2 back to me and I took the grapefruit home for free. I guess the key word is "free". I need to mention that because of their error on the's free for the customer.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!


In This Page
Consumer Advice Shopping Grocery ShoppingJanuary 23, 2005
Back to School Ideas!
Pest Control
Coronavirus Tips
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-08-18 09:21:13 in 717 msecs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.