Scanner Code of Practice (Canada) Or how I got a flashlight for free

It took me a really long time to convert my family to using coupons. I was always the one flipping through fliers looking for deals, haggling at yard sales and yes, clipping coupons. I kind of looked at it as saving money for my family was in exchange for me being home. Not working. I was not financially contributing to my family and wanted to do something. Once I realized how much we could save and in return buy more, I was hooked. It did not take long to get my husband into the same mindset. I have written quite a bit over the last few months about saving money. Not to sound cliche, but I really agree with “A penny saved is a penny earned” theory. Today I wanted to talk about something that has been around for quite a while yet many Canadians are still not aware of it. The Scanner Code of Practice  is a voluntary program many Canadian retailers have started following. 

There are certain stores that are notorious for messing up the prices at check out. You see one price in a flier, another on the shelf. Then you get to check out and it is totally a different price. What a pain. And it is not easy to clear up. You need to stand there while the cashier calls for a price check. The line up behind you starts to grumble and fuss. All this headache to save a few cents, some think it is not worth it. My husband thought it was not worth it. That is until I noticed the Scanner Code of Practice sign at the cash. I told him we would get our flashlight for free when they confirmed I was right. 
Yes free. Let me back up for a second. we went to Canadian Tire and saw a flashlight. We live in the country and can always use a decent flashlight. It was on sale and a wicked price. I think it was less than half and the tag on the bin said $9.99. When it was scanned it came up as $12.99. My husband questioned it but was ready to pay the difference. $3, big deal right. Well I know I could sure use that $3 more than the mass retailers, but that may just be me. So I pointed out the sign to the lady and said “What about this?” She then said we would most likely have to pay the difference once confirmed. As it is just up to the value of $10. So our flashlight would end up just costing us $3. Once she confirmed the price rang up wrong, she out the info into the system and we got the flashlight for free. Needless to say hubs was pleased with my thriftiness. 
Exactly what is this?
Retailers will implement an Item Free Scanner Policy as follows: 

  • 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. 
  •  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. 
  • 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. 
  • To be eligible for the Item Free Scanner Policy, the product must match the product description on the corresponding shelf tag. 
  • The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply if the barcode or shelf label for a given product has been tampered with. 
  • 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

What stores participate in this?
According to the Retail council of Canada the follow retailers participate 

CACDS Supporting Companies:
Shoppers Drug Mart
The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and Ont only)
Lawton Drug Stores
London Drugs
Lovell Drugs
Pharma-save (BC and Sask)
RCC Supporting Companies:
Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
The Home Depot Canada
Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
Toys r Us
Wal*Mart Canada Corp.
Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
The North West Company
Best Buy/Future Shop
2 Home Hardware franchisees
Canada Safeway Limited
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited
Sobeys Inc.
Metro Inc.
Thrifty Foods
Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
Co-op Atlantic
CFIG Supporting Companies:
Thrifty Foods
Overwaitea Food Group
The Harry Watson Group
Longos Brothers Fruit Markets
Federated Co-operatives Limited

+ 1374 independent locations

So there you have it. I hope I have given you some info many of you were not aware of. Do not be afraid to enforce this when you are at these retailers. this program was put in effect to be used. I know a few times I should have said something and I did not. It is really too easy to accept the price scanned and carry on.

Have you ever used the 


I would love to hear your story 


Speak Your Mind