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

Scanning code of practice (SCOP)

Keep An Eye On Scanned Prices


Scanning Code of Practice, if it sounds like legal jargon to you don’t worry that’s far from the truth. What is your reaction when something rings in more expensive than advertised on the shelf at check out?

My reaction is to jump up and down in excitement!


Yes, you heard me. I look forward to being overcharged on a product. Now I am really confusing you aren’t I. Now that I have your full attention, I can explain myself.


Scanning 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”. 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).

SCOP is a scanning code that almost every major retailer in Canada abides by. 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).

SCOP does not include pharmacy related products or price-ticketed items (ex. markdowns, 50% off tickets or red ticket items for quick sales).

The Scanning Code of Practice is endorsed by the Competition Bureau of Canada and was created from the collaborative efforts of the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.

Questions and Answers about SCOP

Scanning code of practice participants


What stores participate in SCOP?

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 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 this list, 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 my years of shopping, I have never been told about the scanning code of practice until I started to learn more about couponing and saving money.

From one situation to the next, you may not be told about SCOP for various reasons. For example, cashier forgot or cashier was never trained on the scanning code of practice.

Either situation, it appears as though the customer has to be more on the ball then the cashier. If you see something ring up incorrectly, bring it to the attention of the cashier.

If you were overcharged, such that the product rang in as more than what was advertised on the shelf, remind the cashier of SCOP. If they are not sure about SCOP, you may need to ask a store manager at customer service after you have checked out.

If the store is listed above and will not apply SCOP, call 1-866-499-4599 to list your complaint.

  • What if I had 2 of the same item and they both scan in wrong? Are they both FREE?

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

  • *GREAT TIP* What if I had 3 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 UPC codes 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 UPC codes on the bottles.

  • What about items that ring in incorrectly that have 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 for displayed signs in stores.

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

Yes, if the store has not removed their sign and is still advertising a lower price and your item rings in as higher, SCOP applies. This goes back to the original intention of SCOP – it is a promise from a retailer to their customer for accurate pricing and scanning.

  • 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. Do not go back to the cashier as he/she has no ability to refund your money.

  • OK Coupon Christine, 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? What if I told you that each year you could be getting upwards of $100 maybe more worth of free stuff by looking at your receipts and finding those errors, would you be more inclined to say SCOP?

You are not taking money from the cashiers 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 A LOT more often on Friday mornings. Sales from the previous week are over and new sales are up. Some UPCs are not put into their computer programs correctly and often times you benefit from the switch to new sales.


Scanning code of practice scenario


My favourite experience of SCOP was when I was out buying 5 jugs of laundry detergent. The sale price listed was $3.99, but the detergent was ringing in at $5.99.

The cashier and I discussed the discrepancy and she asked a fellow employee to go back to check. It took just a few minutes, but while he was checking, I was scanning over the UPCs since I had 3 different scents of the detergent. I was mentally high fiving as 3 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 in at the sale price.

I let her put in a few, then said “hmm, I have this friend, Coupon Christine (wink) and I was reading on her website that because the price of the item was incorrectly scanned, I am entitled to that product for free.

I also read that with each unique UPC code, these 3 bottles are also free and I would just pay for the remaining 2 bottles at the correct price”. She looked at me and simply said .. “wow, I really need to meet your friend Coupon Christine (second wink)!

I never knew that and I have been working here for months”. After we spoke to the store manager, I walked out with 5 jugs of laundry detergent for under $9!

  • So does it PAY to watch the register prices as they go in or scan the receipt on your way out of the store?

ABSOLUTELY! No one likes to be ripped off, it PAYS to watch – trust me, you will thank me in the long run after you get FREE stuff!

If you would like more information you can read more at the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Editor’s Response:

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

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

If you’re looking to save some cash in the budget and help the retailer be mindful of the prices. 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 pricing is accurate. It seems many stores interpret the definition of SCOP differently but it’s in black and white and should be followed if the store follows SCOP.

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?

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.

Contribution Post: Christine (aka Coupon Christine) is passionate about couponing and saving money. started with just a few hundred fans earlier this spring and she now has almost 4000 fans on her Facebook page.

She is also the brains behind Coupon Allstars Canada. Coupon Christine has bloggers that feature deals and coupon match-ups for their provinces like she does for her Ontario fans.


Money Quote Logo CBB

Are You New To Yeassaey?


Main Photo Credit: 123RF

Scanning Code Photo Credit Competition Bureau of Canada

I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Yeassaey is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB


  1. Great Advice!Used it myself a few weeks ago at Walmart!Saved $17.00!

  2. Kristine Luescher says:

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

  3. Karen C. Hill says:

    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.

  4. Lisa Marie Goss says:

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. joanne tjerno says:

    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 :)

  8. 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. :)

  9. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. julie galante says:

    I will now know to use SCOP when something doesnt come up right. I know this will come in handy :)

  14. Great Article, I love SCOP!

  15. vanessasmoney says:

    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

  16. Love the detergent story! It really does pay to pay attention:)
    Awesome job both CBB and Coupon Christine!

  17. 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

  18. 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.

    • 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!

  19. Such a great guest post thanks for sharing Mr CBB!! I actually used the SCOP yesterday and got my purchase for free – woo hoo!!

  20. 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!!

  21. 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.

  22. I have had this happen with sales that have ended, but the sign is still up. They only refunded me the difference, though. I’ve never gotten it for free. What a great rule for Canada!

    • Yes it is a great deal and it helps the store to locate any price problems they need to fix. If they do it right away it may only cost them $10. Cheers Mr.CBB

    • 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).

  23. 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!!!

  24. Crystal Alves says:

    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….

  25. Natasha Crevier says:

    I love the SCOP<3

  26. 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 .

  27. Helen Newton says:

    Yes I have heard of this but didn’t realize that it was for all stores. Thanks for clarifying the facts!

  28. 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! :)

  29. Excellent! I always forget about scop and just have them ring it in a the proper price. Guess I better start paying better attention!

  30. Joanna Cheevers says:

    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!

  31. 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

  32. Great advice. Thanks!

  33. 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!

  34. I scop’ed today at SOF for some iogo yogurt with last weeks sale tags still up YAY

  35. Great advice

  36. 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!

  37. ****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….

  38. I discovered this last year while working for Shoppers Drug Mart. It’s so handy for customers and can get you a really good deal if you watch closely !

    • Since I’ve never had a cashier come right out and offer SCOP because I don’t think they are allowed to did it bother you not to say anything or did you?

      • 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.

        • 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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 :)

  41. dosgringos says:

    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.

    • 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.

  42. riderjumper says:

    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.

  43. 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.

    • Thanks Angel for sharing that info. Do you believe though that if the store participates they should simply adjust the product in relation to the code? :)

  44. 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.

    • 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.

  45. Thrifty mom says:

    Is there a listing somewhere of what is considered a “pharmacy related item”?

  46. 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.

    • 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!

  47. 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.

  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?

    • 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. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.”

        …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.

      • 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.

  50. 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.

    • 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.

  51. Sandy Johnson says:

    Thanks for the information. Wish Shoppers Drug Mart did Scop, but they don’t.

    • Shoppers Drug Mart most certainly signed up to follow SCOP.
      They are actually the very first store listed:

      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)

      • christina c says:

        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”

  52. Bruce Todd says:

    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?

    • 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

  53. L. Guidolin says:

    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.

    • 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.

  54. brittany says:

    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?

  55. 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?

    • 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.

      • My thinking, too. I’m going to talk to the manager today. Will let you know the outcome. Thanks!

        • Yes, please do especially for any fans who read your comment and are in the same position. Thanks Suzie. Mr.CBB

          • 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!

          • 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.

          • 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. :)

          • 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.

  56. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

  57. 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 :)

    • 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.

  58. 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?

  59. 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?


    • 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

  60. Barrie Templeton says:

    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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. Glenys White says:

    i am almost 65 years old & i never knew this till now

  64. Didn't work for me :( says:

    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.

    • 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.

      • Didn't work for me :( says:

        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

        • 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.

        • 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).

  65. 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?

    • 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.

  66. Bed Bath & Beyond says:

    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.

    • 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.

  67. 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 ..

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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?

    • 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

  70. 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?

  71. 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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

      • 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.

  72. 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??

    • 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

  73. 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..

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