November 29, 2012 12:18 pm
Updated: March 27, 2013 12:06 pm

Pricing mistakes- know your rights


When you’re at the checkout in a store, it can pay to closely watch the prices on the screen- sometimes the price on the shelf, doesn’t match the one on the scanner, as Calgarian Yvonne Borges found out.

While shopping at Toys “R” Us , she found a Fur-real Butterscotch Pony for $12.99, but at the checkout she was told it really cost $129.99.

She said she should get the toy for the price posted on the shelf, but the store manager refused.

“I’m not out to rip anybody off,” says Borges. “I’m not out to make money. I’m not out to do anything like that. I just want what’s fair.”

As it turned out, Toys “R” Us belongs to the scanner price accuracy program, which states a consumer is entitled to the lower price.

“It’s the scanner price accuracy voluntary code, and most grocery stores and most drug stores and a number of other retailers basically adhere to it because they’re trying to make consumers happy,” says retail business expert Lynne Ricker. “They want them to have faith in the scanner pricing system.”

Toys “R” Us later apologized and gave Borges the toy for free.

Scanner price accuracy policy states –

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-if the scanned price is higher than the shelf or advertised price, the lower price will be honoured
-if the correct price is $10 or less, the product is free.
-if the correct price is higher than $10, there is a discount of $10 off. 

There are also federal laws covering pricing discrepancies but they don’t apply if it’s an honest mistake.

Click here for the Retail Council website and the scanner accuracy policy.

Click here for Competition Bureau laws on retail pricing. 


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