Get Free Stuff Using The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)

Get free stuff using the Scanning Code of Practice Many years ago, I found myself at a grocery store doing some late night shopping just before close. I loaded a bulk box of granola bars onto the conveyor belt and the cashier ran it over the scanner. The scanner beeped and a price of $8.99 prominently displayed on the screen. I was positive the shelf price had listed $8.49, so I requested a price check. The price was confirmed and the cashier entered the new price of $8.49. As I was scooping up my purchase into my bag, I noticed a white sign on the plexiglass counter where people usually sign for their credit card transactions.

I was in a rush and did not get a chance to read it that day. If I had, I would have been able to get that box of granola bars for free. Free!! To this day, I remember that moment and use it as a reminder to bring up the Scanning Code of Practice whenever possible.

The actual sign is typically displayed on the counter, on the register, at the entrance of the store, or any combination of those locations.

The full description of the code can be found on the websites of the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Retail Council of Canada.

What exactly is the Scanning Code of Practice?

Basically, if the scanned price of a product at checkout is higher than the price that is displayed or advertised, the item becomes free of charge if the correct price is $10 or less. If the correct price is more than $10, the cost of the item is reduced by $10.

The code applies to all scannable items with a Universal Product Code (UPC), bar code, or Price Look Up (PLU) items, with the exception of merchandise not easily accessible to the public (ex. prescription drugs, behind-the-counter cosmetics) and individually marked items.

When does it apply?

SCOP applies to one item, and the others will be charged at the corrected price.

According to the website, SCOP only applies after the final sale price has been displayed, including discounts and coupons. Technically then, you should hold your tongue until after the cashier presses “Total” on your purchase, while wearing your best poker face.

The product must match the product description on the shelf tag, and cannot be used where the law dictates a set or minimum price or when a reduction in cost is illegal for the retailer. Products that have a sticker label indicating the price are also not eligible for SCOP, which usually includes clearance items.

What if you are buying more than one of the same item?

SCOP applies to one identical item only. The others will be charged at the corrected price.

Examples of how the code works

  1. If you were to find an item with a label on the shelf advertising it at $8.99, but when scanned it rings up at $12.50, you would end up getting the item for free because the lower advertised/correct price of $8.99 is less than $10.
  2. If you were to find an item advertised in a store flyer for $45, but when scanned it rings up at $60, you would pay $35 for the product after SCOP is applied because they would subtract $10 from the advertised/correct price of $45.
  3. If you were to find an item with a shelf label of $12.50 and it rings up at $8.99, SCOP does not apply at all because the price is lower at the checkout than advertised. You would most likely pay the scanned price of $8.99, not the $12.50.
  4. Finally, if you were to find an item with a price sticker affixed to the item itself for $8.99, but when scanned it rungs up at $12.50, SCOP would not apply because it does not apply to products that are individually labelled with a price. You would most likely pay the lower price of $8.99.

Which stores adhere to SCOP?

SCOP is a voluntary code which the following companies have agreed to follow:

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

+ 1374 independent locations

Related: Who Says Nothing In Life Is Free?

Make sure you ask for SCOP!

In most cases, the cashier will not automatically invoke SCOP when you mention the item has rung in incorrectly. The majority will do as my cashier did, which is only apply the lower price and request payment. You need to ask for SCOP to be applied most of the time. Even though it has been in effect since June 2002, many cashiers will either:

  1. Look at you as if you've just spoken in pig latin, and tell you they've never heard of such a thing (at which time you can show them the large white sticker prominently displayed). Or,
  2. Apply SCOP without any argument.

I'm not sure why SCOP is not offered unless you ask, but it really is worth asking, especially if you get the “pig latin” look. At that point, I consider the free item a bonus!

Consumer Complaint Process

If you are dissatisfied with the cashier's decision, you can ask to be directed to the store manager or supervisor. If the store manager or supervisor cannot resolve the issue, you can ask to be directed to a company representative. SCOP suggests that disputes should be resolved no later than one month after the error has occurred.

If the dispute still cannot be resolved, either party can appeal to the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee at 1-866-499-4599.

Once, I had an issue resolving a SCOP item. I went to the store, specifically to buy a product listed on the front page of the flyer. The shelf price listed last week's price. When the item scanned, the price matched last week's higher price. I asked about SCOP and the cashier stated that SCOP didn't apply because there was a system glitch that didn't allow them to change the pricing. The manager confirmed the glitch was chain-wide and that the signage hadn't been changed so that they would still comply with the SCOP wording. According to him, the “display” price was not higher than the scanned price.

The “system glitch” exception wasn't stated in the rules of SCOP listed on the website of the Competition Bureau of the Government of Canada or the Retail Council of Canada. I phoned the head office of the store and they confirmed the glitch, and also credited me with $10.

The lower price was advertised in the flyer after all, and the official SCOP rules specifically mention the price “advertised by the store”, not just “displayed in-store”.

Tips for taking advantage of the code

  • Generally, the first morning of the advertised sale week is the best time to find SCOP items. Some stores may not have changed over all the shelf prices from the previous week or their system may not be fully updated with the new prices yet. As a result, you may stumble upon some good deals.
  • Some retailers have in-store price scanners for consumers so you can determine the price of your purchases before you reach the checkout. Therefore, you can find out before you proceed to the checkout if you have a SCOP item in your cart.
  • If you return to the store on a different day (or after the staff changes over) and the price has not yet been corrected, you can get another SCOP item for your efforts. The purpose of the code is to get them to quickly update and correct their prices after all.

I've used SCOP to get everything from food to baby items, and even household goods. It feels great to save more on the items I was already planning to buy!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.


sherri's picture
Too bad target didn't participate. would make them less sloppy in their signage I bet!
March 05, 2014 @ 8:59 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Yes, it's unfortunate that the code is voluntary but it's good that a lot of big name stores have signed up to participate.
March 05, 2014 @ 12:04 pm
Louise's picture
Why isn't SCOP automatically applied by the cashiers? Because, if you read the details of SCOP, it states "on a claim being presented by the customer". Customer has to claim it. Often the registers are updated with new prices by head office. Then it's a matter of staff getting out there and changing the prices where the product is. Larger stores, that takes time since on any given day, there could be hundreds of changes to be done. It's not a store is trying to rip anyone's that there can be a lag between when the shelf price is adjusted to when the register price is updated.
March 05, 2014 @ 9:58 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Thanks for the additional information Louise. I've had the SCOP automatically applied on a few rare times. Most times I would think you saying "that's not the correct price as displayed on the shelf/flyer" would be enough to be considered a claim. But maybe that are actually looking for you to say "I want to make a SCOP claim". I think the wording there is a bit ambiguous as to what constitutes a claim. It's true that updating all the shelf tags instantly is almost an impossible process. Some stores do it in the off hours, or even do it the day before to make sure they have things updated in time. I think it goes on a store-by-store basis and some stores are better at it than others. Having SCOP claims made definitely motivates that to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible though!
March 05, 2014 @ 12:10 pm
Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet's picture
Great content here. In my opinion the SCOP should be mandatory for all stores. Sure it's nice when a store voluntarily adopts it, but they should all adopt it to avoid any confusion with consumers
March 06, 2014 @ 10:58 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Thanks Dan! I agree that it should be mandatory for stores to comply. I can see why they don't make it admonitory because it is a lot of work to keep all the prices perfectly up to date and it can get costly to give away free stuff every time something slips by. Most stores are willing to correct any errors, even if they don't comply with SCOP. It just puts more burden on the consumer.
March 09, 2014 @ 4:11 pm
Sean Cooper, Freelance Personal Finance Writter and Blogger's picture
I used to work at a major supermarket chain and we were told by management to try to negotiate with customers. Instead of giving the item for free, offer to give it at the less price. We would only honour the free item if the customer put up a fuss. Just goes to show you that you need to know your rights as a consumer or you're at the mercy of retailers.
March 21, 2014 @ 7:33 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I have to admit it seemed to me that on several occasions certain cashiers were purposefully trying to avoid giving the item for free. Thanks for providing the proof.
March 22, 2014 @ 9:13 pm
Michael 's picture
Had an issue applying scanner code at Shoppers Drug Mart today. The cashier had no idea about the code when my item scanned incorrectly at a higher price. A price check confirmed the lower sale price (which I paid) but a manager said SCOP did not apply for items on sale only for items at regular price. Although this does not make much sense I did not fight it for a few bucks, it is just disappointing that employees are not educated on their own policies.
April 18, 2014 @ 8:23 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
It is very common for employees to either know nothing about SCOP or think that it means something completely different than it actually does. They will also sometimes make up completely bogus rules like the one you encountered that it doesn't apply to sale prices. You need to stick to your guns, point them to the wording on the sign, bring a print out with you if you are really serious, and call the number to get your issue resolved by a 3rd party if all else fails. Sorry to hear you had such a hard time.
April 20, 2014 @ 9:33 pm
Vera's picture

Just had this issue at Shoppers, they didn't take the 'sale' price down and charged me full price. I paid, left and checked my receipt in the car and went back. The cashier had no idea but her colleague did, I got one free and paid the sale price on the other, but was ready to put up a fuss. While I was paying for it hthe colleague was on the phone giving what for. Unfortunately with the turn over of staff the public needs to be educated so they can educate. I personally would rather educate the consumer to take advantage of poor work ethics and over sights.

January 10, 2017 @ 7:02 pm
kathy 's picture

I had the same issue at shoppers and they told me the tag was outdated so i did not get it free. I went home and called their head office and they said if the tag is out dated we do not get it free. Crazy I do not have time to check the dates on all the products I purchase. So beware of Shoppers Drug Mart policies.

June 09, 2018 @ 4:05 pm
enid's picture

Thanks for the clarity. I regularly invoke SCOP when I am grocery shopping and, like you, it took me awhile to realize "hey, I could have gotten that for free!" and not just paid the corrected price. Also, I like your use of the word "corrected." Most sites say "correct" price and that's ambiguous, as we all know the higher price is the correct price, they got caught in a mistake.

Okay, my point: here in Ontario, I have been told by the folks at SCOP that free product does not apply to PLU items, it is strictly for unticketed items that can be scanned. So, for example, if the shelf price is lower than the register price on unpackaged produce (no bar code), unpackaged bakery (buns from the self-serve bins), bulk foods department (scoop it, bag it, tie it, write down the code), the lower shelf price (corrected price) will apply, but the item will not be free. Have you had a different result with PLU items?

I say either "I'd like to invoke SCOP" or "so I get that item free?" And I have the most fun with it when I get them to apply it for the customer ahead of me in line, the ones who realize they've been overcharged but don't know about FREE!

The next best thing is price-matching, but that's a whole other post!

January 30, 2015 @ 11:57 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hey Enid. Thanks for the detailed comment!

The number of times I've tried to apply SCOP on an item that didn't have a bar code is quite few, but I think I have been able to get fresh produce adjusted before (but now that I think about it, it may have had a bar code). So, I'm not really sure the answer to that question.

There are a few articles on about price matching. Sounds like you already are an expert, but if you're interested in reading what we have just type "price match" into the search box near the top of the sidebar on the right.

February 01, 2015 @ 11:03 am
Johanna Howarth
Johanna Howarth's picture

I have known about the SCOP from signs which used to be displayed at the checkouts. i recently noticed that I can no longer find the signs (this was in a London Drugs.) Once I brought up that an item i was buying scanned incorrectly, i was able to get the item for no charge. I looked around for the sign, to point out to the cashier, to justify my claim. No sign. After finishing my transaction, I looked at the other cashiers stations and the customer service station, to find any signs. None!

That's an effective way for the store to avoid giving out SCOP items! Don't let the customers know that SCOP exists for that store.

Do you know if there is anything in the SCOP rules about needing to display signage?

April 26, 2015 @ 8:46 pm
Johanna Howarth
Johanna Howarth's picture

OK, I found this on the Competition Bureau's website:

Retailers will display the sign attached hereto as Attachment 1 at all store entrances or in a conspicuous location near the store entrances. Retailers will display the sign attached hereto as Attachment 2 at each checkout station within their stores.

So the store is supposed to display the SCOP sign at the store entrances and at each cashier station!

Maybe the store manager is just hoping that no one like me will notice.

April 26, 2015 @ 8:58 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, that's interesting. It might be a case of London Drugs agreeing to participate in the voluntary program but the store manager not wanting to be responsible for it.

Since the program is voluntary, I'm not sure what there is to stop them from doing something like this. I doubt there is any penalty that can be enforced. The only one that could probably enforce the store manager to display the correct signage at their store would be London Drugs head office.

You might try giving them a call and advising them there are no SCOP signs at that particular store.

April 29, 2015 @ 1:14 pm
Debra Gill
Debra Gill's picture

I was at Shoppers last evening and two things went through wrong. The clerk insisted she was only obligated to put the items through at the posted price on the shelf and the supervisor said that was correct. I specifically asked if the Scanning Code of Practise was not valid or had been discontinued and was told that it was ....,very disappointing and I will be calling Shoppers in the morning. It is not the first time there has been a problem at that store and I am wondering if it is a lack of training of staff or if Shoppers has discontinued honouring SCOP???

May 11, 2015 @ 3:08 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

What did they say after you gave them a call? They are still clearly listed on the official site as being a participating merchant.

May 13, 2015 @ 12:19 pm
Charlotte's picture

I've been getting "free" groceries via SCOP for years. Some stores habitually overcharge at the check-out, as they find that they make more money from overcharging than they lose from giving the item 'free' to a few SCOP-savvy shoppers. In one Sobeys (in Oakville, ON), individual cans of pop were scanning for 89 cents for months, even though the shelf price listed them as 69 cents. EVERY DAY I WENT INTO THE STORE TO GET A FREE CAN OF POP WITH MY LUNCH, and every day the Customer Service people just laughed as I claimed it. This, as I said, went on for months.. Clearly, overcharging on that item was store policy.

The stores that hire revolving-door employees (students) are the best places to find SCOP deals because these types of workers are the least conscientious about doing their jobs right.

I always look over my receipt immediately after I leave the check-out area, and then I head over to Customer Service to get my freebies. If there's an issue, I always ask to see the manager. Sometimes they'll try to charge me tax on the item, but I refuse to budge until I get all my money back AND my free item.

Retail giants are sleazy operators that have destroyed neighbourhoods. I feel no compunction whatsoever claiming my "free" goodies. I've also turned a lot of people onto this policy. Thank you for bringing SCOP to our attention.

May 27, 2015 @ 10:09 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That's definitely sleazy behaviour by that one store you mentioned. I think we need to be careful as consumers not to be too exploitive, but sometimes it takes a good working of the system to wake companies up so that they will change their ways.

May 28, 2015 @ 8:34 pm
Lalise's picture

Did a transaction today at Best Buy for a t.v. $189.99. When paying I commented that I didn't like not being able to see the price as it was scanned. It is common practise for retailers to have a display for customers to see their items ring up and they didn't.

While I was chatting with the girl my husband completed the transaction on his card. I asked what the price was because the total seemed a little high. I was told $199.99. I informed her the price was incorrect and offered to get the signage. She asked me to do so. Came back and she corrected the price to the signed one. I then asked about the scop. Of course I got the deer in the head lights look and I don't know anything about that other than when we price match. I explain the practise. She still had no clue so I requested a supervisor.

Supervisor came and started explaining the price matching. I clarified for him that it was the scop I was asking about and he told the cashier to adjust the price for the additional $10.00. I really had to work for it. In addition to this the policy is no longer listed on the door or at the cash register. It also appears they aren't telling new staff about it and it is totally up to the customer to know and to persist.

I told the girl now you know :O) and won't be confused the next time something happens. Its a bit bothersome though. lol

July 26, 2015 @ 11:16 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes it really can be frustrating to get the discount sometimes. I wish since the code was voluntary that they would be behind it 100% since they chose to participate in the first place. But it also comes down to store managers a lot too I think because ultimately I believe they are on the hook for the price errors, not head office which would have been the one to agree to the policy. Good job pushing through and getting the discount though!

July 28, 2015 @ 7:01 pm
Lalise's picture

Sent an email off to about the situation and the lack of signs. Received a response today. The representative will be contacting this retailer and also make sure they have "new" signs sent out.

Satisfactory response in my opinion and very fast indeed.

July 29, 2015 @ 3:35 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That's excellent, great work!

July 29, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
Steve's picture

As a store owner, you would have to be a complete moron to voluntarily join this...

September 13, 2015 @ 4:26 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Well, it's nice to see stores committing to quality and accurate prices. I definitely prefer to shop at those stores that make that commitment. 

September 17, 2015 @ 12:19 am
Mary Barry
Mary Barry's picture

The loblaws store where I regularly shop doesn't train new cashiers about SCOP. Frequently, I give up trying to educate the cashier because you can see the blank stare and know you aren't getting anywhere. There always seems to be a huge lineup of customers behind me so I feel bad for drawing out their wait. Now, the odd time I push for it, the supervisor tells me that it only applies AFTER the transaction has been completed! Is this right? How do I prove it to the ones who are supposed to be trained? All while they're glaring at me like I'm intentionally ruining their day? Thanks for the feedback!

March 10, 2016 @ 4:43 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Mary - I'm not sure what you mean by "it only applies AFTER the transaction has been completed". If you mean you are supposed to go to customer service after you've already paid the incorrect price and get it adjusted - then no I don't think that is the case. They can/should be able to adjust the price right at the register.

However, you may have more luck going to customer service after the fact because chances are that all those employees will be much more knowledgeable about SCOP so you should get fewer blank stares.

March 11, 2016 @ 11:02 am
S. Robinson
S. Robinson's picture

I am a cashier at a Real Canadian Superstore in BC and have worked for the company for 13 years. From reading some of the comments on here, I can see that there seems to be quite a discrepancy in how stores deal with the SCOP. As I am one of the senior cashiers at my store, I am aware of the SCOP and have the confidence to change the price and give the free item (or the $10 off without asking a supervisor) . I don't think some of the younger ones are sure of the policy or maybe they don't want to do the paperwork involved...not really sure. It seems to be also that the policy isn't applied as consistently depending on the manager or supervisor there at the time. I can tell you that at my store the UPC code on the shelf label has to match the UPC code on the product for the item to be free. I have however just adjusted the price to a lower price if I thought the sign was misleading in the case of the item being behind the wrong sign. SCOP also does not apply in the case of clearance items since sometimes the price on the shelf is changed manually and hasn't got to the computer yet since it is a manager clearance and not a company wide one. Once the paperwork for the free item is done, the store staff are supposed to fix it within a specific amount of time. Being short staffed causes the price tags from previous sales flyers to be left up, especially if the item is in more than one place in the store since the staff may not be aware of every location and they are rushed to get it all done in the time allotted. I guess the amount of money lost on free items is less than paying staff. Plus they can make it up by adding to the prices to recover losses like that so we all pay in the end. Also, employees are not allowed to claim free items, that is store policy. As for the SCOP only applying after the transaction is paid for thing, I am not aware of that and Inalways think that the customer has waited long enough for the price check anyway so I might as well fix it while they are there with me. This may just be my store though. It all seems to depend on the managers preference. As a cashier who has been through 4 managers at my store, I can tell you it is a nightmare when a new one arrives and changes how they want everything run!

November 20, 2016 @ 9:50 pm
Justin Barracosa's picture

Re: having to wait before saying anything, I may very well have misunderstood, but I quote above:

"According to the website, SCOP only applies after the final sale price has been displayed, including discounts and coupons. Technically then, you should hold your tongue until after the cashier presses “Total” on your purchase, while wearing your best poker face."

Question: As a senior employee, did you request, or is it mandatory that someone goes to verify the customers stated price?

January 13, 2017 @ 12:07 am
Charlie's picture

But what if there is no price on the shelf?

I just got a chocolate bar from the candy aisle of a metro store. The thing had no price anywhere. I took it to the cash and asked for SCOP. The person there gave me the deer in headlights look but I asked to speak to the manager. He gave tit to me, explaining that the policy doesn't actually cover situations where there is no signage at all because there is no "discrepancy" per se. What? Thanks for the chocolate bar, but this policy has a huge blind spot if the point is to get retailers tone more accountable with tegards to their advertised prices.

May 05, 2016 @ 5:24 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I believe the store owner is correct here Charlie. The point of the policy is to prevent retailers from misleading consumers with inaccurate pricing. That can be considered a sort of bait and switch. However, if you encounter a product without a price it becomes the consumer's choice to either find out the price or not purchase the product.

Ultimately, one would hope that stores would display prices for all their products to make a better shopping experience for consumers - otherwise people just won't shop there. However, that isn't a requirement by SCOP or any other policy or law that I know of.

May 06, 2016 @ 9:42 am
Doug's picture

No price on the shelf could just be an honest error. I work at a store an the price stickers get ripped off all the time.

October 22, 2017 @ 3:18 pm
Erik's picture

Had an interesting experience at Best Buy. Two movies I bought scanned as a lower price than advertised on the shelves. I knew of SCOP, but didn't know that it only applies to items WITHOUT a price label on the item. The manager informed me of that, but still offered a discount for their mistake. What they did instead was to take $10 off the original(mistake) price. So on the movie that was $22.99, but advertised as $7.99, he took off $10 from the original price of $22.99, so I received no discounts because $7.99 is less than $12.99 so obviously I take $7.99 rather than $12.99. However, the other movie was scanned at $14.99 when advertised as $12.99, so $10 off the $14.99 and I only paid $4.99.

The manager said because the items were price labelled, the discounts they gave me was not obligated but given to me as good customer service. I still found it interesting how they took the discount off the mistake price instead.

Just out of curiosity, has any encountered the same or similar situations as myself?

July 03, 2016 @ 4:07 pm
darren mackay
darren mackay's picture

I had actually looked this up today, because:
I went to Sobey's for the BOGO sale

Round Marinating Steaks were on the BOGO Sale.
I went through the Cash- which the Display for the Customer was not working

The Cashier has charged me "Full Labeled Prices" and asked for the Money.
I then informed the Cashier that there were items; being the streaks which were supposed to be BOGO>
Of the Four packages of Steaks- she took off the Price of the Two Lower Packages of Steaks...
She did not offer the SCOP Policy- However; I had returned- because I thought that she might have not applied the BOGO sale Correctly...
Two of the packages of Steaks were @15.00 and Two Packages of the Steaks were @13.00

I figured that I should have got 1 Package of the Steaks @15.00 and One Package of the Steaks @ 13.00 Free;
and Paid for 1 Package of the Steaks @15.00 and 1 Package of the Steaks @ 13.00...
But the Cashier informed me that you Pay for the 2 Highest Packages and the Two Lower Packages are Free for the BOGO.

However; after getting home and checking the Price on the Steaks, and the Price in the Flyer. I was Overcharged.

I then returned to the store AGAIN...

I asked about the Policy- and a Supervisor sited the "SCOP POLICY"

I then presented my receipts, and she had adjusted the price- I had also got an additional Package of Streaks on my return for free- Since, the Price had still not been corrected.

August 09, 2016 @ 8:30 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sounds like you made out really well in the end darren although it was a bit of a hassle for you I'm sure to do all that back and forth.

August 10, 2016 @ 11:16 pm
E-Curb's picture

I have a question that wasn't answered in the SCOP regulations.
At a local store they have an item with a regular price of $4.39. Attached is a big bright yellow price tag proclaiming a sale price of two for $6. In smaller text it says "or $3.29 ea". In even finer text the sale price should have ended last week.

Since the sale price label is still on the shelf, does the SCOP apply?

Since they offer 2 for $6, if I take two to the till, do I walk out the store with both for free, since the "unit" price is $6?

August 24, 2016 @ 10:28 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That's a complicated question. Usually if the tag is still up even if the dates are wrong they should still honour. Some stores will try not to though. They should go take the tag down right when they give you the price adjustment and free item.

I can't imagine them giving you both for free though.

September 05, 2016 @ 12:51 pm
E-Curb's picture

Here's how it went down:
I went into the store the next day and the wrong price was still up. I took two of the items to the service counter. When they rang up at the regular price, I called Scanner Code of Practice.

The cashier knew about SCOP, but fumbled around the cash register as if she didn't know how to enter it. She called the manager who "showed" her how. They didn't go to the shelf to verify my story, although I showed them the pic on my phone. The expiry date on the sale price was irrelevant to them.

The manager said it only applied to one of the items. Expecting that, I stated what I said above, that the "unit" price was $6. I got no argument and after a couple more minutes I walked out of the store with both for free.

As an added bonus, the items were juice where normally a 20¢ deposit on the container plus a 4¢ recycling fee is added to the bill. They comp'd me that too, so I'll get 40¢ back when they're empty!

Way to go London Drugs!

September 15, 2016 @ 5:31 pm
Lauren's picture

The item i was purchasing had a shelf tag with the price and a unit price

The item scanned the same as the price on the tag; the mismatch was the unit price, which at $1.00 made the price $7.99 less than the scan price. Does a unit price factor in the information of the price of an item and as it relates to scop?

case of 12 cans

$19.99 scan and tag price -

$19.99 scan price differs from

Unit Price $1.00 per unit which would be $12.00 for a case of 12.

September 22, 2016 @ 9:50 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

This sounds like it would be out of scope of SCOP to me. Unit price should only be applicable to units. You can sell a case for a different price than you can sell the units for. Also nothing stopping them from making the case more expensive than the individual units. As long as labeling is correct for both case price and unit price, there is nothing really for them to correct.

September 23, 2016 @ 1:24 pm
Rob's picture

After reading all of the previous postings, I think we can all be in agreement that consumer knowledge of SCOP is key. Yes we should tell as many people of SCOP, but I think it is most important for all of us to be aware of the list on large retail chains, whose head office has committed their stores to support the code, and to check all of these stores in our immediate area that the proper signage is at the front doors and at the checkouts. If they are not, and we all know why, we should speak with the manager, and their head office if necessary, or file a complaint with the Retail Council of Canada, in order to get the proper signage at these two key store locations. This will help spread the knowledge of SCOP, so that we can fight back against retailers who just want to offer the price at the shelf price and not give the item for free.

October 12, 2016 @ 11:48 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Good suggestion Rob. I was at a Shoppers Drug Mart recently where I caught a price error. The manager happened to be there helping with the transaction for other reasons so I told her about it. I could see her hesitate when telling the cashier what to do with the price adjustment. In my mind, she visibly made the decision not to offer SCOP.

I was in a hurry so almost didn't want to bother with it anyway. However, the person who was in line behind me went to another cash so I decided to bring it up. She had no problem giving it to me when I asked. As usual, cashier had no idea what it was about. Not trained on purpose :)

October 14, 2016 @ 1:23 pm
Norman's picture

Hi Stephen,

What can I do to get a local Winnipeg Safeway to comply? Yesterday they forced me into paying for an item which clearly should have been free because it scanned at double the posted price. Their line is that not all items qualify. This does not make sense. I have photos of the scanned price as well as the product with the posted price clearly indicating that it is 50 per cent off.


November 14, 2016 @ 7:45 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The first step would be to contact their head office and tell them your story.

January 10, 2017 @ 10:22 am
Mela B
Mela B's picture

Hello. Sorry this is a stupid question. I have tried reading scop agreement and the blog questions. I bought an item yesterday, was excited because the sticker on the shelf had sale price of $50 cheaper but the sale ended nov 10th. I didnt know about scop Until today. I took a picture of sale tag and showed cashier after she scanned it. We waited for an assistant manager and when she came she said they do not have to honour the sale because it has a date on it. I have read thru retail council post but i dont see where it says anything about a past date. Thank you for any replies

November 20, 2016 @ 5:30 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I've had it go both ways when their is a date. I think they should still honour it but I don't hassle them if they point to the fact that there is a date clearly marked on the tag.

January 10, 2017 @ 10:22 am
E-Curb's picture

IMO, the date on the sale price is irrelevant. The price on the shelf is lower than the scan price. SCOP, slam dunk!
My previous experience at London Drugs was exactly that, and I walked out of the store with the item for free.

January 17, 2017 @ 10:03 pm
katherine peterson
katherine peterson's picture

Hi im new at this and im wondering if there is an app for this and how this SCOP works

January 02, 2017 @ 10:47 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There's no app - and this article should give you most of the information you need to start using it.

January 10, 2017 @ 10:23 am
E-Curb's picture

I have a friend who is an advanced student in SCOP. Here's one way he gets things for free.

Shelf price is 3 for $5. The price for one is $1.6666666. He will check to see if it scans at $1.67. If it does, his argument is that 3 times $1.67 is $5.01

January 17, 2017 @ 10:12 pm
e s
e s's picture

shoppers use to honor this now they say sale prices dont count. so whats the point. also expired sales stickers dont count.

this was the whole point of this policy.

January 24, 2017 @ 11:21 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Have you experienced this at multiple SDMs or just the one?

January 25, 2017 @ 2:50 pm
Chris cameron
Chris cameron's picture

I did at shoppers to, from the comment section they seem to not be honouring they're part of scop, tried bringing it up but they wouldn't have any of it

March 01, 2017 @ 12:15 am
Heather 's picture

Yesterday I was at the LCBO and picked up some wine. One of the bottles had a shelf price of $13.95. It came up on the register at $14.95. I pointed out this discrepancy to the cashier who got called a stocker over to check. He brought over the shelf label which showed the price at $13.95. The two of them discussed how to handle this and eventually decided to put it in for the lower price and remove the shelf label.

I asked about the SCOP and the cashier said, I'm new here, I will have to call the manager. Long story short, the manager said they do not do "that" at the LCBO. I said, "but it's the law". She said it was only a "courtesy ", not law.

That's why I went to the internet and found this site which lists the stores who do the SCOP. Thank you for that.

February 23, 2017 @ 10:01 am
jen's picture

The Scop happens all the time at shoppers drug mart and sobeys last night - I called the office of the store they said I could have the refund for cheerio that were 4.99 rang in 7.99 cashier put them in as 4.99 should have been free up to 10,00 she was very rude she cost me time and travel I will ve contacting head office day or night do the job especially when a customer asks - I can't believe how unfair that store can be - I'm going back and will be straight to the point - the cashiers at 24 he sobeys nights use to be nice + care but lately - they need retraining at Sobeys on nights it seems to tell me I don't get Scop when the sales tag said 4.99 then a rain cheque she hides to not write out - it's to much work I missed my 30 days rain cheque in a sale item - it adds up plus the can of tuna that's missing 2,99 - it's no fun when there's no supervisor who cares to help + they don't comprehend you can't just zip in there that easy.
I've saved a lot on rain cheques and Scop and price matching but it's a lot of work with price matching flyers etc at Walmart freshco or no frills...they get so busy.

March 04, 2017 @ 4:54 am
D. Cypert
D. Cypert's picture

Each product has a cost to the retailer. If there is a mistake, then paying the smaller amount is fair. Why on earth does it make sense to get it for free. Since when is "fair" equated with whatever you can get away with and when is it ethical to go out searching the first morning of a sale to try and catch some store with an error. It's predatory. Small retailers go out of business trying to keep up with entitled customers who would try to save a few cents to get a deal - only to complain later that the big box stores have monopolies.

November 30, 2017 @ 12:06 am
E-Curb's picture

The problem with your logic is that there's absolutely no incentive for the retailer to have correct scanned prices if they didn't honour the lower shelf price. They'll then unfairly overcharge all the people that don't pay attention. How "fair" is that?

Check the list of stores that follow the SCOP. The overwhelming majority are the larger retailers, not small retailers. The SCOP doesn't hurt small retailers. I'll argue that keeping the big retailers honest provides a level playing field, so the SCOP helps the small retailers.

May 10, 2018 @ 6:41 pm
Sherri's picture

I think the key word here is “mistake”. I’m inclined to think there is a pervasive pattern of overcharging with the grocer I frequent based on how often it happens to me. And we’re not just talking about sale items that ring up at regular price.

December 12, 2017 @ 1:26 am

Post new comment