Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code - Pamphlet


(PDF; 468 KB; 5 Pages)

The Competition Bureau is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, as well as three labelling acts: the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. Its role is to promote and maintain fair competition so that Canadians can benefit from competitive prices, product choice and quality services.

The Bureau has endorsed the Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code, which evolved 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. These associations are composed of national, regional and local retailers selling a wide assortment of general merchandise, as well as pharmaceutical and food products.

This Code, implemented in June 2002, applies to all scanned Universal Product Code (UPC), bar coded, and/or Price Look Up (PLU) merchandise sold in all participating stores, with the exception of goods such as prescription drugs which are not easily accessible to the public and price-ticketed items.

Purpose of the Code

The purpose of the Code is to:

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

Key Features of the Code

The Item Free Scanner Policy – The Retailers' Promise of Price Accuracy.

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.

What does the Code cover?

The Code covers all scanned merchandise at participating retail outlets where this sign is displayed at the store entrance or checkout.

Scanning Code of Practice

If the scanned price of a non-price item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free, up to a $10 maximum. If a Code of Practice problem cannot be resolved at the store level, please call 1-866-499-4599 to register your complaint.


What is a non-price ticketed item?

A non-price ticketed item is any bar coded merchandise that does not have a price affixed to the merchandise.

What happens if two or more identical non-price ticketed items are incorrectly scanned?

Customers are entitled to the first item free (up to a maximum of $10) and the subsequent item(s) at the correct price.

How can I claim my refund?

Cashiers are authorized to implement the Item Free Scanner Policy.

If you are not satisfied with the cashier's decision, you may speak to the store manager or supervisor.

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may register a complaint with the Scanner Price Accuracy Committee, by calling 1-866-499-4599 (toll free).

Your complaints and concerns will be addressed with the retailer, and you will be notified of the outcome.

Where can I get more information about the Code?

You may obtain a copy of the Code from the Competition Bureau's web site at

You may also visit the web sites of the participating retail associations at:

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