Scanning Code of Practice at Shopper’s Drugmart

By Brock

On a recent visit to Shopper’s Drug Mart (Ottawa Street, Kitchener) I was charged the regular price for an item which was on sale in the Shopper’s weekly flyer. When I complained that the item should be free due to their scanning accuracy policy, I was told by store management that this could not be done and that the best that they could do would be to sell me the item for the advertized sale price. The problem, as I understand it, was that the item was an advertized sale item in the store flyer and since it was not shown as being on sale in the actual store (shelf price), the scanning accuracy policy did not apply.

I feel that this is total BS and so does the Retail Council of Canada. They confirmed that the price at checkout should never be higher than either the advertized (flyer) price or the price shown on the shelf, and that this iitem should have been free (in accordance with their policy).

Has anyone else ever had this issue?

19 Responses to “Scanning Code of Practice at Shopper’s Drugmart”

  1. 0

    Gardiner Westbound says...

    When I brought a similar discrepancy to his attention a national pet store chain manager told me they don’t participate in the “Scanning Code of Practice”.

  2. 0

    Ashley says...

    I thought that they did participate in SCOP. SCOP applies to ANY non-price ticketed item. So say you are purchasing a DVD that says $9.99 and it rings up at $12.99, you get that item for $9.99 but SCOP doesn’t apply because it has a price tag on it. So if you purchased an item that did no have a price tag on it, then SCOP should apply (as long as Shopper’s participates in SCOP).

  3. 0

    Brock says...

    I thought that this may be a simple case of a misinformed store Manager, but when I contacted Shopper’s Customer Service, I was told that the flyer price DOES NOT apply to the SCOP. After contacting the Retail Council of Canada, I was advised that the flyer price does apply to the SCOP, so they are putting me in touch with someone at Shopper’s Head Office who may be able to shed more light on their position.

    Unfortunately, there are many retailers who do not participate with the ‘SCOP’. FYI, here are a list of those who do…

    Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores — Supporting Companies:
    Shoppers Drug Mart
    The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and Ont only)
    Lawton Drug Stores
    London Drugs
    Lovell Drugs
    Pharmasave (BC and Sask)

    Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors — Supporting Companies:
    Canada Safeway Limited
    The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited
    Loblaw Companies Limited
    Sobeys Inc.
    Metro Inc.
    Thrifty Foods
    Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
    Co-op Atlantic
    Federated Co-operatives Limited
    Coleman’s Food Centre (Nfld.)

    Retail Council of Canada — Supporting Companies:
    Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
    The Home Depot Canada
    Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
    Toys r Us
    Shoppers Drug Mart
    Wal-Mart Canada Corp.
    Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
    The North West Company
    Best Buy/Future Shop ( in implementation stage)
    2 Home Hardware franchisees

    Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers — Supporting Companies:
    Thrifty Foods
    Overwaitea Food Group
    The Harry Watson Group
    Longos Brothers Fruit Markets
    + 1374 independent locations

  4. 0

    2jk19 says...

    I would most definetely contact shoppers head office - they would like to know that that particular shoppers store and manager are not following the scanning code policy. Head office is very strict about shoppers stores honouring the policy that they advertise. You may notice that a lot of shoppers employees do not tell you that you get it for free - you have to request it - this is what some managers tells their employees because otherwise they would be out of a lot of money! Sale prices not in the system and old sale tags occur often at shoppers so I understand their reasoning, BUT if they participate then they should always tell the customer it is free if they notice a discrepency - call head office! Trust me they will be happy to know and will most likely tell you to go back there and have the manager give it to you for free :) GOOD LUCK!

  5. 0

    Alex says...

    Wal-Mart flunks price accuracy tests, pays $1 million settlement

    “For five years, state inspectors in Arizona went into Wal-Mart stores to check whether the prices paid at the register matched the price they were supposed to be sold for. The results weren’t pretty: Wal-Mart flunked more than half of the 976 inspections.”

  6. 0

    Alex says...

    Wal-Mart flunks price accuracy tests, pays $1 million settlement

    “For five years, state inspectors in Arizona went into Wal-Mart stores to check whether the prices paid at the register matched the price they were supposed to be sold for. The results weren’t pretty: Wal-Mart flunked more than half of the 976 inspections.”

  7. 0

    Joe says...

    Brock, I am not sure that SCOP applies to prices posted in flyers. The Competition Bureau’s website mentions “shelf price or any other displayed price”, below, so it is debatable that a flyer should count - but it is not very clear. Shoppers could argue that “any other displayed price” refers to banners and signage - and that a flyer isn’t displayed, so SCOP doesn’t apply.

    The reason is that sometimes prices posted in flyers are incorrect, and retailers aren’t obligated to honour a mistake in the flyer as long as they post a notice somewhere in the store, so in that case SCOP couldn’t apply.

    “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.”

    I would like to know what comes out of this either way, so please post an update.

  8. 0

    Alex says...

    …Walpole Walmart fined $100 for overcharges.

    “Shoppers at the Walpole Walmart may not have gotten quite the bang for the buck they anticipated this holiday season.

    According to the office’s report, the inspectors found 12 overcharges on just less than 3,000 items checked.

    In all, nine stores were fined a total of $1,300.”

  9. 0

    Jenn says...

    You should call their 1-800 number. I did, and after a little work received $20.00 in SDM vouchers.
    The head cashier refused to honour SCOP once so I called.
    The 1-800 lady said she would call the store and get the manager to call and resolve the issue with me.
    A few days later when I still hadn’t heard I called the 1-800 number again, who called the manager and called me back. The manager insisted he tried calling but I didn’t answer, which was a lie. Anyways, I got $20 to spend there which made up for the $10 I was entitled to with SCOP.
    I would highly recommend you do this because 1-800 numbers take customer complaints seriously and want to make the situation better.

  10. 0

    Marian2 says...

    The RCWC will do it up to $10 ( if the item should of been $10.95 then I would pay .95..) and only if you catch the mistake before they ring in the total. So if you are unloading groceries, good luck. Zellers makes a mistake many times so they don`t honor this policy.

  11. 0

    sue says...

    Okay, here’s my situation. Bought a Gillette Fusion Proglide shaver. The sticker on the shelf says $16.99 and it rang it as $17.49. Went back into the store and asked about SCOP. They say they do honour it. Here is the crap the cashier told me. They would only deduct $5.00 off the price because the item is over $9.99 but it the item was $9.99 or under I would have gotten it for free. Where is the logic in this? Anyhow, too tired to argue so I’ll call 1-800-SHOPPER on Tuesday. And since it was 20x the points today, it messed up my points.

  12. 0

    Myriam says...

    /sue, they should have taken 10$ off since if the item is less than $10 it is free or over 10$ you get 10$ off.

  13. 0

    Brock says...

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments - I’m happy to report that this issue has been resolved to my complete satisfaction…and it only took 2 and a half months :)

    To recap, on October 30, 2010 an item was advertized in the Shopper’s weekly flyer at a low price. It was marked on the store shelf at a higher price and rang up at the cash register as the higher price. I expected the item for free because it was less than $10 but the Shopper’s cashier, store management and Head Office (Customer Service) all said they don’t recognize the flyer price as part of the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP).

    I copied the the Retail Council of Canada (RCOC) in on one of the emails and they later called me to advise me that Shopper’s definitely must recognize the flyer price as part of the SCOP and that I should have gotten the item for free because Shopper’s is a member of the RCOC and the RCOC policy clearly states:

    “Retailers will implement an Item Free Scanner Policy as follows:

    1.1 On a claim being presented by the customer, where the scanned price of a product at checkout is higher than the price displayed in the store or than advertised by the store, the lower price will be honoured; and

    (a) if the correct price of the product is $10 or less, the retailer will give the product to the customer free of charge; or

    (b) if the correct price of the product is higher than $10, the retailer will give the customer a discount of $10 off the corrected price.”

    I was contacted today (Jan 13, 2011) by Shopper’s Customer Service who have advised the following in an email:

    “Thank you for your patience while we investigated your concerns with the Retail Council of Canada. We have confirmed that the Pricing Accuracy Code of Practice also applies to items advertised within our flyer. We have forwarded your comments and concerns to the Management team of the store located at 1020 Ottawa St. N. in Kitchener for further investigation and follow up. As a goodwill gesture for any added apology or inconvenience, we have added 5,000 Optimum points to your account. Once again thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Service Call Centre at 1-800-SHOPPERS should you have any further questions or comments or require immediate assistance.”

    Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix Customer Service

    Further to that, the Store Manager also contacted me with the following email:

    “I have just been in contact with Angela from Shopper’s Customer Service. Thank you for bringing to my attention the Scanning Code of Practice error that occurred at SDM 866. I was misinformed about the portion of the Code relating to advertised pricing. I have brought this concern and training issue forward to all staff, especially Managers and Supervisors who handle such customer concerns. Our training program for new staff includes training on the Scanning Code of Practice and we do take the Code very seriously. I am very sorry that we were unable to help you when you visited the store. I would be happy to provide you with the appropriate refund for the item purchased at the incorrectly scanned price with the receipt. Please do not hesitate to call.”

    Best regards,
    Alex Dedes
    Front Store Manager
    Shoppers Drug Mart #866

    I’ve asked them to send me a cheque for the amount because I no longer frequent their store (lol). Score one for the consumer - I feel like I took on a giant, and kicked him in the shin!! FYI, I’ll never cash that cheque - gonna post it on the fridge and spin this yarn for the next 25 years.

    Best Regards,

  14. 0

    Tanya Doucet says...

    Thanks Brock for this informative review. I had a similar experience today when I was refused SCOP for an item advertised in the flyer. I was told it only applied to shelf prices. To me, “a displayed price” means a flyer, but somehow it didn’t work. I have emailed my complaint to shoppers and also made a complaint with the Retail council of Canada.

    All that for a bag of Hershey Kisses! lol
    It’s the principle of it that matters! I want a clear answer!

    If the flyers don’t count, there is not much to protect us consumers.Retailers could technically just advertise deals, not update their computers or signage and let us catch the errors…
    SCOP is there to protect us consumers!


  15. 0

    Joe Blow says...

    Score one for the consumer?? If you actually believe the people that run the store are doing this crap on purpose, just so they can get one over on you???

    You probably actually believe that man never landed on the moon.

    By all means…SCOP is there to protect the consumer from “mistakes” and oversights that happen in an environment where there is a tonne to do and not nearly enough enough staff to do it with.

    And if it’s that important to you to fight tooth and nail for 2 and a half months for that ten bucks…All because a manager was human and was misinformed…Knock yourself out. All the power to you…You earned that ten bucks!! You deserve it.

    But save the whiny crap about the man keeping you down and cheating you out of ten dollars. Use your ten bucks to buy yourself a life.

  16. 0

    Lindsey says...

    Over the last 2 months I’ve attempted to buy products @ shoppers Drug Mart advertized on sale. EVERY SINGLE TIME when going to pay they’ve rung up the items at full price, when I challenged them on sale item they rudely state that the shelves were obviously missed labeled and would refuse to honor the sale pricing even though the shelves were clearly marked. (Today’s trigger was lady speed stick… buy 3 or more and save sale price = $3.79 instead of the regular 4.29(this reg price might be off slightly)
    This has happened to me every single time I’ve tried to purchase pain pills, shampoo, feminine products, deodorant, milk, bacon, nail polish, hair products, etc. the list goes on. Each time I go back I believe SDM can’t possibly get it wrong each and every time right? WRONG!!! I’ve even spent time confirming sale items before taking them to the register to avoid the inevitable delayed while staff check the shelves to validate the sale price but it inevitably is always rejected, even though I go to the lengths to check each and every bar code to ensure I’ve the correct “scent” “color” “size” or “strength” they still feel quite comfortable refusing to honor the sale price even after it is apparent the product has been labeled on sale and the bar code matches. Needless to say I walked out of your store each time I’d gone in over the last 2 month and not bought anything.
    I have moved on to PHARMAPlus they had the same deodorant 2/5.00 It was labeled on sale (cheaper than the SDM store) and when I took it to the front the cashier rang it up and low and behold!!! It rung in on sale just as listed!!! What do you know!! It is possible to take something off the shelf and have confidence when you get to the cash register it will ring up the correct sale price!!!

  17. 0

    Sheri says...

    I work customer service at a grocery store and we follow the SCOP. If the displayed price on shelf is lower than what it rang up and the item is under $10 you get it free. If the item is higher than $10 you will get $10 off of the displayed price. We haven’t had to use this too many times because we have a really good staff that changes over the sale tags. Occasionally an odd tag would have been missed and we would remove that tag once a customer/cashier brings it to our attention and they will have received their SCOP discount. However, now that more and more customers are becoming aware of the SCOP, we now have a few customers who are coming to our store, removing sale tags and coming in the following week and putting that sale tag up and cashing out the item telling the cashier the shelf tag has a cheaper price. It pisses me off when people take advantage of a system that is meant to keep retailers in line and consumers from being ripped off. Now it’s just the customer being one step ahead of the game and ripping the retailer off. What is stopping every customer from removing old sale tags and sticking them back up on the day they decide to do their shopping. Sometimes you can’t win either way!!!

  18. 0

    geoff says...

    i have had scanning code problems many times at superstore and had to wait 10-15 minutes in line at customer service to claim my scop,i got frustrated shopping trip after shopping trip,so now i make it worth my while and get a minimum of 40.00 worth of free stuff each trip to compensate for my time wasted,needless to say i am not popular at the store.I just cant believe they dont fix the problem,instead of rolling their eyes at me.

  19. 0

    Andre says...

    Intimidated and banned from Real Canadian Superstore for 1 year because I made use of this code.

    Stay far away from Real Canadian Superstore!

    If you find their wrong prices too much they’ll give you a ban.

    I have contacted local consumer groups and the competition bureau. Unbelievable that you can get banned for exercising consumer rights. Why sign the policy if you won’t even follow it?

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