I like Free – I’ll Take It…

If I am to admit it, I haven’t always been diligent at watching my receipts to ensure I have paid the correct price.  I knew a lady who worked at customer service at the Real Canadian Superstore and she advised me that I should always watch my receipt when shopping at RCS because the prices will often not ring at the till as they are marked on the shelf, especially when prices have just changed when a new flyer comes out.  This advice encouraged me to keep a better eye on my Superstore receipt,  I would return home and have a look at my receipt, often note the wrong price or they charged me for bags instead of giving me points for my cloth bags but think, is it worth my time returning to the store for a few cents, a buck or two.

Fast forward to recently, I went to my trusted Shoppers Drug Mart to purchase some Jane’s Chicken that was on sale for a great price (on the shelf).  I took it to the checkout expecting one price and it rang in double.  I stopped to clerk urgently, questioning this price.  He quickly ran over to the shelf to check the price and sure enough, I was right.  He gave me the product for free.  I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it, as I left the store I felt like I was stealing.  I started running towards the car, yelling at my husband, “Start the car, start the car!” 

The benefit of being a late night, kids in bed shopper is there isn’t a line waiting for you when you stop the clerk.  A little research shows, Shoppers Drug Mart uses the Scanning Code of Practice stating the item is free if it is worth less than $10.00. 

A few months later I was at the Real Canadian Superstore, if you’ve ever taken your toddler, baby and bagged your own groceries once you’ve shopped every isle of Superstore, you know there isn’t much opportunity to keep an eye on the screen for price accuracy.  I went home after my stimulating shopping experience and noted that I was charged $5.00 more for my dishwasher tabs than it said on the shelf.  I called the store and asked the customer service representative to confirm this for me.  She returned, yes, I was right.  I am sure she changed the shelf price at this point if she was a good employee. 

I returned three hours later when I had someone to watch my children, to get $10.00 off (which would be very nice on the price of 90 tabs) but the manager advised me that because I left the store, the Scanning Code of Practice no longer applied because they have the right to change prices at anytime and he would get it trouble from head office, so I should be watching and tell the clerk as she rings it through or review my receipt and wait in the line up at customer service prior to leaving the store.  I was disappointed but I did get my $5.00 back.

Last week I returned to my trusted Shoppers Drug Mart and was purchasing a Cover Girl product.  The shelf price said $8.49 and it rang through at $14.99.  Oh, I didn’t want the product then.  The girl said, “I’ll just check the price.”  She returned and gave me the product for FREE as the shelf did say $8.49!  I was so surprised and pleased.  I appreciated it so much because there is a great feeling in knowing that the price on the shelf is the price they will ask you to pay at the check out.

As Canadians, consumers and businesses are protected by the Competition Bureau.  They do not directly have a law that states the shelf price has to match the product price on the shelf but they endorse a voluntary scanner price accuracy code known as the Scanning Code of Practice.  I wouldn’t recommend a life of searching for inaccurate prices to receive free product but it is good to know.

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