Price Scanner Errors And The Scanning Code Of "Theory"

On a recent shopping trip we had a couple of items that were in flyer for a major retailer scan incorrectly at the cash register. This is likely one of the most annoying issues for shoppers in today’s retail environment where prices change often and stores are often understaffed and run systems that get out of sync, meaning the price on the tag is not what is scanning at the cash register.

While we have been critical of the Scanning Code of Practice put forward by the major retail associations ( for its lack of consistency and implementation across retailers in a shopper friendly way (easy stress free resolution of issues) we decided to poll our Agents about the issue.

This is what we found:

Overall, of the 1647 responses to our survey, we found that 64% of shoppers had a product scan at the incorrect price at least once in the past six months. We see this as an indication that retailers (and vendors) need to work harder to ensure pricing system accuracy is improving across the board.

Even worse, we found that only 33% of the affected shoppers actually received the incorrectly scanning item for free as outlined in the Scanning Code of Practice. In 46% of the cases only the difference in price was credited back to the shopper. In 21% of cases the shopper did not receive a refund at all (details below). It is clear that Code of Practice is more a Code of Theory.

One thing is sure: automated POS systems are saving retailers a lot of money, but they should not be costing shoppers one single dime.



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