Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) in Canada: What It Is and How It Works

According to the Retail Council of Canada, the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) is a voluntary code that allows Canadian customers to present a claim when the scanned price of a product at checkout is higher than the displayed or advertised price. SCOP was created in 2002 by the collaborative efforts of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS), the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) to ensure price accuracy for consumers.

So, what discount do you get when this happens? If the correct price of the product is $10 or less, the retailer will give the product to the customer free of charge. If the correct price is higher than $10, the retailer will give the customer a discount of $10 off the corrected price.

Here’s an example: let’s say a particular dishwashing soap was advertised in a flyer or online for $4.99, but when scanned at the till, it showed $6.99. The participating store will give you the product for free because of SCOP, plus it is under $10.

However, it’s important to note that the code is voluntary, so not every store participates in SCOP, but many major retailers have agreed to use it. All participating stores should have a SCOP notice visible at the entrance and near checkout. Also, a product will not be eligible for a SCOP discount if the advertised sale price is a mistake and the retailer posts a corrected price. Government-regulated products (e.g., tobacco) are not eligible for SCOP, and neither are regulated items that cannot be provided for free, prescription drugs, or behind-the-counter items. Lastly, a product will not be eligible for a SCOP discount if the price on the barcode or shelf label has been tampered with.

In conclusion, SCOP is a great way for Canadian consumers to ensure price accuracy and receive discounts on products at checkout. If you’re ever shopping in Canada and notice a price discrepancy, remember to check if the store participates in SCOP and take advantage of the program if eligible.

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