Something that drives me absolutely crazy is when you pick up an item in a shop, then you queue (some people even dare pay with checks and they are always in YOUR queue!), and then when you have patiently waited for your turn, the item you want to buy suddenly appears to be much more expensive than it was advertised. I always check the receipts after I buy something, and mind you, there is really often an error, and 99% of the time, in their favor!
To prevent that from happening too often, and I guess to force retailers to take action as soon as the mistake is discovered, some countries have put in place a scanning code of practice. Mr CBB explains how the scanning code of practice works in Canada, items under $10 will be free if they do not scan at the price advertised in the shop. I am sure they will update their computer asap if a $9.99 item has to be given away for free to a customer, whereas without that practice, you can have YOUR receipt rectified and find out the price is still wrong the next time you shop.
My receipt double-checking habit has led to BF getting crazy when I spent 10 minutes trying to get back my change, because I feel cheated. Mochimac talks about how she would ask for a few pennies to be rectified on an invoice too, thank you for not making me feel so alone and crazy! I hate things unfair and consider that when you choose to buy an item there is an implicit contract that you agree to buy it for the price that shows on the item, and the retailer agrees to sell it at that price, not whatever price its computer fancies. In real life it seems much more complicated.
The local supermarket in Guatemala is operated by Walmart and distinguishes itself by its long queues and low number of cashiers open at any one time. It is pretty unusual for Guatemala, where the low cost of labor makes for abundant clerks and random employees, often outnumbering customers. Anyway, you can be sure that there will be at least 5 people queuing behind you, and when the dreaded scan happens, you are in for a treat. If you say you still want the product, the cashier will wait for another employee to go check the real price of your item, then update it in the computer, then wait some more for a manager to approve the change. You can say that you don’t want the product anymore, and ask to have it removed from your cart, but you still have to wait for the manager, and considering how often those oopsies and other events happen, it can take a while. The only good part is other people are really resilient and happy to be waiting. In France they would have guillotined the cashier on place de la Bastille a long time ago.
Anyway, I decided to go back to France for a little while and walked into a shop where I saw that at last, they had put in place a scanning code of practice. It looks like it is not a country wide decision, just in one brand of stores.
While there is no set rule, the cashier would sometimes give you the article for free if there were people waiting and the article wouldn’t scan, or if you challenged the price, they would ask you what you thought the price was, and scan it for that price if it seemed reasonable. Because a few pennies or a couple of Euros are NOT worth having 5 unhappy customers wait for you to double check the price.
This time, the Simply Market chain is finally putting in place a real scanning code of practice. I don’t usually shop there because there is none near my mum’s but there is one near my brother’s, so if I have dinner with him and have to bring something, instead of buying something before I go, I would purposefully go to Simply near his house instead. The procedure is pretty tedious if you want to claim your money back, you have to write with the receipt and so on. But we are a country of deal seekers loophole lovers? can’t seem to find a politically correct word for that! who will not hesitate to buy one item each day and claim it until it scans properly so you can be sure the price will be rectified sooner than later.
Simply Market actually also offers to reimburse you 10 times the price difference, one item per day and per person, if you find the same item cheaper at a nearby store. Another reason to shop there and not do price comparison everywhere. Because once more, there are people who enjoy doing that and will buy and buy until the price is lowered. So you can be assured the inflated price won’t last long.