Barcode Scan Price Errors and Scanning Code of Practice

Edit: New readers to this topic can join it at November 2022 by clicking here.

For a fair while we had the protections where Coles and Woolworth if they price is higher when They scan the product you get the first item for free and you get any more at the lower price.

Now we have Aldi through out Australia and starting new in Western Australia. I guess they havnt agreed to signed the volunteer agreement to protect the customers if they get the price wrong.
If they havnt signed the agreement, what can we do for them to do so…

it’s amazing how many prices are wrong if you check your shopping docket with Coles and Woolworth

Neither Coles or Woolies now honour the code - the error rate has gone up but they just shrug and charge the correct price if you catch them out. We need a CHOICE campaign to bring back the code (and if it still exists, it’s honoured more in the breach than the observance, even when prompted).

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We bought some shoes which were on sale from the Rivers catalogue. When we got home realized that they had charged the wrong price.

Rang up the store and told them what had happened. The person we spoke to said that they had noticed that the shoes were coming up at the wrong price when they were being put out on display some days before. We were asked to come back and we will be charged the correct advertised price.

Went back the next day and the only visible sales person argued that the shoes we bought were different (even though the catalogue said that ALL of that line of shoes were discounted). After some discussion, he finally agreed to go and check with the manager. A few minutes later he said the manager had agreed to charge the lower price. He then proceeded not too happily to credit the incorrectly charged amount and then charged the correct lower amount as per the catalogue. No apology, nothing.

I wonder how many people didn’t notice they were charged the wrong price?

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Last week at Woolworths we were charged the wrong price for four of the same product marked down at a reduced price.
We went straight to the service desk, and were immediately and pleasantly credited with the full price of one item (received it for free) and the difference between what we were charged and the reduced price on the remaining three items.
Perhaps if you do it at a register, they just correct the error, compared to our experience at the service desk?


They still do the first item for free. A lot of times they try to give you the price difference but when you mention it then
they will give you the first item for free and any more of the same item with the discount ( lower ) price.

Maybe Choice can do something about this to fresh everyones mind about about the agreement with Coles and Woolworth has plus for IGA/Aldi to sign the agreement.

I emailed Choice directly a couple times but they ignored my messages

Hi @RayM,
Sorry that you did not receive a reply previously. I’ve passed on your feedback on price errors at the checkout to the investigations team - thanks for highlighting the issue here.


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Now here is some good news. I was on holiday and visited the Bunnings store in Atherton, Qld. It’s probably one of the smallest Bunnings I have ever seen but while I was looking for some items I noticed a lady with a scanner scanning price tickets on the shelves. She wasn’t counting the stock. I asked her what she was doing and she said that she was checking the product, the price and the ticket to make sure they all agreed. “We have zero tolerance for errors.” she said. It’s good to see some retailers taking pricing seriously.


Woolworths is still a signatory to the Code of Practice for Computerised Checkout Systems in Supermarkets (reference and their website talks about it (reference
Coles, ALDI and IGA are not signatories to the Code of Practice; and the Retail Council advises: "If you would like to register a complaint with a non-signatory retailer, you can contact them directly.
Coles Customer Care - 1800 061 562
ALDI Customer Service - 13 25 34
IGA Customer Support visit: "


Coles still does the price scanning promise

Single items
If a single item scans at a higher price than the advertised or ticketed shelf price for that item, we will give you that item FREE.

Multiple identical items
If multiple, identical items scan at higher price than the advertised or ticketed shelf price, we will give you the first item FREE, and the remaining items at the advertised or ticketed shelf price

Maybe we/choice can help push IGA,ALDI. To sign the agreement.

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I’ve noticed that with Woolies and Coles (when we used to shop there) the scanned prices were often different, and usually to our disadvantage. However, we’re not attentive shoppers and often we’d only notice in hindsight. Try going back a few days later and claiming the Code… I guess they rely on that unwillingness to raise a ruckus on our parts. I’ve had overscans at Bunnings before, and I check these more carefully so in each case I was able to get them fixed there and then, but only the balance refunded.

In the case of supermarkets, when we did notice a difference on the spot, it was generally refunded right away also.

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At the register at Woolworths after a marked down item was scanned through at a higher price.
When I pointed out that the computerised checkout had brought up the wrong price for the item (checkout showing $25 instead $15 on the price label on the shelf) the register operator called for a price check. When the price checking person came she took the item with her; and returned saying “No it’s not $18, that’s the price of the things to either side of it” I knew this wasn’t correct but did not argue and just said I would not buy them at $25
When I had finished my shopping I got curious and went back in to the store and looked at the shelf and labels to check that I had not made a mistake. I had not made a mistake - there was clearly a label saying item was marked down to $15.00 so I took a photo & took quantity four (4) to express checkout. Again the checkout got the price wrong saying $25 instead of $15 - I showed the photo of the mark down price label to this cashier; who called for a price check. The same price checking person came and was shown my photo, and went away to the shelves and came back and admitted what the correct price was (the price on the label I had photographed) and left. While she had been away checking the price, I had asked the register operator about the Woolworths guarantee about incorrect scanned prices and getting the first item for free - he said he knew nothing about that; and when I suggested now was the time to find out about it he ignored me. He charged me the confirmed labelled price ($15) for all items including the first one.
When I got home I looked up Woolworths site to check if I was mistaken about their scanning policy. But I was correct so I used the Woolworths online customer feedback form to tell them about my experience.
A day later I received an email that said:
“If you believe you have been incorrectly charged for an item you have purchased, we do encourage you to please return to the store of purchase with your reciept to organise a refund.
Our policy for an incorrectly charged item is to provide a full refund. If multiples of the same product have been incorrectly charged then the first one scanned is free and the difference on the additional items will be refunded.
In this circumstance, the additional 4 products that you purchased being charged at $15 is the correct protocol. However, you are most definitley entitled to the first product you purchased at $25 to be refunded back to you.” [their spelling]
As I had bought 4 items and not the 5 that they were talking about, my reply email said:
“My request is that Woolworths fix this error. This is what I asked for in the online form and what I am still asking for. There is no $25 purchase to sort out. What needs sorting out is that I was incorrectly charged $15 for the first of the four (despite my raising the code of practice with the cashier at the time).”
Another day - and this time I receive an email from the manager of the store apologising and asking me to ring her. She offered to correct the error the next time I went there; but it is not a suburb I visit regularly so she agreed to mail me a Woolworths card with the appropriate amount on it.
… so yes Woolworths is still a signatory to the Code of Conduct, but not all Woolworths register operators and not all Woolworths price checkers know anything about it.


Ive had the same positive experience.

Coles still do and so do IGA

Not all IGA do… Only the larger progressive ones do

I know Coles stills honours that agreement and the Customer Service Supervisors are well aware of this code I recently purchased feijoas from fresh produce at night and they did not scan nor was there a price on them on shelf (product name and PLU not known on screen) asked for the duty supervisor and i said under the consumer law I get the first free and he said yes but as no lower price is indicated he said i could have the 4 i bought for free and I’ve done other items at Coles 5 stores near where i live regional NSW.

Both Coles and Woolworths do honour the code as I check my receipts very carefully and have to say it’s a rare day when something isn’t priced incorrectly. They only give you the item free if you insist and will try to give the lower price, I always get the item free and must say I’m a little disappointed if everything rings up correctly. If they refuse you need to speak to the manager or take it further, I have never had a problem. As for Aldi, they are not bound by the agreement but having said that, it’s extremely rare for any of their items to be wrongly priced. Happened once to me and I was given the item at the lower price. Does make you wonder why the ‘big two’ make so many ‘mistakes’ when Aldi can get it right so consistently. Could it be that they make a lot of extra money with people buying something because they think it’s a special and then not noticing they have paid full price?

A more likely reason is because Coles and Woolworths have many more products with specials changing every week. With such an amount of changing tickets, it is normal to expect a price discrepancy every now and then. I must add that most price discrepancies arise because the customer didn’t read the ticket properly.

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You make a valid point natural.thought, although I have, as mentioned received free items many times and have noticed that often the price is not corrected, meaning you could go back and again get that item for free, if you could be bothered going in and out of the store. I can assure you I check prices very carefully and it is the store making the error in my experience, which is fine by me as I love getting something for free, (who doesn’t?). Just advising people to keep an eye on prices and if enough people received items for free, I’m sure there wouldn’t be as many ‘mistakes’.

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Yes, I wasn’t saying the majority of your instances were your fault; rather, the majority of all instances are the customer’s fault (this is true for the store I work at, anyway). That being said, the store I work at holds a high regard for customer service and most of the staff strive to do what is right. Other stores may not care as much.

Aldi didn’t sign the agreement but as the same as coles do agree on the same thing.

What is the ALDI policy on items that have been incorrectly scanned? Are they free?

If a regular product scans at a price higher than that displayed,
you are entitled to receive the first item free. All subsequent items will be
charged at the lower price.

If a ‘special buys™/special’ product
scans at a price higher than the price displayed, ALDI will refund the
difference between the scanned price and ticketed price.