Scanning Code

The Code of Practice for Computerised Checkout Systems in Supermarkets was developed to ensure that the interests of customers are protected in the operation of supermarket scanning systems. 

Who does the Code apply to?

The Code is voluntary and applies to supermarkets and food stores who are signatories to it. 

Signatories to the Code are: 

  • Woolworths Supermarkets
What does the Code cover?

The Code of Practice covers all scanned merchandise within a store. This includes items registered using the PLU ("Price Look Up") number. 

The Code does not cover:

  • Liquor products
  • Tobacco products
  • Items which do not have a barcode or PLU number 
  • Items where the shelf price is $50 or greater
The Item Free policy 

If the price displayed at the checkout or on the customer receipts is higher than the shelf price, the customer is entitled to receive that item free of charge. 

The Shelf Price is the price of an individual item that appears on a shelf label or shelf price label. 

The Shelf Label or Shelf Price Label means the sign or label showing the price of individual items at the place where the product is displayed for sale to the customer. 

The Item Free policy does NOT cover goods that are "item priced".
The Item Free policy does NOT cover goods where the shelf price is $50 or greater.

The Multiple Purchase Policy
Where multiple items bearing identical bar codes, or the same PLU number, are scanned and the scanned price is higher that the shelf price, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free of charge and the remaining items at the lower price (that is, the shelf price). 

When scanning error deemed to have occurred?
A scanning error shall be deemed to have occurred when an item has been scanned, or the correct PLU number entered, and a price higher than the shelf price is displayed at the checkout or on the customer receipt. 

It is not necessary for the customer to have paid for the item or to have left the store to be entitled to receive the item free of charge. 

Where an operator error has occurred (that is the wrong PLU number is entered or the wrong product is identified by the checkout operator) the customer is NOT entitled to receive the item free of charge. 

Other provisions of the Code:
  • The Code requires retailers to give customers a detailed, legible receipt describing each item purchased, the price, the date and the store name.
  • The Code provides that customer grievances be referred to the store manager or supervisor in the first instance. Where a grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer they may lodge a formal complaint with the Retail Council.

Customer Service
To lodge a complaint regarding a signatory retailer, please call the Retail Council on + 61 2 8823 3515 (Monday to Friday during business hours). 

If you would like to register a complaint with a non-signatory retailer, you can contact them directly. 


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