Coles Australia supermarket scanning error policy mean you could get FREE meat

A woman has warned shoppers to always check their receipts before leaving the supermarket after she was given free meat due to a little-known policy.

The customer, from Forbes in New South Wales, picked up a tray of porterhouse steaks at Coles, which was on sale for $28 a kilo, after being discounted from $34.

But she quickly noticed she was overcharged when she checked her docket and saw the red meat had scanned at $34/kg – $6 more than the advertised ‘special’ price.

The shopper was supposed to pay $13.32 at $28/kg instead of $16.18 at $34/kg. 

And so she was able to get the steaks without paying a cent because the item scanned at a higher price than what was ticketed on the shelf.

Under Coles’ ‘Promise on Price Scanning’ policy, if a single item scans at a higher price than the advertised or ticketed shelf price for that item, the store will give that item to the customer for free.

A woman has warned shoppers to always check their receipts before leaving the supermarket after she was given free meat due to a little-known policy

A woman has warned shoppers to always check their receipts before leaving the supermarket after she was given free meat due to a little-known policy

The customer, from Forbes in New South Wales, picked up a tray of porterhouse steaks at Coles, which was on sale for $28 per kilo, after being discounted from $34

The customer, from Forbes in New South Wales, picked up a tray of porterhouse steaks at Coles, which was on sale for $28 per kilo, after being discounted from $34

But she quickly noticed she was overcharged when she checked her docket and saw the red meat had scanned at $34/kg - $6 more than the advertised 'special' price. The shopper was supposed to pay $13.32 at $28/kg instead of $16.18 at $34/kg

But she quickly noticed she was overcharged when she checked her docket and saw the red meat had scanned at $34/kg – $6 more than the advertised ‘special’ price. The shopper was supposed to pay $13.32 at $28/kg instead of $16.18 at $34/kg

So how do you get a free grocery item? 

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

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

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The woman shared her experience in a Facebook group to remind fellow shoppers to always ‘check your dockets, folks’.

She also uploaded pictures of her receipt showing proof she walked away with a free packet of steaks after she was refunded her full amount.

The receipt stated the ‘refund reason’ was a ‘scanning error’.

Many shoppers quickly responded to her post, saying they always check their dockets, while others admitted they never do.

‘Same thing happened yesterday with a roast pork. Was packaged at $10/kg advertised at $8/kg with the same yellow sign but scanned at around $9/kg so it was free,’ one woman wrote.

A second said: ‘Yep always check dockets. It’s crazy how many times you get overcharged. At least one item each shop seems to get scanned wrong. Even when I’ve pulled it up as it’s been scanned I was still given for free, which surprised me.’

And another added: ‘Just yesterday I got English muffins from a bin that said $2.50 and when I got home, I see $5 [on the receipt]. So annoying.’

On Coles’ website, the supermarket states: ‘All Coles supermarkets apply “Our Promise on Price Scanning” to ensure confidence in the pricing accuracy at our registers.’

One happy woman scored a free pack of lamb loin chops after her meat scanned at $26 per kilo - $6 more than the shelf price at Coles

One happy woman scored a free pack of lamb loin chops after her meat scanned at $26 per kilo – $6 more than the shelf price at Coles

What is a scanning policy?

What is a scanning error? A scanning error occurs when an item has been scanned, or the correct PLU (Price Look Up) number entered, and a price higher than the advertised or ticketed price displays at the checkout or on the receipt.

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The story comes after a group of shoppers on social media revealed they had discovered a little-known supermarket policy implemented by Coles and Woolworths. 

Customers are entitled to their product for free if the item scans at a higher price than what it was ticketed at on the shelf or on the packaging.  

But shoppers need to challenge the scanned price directly with management to get their product for free under both supermarkets’ scanning policies.

One shopper showed off the free packet of lamb loin chops she received after her meat scanned at $26 per kilo – $6 more than the shelf price.

‘Free Lamb today thanks to the Scanning Code of Practice,’ one shopper said, along with a picture of her lamb chops and a receipt showing the $0.00 transaction.

‘It scanned at $11.96 which is the correct price for $26/kg. It should have scanned at $9.20 which is $20/kg,’ the shopper explained.

Another shopper had a similar experience after her lamb roast scanned at a different price at checkout.

The label on the lamb leg roast showed it was sold at $13.50 per kilo – but the ‘Special’ label was displayed at $11 per kilo. 

One shopper claimed she purchased a Christmas ham after Woolworths had a $20 off sale – but the item scanned at just $10 off at checkout – so she got the $31 ham home for free. 

One shopper got a free beef rib steak after she noticed the 'Special' label was marked higher than the retail price

One shopper got a free beef rib steak after she noticed the ‘Special’ label was marked higher than the retail price

The label on this lamb leg roast showed it was sold at $13.50 per kilo - but the 'Special' label was displayed at $11 per kilo

The label on this lamb leg roast showed it was sold at $13.50 per kilo – but the ‘Special’ label was displayed at $11 per kilo

Coles' policy under 'Our Promise on Price Scanning' to 'ensure confidence in the pricing accuracy at our registers'

Coles’ policy under ‘Our Promise on Price Scanning’ to ‘ensure confidence in the pricing accuracy at our registers’

Under Woolworths' Scanning Code of Practice, customers are entitled to receive an item free of charge if the scanned price of an item is greater than the shelf price displayed

Under Woolworths’ Scanning Code of Practice, customers are entitled to receive an item free of charge if the scanned price of an item is greater than the shelf price displayed

Woolworths has a similar policy under the ‘scanning code of practice’.

A Woolworths spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia early last year: ‘Woolworths is a signatory to the Scanning Code of Practice.

‘Under the Code, our customers are entitled to receive an item free of charge if the scanned price of an item is greater than the shelf price displayed.

‘The only exceptions under the Code are products with a shelf price greater than $50, as well as tobacco and liquor products. These products will be adjusted to reflect the shelf price.’

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