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Attorney Renee C. Walsh

MAKE EASY MONEY Asserting Your Scanner Law Rights

A very frugal friend of mine told me that he rarely makes a trip to a certain retail and grocery super-center without the scanner incorrectly scanning one of his items.  He makes easy money asserting his Scanner Law rights.

Here’s the Scanner Law:

Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 445.311 et. seq., popularly called the Scanner Law or Shopping Reform Act, applies to the purchase of consumer items which are purchased thru an automatic checkout system.  If the item does not scan correctly, the consumer gets the difference between the price displayed and the price charged, multiplied by 10. The minimum is $1.00 and the maximum is $5.00.

Once you tell the store that you have been overcharged, they have 2 days to give you these statutory damages.  If they do, you can’t take them to court.  If they don’t give you your statutory damages, you can and recover actual damages or $250.00 whichever is greater, and up to $300.00 in attorney fees.

Make even more $$ this way:

You should not feel awkward in any way about invoking your Scanner Law rights.  Stores are well aware of this law and should respect that you don’t want to pay more than you agreed to and you rely on them to advertise their goods in a way that will not cheat their customers.  Furthermore, it is an inconvenience to you to have to scrutinize your receipt and go back to deal with an incorrectly marked item.

But, they are going to treat you badly!  Store workers seem to take it personally.  They will even lie to you!

WATCH FOR THEIR LIES!

Take note of what they tell you and who tells it to you.  Listen for confusing and/or untrue statements, like “you have to leave the store” or the “law doesn’t exist anymore” or it “doesn’t apply to clearance items”.

Because those lies can lead to you collecting an additional $250!  FOR VIOLATING THE MICHIGAN CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT.

Contact me at renee@walshlawpllc.com if you need help collecting your statutory damages.  You won’t pay me a dime — but the store will.

Additional Resources:

Discussion:

  1. I recently purchased four Apple iTune gift cards at Meijer. They have a sale flier that shows these cards, normally $25, on sale for $20. I purchased four of them, scanned them through at a self checkout lane and noted that I was charged $25 each for them. I took the receipt and the items to the customer service desk, where I was given the overcharge but no penalty. They said no penalty was due because it was not marked or posted as being on sale, only that the ad had it (correctly) on sale. Does the scanner law cover this as a penalty case? It is surely deceptive if nothing else.

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