AG Explains Bounty
Posted: 2009-11-11. Categories: Michigan, Wal-mart

I was at Wal-Mart the other day. I purchased 9 items, 5 of the 9 rang up for more than the actual price! 3 of the items had a sign listing them at 90% off, they were marked $8.00 but rang up for $2.00.

The cashier gave me the overcharged amount. I also had 2 items that were originally marked $4.00, and then price marked again as $3.00 clearance items. They came up at full price.

They gave me the dollar difference, but when asked for the bounty on the scanning error, I was told, “We don’t give bounties on sale or clearance items.”

I told them it was clearly marked $3.00. I even spoke to the store manager who repeated the same.

I called the Attorney General’s Office to confirm this was correct, due to the fact that I have received the bounty on tagged sale items before.

The Attorney General’s Office told me that the law states that if the item is physically marked, no matter if it’s with a regular tag or sale tag and it rings up over that price, it is a scanning error and the bounty is to be paid.

She stated that a lot of stores are trying to tell customers that, but it is not true. She suggested I file a complaint against the store.

Confused no more!
Jennifer Gillan-Keller

Sent from my iPhone

5 Comments to "AG Explains Bounty"

  1. Britni says:

    I work at Shopko which is kind of like a walmart but smaller and mostly only in the midwest. I know the reason we don’t pay the bounty on clearance items or sale items because we have a paper sent to us from the state of michigan explaining that it is only on regular priced items.

  2. Jim says:

    That’s funny Britni. It’s also the reason that I’m sure one day your store will be sued over it. Moreover, I doubt very highly that you have anything from the State of Michigan saying that it’s only regular priced items. What you’re service desk is probably looking at is the AG’s FAQ section discussing if something is discounted by a percentage — without a sticker showing the sale price.

    Bottom line, it’s all about the sticker. They have to charge you what the sticker says. If the store charges you more than indicated on the package, then they owe a bounty on it. Otherwise, the stores could just refuse to pay the bounty on anything by saying everything is on sale.

  3. marko says:

    Here is the explanation regarding the law including how it doesn’t apply to clearance or sale items. Before you doubtyou should research a bit perhaps.

    What is the Consumer Pricing and Advertising Act (Act 449 of 1976)?
    The act regulates the pricing of consumer items and the advertising of consumer items in order to provide a level playing field for all merchandising establishments and to protect the welfare of the consumer.
    Who is responsible for the Consumer Pricing and Advertising Act?
    The Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Section is responsible for investigating all complaints. The Attorney General’s office is forwarded all information regarding the complaints and is responsible for any enforcement actions taken.
    Under what circumstances am I eligible to receive the “bounty” or any extra compensation for being overcharged on an item or items?
    There are three conditions that must be met at retail:
    The price must be affixed or stamped on the item
    The sale must be recorded by an automatic checkout system (scanner)
    The buyer must be given the receipt which describes the item and states the price charged for the item
    If these conditions are met and a consumer is overcharged, then the consumer is entitled to the difference between the price affixed to the item and the price charged, plus an amount equal to 10 times the difference but which is not less than $1.00 or more than $5.00.
    What if I buy 4 identical items and am overcharged on each? Am I entitled to the “bounty” on each one?
    No. If a loss is suffered by 1 buyer within 1 transaction on 2 or more identical items, then the amount to be tendered by the seller shall be the difference on each item, plus an amount equal to 10 times the difference on a single item but which is not less than $1.00 and not more than $5.00.
    What can I do if the store refuses to pay the “bounty”?
    Section 10(2) states, “a person who suffers loss as a result of a violation of this act may bring an individual or class action to recover actual damages or $250.00, whichever is greater, for each day on which violations of this act have been found together with reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $300.00 on an individual action.”
    What if an item is advertised at a lower price than marked (sale price) and a consumer is charged the non-sale price? Is that consumer entitled to the bounty?
    No, not all of the requirements were met. The consumer is entitled to purchase the item at the lowest advertised price however.
    Are all items in a store required to be individually item priced or marked?
    No, there are some exceptions that allow some items not to be item priced. For example, a store is allowed a list of 25 sale items and 25 non-sale items that don’t have to be item priced. The list must be located in a conspicuous location.
    Also, items such as unpackaged food items, items sold by weight or volume, food items intended for immediate consumption, and motor vehicle parts do not need to be item priced.
    However, in such cases, the price and the name or description shall be indicated by a clear, readable, and conspicuous sign in immediate conjunction with the area in which the unmarked item is displayed.
    Who should I contact with a complaint about scanning accuracy or item pricing?
    Complaints should be registered with the Michigan Dept of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Section at (517) 655-8202 or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-SOLVE-88 (877-765-8388).

  4. CLA says:

    There is a difference sale and clearance…the AG website says that if an item is on sale, the guest is entitled to only the difference.

  5. CeCe says:

    Bounty is claimed regardless if the item is sale or clearance. I finally asked an attorney because I’ve faced this situation too many times. In Michigan, the scanner law states if an automatic checkout system (scanner) charges you more than the displaced price of an item (shown on the sticker) and (1) the transaction has been completed, and (2) you have a receipt showing the item purchased and the priced charged for that item, you must notify the seller that you were overcharged within 30 days of the transaction either in person or in writing. The seller must then notify you within 2 days and refund you the difference between the amount charged and the price displayed PLUS a bonus of 10x the difference (minimum of $1 and a maximum bonus of $5). If the seller refuses to repay the refund and the bonus, you can sue to recover your actual damages or $250 (which ever is greater) plus reasonable attorney fees up to $300. People, start exercising your scanner law rights and don’t let businesses tell you that the scanner law doesn’t apply to sale or clearance items! It DOES. If the sticker clearly shows a price and the scanner overcharges you on it and you have a receipt….you indeed get bounty and they get kicked in the butt by having to pay you the refund bounty!