Michigan price scanner law

Michigan price scanner Bill of Rights

The new Shopping Reform and Modernization Act, or Scanner Law, requires that most items on store shelves display a price; by signage, electronic reader, price sticker, or any other method that clearly and reasonably conveys the cost to a consumer in the store at the place where the item is located.

If an automatic checkout price scanner charges you more than the displayed amount of an item and:

  • 1) the transaction is complete, and
  • 2) you have a receipt indicating the item purchased and the price charged for it. 

What to do if the store overcharges you

You must notify the seller that you were overcharged, within 30 days of the transaction, either in person or in writing. Within two days of receiving your notice, the seller may choose to refund you the difference between the amount charged and the price displayed plus a “bonus” ten times the difference, with a minimum of $1.00 and a maximum of $5.00. If the seller refuses to give you the refund and the bonus, you may bring a lawsuit to recover your damages or $250.00, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney fees up to $300.00.

Pricing and Price Scanner Error Facts:  

Price scanner and sales prices:

The price on a sale item does not display and scans for more than the sale price; you are entitled to the sale price but not the bonus. There must be a price shown on the item, and it has to scan for more than the price shown to get the bonus.  

Price scanner items that do not have to display a price: 

  • Items sold by weight or volume which are not in a package or container;
  • items sold in a coin-operated vending machine;
  • prepared food intended for immediate consumption;
  • items you purchase by mail or through a catalog or that are not otherwise visible for inspection if the price of the item is on the consumer’s written order or the bill/invoice;
  • unpackaged food items;
  • items with a total weight of not more than 3 ounces, a total volume of not more than three cubic inches, and a price of not more than 30 cents;
  • live plants;
  • live animals;
  • motor vehicles;
  • motor vehicle parts;
  • packages of 20 or fewer cigarettes;
  • greeting cards sold separately, which have a readable coded price on the back of the card;
  • merchandise consumers order as a gift, and the recipient receives it directly. 

Price Scanner Refund Process

If you notify the clerk of an overcharge before you pay for it, and the clerk corrects the overcharge, you are not due a bonus. The transaction must be complete, and you must have a receipt evidencing the overcharge before requesting the bonus.

Complaints regarding a price scanner error overcharge by a Michigan store should be sent to the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Weights & Measures Section in the E.C. Heffron Laboratory, by calling 517-655-8202 or in writing addressed to 940 Venture Lane, Williamston, MI 48895. or

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909

Toll-free: 877-765-8388

www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)

For more information on insurance and fraud affecting Michigan residents, click the Michigan Insurance Fraud Authority post.