brandonmartinez

Consumer Alert! Michigan “Bounty” Changing September 1, 2011

If you’ve heard of the Michigan “Bounty” or Scanner Law, a law that allows a consumer to be compensated for being overcharged on an item, it will be changing as of September 1, 2011.

The reason for the change is that a recent law says that retailers no longer have to price every item in a store (known as the Michigan Sticker Law), given that a price is displayed somewhere that clearly indicates the price of the item (e.g. a tag on a shelf, electronic readers, etc).; from the Michigan.gov website:

…the most fundamental change is that retailers are required to display the price of items offered for sale in the store at the place where the item is located, but are no longer required to individually mark the price on the item itself.

This does not mean that the bounty is going away completely, as I was incorrectly informed at a store last night. It means that it will be less likely that a consumer will need to claim the bounty.

There are still instances where it could be claimed. For example, if there’s a “manager’s special” and the store forgot to update their system’s price as well, and you’re charged the original price, you can still claim the bounty on that. From the Michigan.gov website:

If an automatic checkout system (scanner) charges you more than the displayed price of an item, and:

  1. the transaction has been completed, and
  2. you have a receipt indicating the item purchased and the price charged for it.

Then:

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” of ten times the difference, with a minimum of $1.00 and a maximum of $5.00. If the seller refuses to give you both the refund and the bonus, you may bring a lawsuit to recover your actual damages or $250.00, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney fees up to $300.00.

So, in short: an individual item can’t be mismarked, since there are no longer any price stickers, but a group of items can be if their signage is incorrect. If you are charged incorrectly from the displayed price, you can still claim the bounty just as before.

Original Link: Michigan’s New Scanner Law: The 2011 Shopping Reform and Modernization Act @ Michigan.gov.

Thumbnail photo via sylvar’s flickr.

  • Ackermanbj

    What if the item does have an individual price sticker that is incorrect even though no longer required?

    • http://www.brandonmartinez.com/ Brandon Martinez

      My wife just ran into this, actually. Apparently, if the item is still stickered, even though no longer required, the bounty is still applicable.

  • guest

    Thank-you. I was just told by a retailer that the bounty law was no longer in effect even though the item had a price tag on it as well as the lower price marked on the shelf. The link you give is great & I’m going to call the toll-free # to request the dollar-bill sized scanner error bill of rights.

  • Mcarr725

    I dont understand…If a item is marked for less than the display price, and I was charged display price (higher than price on item) Do I qualify for the bounty?

    • http://www.brandonmartinez.com/ Brandon Martinez

      If the item is individually stickered, yes, I believe that you still qualify. Now, this is mostly just an assumption, as I’m no lawyer or lawmaker, but definitely worth bringing up to the store/management.

  • Mcarr725

    I dont understand…If a item is marked for less than the display price, and I was charged display price (higher than price on item) Do I qualify for the bounty?

  • Davidbucholtz

    if the item has an individual price sticker you are still entitled to the bounty. I am a professional bounty hunter in regards to pricing. I do this shit for a living and make thousands of $$$$ a week.

    • Oneglswngs7

      so you don’t actually shop for what you need, you shop to make money…fabulous…it is people like you that make it harder for everyone!!!
      Laws like this are to protect the general consumer but you are out there taking advantage of retailers driving up prices for everyone and making it harder to staff retail establishments. Hope you choke on your $$$$$$$!!!

      • Davidbucholtz

        Choke on my dick

    • sta2012

      You are the reason that stores end up charging more.  Everyone is entitled to a mistake, even stores.  Stores are not out to take advantage of you, you are taking advantage of them.  There should be a law to protect stores against people like you!

    • Shopper

      You’re a fucking idiot. That’s actually illegal. People have been caught doing that, and have been prosecuted for harassment and theft.

      • Davidbucholtz

        It’s not illegal you fucking retard. And whoever let theirselves get prosecuted is really the true idiot. The stores have to follow the law. If they don’t I sue their fucking ass for $250 per item per day that they refuse. Already did it to Walmart and a judge granted me $4,000,000. So really who is the fucking idiot. And to all you whiners who complain about the prices going up. You are just mad that you don’t do this. Now let’s not blame the sand niggers in the middle eastern countries for the price of oil which makes shipping costs go up because of diesel fuel prices. No. Let’s blame the white guy. You fucking race traders

      • DSdedsedd

        You shouldn’t be such a pussy. You should use your real name not guest asshole

  • Sherriekay

    If you go back to claim the bounty on some items before the 30 days is up and the sign has been changed what happens?  Wouldn’t it be up to the store to keep track of there signs

    • Davidbucholtz

      Fuck them stores

  • Troy Vincent

    I got a question for you all. I went to the store today and bought seven of the same items each separately so I have a receipt for each one. I went up to get my bounty and they said they only had to give me one bounty. I was told they had to for each receipt. This store is known for over changing people. They have done it to me to many times and I never go back. So today I took advantage of their mistake and now they won’t pay me. Please let me know if you have an answer for this.  

    • Sherriekay

      Yes you are right, they are suppose to honor each individual receipt, it is one upc per receipt….if they keep giving you a hard time go in and do one, then later that day or the next day do another….you have 30 days from the time you purchased the items. You shouldn’t have to do it like that, but it might be easier.

    • RU Serious

      It is one bounty per receipt(incident) and ALSO for that day on the same item for the same customer(no double dipping). But you get the difference back for each item since you already bought them. You stated that the store always overcharges people but you sound like one of the people that always tries to get over on stores (buying seven on separate receipts in one day and you knew there was an error)

  • http://www.facebook.com/schnook62 Linda Davis Cmt

    I just went to Meijer (a department store in Michigan) & bought other items then these 2 items.. both of these items were clearanced & clearly labeled from $1.99 to 40 cents.
    1 rang up one for 40 cents but the assisting cashier (I was at a self checkout) came over because the scanner wasn’t picking up the price. For some reason I thought to look at the receipt because that was the last thing I rang up that I didn’t really look as it was being scanned.
    the second item that she did rang up the original price of $1.99 instead of 40 cents.
    so this applies for that right? a clearanced item that didn’t ring up the way it was clearly marked?

  • PURPLE

    I WORK IN RETAIL AND THEY REALLY NEED TO EXIT THE BOUNTY LAW CAUSE WE HAVE A COUPLE WHO COME IN ABOUT 2-3 TIMES A MONTH AND CLEAN UP AND WE DONT KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GETTING THOSE PRICE TAGS FROM BUT WE DO BELIEVE THEY HAVE A PRICING GUN CAUSE WE HAVENT ANYTHING SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER AND IT’S CRAZY THEY TALK S— AND THEY HOLD THE LINE UP THEY BE IN SOOOOOOOO LONG THEY PULL UP A CHAIR AND A PUZZLE AND EAT THAT IS HOW LONG THEY ARE IN THERE MICHIGAN JUST NEED TO DO SOMETHING IT HAS TO END WE HATE TO SEE THEM COMING AND THEY HIT UP AS MANY STORES THEY CAN UNTIL THEY ARE KICKED OUT IT’S SAD CAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T DO THAT ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAS TO PAY THE PRICE

  • Douchecanoe

    First of all Brandon Martinez is a douche bag. I just hit te lowes in lauding ton fr $900 in bounties. It is not illegal to purchase mispriced items. If you have 50 items on one receipt with all different upcs they have to give you the bounty on each item then when you get done refund everything leave the store with nothing but their money. Fuck retail

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