How Does A Higher Bill At The Till Make You Feel? | Legal Articles


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How Does A Higher Bill At The Till Make You Feel?

Paying less at the till than the displayed price on the shelf is not only pocket friendly, but comes with good feelings too. Some of us have encountered situations where, upon the till operator scanning a product, informs you that the product has actually been marked down and therefore you owe less than what you thought. However, what we may all agree on is that finding out at the till that the product costs more than the displayed price is unacceptable. The question then becomes, which price should you pay?


Whilst doing some shopping other people make rough calculations/estimates in their mind whenever they put a product in the trolley. This is usually done in order to keep the bill within the allocated budget. Consequently, when the consumer heads to the till after picking all the required goods, they usually have a rough idea of how much they will pay at the till. What would be disappointing is to be informed at the till that one owes an amount that is disproportionately way more than the estimated amount.


The reason for the above may be, that the rough calculations and estimates were not precise and completely off the mark. Alternatively, maybe it is because some goods in the trolley were not included in the calculations/estimates. Yet still, it could be that the prices on display in the shelves were not precisely so, when the products were scanned at the till.


The latter scenario above is not uncommon, whereby the price displayed on the product in the shelf of the shop is not exactly the same price that will be asked at the till. Fortunately, the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) makes provision on how these situations may be dealt with. As one of its objectives, the CPA was promulgated to ‘promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection.’


Section 23 (6) of the CPA makes provision for when the price of a product is higher at the till than the price that is displayed when the product is in the shelves, or where two different prices are displayed for the same product.


(6)          Subject to subsections (7) to (10), a supplier must not require a consumer to pay

a price for any goods or services—

(a) higher than the displayed price for those goods or services; or

(b) if more than one price is concurrently displayed, higher than the lower or

lowest of the prices so displayed.


The above provision is self-explanatory, and knowing it may not only come in handy and convenient one day, but pocket friendly and with good feelings too.  

Van Deventer and Van Deventer Incorporated assists with consumer protection law, civil and general litigation, criminal litigation, human rights law, family law matters such as maintenance, divorces, protection orders, Rule 43 applications, Rule 58 applications and others. We also assist in labour and employment law, personal injury, company law and deceased estates amidst an array of others.

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