Supermarket shoppers urged to check receipts so they don't miss out on free cash from scanning blunders

Some supermarkets will compensate customers if they've been overcharged for items while shopping – and the rewards can be huge.

At the very least, supermarkets should refund you the difference if you've been overcharged, which is why you should always hang on to your receipts and check them carefully.

Some go further and will pay you extra as an apology for charging you too much for an item.

Tesco and Asda both have little-known policies that will give free cash to any shopper who has overpaid, which we've detailed below.

Tesco will give you "double the difference" between what you've paid the actual cost of the item, while Asda will refund the difference and give you a £2 gift card as an apology.

Both only apply to in-store purchases – as there are different rules for online shopping.

As a rule of thumb, you should be automatically refunded the difference if you are overcharged for an item you've ordered online.

One money-saving food blogger warned that it's very important you check your receipts for errors BEFORE you've left the supermarket.

Amy Sheppard, the author of The Savvy Shopper's Cookbook, told The Sun: "Over charging is sadly a common occurrence in all supermarkets, with offers not being inputted into the system properly and double scanning by cashiers being the main reasons.

"It’s much harder to prove an overcharge after you’ve got home – so it’s important to always check your receipt before you leave."

In Australia, most supermarkets have signed up to a voluntary code of practice which means customers will receive their item free if they can show they've overpaid for it.

Sadly, there's no such scheme over here though – but some supermarkets will give you a cash boost if you can show you have paid too much.

Tom Church, co-founder of offer website, told The Sun: "It's always worth checking your receipt.

"A frequent mistake is when you're buying discounted items such as reduced-to-clear yellow stickers in supermarkets and the full-price barcode is accidentally scanned, or if something is meant to be buy one get one free, and it doesn't give you that offer."

Here we take a look at each supermarket's policy when it comes to scanning blunders.


On its website, Aldi states that it will refund you the difference if you've been charged twice for the same item in store.

It says: "As much as we try and avoid instances such as this, mistakes can happen.

"Please accept our apologies and return to store with your receipt for a refund of the additional payment taken."

It does not explain what it offers if you pay too much online.

We've asked Aldi to clarify its policy and we will update this article if we hear back.


Asda has a very generous policy when it comes to accidental overcharges.

The supermarket will refund the difference if you've paid more than the item costs, AND give you a £2 gift card as an apology.

The policy only applies to in-store purchases though.

If you think you've been overcharged, you should take your receipt to Asda's customer service desk and staff will look into the problem.

If you've only noticed the error after you've left the store, you'll need to make a journey back to your nearest branch to take the receipt to the desk.

Staff should then offer to refund you and give you the gift card as a bonus.

With online shopping, the supermarket says it will refund you the difference on the day of delivery or collection if you've been overcharged.

Sadly, there's no gift card on offer when it comes to online transactions.

The refund may take a few working days to appear in your bank account.

Asda used to have another scheme that made it worth clinging onto your receipts.

Its Price Guarantee meant it would pay the difference if your shop wasn't 10 per cent cheaper than rival supermarkets.

Customers were outraged when the price match scheme was withdrawn in October last year.

Your rights if something is advertised at the wrong price

Buying in a shop

Your legal rights in a shop will depend on whether you’ve paid for the item yet or not.

If you haven’t bought it yet – If you take an item to the till and are told the price on the tag or label is a mistake, you don’t have a right to buy the item at the lower price. You could still try asking the seller to honour the price.

It’s the same if you see an item advertised anywhere for a lower price than the one on the price tag.

If you’ve already bought it – If the shop sold you an item at a lower cost than they meant to, you don’t have to give it back – they’re only legally entitled to ask you for more money if you had talked about the price (eg £100) and they ended up charging you much less instead (eg £10).

If you realise you’ve paid more for an item than it was advertised for at the time, ask for the shop to refund the difference between what you paid and what was advertised.

Keep any evidence of the mistake, if you can – for example, you could take a photo of the advert in the shop window.

Shopping online

Your legal rights depend on something fairly tricky in the law: whether or not you have a ‘contract’.

Depending on the company’s terms and conditions, you’ll have legal rights (and a contract) either once you’ve paid for the item or once they’ve sent it to you.

You’ll need to find the company’s terms and conditions to find out where you stand.

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need help. It may be too tricky to work out yourself.

If you have a contract, the company can’t usually cancel your order, even if they realise they’ve sold you something at the wrong price.

They’ll only be able to cancel it if it was a genuine and honest mistake on their part that you should’ve noticed.

If you don’t have a contract and someone realises they’ve told you the wrong price, they can cancel your order.


The supermarket doesn't have information on its website about what it offers customers if you've been overcharged.

It should refund you the difference at least if you bring your receipt to a staff member.

We've asked Co-op to clarify its policy and we will update this article if we hear back.


Iceland told The Sun it will refund you the difference if you've been charged too much for an item.

If you paid by card, the money will be refunded onto your card, otherwise you will receive the refund in cash.

There's another reason to check your receipts thoroughly if you're a Bonus Card customer.

Iceland shoppers who sign up to the loyalty scheme will receive coupons for money off or vouchers for freebies on their receipts when they swipe their card at the till.

If a customer is overcharged when using one of these coupons, Iceland told The Sun it would refund the value of the coupon.

But a spokesman added: "Iceland’s efficient check-out procedure should prevent this from happening as all coupons are scanned at the end of transaction so it would be clear for our store staff to spot any discrepancies."


Lidl says it will refund you the difference if you've been charged twice for an item.

It states on its website that customers who've been overcharged should go back to the store with the receipt and speak to a manager.

They say you can also contact their customer service team online.

The policy only seems to cover being charged twice and not other kinds of overpayment, though.

We've asked Lidl to clarify its policy and we will update this article if we hear back.


The supermarket doesn't have information on its website about what it offers customers if you've been overcharged.

It should refund you the difference at least if you bring your receipt to a staff member.

We've asked Morrisons to clarify its policy and we will update this article if we hear back.


Sainsbury's told The Sun it doesn't have a policy covering overcharges.

But it says if a customer brings in a receipt showing they have paid too much for an item, they will be refunded the difference.

The rules should apply to online shoppers too.

Here's how to cut the cost of your grocery shop

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards


Tesco has arguably the best policy when it comes to customers being overcharged.

Its "double the difference" promise means customers will be refunded the difference between the actual cost of the item and what they paid, AND receive the same amount in cashback.

For example, if you bought a large box of soap powder which was priced at £5 on the shelf and you get charged £10 at the till, you would receive £5 for the difference PLUS an extra £5 cashback.

Tesco says "in the unlikely event that we charge you more than the price advertised on the shelf or on the product," you should visit a store's customer service desk with your receipt.

A staff member will then offer a "double the difference refund".

This only applies to in-store purchases, though.

The supermarket doesn't make clear what happens if you've been overcharged online, but you should be refunded the difference automatically.

If not, then it's best to speak to the supermarket's customer service team.

We've asked Tesco to clarify and we will update this story if we hear back.

Thousands of Aldi workers will get a pay rise this month which could see wages boosted by nearly £3,000 a year.

Last year, fellow German discounter Lidl announce that it too would be creating 1,000 new jobs by opening five new stores.

In more troubling news, Tesco is to axe 15,000 jobs and close 90 of its fresh food counters.

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