Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Beginning June 8, 2020 the Building Inspection plan review and zoning review counters will be open to the public by appointment only.

For information about scheduling an appointment and other Building Inspection services please see the Building Inspection Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

View all impacts to City service on the City's COVID-19 website.

Scanners and Price Verification

Hand held scannerScanners are regulated by weights and measures officials under the authority of Chapter 22 of the City of Madison and Chapter 98 of Wis Stats.

Price Discrepancies

It is illegal to post a false quantity or price for the purchase, sale or advertising of any commodity, thing or service.

The price charged by a point of sale (POS) system must equal that advertised or displayed.

Price Changes

When an item is going down in price the price must be reduced in the POS system before it is reduced in  advertisements, shelf tags or display placards. When an item is going up in price, the price must be increased in the advertisement, shelf tag or display placard before the POS system.

The customer must never pay more for an item than what is advertised or displayed. 


If the price charged is more than the price advertised or displayed, the store must refund the customer the difference. If the price charged is less, the customer pays the lesser of the two.

In all cases store management must permanently correct the discrepancy.

Price Matching

We recommend implementing a self-inspection program to compare advertised and displayed prices vs. scanned prices at the checkout. Ensure that price change signs are placed and/or removed on time. Price reduction signs must be posted in the correct locations for the correct products. Monitor merchandise moved to wrong locations by customers. Train staff to verify shelf tags with product descriptions or barcodes when stocking or facing shelves. Remove shelf tags if out-of-stock merchandise is stocked with something else.

Customer Right of Refund

Price Discrepancy in accordance with Ch. 98By law, if you use an electronic scanner in your store, you must display refund signage (see sample signage). If a customer is charged a higher price than the advertised or displayed price, they have a right to a refund of the difference. Obvious and visible signage would include large signs readable from all checkout locations, or individual signs at each register or pod (including service counters).

Chapter 98 of Wis Stats. refund information must be posted at all point of sale/registers in view and easily readable by the customer while paying for merchandise.

Outside Vendors

Store management is accountable for all pricing errors including those entered by outside vendors.

Monitor vendor price changes to ensure accuracy and timeliness.

Last Updated: 01/09/2020

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Weights & Measures

Sample signage to comply with 98.08 posting required:


Price Descrepancies

In accordance with Ch. 98, Wis. Stats. "should the electronic scanner price be higher than the posted or advertised price, the customer shall at least be refunded the difference."

Translation Services

For interpreter, translator, materials in alternate formats or other accommodations, please call the Building Inspection Division at (608) 266-4551.

Español: Si necesita interprete, traductor, materiales en diferentes formatos, u otro tipo de ayuda para acceder a estos formularios, por favor llame al (608) 266-4551.

Hmoob: Yog tias koj xav tau ib tug neeg txhais lus, txhais ntawv, los sis xav tau cov ntaub ntawv pab kom paub txog cov lus qhia no, thov hu rau Chaw Haujlwm Koog Soj Ntsuam Tsev (Building Inspection Division) (608) 266-4551.

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