vintage Publix Super Market group photo of employees


You’ve heard it said before while shopping for your weekly grocery items, you’ve even noticed the plaque hanging next to the customer service counter while checking out. But what is the Publix Promise? What does it stand for and why is it so important?

For those who struggle just to get in and get out while shopping with the entire family, it’s okay. We understand that you may not have time to stop and read the wall or have an associate explain it to you. For that very reason, we have dedicated this article to you — the busy bee with a million and one things on your plate. As you sit down to unwind from another hectic day, we invite you to enjoy this easy read where you can learn all about the meaning behind our 41 word phrase that has been the backbone of our grocery store chain since day one.

“Our Publix Promise states that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items.”

How Does it Benefit Publix?

You may be wondering, how does an assurance like this benefit a company trying to make money? The truth of the matter is, making a profit isn’t the most important thing to Publix. As stated by our founder, George Jenkins, “Never let making a profit stand in the way of doing the right thing.” What’s important to us is you — the customer.

If you see that an item is marked one price, and then at the register it rings up differently, we want to make it right. When that happens, of course we think the sale price should be honored, but we also feel you should get one of the items for free.

Why do we do this? Simple. Your complete satisfaction is what we are all about. As a “sorry for the inconvenience” we do it to keep you happy and coming back for years to come. So again, you ask how Publix benefits from the Publix Promise? The not-so-secret secret is that we get to see your smiling face come back.

How Does it Benefit You?

The answer to this one is simple. To ensure that you are taken care of from the 09_12_CM_Customer Service_Image2second you walk into the store to well after you’ve prepared your meal at home, it’s important to know that we’re here to help in any way we can. At the register, we know it can be frustrating when there’s a line or maybe even just a few items on the belt in front of your order. To help save time, we’ve trained our staff to help unload the shopping cart and ring up grocery items in the most efficient way possible. You may be thinking, “Yes, all that is just fine and dandy, but what about when something is rung up wrong at the register?” To be sure that this mistake does not happen again in the future, it’s likely that an associate will be sent back to check the shelf and pull the tag if necessary. We know that your time is valuable and would never want anyone to feel like their time is being wasted. As a kind gesture, aside from making sure that the price is corrected, we also offer one of the items for free.


Our drive to keep our customers happy is what we’ve focused our attention on since the beginning and it’s what we will continue to focus on as we move forward. Our Publix Promise is just one of the many features that we offer to customers in our store. Do you have a Publix Promise story that you’d like to share with us? How about just a nice personal story that touched you in one way or another at checkout? Either way, we want to hear about it! Share with us in the comments below.

Chris M.

Written by

When Chris M. is writing his blogs, you’ll find him sipping on Starbucks iced coffee and munching on his favorite Publix brand product – the peanut butter pretzels from our Produce department! His favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, because he loves being together with family, surrounded by delicious food. Joining the Publix team at just 14 in 2006, Chris enjoys taking the love that has grown for his company over the years and using it to share interesting stories you may not already know about Publix. All in all, Chris is a huge people person and loves spending time with friends – he knows there’s always adventure to be found together!

34 Comments on “Decoding the Publix Promise

  1. Shelly

    Publix overcharged us about $10 on our outrageously expensive grocery bill tonight because two main items were a lot more expensive than the sign under the items said. Both were on sale but the receipt shows a different price.

    So I went online to verify the advertised price at the store and all the prices online have been removed. There is no way to even check for sure what you claim to be charging in your store. How is this ethical? I can’t afford your prices, Publix, especially when you are ripping us off at the checkout.

  2. Amber

    I purchased deli meat from Deli Counter and price showed $12.00 per lb. After I was getting ready to check out I noticed $12.49 per lb was on the label and I went over to customer service and customer service said she can’t change price on her end I must return to Deli counter so I went back to deli which was completely slammed aby that time and had to wait and they fixed it but they did not offer it free. This doesn’t seem to be honoring the Publix Promise. The advertised price was $12.00, not $12.49. The deli customer service representative said the prices have recently gone up and they didn’t have a chance to change the placard on the meats. They had time to change it in the computer…not hapoy.

    1. Kaitlynn R.Kaitlynn R.

      Hello Amber. Thank you for taking the time to share your most recent experience with your local Deli department. Please reach out to us via private message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter as we are better equipped to handle your concern there. You can also submit your concern to our Customer Care department at 1-800-242-1227 or online at

  3. Tina

    I came to site to verify this was still Publix policy as the store I frequent has not been honoring this at all. Personally it is frustrating to have to police the prices as they ring up (often Im still unloading cart as cashier is ringing up my items, so it’s hard to even watch-have taken to putting on sale/BOGO products on last).

    Today purchased Halloween candy on sale for 9.99-was charge full price of 11.99- they price checked and changed charge to 9.99. If I hadn’t caught it, would of been over charged. Manager came over to authorize price change-I did not ask because I wanted to check on policy. Last time it occurred, & I brought it to the cashier’s attention, was told to go over to customer service & wait there for refund….

    I have been loyal to Publix, but the BOGOs are getting fewer, customer friendly policies not followed without having to ask & Publix shelves are often bare when other stores are not during this pandemic.

    I stop frequently at this Publix on way home from work
    Publix 1050 E. Piedmont Rd Ste P Marietta GA 30062. 770-509-3980

    Thank you

    1. Austin B.Austin B.

      Hi Tina. We’re sorry to hear this was your experience. We’d like to gather some additional information from you and have this addressed with store management. Can you please private message our teams on Twitter or Facebook?

  4. Annelia

    For the first time ever I had this happened to me. I went to the Customer Service Counter, asked, showed pictures of the label, with the UPC. The manager was very annoyed, said she had to verify on the shelf, returned. Went to ask, have you bought this before, how did you know it was priced wrong. I explained to her that I checked the price, than went to the self checkout, rang up wrong. She went on to say, you still want to buy it. I said yes, want the Publix guarantee. Hesitantly, she put it in a bag, handed to me. I asked for a receipt, she said, there was none. I told her, I’m looking at it, just print it. I’m not leaving the store without it. Needless to say, Publix is a great company.

    1. Austin B.Austin B.

      Hi there. Thank you for sharing this feedback. We would be happy to have this experience addressed with store management. Please contact us on via private message on Facebook or Twitter so we can obtain more information, and we’ll be happy to help.

  5. scott

    I got a King of the West honeydew melon tonight. The posted price was $3.99 and the scanned price was $4.99. The bagger checked the display and sent me to the customer service counter telling the fellow there of the mistake and mentioning the Publix promise. I asked what the promise was and the fellow said they refund the over charge or $1.00, which he did. Poor employee training .

  6. Linda

    I haven’t gone back to the store about this yet, so I’m looking for clarity on how this should be handled. I bought BOGO Publix boneless skinless chicken breasts yesterday. Upon looking over my receipt this morning, I see I was charged for both packages. However, further inspection of the packaging I found that both packages of boneless skinless chicken breast packaging say the correct thing but the billing on the packages say boneless chicken fillets on both packages. Breasts are $5.19 a pound and Fillets are $5.99. How should this be resolved?

  7. Christina

    Today I went in to grocery shop and noticed a cup in the ticketed discounted section and when they went to scan it, from what the cashier said it read “item not found” both her and I were under the impression that it must be free, but another associate interjected and proceeded to ring it up as a “non-grocery” item for the price ticketed on the cup.. just for clarification, because both the cashier and I was under the impression that it should have been free. I left feeling pretty disgusted in how the series of event unraveled, I did end up purchasing the cup because it wasn’t about the price, it was principle.

    1. Jean

      I have shopped at my local public since they opened 11 or so years ago and have always frequented the clearance bin. Items there often do not ring up correctly but cashiers have ALWAYS been quick to remove the item and then put it back on at zero cost to me. Until today. Today I picked up a number of goodies including two bags of Starbucks coffees. They were both marked 2/9.49. As the cashier rang one through it came up 6.49. She caught it and took it off, but then ran it through at the 2/9.49 price. I questioned her and indicated that since it scanned incorrectly, it should be free. She said no, the policy doesn’t apply to clearance items. I told her that wasn’t the case and never has been. She said she’d have to get the manager. So she looks over and the front end manager, who was busy at lottery, and the young man who was bagging decides to be proactive and he goes and asks another front-end manager (who was cashiering) and is told the item is free. He rushes back and tells her “the item is free”. Front End Guy is still busy at lottery but the cashier looks at the bagger, dismisses what he says, points to lottery towards the front-end guy as if to say…his word or nothing. By now it’s been several minutes and I’m already embarrassed. The line is backing up and we’re standing there. Finally, the front-end guy comes over, doesn’t greet me, doesn’t ask me the problem (I shop at this store ALL THE TIME not only for my family but also for my culinary lab at a local high school. I am not a stranger to this store!). So the cashier painstakingly “explains” the situation as if it’s never happened before, and the front-end guy says, “clearance is never free”.

      By now, there’s a sizable line and I just plain out-and-out tell him that is categorically not true, and he just made that up. I then tell the cashier to remove the item completely because I do not want it. He gets pissy with me because “he was going to accommodate me.” I told him that he was changing a published policy and I didn’t need him to correct anything to make him seem like a hero when he just needed to follow Publux policy: if it doesn’t scan, it’s free. I told him he’d done enough damage.

      So all in all, Publix, what was accomplished here? The front-end guy and Betty the cashier attempted to embarrass a long-time time customer. But you know what upset me most? Never shame a bagger for trying to do the right thing. That young man is a student at my school and he was shamed for helping a customer by a cashier who had some kind of power thing going on over a clearance bag of Starbucks coffee and HER lack of understanding of how to the Publix policy works.

      Your store on Seven Hills Blvd in Acworth, GA has been going downhill management-wise for a while. This, however, takes the cake. Train your people, please!!

      1. Austin B.Austin B.

        Hi Jean, first, please accept our sincere apologies for our delay in responding to your comment. Secondly, I’m very sorry to hear of this experience. As you may have read here, mark-down products are not excluded from the Publix Promise. Exclusions only apply to alcohol and tobacco products. Have you had a chance to address this with the store manager or through our customer care team by any chance?

  8. Lea Dague

    I recently purchased 2 boxes of diapers that I found on the clearance tables at one of the stores close to my home. They were priced 2 for $21.99. When they rang up however, they came out $21.99 each. The manager adjusted the price so they were 2 for $21.99 as the stick said. I thought I received the Publix Promise on one and the correct price on the 2nd. I have had this happen before with a clearance item I found on the shelf and I was told that shelf clearance gets the publix promise, those items that have the orange sticker for clearance are adjusted to the correct price if they rang up incorrectly… is this correct? Seems to be confusion with management because I have received different responses.

  9. Michelle Miller

    I just bought some blue cheese that was buy one get one free and was charged full price for both of those so I went to customer service and he gave me the one that was supposed to be free he refunded that money but I still paid full price for the other one. I thought the publics promise was that I should get the one item that was supposed to be free obviously for free and then be refunded the 549 for the other one . All of these Publix is need to be on the same page with this policy obviously if I hadn’t checked my bill I would’ve been charge full price for something that was supposed to be free so going back to customer service to me absolutely no good as far as the Publix promise goes .

  10. lora denton

    Hi Does this policy still exist? I bought something today for 14.79 but it was 19.99 at checkout. I got no compensation for it whatsoever. When I went to customer service they just returned the item. Sigh. Thank you.

    1. Caroline A.Caroline A.

      Hi Lora, Our Publix Promise states that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items. I suggest speaking to your local customer service staff and they should be able to help correct the issue.

  11. Thomas Santiago

    No one at the store seems to know why the tax on wine suddenly went up. I buy the same wine ( White Zinfendel 3 liter box by Franzia ) all the time. It is $14.99 + tax and should come to $15.89, I will often pay with extact change, so thats what I bring. Last few times it was $16.04. Its not much difference but after walking all the way over its very frustrating to walk all the way home empty handed being a few cents short, especially knowing the tax rates working a retail store. Usually its because they dont restock the item in a timely manner, but this made me really mad. So, any reson theres a $1.05 tax on a $14.99 item?

  12. Christine Ortino

    Today I purchased publix rapid release pain reliever 50 count for $5.99 buy one get one free. Just checked my receipt and I was charged once and the second one rang up free like it is supposed but then she charged me again another $5.99 . This is ridiculous that we need to check our receipts and what happens to those that don’t ?? Now I have to back to the store for a refund which is a complete inconvience especially when weekends are filled with errands and preparing for the next week of work. Looks like I will go back to online ordering at Walmart .

  13. Samanta Dilena Davila

    Hi, on December 31,2018 i bought air filters, it was supposed to be 2 for 7$ and they rang up regular price, i was given 1 free but didn’t get the 2nd with the lowest price which should be 3.50$ (2@7$),i was charged regular price for the other one, 5.25$ with tax

  14. sj graves

    Today my reciept at Publix was horrible. First k noticed that I was over charged for my mushroom soup. I pointed it out and was give one can free and paid the lower price for the 2nd can of soup. Then I began looking at my reciept. I had been over charged for my broccoli and the Marci chocolates. For these items the reciept was corrected but I did not get one free. Now I am home and I see I was charged $3.95 a pound for green grapes advertised for $2.50. I bought .99 pounds. I am not going back for $1.45.
    This is the worst reciept I ever received anywhere.

  15. Richard Kane

    On 12/13/2017 I purchased Oxy clean refill which was clearly marked 2 for 10.00 at store 1350 in Jensen Beach.
    When I checked my receipt I was charged 5.99. When I showed this to the customer service person she refunded 99
    cents plus tax for a total of $1.05.
    When I asked what happened to the publix promise, she said that is the publix promise.
    Please explain the new publix policy ?
    Thank you

  16. Melissa Inostroza

    This happened to me today. Price rang $3.99 instead of the $2.69 stated on the shelf. I expected to get the item with the adjusted price; however, big was my surprise as the cashier told me my item was free because of this issue. This just reassures why Publix is my favorite suppermarket. Shopping here is truly a pleasure.

  17. elizabeth partridge

    “Our Publix Promise states that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items.”
    This was not the case yesterday! I was so embarrassed! The advertised price was a red sticker because the item was on sale but rang up wrong!! The cashier said”sorry! WE have a new policy!”

    1. Chris M.Chris M.

      I’m so sorry to hear that we’ve let you down, Elizabeth! Can you please give us a call at 1 (800) 242-1227 so that we can be sure this is looked into further and addressed properly?

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