Some people are getting tired of dealing with pesky, long checkout lines at their local stores and retailers. That’s why the self-checkout machines started to pop up far and wide in America, like magic. For some shoppers, the self-checkout line is here to save the day with its futuristic touch screens and friendly automated voice, what’s not to love? But while self-checkout may seem like the perfect solution for those in a rush, it’s not without its drawbacks. In fact, recent reports have shown that some customers have been taking advantage of the system, using it to commit acts of theft and deception. Shocking, I know, but when you make a rule, there’s people willing to invent how to bend it.
As we’ve already told in recent articles, one common tactic is the self-checkout “banana trick,” in which a shopper will swap the barcode of a more expensive item with that of a cheaper one, like a banana. And no, this isn’t a new recipe trend: it’s straight-up theft, don’t apply any euphemism. Another tactic, known as the “pass around,” which is making the stores employ some tactics to stop this growing trend.
The “Pass Around” Self-Checkout Trick the Supermarkets Want to Eradicate
This new but controversial trick involves customers intentionally not scanning an item before leaving the store. And it’s not just the customers who are to blame. The machines themselves have been known to glitch, resulting in accidental thefts that can leave honest shoppers feeling like criminals. It’s not uncommon for customers to miss scanning an item, only to be stopped by an alarm as they exit the store. You can almost hear the automated voice saying, “Thank you for your honesty, thief,” and a security officer purchasing you like if you were a criminal.
But don’t worry, retailers are onto these sneaky tactics and are taking action. Wegmans, for example, has already discontinued its self-scanning app due to incidents of people stealing or not scanning correctly. Walmart and Kroger have also cracked down on the banana trick, with some even facing jail time for attempting to save a few bucks.
However, some experts argue that the rise in self-checkout theft is due to the machines themselves. Lifeless and impersonal, they can “empower people to shoplift,” according to Barbara Staib, director of communications for the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. It’s as if the machines are asking for it, really.
Watch Out – Don’t You Get Accidentally Charged With Theft
But let’s not forget the accidental thieves, who make up a significant portion of self-checkout thefts. These poor souls may have simply forgotten to scan an item or were unaware of a store’s scanning policy. Yet, they can still face the same consequences as intentional thieves, leaving them feeling ashamed and embarrassed. After all, who wants to explain to their friends why they were arrested for “accidentally” stealing a pack of gum?
So, while self-checkout may seem like a convenient solution, it’s not without its risks. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, theft is theft, and retailers are cracking down on it. So, next time you’re in a hurry and tempted to bypass the regular checkout line, remember that honesty is always the best policy. Or, you know, you could just stick to buying bananas.