Self-service checkouts were introduced in the UK over a decade ago, designed to reduce queues and reduce staff requirements.
While supermarkets have precautions in place to make sure people pay what they should, there is still an element of trust that customers won’t try to cheat the system.
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As the Mirror reports, a client has been warned that her brazen attempt to save money could get her in trouble with the law.
Her friend wrote to News.com.au’s Sisters In Law, which allows people to seek legal advice from sisters and lawyers Alison and Jillian Barrett, with concerns about the tactics.
She said that when her friend uses self-service checkouts, she regularly puts more expensive fruits and vegetables – like an avocado – into the system instead like a brown onion.
The friend thinks it’s not theft because she always pays something for it, and claimed that supermarkets include the cost of ATM fraud in their prices because “everyone does it”.
However, the lawyers disagreed.
Their response advised, “No matter how your friend tries to justify her behavior, her deceptive behavior by intentionally not paying the full price is against the law.
“Your friend’s technique of using the self-checkout to pass more expensive items for cheaper items is tricking the system into underpaying.
“His fraudulent behavior is just one of many tricks used by self-service thieves to avoid payment. “
Automatic checkouts weigh items to verify buyers are genuine, and supermarkets often employ staff and security guards to monitor the area.
Australia-based Alison and Jillian said the “tips” for getting around cost supermarkets a fortune each year and could actually drive up food prices.
They said that in Australia getting caught could result in a fine or even criminal charges, especially for a repeat offender.
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