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Woman warned she's breaking the law after sharing supermarket self-checkout 'trick'

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman warned she's breaking the law after sharing supermarket self-checkout 'trick'

Featured Image Credit: Grace Cary/Getty / Images By Tang Ming Tung/Getty

While it may not be talked about as much compared to this time last year, the cost of living crisis is still impacting millions of Brits to this day.

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As a result, many of us have changed the way we shop, from switching up supermarkets to taking advantage of coupon vouchers at checkout.

That isn't the only thing that has changed with the way we shop, as most large supermarket stores now have self-checkout options.

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What started as a very niche thing in very few of our high street favourites a decade ago, now you'll find it pretty difficult not to find a self-checkout while purchasing your groceries.

However, as is often the case with modern technology, it can sometimes be intermittent and susceptible to manipulation.

Self-checkouts are fairly standard at most supermarkets these days. Credit: Pexels
Self-checkouts are fairly standard at most supermarkets these days. Credit: Pexels

Of course, supermarkets have put measures in place to spot people cheating, though they do somewhat rely on the trust of customers.

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One shopper has been discussing a 'cheeky' tactic at the checkout to try and save her some cash, but by doing so she is actually breaking the law.

The woman confessed all in News.com.au's Sisters In Law segment, which allows readers to discuss their legal with sisters and lawyers, Alison and Jillian Barrett.

Well, this woman was talking about her friend, who uses a rather interesting tactic in the Aussie shop Coles and Woolies.

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She wrote: "My friend recently told me that when she uses the self-serve checkout at Woolies and Coles she regularly puts through more expensive veg – such as avocados – as brown onions.

"She says it’s not stealing as you’re still paying for something and that the supermarkets work the cost of 'self-check-out fraud' into their prices."

The woman added: "She also claims everyone does it! I’m sure it’s stealing but she won’t listen to me. What are the laws around lying on a supermarket self-checkout machine and could she be imprisoned?"

Well, the answer from the experts was pretty emphatic - her friend is in fact breaking the law.

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The mystery shopper is breaking the law. Credit: Pexels
The mystery shopper is breaking the law. Credit: Pexels

The experts wrote in News.com.au: "It doesn’t matter how your friend tries to justify her behaviour, her deceitful conduct in intentionally not paying full price is against the law.

"This is a huge problem in Australia, with the cost of theft for retailers estimated to be a few billion dollars each year.

"This dishonest behaviour unfortunately affects us all by pushing up grocery prices.

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"Supermarkets place trust in their customers to make honest and accurate transactions at the self-serve check-outs.

"Your friend’s technique of using the self-service checkout to pass off more expensive items as cheaper ones cheats the system by underpaying.

"Her fraudulent behaviour is just one of many tricks employed by self-service thieves to avoid payment."

Topics: Shopping

Callum Jones
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