Ok Fess Up.. Who Has Stolen Something Through a Self Serve Checkout?

So I was shopping at Woolies the other day.

I saw this chick weighing a leg of lamb on the self serve scales and pressed onions.

The self serve attendant was about 16 and completely oblivious.

I told him as she walked out and he wasn't really too fussed and he casually walked off to tell someone else.

Got me wondering..

How does Woolies and Coles even make a profit with these things??

Have any of you guys ever accidentally or intentionally forgotten to pay for something? (weighing something as onions is stealing)

What are your thoughts on self serve?

Poll Options

  • 75
    Yes I have forgotten to pay for something
  • 77
    Yes I have intentionally stolen something
  • 631
    No I am absolutely honest


  • Never. I'm not scum.

    • Do you wear clothes made by underpaid Bangladeshi children? Do your taxes fund humiliating and evil military expeditions? Has your decision to by yourself a new Dyson V6 vacuum cleaner come at great cost by not providing low interest loans to entrepreneurs in Uganda?

      I steal cheese AND do all the above, so I'm scum. I'm heaps gonna say you are too*

      Only if the above is true, if not you're probably heaps cool person and I want to be your friend.

  • -2

    People seem to have a short memory. Rorting is the Australian way. I can recall loads of bogans and staff (Coburg VIc) turning up at 2pm when Coles used to open 24 hours.and they knew EFTPOS was down. Used to take out $100s of dollars by using a invalid PIN. When EFTPOS came back online it would be declined. The lesson these CEO morons need to learn from Woolworths/Wesfarmers is that you get paid enough to do nothing so at least make sure when you introduce a new concept it cannot be rorted. If you are incapable of that you should give your job to someone more intelligent.

    • If you are incapable of that you should give your job to someone more intelligent.

      Like you, hey? You seem to have it all figured out.

  • There is another point to consider. People with disability and/or elderly may find self serve an arduous task. It may eventuate that the self serve replace staff altogether. It's economic rationalism at its worse.

  • The self serve checkout system has been, more often than not, operable for me, the times when it hasn't worked as intended an assistant was able to rectify within only a short waiting period.

    I've always viewed them in the same way as a manned checkout point, and for that reason, and because it also scummy, I've never intentionally or otherwise stolen anything from them.

    I do remember on one occasion, the customer in front of me forgot their withdrawn cash (machine spits it out below you and thus it can be hard to see; and I've done it myself). It was days before Christmas at the time, so this person wandered off and with shoppers everywhere there was no way I was going to be able to find them. It was ten bucks, and I gave it to the attendant. I have no idea what she did with it. But that's one drawback of these machines, as they don't make it immediately obvious to take your money.

  • look at a bigger picture. depend on what u see. IT IS A CAT AND MOUSE GAME. are u a cat or a mouse?

  • My mate put through 2kg of tiger prawns as a watermellon. I think it happens alot. And people selfsserving nuts and that stuff and writing it up as something else. On the other hand, I busted woolworths at sandgate selling rump steak maked as rin fillet and asking 36 a kg for it. There were about 30 packs, not just a one off. I told staff and they told me it was as stated. Just to make a point I spoke to the store manager to get it corrected. Its amazing the amount of people that couldn't pick the differance. Was told it was a "mixup" in the end.

  • +9

    Damn there are so many do gooders here. These corporations and absolutely dishonest.

    • +4

      Yes I am aware the dogooders are going to downvote me

    • +12

      And I'm not saying stealing is ok. I'm just saying when someone steals from a theif don't take it so seriously. Ww and coles absolutely are thieves and will use every trick in the book to steal from you.

  • Speaking of being honest. Can shareholders in Woolworths / Wesfarmers disclose when leaving comments in this forum. As you will obviously have a conflict of interest and will be biased in your opinion.

    As for the rest it is your choice whether you want to rip off Coles or Woolworths. Legally it would be hard for them to prosecute anyone who simply pressed the wrong button but if you deliberately done something as stupid as putting meat as fruit/vegetables I guess you are rooted if caught.

    There are ways that Woolworths/Coles could improve self checkout security but since I am not on their payroll I will keep such ideas to myself! :)

    • Speaking of being honest. Can shareholders in Woolworths / Wesfarmers disclose when leaving comments in this forum. As you will obviously have a conflict of interest and will be biased in your opinion.

      No. Also why are you calling that dishonest lel?

  • +1

    I almost accidentally stole from dick smith during their initial mega clearance sale around November. I was holding a few items, one of which is a swann camera (I think). Since I forgot to bring a printed copy of the price list, I brought my tablet instead to check and compare prices. So, whilst paying, I unknowingly held onto the swann device beneath my tablet; finished paying, left the premises and went straight to parking. When I got into the car, I was quite confused why I was holding on to a lose item. lol. I quickly ran into the store, looked into the cctv as I walked in and held up the item I mistakenly took, went to the isle for security cams (the irony!) and held the item up once more, as if telling them "I'm placing it back!"

    I guess the personnel were busy that day (2nd day of sale) that they too, didn't notice the inadvertent thievery.

  • +2

    Sadly, i don't have the time or patience to navigate through menus to find very specific names/pictures of fruit and veg in self checkout…so if i'm buying granny smith apples, i'll pick the first (and likely, cheaper) apple option that comes up on the screen when doing 'favourites' search. A leg of lamb passed off as onions is genius! If these grocery giants were that worried, they'd have moire than 1 clueless attendant standing there looking busy, or not have introduced self check out at all, as they've introduced this possibility.

  • +1

    There was these two instances recently where I realized it was 'stealing' after I left the store and went back to fix it.

    My little one took some fancy stuff and chocolates and put in our shopping bag, but we scanned only the stuff in the trolley and realized there's extra stuff in the shopping bag after reaching home. I went back and returned them to the store, took my daughter with me so that she learns a life lesson. This was in coles.

    Second instance was when Aldi guy scanned some item at $60 while marked down price was $50 and it was manually marked down by him after verifying. However I had to return the item with some other stuff after 2 days and then it scanned at $60 again. I realized this after getting out of the store as it was a combined return, but went back to store to correct the bill and the $10 back. I don't know why went through the hassle of doing that and halting the entire queue for another 5 minutes, but I believe in Karma.

  • Went years without paying for plastic bags.

    Then they "helpfully" reminded me that they aren't free so now I can't steal the formerly free plastic bags that are much worse for the environment than the old ones :|.

    • +1

      Do you mean the reusables? They aren't made to be discarded.

  • I would never consciously steal. It may have something to do with the quality of one's ethics and morals?

    Once or twice I have gotten angry with those annoying "we have moved the queues" to self serve check outs. In those cases I simply leave the stuff and walk to another store.

    • +1

      Nah, its probably cause your too busy living a kickass life to worry about stealing the small stuff.
      Like my daddy always use to say, if your going to steal something, make it big and only do it once.

    • Walk to another Woolworths?

      • … or Coles. Or ALDI. Or, here in SA, Foodland. Or maybe IGA.

        There's not much choice on price, but some on customer service.

  • Cheese is the best to steal, it's expensive, small and something about cows being treated poorly.

    • +1

      ^ poor cows :P

      • Of course they're poor - they don't have any cheese…

  • +2

    Onion sales must be at an all time high at Coles!

  • +1

    Never, I would never steal. I've heard back packers have a field day though.

  • Apparently I did, although I didn't realise at the time. It was in the early days when the bagging area scales didn't always work, I bought 2 x 4 packs of 500ml V. The barcode scanner picked up the can barcode rather than the carton barcode, so I paid for 2 cans rather than 8. When I was home, was going through the receipt for something else and noticed the error.

  • Ive never stolen anything, but i have heard of this. I believe overseas the self serve counters also have a camera and a 'product recognition system' which should tackle this the alternative is to have everything at a store barcoded to prevent this being possible

  • Frozen food packets are the best for adding unpaid items to the scales.

    Not really but when I used to spend $300 or $400 per fortnight at woollies I wouldn't beat myself up about something that didn't get scanned.

  • Never!

  • when people will hassle you about downloading illegal movies and say "well you wouldnt steal from a shop would you?" You could say well only when im at the self service checkout so its all good

  • +3

    "How does Woolies and Coles even make a profit with these things??"

    They save a (profanity) godly amount of money using them! The amount of stuff they lose to theft is insignificant compared to how much they save on wages!!!!! You think the supermarkets haven't crunched the numbers and know exactly how much it saves them?

  • +1

    Once I was going through the staff check out at my local woolworths.
    There was a massive special on Pepsi Variety 24 pack of cans for $9.50 I think. I had 3 in my trolley I picked up the first she says don't pick them up and hurt your back I can bring them up. We had a chat about how cheap they were that week and how she has been meaning to grab a few for parties etc. Whilst saying that I said actually I'll grab a couple more as I wanted to spend over $50 and found it odd that my total was still under and wanted to get a Woolworths Rewards $10 off spending over $50. I assumed I'd done my calculations wrong. Anyway got the other 2. Checked the receipt when I got home and realised she only scanned 3 out of the 5. So saved $19.
    I never went back as we had such a big chat about it all and I could have not realised.

  • +2

    Bill Burr - Let It Go, 2010 - [Automatic checkout machines]

    Want a laugh on this topic? watch this!

  • +1

    About a year ago I bought Lexar 8GB flash drives from BigW. Scanned and paid. When I got home I realized that three of them were 64GB. All scanned at the same price. Went back the next day and the 64GB were $38 dearer than the 8GB. Not sure if I scanned only one or all separately, they all came up as 8GB.
    I told the person on the service desk and they looked at the receipt and said all was good.

  • +2

    They know that some people rip off the system. It would have been part of their business model for it. They still save money with less staff etc

    • +2

      says the guy called 'pinchy'….lmfao :P

      • Every system has flaws.

  • Truth is, if you steal, we all pay for it in the end, the old factoring theft into the prices thing.

  • Ive stolen through aldi checkout for my brother who mannages one, a sort of check to see if staff notice. Not 100% relitive to this post but I assume they likely do same thing.

    That said ive watched a lady scan her trolly then just not pay and walk off, the lady who tried to stop her was almost ran over by the shopper Nd her trolly as she charged away..

    • She would have had to give up her gold coin deposit on the trolley, though

      • No that was at woolworths, in my town woolworths dont do that.

        • +1

          So she got a free trolley as well, score!

        • @James1976: one of my friends once told me "ive paid for this trolley, I should be able to take it home." I pointed out if he did that he would also have taken his payment home, so he would be stealing still lol

  • This thread reminds me, I once saw a woman in a supermarket swapping free range eggs for home brand cheapies, switching them between cartons. I haven't bought eggs in that supermarket since.

  • +3

    Woolworths are pokey owning, farmer robbing cretins. And now they don't even employ anyone. I have no idea why you are all down there, mumbling on your knees.

  • It has worked otherway around for me many times. I have a bad habit that I never check the bill at the counter. However my wife always does. She picked up incorrect amounts where they were not giving the discount shown at the isle. However everytime they just adjust it and return the extra money charged. I've heard from a colleague that Woolies and Coles some times give that particular item for free. It has never happened to us yet.

    It's good that OP mentioned this to the attendant. We all are paying for people who are stealing from stores. Better stop that when you see it happening.

  • One thing that really annoys me in Australia is the bag checks at shops after living overseas a lot in my earlier years like in New Zealand and South East Asia where this degrading process is seldom imposed on a customer.

    What I find even more amazing and strange is how Aussies are happy to open their bags and be treated like crims daily by unqualified shop staff to do their pathetic bag checks that I would say would probably only catch about 1 thief out of about 100. I mean, who would be stupid enough to put something in the top of their bag they have stolen?

    I always cause a fuss if I'm ever asked to have my bags checked which is common at places like Aldi or Woolworths, especially in places like Mayfield NSW where there is a lot of trashy bogans and low income bludgers. I probably look like a low life to these snotty shop workers as I don't dress up when I go to buy groceries.

    I think it's so degrading to be asked in front of other customers to have your bag searched just after you have spent $100+ at their damn shop and they only select certain people as I always see other people who don't get searched with bags, they seem to like picking on me for some reason which is annoying. Why could they not just install electronic surveillance instead of making each customer feel like they are guilty until proven otherwise.

    I'm really surprised Aussies are happy to line up like test crash dummies to have their bags checked by these idiots?

    • Interesting you mention that. I rarely take bags into supermarkets, but I know that Coles don't check any bags any more. It was part of their push to improve customer service by not treating shoppers like crims.

      Regarding other stores, I guess we're just used to it. None of them seem to check very closely any way.

    • I don't like being accused of theft which is exactly what they're doing. I carry a backpack everywhere and I'm only checked one in a thousand times. Those places, I never go back to. Screw them.

  • I don't think I've ever done anything at a self service checkout, although I used to have a mate who worked in the deli and would put everything through the scales as devon.

  • +3

    Congrats to all those who never cheat. You should be proud. Doesn't matter what others do. And to the rest, all the best, but the odds may be against you in the long run. One day, a crazy Asian shop owner is going to say- enough is enough, and call the coopers or take matters into his own hand. So beware..
    Also, please do not try to justify stealing from Woolies or Coles by calling them scums etc, or any other excuse about them not hiring enough people. This is a free market. Vote with your feet. Stealing is still illegal, and anyway, you are no Robin Hood, just plain thieves. ;-)

  • I steal(?) broccoli ends for my pet quail. More like, the attendants just shrug at me and say "nah, just take it"

    • Gotta fatten him up for harvest time?

  • +2

    In Melbourne CBD which has a huge student population, this is a big problem in both woolies and coles. I see this myself all the time, the self checkout counter next to me some guy/girl will scan expensive fruits as cheap vegetables, some dont bother scanning all the items and bag the rest. The self service supervisors are so busy its easy to get away with stuff, infact in the CBD stores the bag weighing scales are mostly disabled because they cause so many errors.

    The vast majority of people who do this are international students. I once saw an Asian female student get caught, the coles guy was scolding her and she acted all confused, he held up the receipt to her face and told her "this is not carrots!" she was playing dumb and shrugging (its like they train themselves for this situation), so he made her re-scan the item and pay for it.

    Overall Coles and Woolies could care less about this, especially in big cities like Melbourne CBD, the staff also dont care, i have literally seen them stare at someone exploting self checkout and they just ignored it. I saw a recent article where the losses from self-checkout exploits (intentional or non intentional) are only a very small percentage of total sales, it's cheaper to live with it than to try and chase everyone down. The savings from labor costs are also enormous which more than cover any lost revenue

    The only places i saw call the cops on you or track you down are smaller shops like foodworks or 711

  • +1

    Was in Woolies tonight and didn't say anything when my missus put the red capsicum through as a green one.

    The greens are cheaper.

    Thug life.

    • She can't claim colour blindness…

  • +4

    Was having a problem scanning a toothbrush through the self-serve. "You require assistance" flashing in my face. Asked for assistance from the pimply check out kid who was chatting up an equally pimply check out chick. He tells me, no joke, "Just wait a sec, ok?" Continued chatting/laughing with pimply check out chick for another minute. I walked out - with the toothbrush.

    • He tells me, no joke, "Just wait a sec, ok?"

      What I would've said, "OK. Zero, one, thank you, bye!"

  • It's not worth even trying to steal, getting caught will cause more trouble than saving few $.

  • +1

    I did the weekly grocery shop at WW once (about $250 worth) & when the time came to pay at the checkout the cc payment wasn't successful on the 1st attempt.

    The checkout operator got me to try again…..all good the 2nd time, got the receipt & off I went.

    For some reason though it never showed up on my credit card statement when i went over it a week later.

    I don't know if the fault was with WW or my CC provider…..either way I wasn't going to bother following it up.

  • Lol reading all these i shop probably try the self checkout. I got charged a higher amount a few times at normal checkouts and those were when I bothered to check the receipts could have happened many times before when I didn't

  • About 6 months ago just did big shop at Woolies, we had to park a long way out as it was a Sat. morning, finally got back to the car and low and behold there was the cooked chook sitting on the trolley knob gratis, thought stuff it and went home, hope they didn't miss it :)

  • So amusing how comments tend to create other topics within the replies to those comments. Like a forum topic within a forum topic.

  • a cucumber…one of those long, skinny ones, jumped into my trolley the other day!!! Haha :D I didn't realise until I had left the store that I forgot to scan it…oops!!! (It obviously wanted to come home with me…)

  • Self serve is only useful when you're getting 1 or 2 small things. Otherwise I always use the checkout. I love technology but I prefer having my bags packed by someone else instead of expending the effort to do it myself.

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