I Didn't Scan Items at Self Serve - Went Back and Paid for Them

The other day I inadverantly didn't scan item at the supermarket self service scanners. I didn't realise until I got to my car a checked my receipt. I went back into the store, within 5 minutes, and paid for the unscanned items. The assistant just said thanks for coming back.

I have never been in trouble with the police, not even a speeding ticket. But I am worried about what could happen next and I am hoping for some helpful answers. Could anything more come of this? Could the store/police review CCTV footage from the past? I am worried that this could have happened unintentionally before without me realising it.


closed Comments

    • +1

      the kids don't like to manning the cash registers. they pretend to be busy or hide somewhere out back whenever the pa calls out for staff to attend customers at a register.

      • Well that's the fault of management.
        The registers are purposefully set up for delays so you can use the Self Checkout.
        Everyone's in a hurry these days

    • I think they want to reserve the kids for stocking shelves at night

  • +3

    Check receipts before leaving the premises.

    • +2

      Only if you think you have been short changed.

      • +7

        If they undercharged me, I'm still leaving because I have a receipt. If overcharged, I go straight to the Service Desk for freebies.

  • +17

    So you joined Ozbargain today WHY ?
    Cause you forgot to pay for an item , but then paid for it?
    If you intentionally shoplifted, then worry about CTV and police knocking on your door.
    Otherwise Cool story bro.

  • Your receipt or CC record, coupled with their stock control check will be enough I'm sure. Don't worry.

  • +7

    When I use to work at a store (a woolworths) we occasionally referred cases to the cops or had the cops ask us for evidence.
    When things got referred it was usually because of obvious theft (such as running out with a trolley of goods etc.) or when some sort of violence/violent threat was issued. It normally fell on the front end staff to pick up on shoplifting, and the customer would just be asked to pay for the items and leave (you use to get your photo sent to all Woolworths in the region for that, but I don't know if they still do this).

    The police would ask for footage from us in cases we referred, and we were more than capable of providing that footage (I forget what the time period was that we'd keep it stored without a request, but it was around 2 or 3 months IIRC). The police would independently come to us for footage in cases of credit card fraud, or if someone wanted for something was spotted in the store.

    Nobody is going to refer you to the cops if you genuinely made a mistake and came back on your own volition. Getting the police involved is a time consuming business, and I doubt they'd even want to hear about someone making a legitimate mistake and then fixing it. For example, to prosecute your case would involve staff giving evidence, your card provider giving evidence and Woolworths giving camera footage for a case you that would almost definitely result in a not-guilty since you can prove that you legitimately did your business in good faith.

  • I had something similar happen at Aldi some time ago. I bought a graphics tablet ($40) which didn't scan at the register (not self serve). I didn't realise till later when I checked the receipt at home. I DIDN'T GO BACK and tell em! I have been racked with guilt ever since…

    • +11

      I hope you realise Germans never forget?

    • +3

      Ssshhh! Do you hear sirens?

    • +2

      You could go and give aldi the $40 , so your not racked with guilt.

      • Yeah, nah!!

    • +4

      Reminds me of the guy at school who flogged a playboy magazine but was racked by so much guilt. He could not go back and pay for it as he was thinking that he could get the newsagency in trouble for selling the magazine to a minor. He then tried to overpay for another magazine but the owner chased him to give him back the change even when he told him to keep it…. this made him feel even more guilty lol.

      • +2

        Your "friend" wink wink.

  • +2

    I refuse to use self serve.
    Its costing Aussie jobs.

    • +13

      So is using your toilet. In the good old days there were thousands of Australians picking up soil in the mornings.

      • Blue collar jobs are drying up at an alarming rate as is the stories about increasing exploitation.

        I could be kidding myself, but I'll continue to "try" to support the checkout chicks.

        • +1

          Blue collar jobs are drying up at an alarming rate as is the stories about increasing exploitation

          Its a good thing that boring simple jobs are going. Blue collar jobs are you call them have always been at the edge of all that is horrible in humanity. It wasnt that long ago, most of us were slaves because lords, kings and so on didnt have machines and decided to stick a gun or sword at our heads.

          I could be kidding myself, but I'll continue to "try" to support the checkout chicks.

          People said the same thing about slaves not that long ago. The reality is you arent looking at the big picture.

        • I've thought similar. But the kid I end up getting can't be stuffed, doesn't want to be there and packs things terribly (generalising, but happens more often than not).

      • "Night soil".

        I avoid self serve as well.
        Gives me the shites.

        • +2

          The Electoral Roll usually recorded them as Sanitory Contractors. My wife's grandfather was one, whilst also Secretary of the local hospital. He was successfully prosecuted for speeding at Muswellbrook NSW … on a horse.

        • @PJC: Yes, no real surprise. Criminality is often generational.

        • +2

          @AngryChicken: Neigh No I must have done something right to end up with her. The question she can never answer is "How do you manage to put up with me?"

    • Dumb.
      No it isn't.

    • Wait until automation become mainstream.

    • Exactly . Costing aussie jobs . Plus I would prefer human interaction. They put santa hats on the self-serve computers at my local coles. Really, NOT THE SAME as a friendly person serving with a smile and wishing merry Christmas

      • -1

        what is costing aussie jobs is when they contract overseas workers, not self serve. coles got some bad publicity over it a few years ago when they imported indian workers on cheaper wages.

  • Trust me the cops are busy enough with more important stuff than someone forgetting to pay for a few items then returning and paying for them!

  • +4

    Lots of replies.
    No response from the OP.

    • +4

      Perhaps someone might need to go and bail the OP out?

  • +1

    Currently work for one of the major supermarkets and a few years ago at a training session with headoffice was told to tell customers who come back after forgetting that we are to process them for free to a “reasonable limit” as a gesture of goodwill. I think you are more then fine!

  • Happened to me…. I didnt go back :)

  • +1

    Happened to me, couple of times. Have always come back to pay for it.

    Not sure what the Op has to worry about if he paid for it.

    Could be a troll post. Have not seen a response from Op yet.

    • could jjb be batboy???

      • +2

        Welcome back. I've just noticed you returned from your stint as DisabledUser87799.

      • +2

        Nope. No idea who this 'jjb' is.

        • Haha I thought jjb could be jarjarbinks

        • +1

          Your description here says otherwise.

  • +8

    Poor quality troll :-\

  • FFS

  • I was busy listening in to an argument beside me a few months ago and didn't pay for my stuff at all haha. Totally forgot. Just bagged it and went home. Then I realised whist unpacking. I did go back though, the sale was suspended. I figure the universe will get me somehow if I didn't.

  • Watch out - the police are going to show up on your doorstep tomorrow morning and arrest you!

  • If caught just plead the Barnaby, let’s you get off without penalty.

  • +1

    As an ex checkout chick, I loved it when people pointed out that I hadnt scanned an item of theirs. Most people in my experience have the attitude of "screw corporate". Theft is built into their prices as a result of this. That being said, I wouldn't want to be caught shoplifting. That includes scanning all items as carrots.

  • I rung the cops. Prepare yourself for a few years in the clink.

  • +1

    Here's a secret, there is a margin placed for loss - be it theft, expired, lost, or accidentally taken.
    If you're worried about the stores bottom line, consider how many shifts were replaced to install those self-serve scanners.

  • I expect There would also, be a margin for error, where people accidentally scan twice the 1 item, and end up paying double for things also. Unless it is like paypass, where you cannot accidentally scan same price items twice, without it being flagged as duplicate payment.

  • +4

    Lucky you came back. I forgot to pay once and I got the electric chair.

  • +2

    You're going to jail.

  • This happened to me once. Spent the last 15 years in gaol.

    Get as much cash as possible and leave the country now!! they are coming!!!

  • +2

    Troll post? Should there be a minimum amount of votes or comments before someone can post?

    • Yes definitely. Joined on the 16th of December. One post: this thread.

  • +2

    Nice troll thread.

  • Could the store/police review CCTV footage from the past?

    Well, if you are not a citizen. This act and all previous crimes will be referred for review when you apply for citizenship.
    If you are a citizen and end up sponsoring cousin/relative/partner visa - then the cops again will look at your criminal background and may affect their decisions. So be very careful mate.

    Best to surrender to police for all crimes of the past and confess.

  • Ozbargain is next level….

  • Supermarkets assume theft will occur and although its unfortunate, they factor for this. They also know that self checkout has a much much higher rate of non scanning.

  • Even though it seems like a light Troll post, OP is doing better than a old lady I saw a few months ago that decided to make a quick dash with a fully loaded trolley evading the checkout.. security guards didn't go near her, but I assume took down her rego details so she can get a friendly neighbourhood visit from the boys in blue.

  • Don't think you have much to worry about. I saw a scruffy 'houso' shoving a couple of bags of those mini mars bars down his jeans. The guy knew I saw him so he walked back and forth just outside the registers obviously thinking he could claim 'he forgot to pay', while the two Woolworths staff I told just shrugged and said 'we can't do anything unless we see it ourselves'.

  • Honestly, you could have not even gone back and nothing would have happened to you. Any stories I've heard of people getting busted for shoplifting happen in the store, or right as they're leaving.
    They're not going to follow you home and demand you prove your innocence.

  • +1

    User for 1 day… forum post… trolol

  • +1

    Almost all crimes require criminal intent.

    You broke no laws if you genuinely forgot to scan an item - which is evidenced clearly by the fact you came back to pay later!

  • Sounds like OP is lonely and just wants some validation for his honest deed. Well OP, well done, from one internet stranger to another.

  • Shopsteal = theft.

    Key point of proof for theft is intent to permanently deprive.

    Did you have that intention?

    Could police prove in a court of law that you had that intention?

    If your story is true and you walked back in on your own accord then you have nothing to worry about.

    Ignore the shills.

  • coles self serve tip: if you hate the beep, or your beep is really loud, look at the bottom right of the main unit. there is usually a grey piece of sticky tape. this is actually covering a button. press it a few times to cycle through the loudness options. you have to scan an item to see how loud the beep is. some are set to max which is like someone beeping their car horn at you point blank.

  • In all seriousness this level of paranoia could be related to a mental health issue.

    OR OP could just be clueless.

    Impossible to ascertain with the given data.

  • +1

    "swipe everything as carrots"

  • Sounds like someone is getting paranoid about eventually getting caught…

    Yes, they retain all CCTV footage, analyse your shopping habits, including times and durations and plan for your demise; and when they catch you, I would not want to be in your shoes. You will lose your job, and your reputation will be tarnished forever for the thief that you were.

    Or maybe not; I guess you'll have to wait and see and abstain from the evil inclinations in the interim.

  • I’m just waiting for the massive lawsuit coming from people with back or other injuries related to awkwardly completing their shopping because there is no room for trolleys in self service. Seriously Colesworth, you’re already saving a bucketload on labour, how about a little (profanity) space so I can scan the goods from my trolley without impregnating the woman next to me scanning her apples.

  • Probably will end up in n jail life sentence. Hope it was worth it.

  • Short answer is no.

    You know how resources consuming to assign a person to watch the video of 12-24 hours everyday? As long as there are not substantial inventory lost on specific products, the products not involved a relatively high value or you are bad luck enough to have TV programmer interviewing about the theft topics; the manager will just claim the lost ones as damaged during transit.

    In my school ages, my friends used to work as a casual unloader after hours at supermarket. His manager randomly open some of the stocks and consume together, then claimed the stocks lost or damaged.

    The situation will not be improved at this stage simply because a more sensitive weight causes more problems. Coles and bigw has more sensitive weight which the self-serve keeper has to run around to assist the error messages and waste time. In Singapore, I even witness even stricter weight which ended up all customers were stuck at the machines and each be assisted by one staff for a few times slower than tradition cashier.

    What should you do now?
    1. Start do that intentionally because they can chase back.
    2. Use human cashier or stay away from the branch of the brand from now on for avoiding future problems.
    3. Get back and ask them to check a previous videos and you pay for the unintentional thieves.

    FYI the video storage is a recurrent one which generally it does not keep longer than 1 month history.

    In short, you are creating more trouble to the supermarket especially the staff just for your sake of confession.

  • +1

    Thread Summary:

    I didn't pay for items I bought from the supermarket, I went back and paid for them, what now?

    I dont know but OZB gets weirder people

  • Meh troll post or fishing

  • +1

    Poster has not replied. School holidays. Bored children.

  • your going to jail, dont forget to pack your lube
    courts dont take miss scanning lightly
    looking at 7 to 10

  • If you are in Victoria:

    CRIMES ACT 1958 - SECT 72Basic definition of theft
        (1)     A person steals if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

    The 2 key points here are: 'intention' and 'permanently deprive'. Neither of which happened.

    You'll be fine.

  • This is a big thread considering the OP signed up, posted and never returned to reply…
    Let it go…

    • +2

      He can't reply cos his door got busted down by the cops and got dragged away to a maximum security prison. He will reply once he serves out his sentence of 20 years.

  • +1

    Sounds like the 'So a friend of mine had diarrhea the other day and it went all over his pants. He wants to know the best method to remove the stains' type of post, but with the OP having second thoughts about their crime.

    Or a super paranoid person who did the right thing OR just a troll.

  • Good on you OP for doing the right thing. I wouldn't blame someone for choosing to just leave it though; you're right to be sceptical of the ways it could've gone bad for you (shop manager having a bad day, or if you were a minority you may have been scrutinised unfairly, etc).

  • No, if you were going to be caught it would have been when you walked off without paying or if the attendant saw you hiding unpaid items in your trolley etc.

    With the weights back on it's harder to accidentally not scan an item without it being detected. But people still have methods of stealing stuff and it happens so often, the police won't be involved in 90% of cases unless it's a huge amount stolen or a repeat offender.

  • +2

    The Australian Federal Police, FBI, CIA & KGB are on a manhunt for you right now. You'll get charged with theft, espionage, tax evasion and sentenced to death by firing squad.

    Chill man! Your Neurotic Paranoia is extreme. If anything, the supermarket will thank you for your honesty and reward you with a gift voucher.

  • I did this once as well at Coles. I had a bag of rice hooked on the trolley hook near the handle. So I scanned everything in the trolley but didn't see the rice hanging at the back. After walking out, I went to woolies next door and realised that the rice wasn't paid for, checked the receipt, went back to Coles and asked the staff if I could pay at the service desk. She was surprised I even came back. Well, I was surprised I didn't see the rice when scanning.

    So no, the police won't come find you. Don't lose sleep over this lol!

  • Hi, not to worry. I've done exactly the same thing when doing self-checkout. There were too many items to scan, so I forgot to scan an item. Once I loaded everything in the car, I went back to the Woolies (or Coles), and apologised then paid. No probs later whatsoever.

  • +1

    You went back why? .I wouldn't have. i like a freebie though. I've done it a few times accidentally of course :D

    • The OzBargain is strong in this one

  • I am interested in knowing the product and its value you missed to pay 😁

  • Scanning your items is over rated imo

  • @Gamechanger, is that you? Stop trying to get my attention. I'm not interested. Move on mate.

  • Good on you. Paid for my things at BigW and unknowingly walked out with a top hanging off my pram. We were about 30 metres from the entrance when my son pointed it out in shock. Went back and paid for it. If he wasn't there, I probably wouldve kept walking. Had to teach the morals I preach.

  • Seriously? If this hideous tldr story is true, then you dont deserve your place on OzB

  • great troll OP, hooked a ton of the 40 year old "professionals" on here

  • It seems that the OP has received ample advice. Since they haven't logged on since posting, comments have been closed.

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