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Are Employees Stealing

Two times, now, in the same super low price supermarket, I have found items on my receipt not in my bags! Do low-paid workers steal, in order to save money for cigarettes, and other "reasons"? Can low price stores press workers to retrieve bought items, so they make money, this way?

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 ---Bill_willa6989 on 8/17/11
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I have frequently encountered errors in orders at sit-down and fast-food restaurants. Missing items, wrong sandwich, wrong custom items (e.g. ask for no tomatoes and they add them anyway), wrong toppings on pizza, etc. It seems to depend where you go, rather than the chain. In some places, every restaurant got some items wrong on each order, while in others, everyone got them right. In such cases, it's more sloppiness and poor work ethic rather than stealing. Nobody profits by giving you the wrong burger.

It's so bad that in such areas, I check my receipt vs. food when I get it. It's hard enough to do this for a dozen food items, and even harder for 100 grocery items.
---StrongAxe on 8/20/11

You should always check your receipt before you leave the store and confront it when it happens. It could be a simple mistake or it could be intentional, but an honest company should be happy to correct the mistake.
---Jed on 8/19/11

What happens many times is an employee will steal this item, but have the scanned part of the item in their pocket, and scan the item on your order, somewhere in the middle, while you're not looking. This way, inventory is accurate.

Beware at grocery stores especially for baby items, like diapers, formula etc. It happens more often than you think.
---kathr4453 on 8/19/11

When I was a kid, my parents took the family on a road trip. We stopped at a gasoline station that only had Full-Service. Where the attendants took your payments through the car window.

After the car had been filled with gasoline, my Dad remembered that the attendant had not returned his credit card. We waited while several cars lined up behind us.

The attendant came running over to our car. He was furious about why we were holding up the other cars.

My Dad simply replied: I Need My Credit Card Back

The attendant ran into the building and eventually found my Dad's credit card and gave it back to him. The last time that my Dad ever went to THAT gasoline station.

Mistake or Attempt To Steal ???
---Sag on 8/19/11

low paid workers do steal - employee theft in retail is more than any other theft however believing they are personally stealing your purchase is stretching it

low wages equal non-satisfying work with high turnover - fired or leave one low paying job can have another job same wages next day

although employees should DO their job correctly - as a shopper spending your hard earned money you should CAREFULLY watch them

almost every store today has a large screen showing customer items rung up ...then watch item placed in the bag ...since I have been paying close attention I catch issue at register immediately rather than at home later
---Rhonda on 8/19/11

You would have a hard time proving any of your accusations. Here's what you can so that might help: 1. Unload the items one at a time when you get home and check them against the receipt. If it missing items, either call the store or go back to the store right away - in either case make sure to talk to the manager. In most cases, they will simply replace the item. 2. You can also unpack the items right in front of the register when you check out and see if you have everything you paid for is there. If not, ask for the manager if this happened before. It could just be a careless employee.
---wivv on 8/19/11

Is it possible that the scanner mis-read one item as another? This might be possible if the bar-code reader misread a thin bar as a thick one, for example.

One way to be sure would be to not only look for items on your receipt that you paid for but did not receive, but also see if there are any you received but didn't pay for. If the number of items didn't change, this might be the explanation. (The same could happen if the bar code was recorded incorrectly in the store's inventory database).
---StrongAxe on 8/19/11

Bill this is likely a product of the scanner being programed to do this. IT'S FRAUD! And many supermarkets have been busted for this practice.
---John on 8/19/11


The only way for items to appear on your receipt is for the scanner to have logged them into the register.

This would mean that the cashier would have to scan the dummy item unawares to you and hide it for it to register, or to manually type the item number into the computer/register.

And then keep a running tally to later refund themselves, with a managers override.

I don't know if it would be worth it.


You have way to much time on your hands, my only hope is that you don't live in Virginia with any chance that I could be behind you in the check out line :-)

---paul on 8/19/11

bill willa,

One possibility is "inventory control"

25 years ago I worked at a convenience store with a high theft rate. Out of 100 locations, that store was a "firing store"

any manager who was in hot water was sent to that store and blamed for the inventory problem, then fired.

I suggested to one manager that we reprice some popular items a few cents higher to recover money lost on stolen items.

We were caught at inventory audit, and blamed the pricing differences on honest error. No one got in trouble, and that quarter's audit was the best it had ever been.

Stealing from you could be someone's way of controlling inventory loss
---James_L on 8/18/11

Let me get this straight... You bought things that didnt end up at home with you, so you immediately jump to the conclusion that someone stole them from you to buy cigaretts?

A little paranoid, are we?
---NurseRobert on 8/18/11

These "low paid workers" likely receive minimum wage, and whether young or not, desperately need to feed their families in this disastrous economy.

Their STEALING is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and they should be fired and go to jail (the penal law AND the law of God have been broken) have every right to be prudish and self-righteous, BUT, if you have an ounce of humanity and a Godly spirit of living water in you, perhaps you can be unreasonable and silently bless them (present a heavenly spirit to God as your prayer offering).

"walk in love" (Ephesians 5:2).

"but let it be the hidden person of the heart.....very precious..." (1 Peter 4:3).

Verses from RSV.
---more_excellent_way on 8/18/11

Your two posts, Bill, are saying that this store has deliberately programmed glitches not only into the scanners but into the cash registers as well if you are repeatedly getting charged for items you did not purchase.

Sounds like you could complain to the management, to corporate headquarters, AND the state attorney general. Perhaps the BBB, too!

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 8/18/11

Both receipt recorded items were brought to the check-out . . . a can of nuts, one time, and bandaids, yesterday. Never has this happened anywhere else, that I noticed. They could have been raptured, for all I know (c: But the bagger came over, doing a lot of talking that could have been meant to distract me, I now can see.

But I wonder how much they are getting paid, while I may be greedy to save money at the expense of parents who are needy . . . or want to save cigarette money, maybe?
---Bill_willa6989 on 8/18/11

Bill, many employees steal where they work at. It happens all the time. It happens so much that camera's are placed because of them and because of customers who steal. The Casino's showed on tv how many employees cheat and steal. But I believe what happened to you was as the others said, just a glitch on the scanner. That also happens very regularily. I have left without a burger or fries many times. It is just a mistake I believe. I don't think the employee was hungry and wanted to eat my burger. Then again, he might.
---Mark_V. on 8/18/11

I have had the same experience. With purchases of: Groceries, Personal Care Products, and Hardware Items.

After those "Purchased, But Missing, Items Experiences", I ALWAYS compare what is printed on my Receipts to what is in my Shopping Bags.

Sure, it takes time. The cashiers, other customers, store managers, etc. probably wonder WHY I'm Double-Checking things and holding up the check-out lines.

If anyone asks, I politely explain that I've had BAD experiences before -- AT THIS STORE -- and am only trying to avoid another. Thanks For Asking!
---Sag on 8/18/11

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It is always possible but more likely with bar code scanning is double scanning of some items by accident or deliberately in which case only the store can benefit. Some times on a large order a bag will be lost being given to the previous or prior customers order in error. those are the most common explinations.
---Blogger9211 on 8/17/11

maybe it is a glitch in the scanner? are these item You wanted and are missing? or items YOu would never buy?
---kevin5443 on 8/17/11

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