10 comments on “The cost of living today, eh?

  1. On average I’m over-charged or short-changed once each week. Inattention and poor arithmetic are the main culprits, though you do come across the odd tea leaf.

  2. Not computer error, more like human error.

    When you see the reciept and read the bar codes you can see that the barcode encodes the price. So someone deliberately or accidentally placed the wrong barcode on the bread. It wouldn’t have been the normal barcode on the package as the bread was reduced so it will have had a temporary barcode stuck on, that’s the reason for encoding the price in the barcode. Plus there is the human error of the cashier who didn’t flinch as they took the man’s money.

  3. The customer is more culpable, he should have checked and he shouldn’t be such a bloody cheapscape, reduced bread indeed. Unless of course it was for the ducks.

  4. How the fuck did it get to the point where he only discovered this by checking the receipt?

    If warehouse workers can afford just to punch in the numbers without checking the amount, I guess we’ve eradicated poverty for working people.

  5. What Interested says – if the man is rich enough to not even glance at the screen as he types in his PIN, then he’s far from poor.

    On the bar code issue, it’s equally possible that it was just mis-scanned. UPC barcodes are expected to go wrong 1 in 600,000 scans – or in other words, several times a day in shops in the UK alone. Since most errors aren’t of this magnitude, they go undetected.

  6. Probably says a lot about me that I expected this to be about an MP overclaiming on his expenses.

    @SadButMadLad there was no cashier – he used the self service checkout, which does add to the impressiveness of this…

  7. RationalA, So the fault lies with the shelf stacker who put the wrong barcode on the reduced in price bread and the customer for not looking at the screen when keying in his details. The reason for the problem is the shelf stacker, whilst responsibility for the problem is with the customer. The real culprit is the UI designer as the problem with tech is that people get lazy with it and blasé through constant use and don’t read the screen. The design of the UI for the self service checkout should force the user to read the price. You might notice that I could be totally wrong with the self service details, that’s because I don’t like using them – and I’m a high tech computer software engineer.

  8. “if the man is rich enough to not even glance at the screen as he types in his PIN, then he’s far from poor.”

    Or (cos I’ve done this, although as far as I know it’s never cost me extra), he was dog tired after a 14 hour shift in a fairly physical job, he knew his shopping would (should) be about a fiver, so he just punched his pin number in on autopilot. As I say, I’ve done it, walked out the car, and suddenly realized I’ve no idea what I’ve just paid for the bag of shopping I’m clutching. It’s not that I don’t care what I pay (indeed careful consideration may have gone into the choice of items), it’s just that as the total is right(or close enough that one wouldn’t notice) 99.99% of the time, it’s easy to pay by plastic without really paying attention.

    As for faulty barcodes, I once got a Morrison’s Miles points (petrol station loyalty card) £5 voucher when I wasn’t expecting one – checked the receipt, and the card number was a digit different to mine. I only noticed because I got a voucher when I was a fairly long way from being due one – I wonder how many accounts get credited with other people’s points every year…

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