'Like we were at Costco' shopper says after calling self-checkout policy 'cheap' (2024)

A SHOPPER has been left baffled by some measures retailers have rolled out to combat theft.

The customer accused a grocer of being cheap in its approach to tackling shoplifting offenses.



He also compared an experience at another grocery store to being at Costco.

“Why are there so many barriers?” Nathan Keller (@nathan_P44) posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“I think they are just being cheap.”

“Canadian Tire in Saskatoon tried to ask for my receipt like we were at Costco,” he claimed.

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He responded to a social media picture taken inside a Loblaws store that showed plexiglass panels attached to the railing.

Keller said he didn’t show his receipt and walked out of the store.

Loblaws recently hit the headlines after receipt scanners were trialed in a select number of stores.

A Loblaws spokesperson previously told The U.S. Sun receipt scanners were introduced to try and combat theft.

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“To protect customers and colleagues, we’re always looking at different ways to stop this theft. This pilot is a part of these efforts,” they said.

Shopper Jonathan Hayes said the gates have created additional chaos.

'I've got nothing to hide!' says shopper backing receipt check measure - but others vow to boycott stores over practice

"You had some people, especially a lot of elderly folks, were completely unaware this was a new thing, and were just pushing their carts through the closed gate," he told CBC.

"It would trigger alarms. There were alarms going off maybe every one to two minutes."

It comes as furious shoppers have clubbed together to call for a boycott of Loblaws for the entire month of May.

Some have felt embarrassed when they've been asked to show their receipts.

Receipt checks are common at wholesalers such as Costco and Sam’s Club.

The inspection is one of the retailer’s general policies under its membership privileges category.

Top 5 receipt checking tips from a lawyer

'Like we were at Costco' shopper says after calling self-checkout policy 'cheap' (9)

Camron Dowlatshahi, a Los Angeles attorney, spoke to The U.S. Sun about receipt checks and customer's rights and options when it came to being asked to show your receipt.

  1. There has been a lot of debate around the legality of a retailer asking to see your receipt, but if it is within the store, it is completely legal. “There’s seemingly nothing illegal about that. You’re still on the company’s premises and their reason to do it is to prevent thefts,” Dowlatshahi confirms.
  2. However, if they are chasing you out of the store, that changes things, Dowlatshahi said. "Location matters," he explained. "If you’re outside of the store you’re in the parking lot and they come and start accusing you of theft and that you have to show your receipt, I think that's a bit of a different situation because now you're on your way."
  3. While customers are allowed to say no to receipt checks, it may cause issues if you do and the store suspects you of stealing. "You can say no, maybe it creates an unnecessary hassle for yourself because now you may have the police come to your house and follow up," said Dowlatshahi.
  4. If you are being barred from leaving a store because you refused a receipt check, you could have a legal case — but the store must have held you for a long time. “Let's say it’s for hours, that's certainly false imprisonment, and they didn't have any impetus for doing so," Dowlatshahi explained. "If a customer has been emotionally traumatized by being held for false imprisonment, I would definitely encourage [them] to sue.”
  5. “I would say, show your receipt," he concluded. "It’s just a really simple thing to do. If you didn’t steal anything, it’s relatively simple to do,” the lawyer advised.

Workers must ensure members have been properly charged for goods and receipts will be inspected.

Costco has warned memberships can be canceled without cause.

The chain also says it has the right to inspect any bag that shoppers bring into a warehouse.

Sam’s Club workers also check members’ receipts but physical inspections will soon be a thing of the past.

This is because the chain is working to expedite the process, benefiting shoppers and staffers.


Earlier this year, top execs announced technology was being trialed at select locations, but they hope this new system will be rolled out more widely by the end of the year.

The technology has been rolled out at 120 stores nationwide, per Tech Crunch.

Shoppers walk through a scanner and cameras verify the items that have been bought.

It means customers do not have to wait in line for a worker to become free.

Bosses have claimed the technology has resulted in shoppers leaving warehouses 23% faster.

Chiefs are working tirelessly to roll out the new system across all 600 warehouses.

While receipt checks are common at membership clubs, it appears the inspections have started to creep in at other stores.

Some shoppers have been offended when a Walmart greeter asks to see their receipt.

It has sparked some to share their strategies when it comes to bypassing the inspections.

One Walmart shopper claimed they pretended they were on their cell phone while others said they ignored the worker’s request.

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Some have even boasted that they’ve managed to bypass the pesky receipt check 100% of the time.

The U.S. Sun has approached Loblaws for comment.

'Like we were at Costco' shopper says after calling self-checkout policy 'cheap' (2024)


Why did Costco get rid of self-checkout? ›

In the summer of 2023, Costco began asking staffers to crack down on checking membership cards in self-checkout lines. One reason: an increase in "shrink," from theft or products selling for less than actual prices.

Can I use someone else's Costco card at self-checkout? ›

They'll probably get stopped at checkout

Even if you use self-checkout, you're going to have to scan a membership card. Plus, an employee may also check your card -- and the picture of you on it -- before you even start checking out. If the person doesn't match the picture on the card, they won't be able to check out.

Why is Costco checking membership at self-checkout? ›

Costco recently started asking for shoppers' membership cards along with a photo ID at the self-checkout registers, the same policy as regular checkout lanes, to crack down. "We don't feel it's right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members," Costco said in announcing the change.

How much does self-checkout cost? ›

The cost of a self-checkout machine varies widely depending on brand, features, and capacity. Basic models can range from $1,500 to $10,000, while more advanced systems with additional features like implementing RFID scanning or built-in scales can exceed $20,000.

What is the problem with self-checkout? ›

Self-checkout, on the other hand, shifts the work to customers, making them feel less rewarded, the study found. “Extra effort required to checkout and bag purchases and the expectation of being served by the store were negative consequences of self-checkout and decreased loyalty to the store,” according to the study.

Why are they getting rid of self-checkout? ›

Still, rising theft — part of what retailers call "shrink" — is the primary reason self-checkout is being ditched in some stores and restricted in others, according to Saunders.

Why is Costco cracking down on membership? ›

Rather, the reason Costco is cracking down on membership sharing boils down to wanting to make things fair and pleasant for existing customers. During the company's most recent earnings call, CFO Richard Galanti explained the company's stance by saying, "We also had complaints from members saying, 'I pay.

What changes are coming to Costco in 2024? ›

11 Major Changes You'll See At Costco In 2024
  • Rotisserie Chicken Packaging Switch.
  • A Change In Leadership.
  • Food Court Policy Changes.
  • New Membership Card Scanners.
  • Food Court Swaps.
  • Fresh Sushi Is Coming to More Warehouses.
  • Price Decreases.
  • A Massive Amount of Store Openings.
Apr 18, 2024

What happens if you get caught using someone else's Costco card? ›

There is also a chance that the card could be confiscated, but Costco does not state any direct repercussions for card sharing on its website. However, you can still shop with a member as a guest at any Costco store and primary members can assign a free household card to one other person in their homes.

Is Costco getting stricter? ›

While Costco officially restricted food court access to members in 2020, the newly posted signs detailing store policy suggest tougher enforcement is needed. "Effective April 8, 2024, an active Costco membership card will be required to purchase items from our food court.

Can you pay cash at self-checkout at Costco? ›

Yes, Costco does take cash as a payment method.

Why does Costco check receipts before you leave? ›

We do this to double-check that the items purchased have been correctly processed by our cashiers. It's our most effective method of maintaining accuracy in inventory control, and it's also a good way to ensure that our members have been charged properly for their purchases.

What is the self-checkout trick? ›

On the shop floor of supermarkets there is one shoplifting tactic which has become so commonplace, staff have given it its own name. The “banana trick” consists of putting an item through a self-checkout as a cheap fruit or vegetable product and walking out with a much more expensive item.

Is Walmart getting rid of self-checkout? ›

The retailer joins Target, Dollar General and other chains in recalibrating its reliance on self-service and rethinking the checkout experience. This audio is auto-generated.

Why is self-checkout cheaper? ›

The technology has been viewed as a way to lower labor costs and improve efficiency by taking up less space than manned checkout registers, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of the analytics company GlobalData.

Does Costco have self-service checkout? ›

At self checkouts, the membership cards are checked before you step up to the register. If the card isn't yours, they'll ask if you have a membership, look up your membership on the computer if you said yes, get your membership number entered in and you can continue.

What grocery chain is eliminating self-checkout? ›

Safeway, which operates 918 stores throughout the U.S., will remove self-checkout facilities at some of its Bay Area stores, according to a report by KTVU Fox 2. The move follows other major retailers like Walmart who have reduced or removed self-service options from some stores.

Why is Walmart eliminating self-checkout? ›

Walmart is scaling back on its self-checkout machines at two stores, as more retail giants are reducing the self-service option at their stores, citing an effort to combat theft. A Walmart in a suburb of St. Louis, Mo, recently began removing self-checkout machines, CBS News reported on Friday.

Why is Target closing self-checkout? ›

However, some studies have found that self-checkout enables more customer theft. For instance, a 2023 LendingTree survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers found that 15% of self-checkout users purposely stole goods. Forty-four percent of self-checkout thieves also said they would do it again.

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