Self-serve checkout theft just corporate greed meeting karma
THE self-serve checkout debacle is a textbook case of corporate greed meeting with good old Karma.
And as theft at supermarkets across the country skyrockets it's time for the grocery giants to scrap these abominations and cut their losses.
While I don't condone people stealing it was obvious to all, from the moment self-serve checkouts went in, that the logical result of relying on people's honesty would be an increase in theft.
Let's face facts, self-serve checkouts were only ever aimed at helping Coles and Woolworths reduce the amount they spent on wages.
This wasn't about our convenience. And truth be told I'm still not convinced it's quicker for me to bungle about with the barcode reader than to simply hand my groceries over to a smiling checkout attendant and let them do what they are being paid to do.
When I first saw self serve checkouts go in I assumed the supermarkets had calculated that the rate of theft would be less than the amount saved on wages.
However in October last year we were told police had been called in across New South Wales to try and counteract the "scan everything as carrots" mentality.
Then last week we heard Coles would be limiting the self-serve checkout to 12 items or less - again in an effort to reduce theft.
And yesterday we heard the story of Ipswich mum Kylie Milner who photocopied and printed barcodes of 65c and 72c packets of noodles and glued them to more expensive items.
Hers is an extreme example as she stole more than $4500 worth items.
Yes this is stealing and no I don't condone it - much less do it - however it seems hard to argue that Coles and Woolworths have not brought this problem on themselves.
After all if I decided to sell some of my belongings on a trestle table at the front of my home and simply put out an honesty box, I would be laughed out of the station if I asked police to investigate.
And I see little reason why people's taxes should be used to police a problem companies created in the ever reaching pursuit of increased profits.
Let's not call this increase in theft for anything more or less than it is - a duopoly of very large corporations seeing their own cynical greed coming home to roost.