Scott Watermasysk

Still Learning to Code

Am I a Thief?

Besides savings on bulk items, one of the things both Costco and BJ’s have in common is they treat every customer like a common criminal.

Before you can leave either store, you have to present your receipt to an employee who compares what you paid for to what is actually in the cart. If these stores were 100% self serve, I could see why they would need to do this. However, since both of them employee cashiers, you have to wonder what’s going on. Why not make it the responsibility of the cashier to check my cart? Why not use surveillance cameras or some other high-tech solution? The lines are already long enough at checkout and now you want me to wait another 10 minutes why you check to make sure I did not slip something by one of your cashiers?

One of my favorite places to shop is a local grocery chain called Wegmans. They are a higher-end grocery store (with prices to match). However, they go out of their way to give you the best experience. One of ways they do this is let you tag and weigh your own produce. This makes checkout much faster since the cashier can simply scan the produce instead of trying to figure out which type of hot pepper is in the bag. Does this lead to theft? You bet it does. I am sure there is some “price fixing” going on, but the little amount they loose here is easily made back in happy customers who keep coming back.

Businesses often have to many checks and procedures in place for their own benefit with little regard to how it effects their customers. Next time someone asks you why you or your business does something a certain way take a step back and try think if the customer benefits in anyway from what you are doing. There are always edge cases, but the less non-beneficial things you put your customers through, the more happy customers you will have.