CUSTOMERS of a popular grocery store are complaining after a new security measure’s common malfunctions have left them feeling trapped.
A Safeway in Washington DC recently installed a new way to check customers’ receipts at self-checkout as an anti-theft measure.
After checking out, shoppers are required to scan their receipts at a gate before being let out of the self-checkout area with their groceries.
The location has reportedly had an issue with theft, which led to this new technological installation paired with additional gates at the entrance of the store.
“All the customers, they try to take [something] for free. They’re watching another customer and seeing that they didn’t pay, so they’ll tell us, ‘Why didn’t he pay? I’m not paying,’” an anonymous cashier at the store told The Washington Times recently.
According to the publication, other shoppers have reported similar added anti-theft measures at another Safeway location in the city.
Many were surprised by the new anti-theft measure.
“It was a minor inconvenience the first time I encountered them,” shared a Reddit user on a DC forum discussing the issue.
“The Safeways in this city are such a joke. They’re so s***ty. Understaffed. Overpriced,” wrote another.
Some users pointed out that while the doors might create the illusion of being trapped, they are easily bypassed.
“These are easily pushed open, they’re not really keeping anyone inside. Otherwise, it would be a fire hazard and enormous hassle for employees,” shared another user on the DC forum.
“I can’t attest to their efficacy when operating, but they’re broken or malfunctioning 90% of the time I’m in there,” they continued.
“Even when it seems to be working, the self-checkout exit barrier is usually propped open, I’m guessing because employees are tired of manually letting people through when they can’t figure it out.”
Someone likened this new tactic to gates used at commuter train entrances.
“If subway systems in multiple cities have taught me anything, it’s that a simple, very low barrier will 100%, without a doubt, stop people from stealing and simply & easily vaulting over them as a minor inconvenience,” noted one Redditor sarcastically.
A shopper who originally posted about the new security measures on PoPville noted that the store has also added a police officer stationed at the exit.
Not all who shop at the store see the new addition as a negative, with a few standing up for the establishment among other’s criticisms.
“The criminals will drive out to the stores that don’t have the gates, so they should install those everywhere,” wrote one user.
“I don’t love to see them spending money on this, you don’t love it, and I guarantee you the owners don’t love it either, but they need to protect their business the best they can or else there will be no business to protect,” argued another.
Albertsons Company, Safeway’s parent company, has yet to respond to request for comment by the U.S. Sun.