Please, Stop & Shop, stop treating me like a thief

By | September 10, 2017

Dear Stop & Shop,

I’ve been a customer at the Stop & Shop at 60 Everett Street in Allston, Massachusetts for twenty years. I’ve been “in your database” with a Stop & Shop Card for as long as your chain has used Stop & Shop cards. In the past five years, I’ve spent on average more than $3,000 per year in your stores.

I am a frequent user of your “Scan It!” smart-phone app, the Scan It! devices in your stores, and your self-checkout aisles. By using these, I save you money by reducing the number of employees you need on duty each shift.

In addition to all of the above, I rarely use coupons, since I frankly don’t have time to clip them.

In short, I am one of your best, most loyal, most profitable customers. And yet, on a regular basis, when I shop at your store, you accuse me of being a thief.

When I use a Scan It! app or device to do my shopping, I bag all of my own groceries as I scan them, so that when I finally get to the front of the line at the self-checkout aisle, all I need to do is scan my Stop & Shop card, pay, and leave.

Alas, on an all-too-frequent basis, I am informed by the register, “This transaction requires cashier assistance. Please stand by, help is on the way!” And then I stand there, waiting, often for several minutes, for someone to come along to do a “quick scan” of my groceries.

You know, to confirm that I haven’t stolen anything.

When someone finally shows up, more often than not they are flummoxed by the fact that I used the smart-phone app rather than a Scan It! device. So then they have to go find someone else to tell them what to do. Even when they know, it takes several minutes for them to jump through the extra hoops necessary to activate a Scan It! device for them to use.

Then they have to scan seven items from my groceries before the computer will let me check out.

This is stupid in so many ways, including:

  • You have detailed records of how long I have been a Stop & Shop customer. You know how much money I spend in your store. You know that I use Scan It! and self-checkout lanes on a regular basis. You know that despite all the times your computers have demanded a quick scan of my groceries at checkout, you have never found a single item that I hadn’t scanned. I am not a thief. I have never stolen groceries from you, and I never will. Your data tell you this. It is stupid to do these checks on customers who it’s clear from your data are not thieves.
  • I bought 44 items today, of which your quick scan protocol required seven to be scanned. So you had less than a 16% chance of finding an item I was trying to steal. And that’s assuming that either I would have stupidly put such an item in an easily accessible location in my grocery bags or that the employee doing the scan would have taken the time to dig through my carefully packed grocery bags to reach the items on bottom, which of course they’re not going to do, since they, like me, want to get it over with as quickly as possible (and if they do, I’m left with my carefully packed bags in disarray, my bread crushed, etc.).
  • I bought over $130 in groceries tonight. If I was going to use Scan It! and your self-scanners to steal from you, then why in heaven’s name would I have scanned over $130 worth of my groceries?

But really, I want to return to my first point. You have more than enough data about me in your computers — data that I have allowed you to collect precisely to enable you to provide me with a better shopping experience — to know that I am exceedingly unlikely to ever attempt to steal anything from your store. It simply should not be necessary for you to do quick scans on customers like me. Ever. Full stop. It’s a waste of your time, a waste of our time, and an unnecessary aggravation to your best customers.

Please make it stop.


Jonathan Kamens

P.S. While I’m writing to you, there’s something else I would like to ask you to look into. There is something very wrong with the computer that runs self-checkout aisle number 15 at the Allston Stop & Shop. I’ve used all the self-checkout aisles many times, and the computer in that particular aisle is many times slower than all the others. It is maddening to have to wait for many seconds between each scanned item. It is even more maddening, when using Scan It!, to have to wait for a minute or more while my Scan It! order scrolls by on the register, something which takes a few seconds on all the other registers. I hope you can do something about this.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 thoughts on “Please, Stop & Shop, stop treating me like a thief

  1. Tracie Williams

    Yes!! I agree 100% it’s ridiculous. I’ve been shopping with scan it for years. The audit is dumb for the simple fact that we know what it is. No one is trying that complicated a way to steal.
    I actually had an issue with my phone connecting to their internet and it kept disconnecting. The items I scanned wouldn’t stay in the cart. Funny that day I got an audit and apparently had a few items that were not scanned. Give me a break….. I spent about 200 dollars. I didn’t steal a bag of cheese and some lettuce. I was so mad. They were so rude to me. I could see if I was a new customer or I had taken hundreds of dollars in items. Neither was the case. A man actually stood in front of me while I waited on the bench. Like I was going to run out of the store and leave my 200 dollars i already paid in groceries. 🤔 Nope I waited to get my groceries back and they said here is everything you paid for, in a nasty way… meanwhile the two things were sitting on the conveyor belt. Wow you guys really dodge a bullet there huh?? Scary I almost got away with a dollar and a half accidentally. I felt like a criminal. Fortunately I know I’m not a criminal but they sure treated me like a scum bag. Not like some one who spends thousands of dollars at their store and had an actual issue ONE TIME…. grrr I wish other stores would adopt the scan it i would go there and boycott stop & shop lol but I would hate to stop getting my free 1 to 2 dollars every 20 years.

  2. Katie

    Yes! I now get audited every time I use the self scanning gun. Every time! Like please. Some days I have 10 items or less.

    Long Island NY

  3. Anonymous

    I feel like the times where i’ve been audited are when I scanned the wrong thing or wrong amount of things and had to delete it from the cart on the app/gun. Also feel like i’m audited when I speed shop. Some times I know exactly what I need and where they all are so it takes me far less time to get these say 15 items than the average person and I feel like their system flags that.

    I like the Scan It! app too but just don’t use the wallet feature to pay on the app.

    1. jik Post author

      Interesting. I also got the impression that I was getting flagged for auditing more often when I had removed something from my cart, so if you’ve experienced the same thing, then perhaps there’s something to it.

  4. Anonymous

    Very well written and I agree 100%

    Stop and Shop customer,
    Long Island, NY


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.