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  • FIRST POST
    • consumer345exp
    • By consumer345exp 11th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    consumer345exp
    Horrible shop experience. Short-changed.
    • #1
    • 11th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    Horrible shop experience. Short-changed. 11th Sep 17 at 5:57 PM
    Short changed by £5. Horrible experience.
    Hello, I went into a small stationary store, and there were two female members of staff at the two tills. I had purchased a few envelopes. The cost came to just over £3. Not all the items I purchased were price marked.

    As it was my turn, and as there was an elderly person in front of me who was waiting for her friend at the second till, I was served at a diagonal angle to the till. I gave the woman who was serving me a £10 note. I picked up the plastic bag with the items inside and I put out my hand (still diagonal to the till, so it was difficult to see how much the amount cost). As she was gave me my change (the coins were placed in a stack on top of each other), she was saying a few words to me about the weather outside, as the rain had just stopped. I didn't bother to count my change and she did not give me a receipt.
    I just closed my hand and went outside the door.

    I must have walked out about three meters (I had just about passed the end of the shop),
    when I looked again at the change in my hand and the amount didn't look right - the change was under £2. I quickly realised the cost of the items and the change she had given me added up to £5, so I immediately knew I had been short changed by £5. It must have been no more than five to eight seconds from when I walked out of the door, to when I went back inside. I immediately returned and told the member of staff who served me (who was alongside her colleague), that I was five pounds short. Immediately, both looked at me
    as if I was lying. I said if I had been given a receipt, it would have been a lot easier to realise what had happened straight way.

    (This may be irrelevant, but just to add, I have brown skin and was wearing a baseball cap at the time).
    Both of them looked at me as though I was lying. I didn't have to, but because of how they were looking at me, I emptied my trouser and coat pockets in front of them and placed everything I had on the counter to show them my bank card, some tissues, my keys, another £10, and the small change she had given to me. (The only loose change I had was what had been given to me by the member of staff). The small change and the cost of the items added up to £5.

    The tills in this shop are very old, but with a small digital display at the front. The woman who served me opened the top of the till and looked at the receipt roll, which had not been given to me (nor from what it looked like from the size of the roll, to the others customers).

    She looked at the cost of the items on the receipt roll and she agreed I had given her £10, but she
    was adament, at first, she had given me nearly £7 in change instead of just under £2, which is what I had - and was placed on the counter.
    I actually felt like both members of staff were looking at me as if I was lying.
    The were other customers in the store at the time, and the other member of staff (who didn't serve me ) spoke to me impolitely at first, saying the till would be checked at the end of the day and she would call me back after they had checked to see if the till balanced. She huffed at me and discourteously asked for my phone number in an unpleasant way. I knew from the way they were speaking to me and the way they looked at me, I wasn't going to get my money back at the end of the day, or the next.
    My mind almost went blank from how they were making me feel, and I gave them my mobile phone number and my name. After I gave my information, they started being being more polite, not I feel, because both genuinely felt that way, but because I had now given them my personal information and there were customers there.

    The member of staff (who didn't serve me) then wrote out a receipt for the cost of the goods purchased and gave it to me. No other figures were on there. I walked out from the store feeling pretty sick. In fact I became so nervous, I checked my pockets again, even though I hadn't put my change in there.

    I went back home and knew I had been shortchanged by £5. I have two mobile phones, one I rarely use because as it is a 'Pay as you Go,' and the other, a rolling contract - my newer phone. As soon as I got home, I checked to see if my older mobile phone was working (hoping they might call me to say a genuine mistake was made). I tried calling it using my home phone and found out it was inactive because I hadn't used it for six months. (At the time I felt uncomfortable giving them my home number and I couldn't think properly to give them my newer mobile number, as I was put on the spot - and I also had no mobile phone on me at the time).

    At home, I called up the mobile phone operator and asked them to reactive it, but they said they couldn't. So my day was getting worse. I then wrote down my name and my home number on a piece of paper and returned to the shop about half an hour later to see there was now a man serving at the till. I think he must have been the owner, and it was near the end of the day. The two female members of staff were no longer there. I gave him my home phone number and explained what happened, but from the look he gave me, and from what the other two members of staff must have said, he didn't believe me. Again, he said he would check to see if the till would balance at the end of the day and would call me. I do know the member of staff who served me must have been relatively new, as she asked the elder woman (who was very discourteous to me at first), how much the envelopes cost.
    The day passed and I still haven't received a phone call. I don't like giving out my personal information, especially when they had done this to me.
    It wasn't so much I had been short changed of £5, that I can live with. It's the fact that rather than asking for me to call them, the member of staff put me on the spot and quite impolitely asked me to give her my number - and as there were customers around, she knew by me not giving it, it could make me out to be a liar.

    If I go into a store and a cashier gives me too much change, I always go back in there and return it. I have never been treated like this, and I knew that whatever I said, I was never going to get my money back, yet I had to give her my personal information, in what felt like duress.

    I began to doubt myself because of how they were making me feel, but no matter how much I doubted, it didn't explain why I was five pound short. I guess I just wanted to type my experience because I feel sick from that happened... Has anybody had anything like this happen to them.

    Just to add, I never raised my voice, and talked politely to all three.
    Last edited by consumer345exp; 11-09-2017 at 6:45 PM.
Page 2
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 12th Sep 17, 1:07 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    Some of you are awful. Yes the op posted a long post...but it's not exactly a crime to do so.

    How about some practical advice such as...

    1) Have you established the name of the shop manager / owner and made contact with them? If not, find out their name and write them a very concise account of what happened - date and time you were in the shop, the amount of money you handed over, the amount of change you received, and the fact you want the issue resolved to your satisfaction. Leave out all the rest out of the detail you posted above - with all respect, that wont get you anywhere and will only detract from the key point of your complaint. Send you letter by recorded delivery and keep a copy of your receipt.

    2) Does the shop have CCTV cameras covering the tills? Again, find out who the manager is and politely outline the nature of your complaint and state that you "genuinely believe that I was short changed by £5 and as such it is reasonable to ask to review the CCTV footage."

    3) Is the store a member of a local trade group or body such as a Chambers of Commerce? If so you could approach them for advice and maybe they could have a quiet word.

    4) I assume by your description of 'small stationery store' that it is an independent shop - but if it isn't there is likely to be a regional manager or head office you could approach with your complaint. I understand there is a principle at stake here - and it is not so much about the £5 - so you are likely to find that a good business will offer you a goodwill gesture.

    Hope that helps
    Originally posted by SouthUKMan
    I offered similar advice as well....

    BUT one must bear in mind that taking too much action has the potential to cost OP more than the £5 they are seeking. They also aren't guaranteed to get the £5 back if they follow your 4 steps above.

    Losses could include:

    - Stationary (ironic ) to be able to write and send a letter, if email isn't preferred.

    - You also mentioned "Recorded Delivery" in your post but Royal Mail's website states "Prices start at £1.75 for letters up to 100g" - so subtract £1.75 from that £5....

    - Phone calls or travel costs to the associated entities you mentioned (shop, trade group, chambers of commerce). Phone costs will be fairly negligible but any travel costs are going to tip you over the £5

    - The time you spend contacting various companies. Could you instead work 1 hour extra and make £7.50 or more?

    - Possible associated costs for OP to obtain the CCTV evidence (iirc a company can charge up to £10 for them)


    So I'm all for OP sending a clear + concise email to head office, but much more than that will be a colossal waste of time and money!
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 12th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    • 2,695 Posts
    • 1,827 Thanks
    AndyPix
    But what am I supposed to say if I have been short changed.?
    Originally posted by consumer345exp

    You're supposed to say (to yourself) :-


    "Darn - I should have checked my change before i left the shop, I sure hope i can leave my number and have them call me if the till doesnt balance at the end of the day"
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • pimento
    • By pimento 12th Sep 17, 2:08 PM
    • 5,186 Posts
    • 6,738 Thanks
    pimento
    I got as far as the bit where you say you have brown skin and glazed over. Sorry.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 12th Sep 17, 3:01 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 1,006 Thanks
    NeilCr
    A number of years back I was in a pub in London.

    I bought a couple of drinks paid with a £20 note and was given change for a tenner. I immediately pointed this out and was backed up by the guy standing next to me. The barmaid accused us of being in cahoots (he was a total stranger) and then said she was going to cash up there and then. Which she did - causing service to slow in a busy, busy pub. She then announced, in triumph, that the till balanced.

    So, at that point, I gave up. But then I thought about it the next day and still felt aggrieved. I rang the pub, spoke to the manager politely. She apologised and said that if I came back to the pub she'd made sure I got a free bottle of wine. Which she did

    While I recognise there are differences in the stories I'd go with suggesting that the OP approaches the shop politely, sticking to the basic facts. He could say he is contacting them because he realises that they don't have a working phone number for him. Probably worth speaking to the owner/manager. He might get the same sort of result I did
    • donnac2558
    • By donnac2558 12th Sep 17, 5:02 PM
    • 2,319 Posts
    • 1,932 Thanks
    donnac2558
    I think your change was perhaps given to one of the pensioners in front of you. Reaching across the SA gave you £2 and the £5 to one of them.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 12th Sep 17, 5:47 PM
    • 2,077 Posts
    • 1,054 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    Losses could include:

    - Stationary (ironic ) to be able to write and send a letter, if email isn't preferred.
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    Oops, Stationary means standing still, I think you meant Stationery but your point was made anyway!
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 13th Sep 17, 8:21 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    Oops, Stationary means standing still, I think you meant Stationery but your point was made anyway!
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk
    Pobodys nerfect
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 14th Sep 17, 12:15 PM
    • 4,537 Posts
    • 27,330 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    BoP will now interpret for the hard of reading


    OP wen into an emporium and bought items costing £3. They handed over a nice shiny tenner and forgot to check their change. No children are involved.
    Short changed by £5. Horrible experience.
    Hello, I went into a small stationary store, and there were two female members of staff at the two tills. I had purchased a few envelopes. The cost came to just over £3. Not all the items I purchased were price marked.

    As it was my turn, and as there was an elderly person in front of me who was waiting for her friend at the second till, I was served at a diagonal angle to the till. I gave the woman who was serving me a £10 note. I picked up the plastic bag with the items inside and I put out my hand (still diagonal to the till, so it was difficult to see how much the amount cost). As she was gave me my change (the coins were placed in a stack on top of each other), she was saying a few words to me about the weather outside, as the rain had just stopped. I didn't bother to count my change and she did not give me a receipt.
    I just closed my hand and went outside the door.

    I must have walked out about three meters (I had just about passed the end of the shop),
    when I looked again at the change in my hand and the amount didn't look right - the change was under £2. I quickly realised the cost of the items and the change she had given me added up to £5, so I immediately knew I had been short changed by £5. It must have been no more than five to eight seconds from when I walked out of the door, to when I went back inside. I immediately returned and told the member of staff who served me (who was alongside her colleague), that I was five pounds short. Immediately, both looked at me
    as if I was lying. I said if I had been given a receipt, it would have been a lot easier to realise what had happened straight way.

    (This may be irrelevant, but just to add, I have brown skin and was wearing a baseball cap at the time).
    Both of them looked at me as though I was lying. I didn't have to, but because of how they were looking at me, I emptied my trouser and coat pockets in front of them and placed everything I had on the counter to show them my bank card, some tissues, my keys, another £10, and the small change she had given to me. (The only loose change I had was what had been given to me by the member of staff). The small change and the cost of the items added up to £5.

    The tills in this shop are very old, but with a small digital display at the front. The woman who served me opened the top of the till and looked at the receipt roll, which had not been given to me (nor from what it looked like from the size of the roll, to the others customers).

    She looked at the cost of the items on the receipt roll and she agreed I had given her £10, but she
    was adament, at first, she had given me nearly £7 in change instead of just under £2, which is what I had - and was placed on the counter.
    I actually felt like both members of staff were looking at me as if I was lying.
    The were other customers in the store at the time, and the other member of staff (who didn't serve me ) spoke to me impolitely at first, saying the till would be checked at the end of the day and she would call me back after they had checked to see if the till balanced. She huffed at me and discourteously asked for my phone number in an unpleasant way. I knew from the way they were speaking to me and the way they looked at me, I wasn't going to get my money back at the end of the day, or the next.
    My mind almost went blank from how they were making me feel, and I gave them my mobile phone number and my name. After I gave my information, they started being being more polite, not I feel, because both genuinely felt that way, but because I had now given them my personal information and there were customers there.

    The member of staff (who didn't serve me) then wrote out a receipt for the cost of the goods purchased and gave it to me. No other figures were on there. I walked out from the store feeling pretty sick. In fact I became so nervous, I checked my pockets again, even though I hadn't put my change in there.

    I went back home and knew I had been shortchanged by £5. I have two mobile phones, one I rarely use because as it is a 'Pay as you Go,' and the other, a rolling contract - my newer phone. As soon as I got home, I checked to see if my older mobile phone was working (hoping they might call me to say a genuine mistake was made). I tried calling it using my home phone and found out it was inactive because I hadn't used it for six months. (At the time I felt uncomfortable giving them my home number and I couldn't think properly to give them my newer mobile number, as I was put on the spot - and I also had no mobile phone on me at the time).

    At home, I called up the mobile phone operator and asked them to reactive it, but they said they couldn't. So my day was getting worse. I then wrote down my name and my home number on a piece of paper and returned to the shop about half an hour later to see there was now a man serving at the till. I think he must have been the owner, and it was near the end of the day. The two female members of staff were no longer there. I gave him my home phone number and explained what happened, but from the look he gave me, and from what the other two members of staff must have said, he didn't believe me. Again, he said he would check to see if the till would balance at the end of the day and would call me. I do know the member of staff who served me must have been relatively new, as she asked the elder woman (who was very discourteous to me at first), how much the envelopes cost.
    The day passed and I still haven't received a phone call. I don't like giving out my personal information, especially when they had done this to me.
    It wasn't so much I had been short changed of £5, that I can live with. It's the fact that rather than asking for me to call them, the member of staff put me on the spot and quite impolitely asked me to give her my number - and as there were customers around, she knew by me not giving it, it could make me out to be a liar.

    If I go into a store and a cashier gives me too much change, I always go back in there and return it. I have never been treated like this, and I knew that whatever I said, I was never going to get my money back, yet I had to give her my personal information, in what felt like duress.

    I began to doubt myself because of how they were making me feel, but no matter how much I doubted, it didn't explain why I was five pound short. I guess I just wanted to type my experience because I feel sick from that happened... Has anybody had anything like this happen to them.

    Just to add, I never raised my voice, and talked politely to all three.
    Originally posted by consumer345exp
    Watching the trail
    of cheap supermarket bags filled with a lfe gone by
    • worried123
    • By worried123 15th Sep 17, 7:45 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    worried123
    I was shortchanged in a local chemist shop by about £5...interestingly i was not given a receipt just like the OP - I mentioned the short change immediately and was given a nervous excuse and explanation and it was rectified......However, it was blatantly obvious that the shop assistant was trying to pinch my money...it wasnt a mistake....and i was so shocked by it...that people do this sort of thing and i think this is what has happened with the OP I doubt she is the first person they have done this to.......

    Nobody wants to be ripped off but i think sadly you have to put this down to experience, try not to take it personally and move on....They will eventually get caught and hopefully lose their jobs. I am sorry this has happened to you but i think you have to try to let it go.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 15th Sep 17, 10:07 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    BoP will now interpret for the hard of reading


    OP wen into an emporium and bought items costing £3. They handed over a nice shiny tenner and forgot to check their change. No children are involved.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    How did you know that the £10 was "nicy shiny" ??

    In all likelihood, much more so because the new ones have yet to be released, it was a grubby one...

    Please don't comment unless you have something useful to add
    • worried123
    • By worried123 15th Sep 17, 11:09 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    worried123
    Reply.......
    Beanie.....
    Maybe one day when people don't believe you when it really counts, then maybe one day you will understand how I feel.

    Beanie, you also say:
    'the contents of your pockets is completely irrelevant.'
    Well it showed I had no other money in my pockets except a £10 note and the change from the purchase - change which was incorrect... Not unless you were thinking like them and think I was hiding the money somewhere else, which I know to be totally false. It's unfortunate how sometimes a victim is made to feel like they are responsible and made to feel like a bad person, even though something bad happened to them.
    Originally posted by consumer345exp
    I understand how you feel. Sometimes people on forums can be unkind and its not necessary.
    You have been `stolen` from - its as simple as that - it doesn't really matter whether its £100 or £5 in terms of how you are feeling. The injustice - it not being rectified. It sounds like a rubbish shop to me and I would take your custom elsewhere in future.....the £5 they stole from you will bring them no luck and just feel proud that you are an honest decent person...
    Try to let it go though and dont take some of the comments to heart either..

    take care....all the best
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 15th Sep 17, 11:33 PM
    • 1,642 Posts
    • 2,443 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    In 28 years working in a large store I probably dealt with this kind of complaint only about a dozen times. I'd say 8/12 were in the customers favour when we cashed up - they were in fact right. They got the money back with an apology. Mistakes can happen.

    If the checkout operator said at the time they weren't sure or thought the customer was probably right we cashed up a till straight away and sorted it out. If the operator was sure it was someone trying it on we cashed up later. We always took a number rather than saying call us, it felt like the right thing to do to me. Remember it was a big store and we had plenty of new ready made up floated till drawers to swap over, a small shop probably won't.
    I remember on one occasion customer claimed short by £10, when we cashed up till was something like £17 short and we couldn't see where any mistakes were made. They got the £10 back, if the till is out then our record is inaccurate.

    but £10 20 years ago was a couple of hours pay for most people. its only £5, don't get too hung up over it.
    • tho
    • By tho 15th Sep 17, 11:34 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 391 Thanks
    tho
    However, it was blatantly obvious that the shop assistant was trying to pinch my money...it wasnt a mistake....and i was so shocked by it...that people do this sort of thing and i think this is what has happened with the OP I doubt she is the first person they have done this to....
    Originally posted by worried123
    Have you ever worked a shop? Or a pub? Do you genuinely think people risk their employment for £5? What happens - and it's pretty common - it it's a genuine mistake. Nervous reactions are because they're a. Embarrassed at making a genuine mistake and b. Trying to establish whether the customer is actually trying it on to gain.

    I've been both sides, and when I was short changed by a tenner in a BP once was happy to wait while the cctv was checked.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 16th Sep 17, 1:36 AM
    • 9,448 Posts
    • 10,614 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    Have you ever worked a shop? Or a pub? Do you genuinely think people risk their employment for £5?
    Originally posted by tho
    For only £5, maybe not, but what about if they attempt the same thing a few times each day?
    In that case, the £5 adds up to a sizeable chunk of money at the end of the week.

    A couple of years ago I was driving in the USA and went into a petrol (gas) station.
    As I was on my way to the rental depot to drop off the car I didn't need to put a great amount of fuel in it and the total cost was about $8.
    As it was a prepay place, I had given the woman on the till a $20 bill then after I filled the car, went back in for my change.
    She handed me 2 $1 notes and a couple of coins and quickly turned away to serve the next customer.
    I waited until she was free and walked back to the till with the change in my hand and even before I could tell her the problem, she opened the till and gave me another $10 note, so yes, I think that people will risk their employment for a few £s as it's the small errors in change that may well get missed by customers more often than large amounts of money.
    • worried123
    • By worried123 16th Sep 17, 9:47 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    worried123
    For only £5, maybe not, but what about if they attempt the same thing a few times each day?
    In that case, the £5 adds up to a sizeable chunk of money at the end of the week.

    A couple of years ago I was driving in the USA and went into a petrol (gas) station.
    As I was on my way to the rental depot to drop off the car I didn't need to put a great amount of fuel in it and the total cost was about $8.
    As it was a prepay place, I had given the woman on the till a $20 bill then after I filled the car, went back in for my change.
    She handed me 2 $1 notes and a couple of coins and quickly turned away to serve the next customer.
    I waited until she was free and walked back to the till with the change in my hand and even before I could tell her the problem, she opened the till and gave me another $10 note, so yes, I think that people will risk their employment for a few £s as it's the small errors in change that may well get missed by customers more often than large amounts of money.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    I agree. Interesting that the op was not given a receipt and i was not given one when i was shortchanged. It isn't possible for these people to try to take more than small amounts and i agree they add up if its something they do frequently..
    If they actually `are` genuine mistakes then they shouldn't be working in a shop if they cannot even count money.
    • tho
    • By tho 16th Sep 17, 10:05 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 391 Thanks
    tho
    You never forget anything then? Hundreds of transactions a day, someone (the customer probably) asking questions, trying to pack the bags, and you think you were only given a fiver rather than a tenner. Sack on the spot. Lovely attitude.
    • worried123
    • By worried123 16th Sep 17, 10:26 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    worried123
    I dont think that. I think that shop assistants who try it on are very far and few between and mistakes happen.
    why wasn't the OP given a receipt (i was not given a receipt when i was `deliberately` short changed. If they were honest they would have been more helpful to the OP...i do feel she was deliberately short changed...

    i also think that most shop staff are very honest and would never do this kind of thing...i have had many shop assistants tell me that i have given them too much when i have paid for something with coins. I am also aware that mistakes inadvertently happen.

    Also shop transactions are so fast these days....so busy that we would all look like scrooge if we stood there counting the change we had been given at the til .....you pour the coins into your purse as you `walk away` looking at them quickly and mistakes or short changes are often only found once you get to your car whilst you have been thinking...`that cannot be right`so you then check it.

    i just think the op has been given a bad time for asking for advice...it isnt `her fault` because she didn't check her change at the til....not many of us do......to stand there counting it makes it seem that we dont trust the cashier etc...mistakes are usually found afterwards...

    Anyway i just hope the OP can just move on from this.

    I do think that if they are found to be stealing from customers - yes they should lose their jobs.
    Last edited by worried123; 16-09-2017 at 10:28 AM.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 16th Sep 17, 3:32 PM
    • 3,576 Posts
    • 2,657 Thanks
    sheramber
    I would have given the lady blocking the position a polite 'excuse me' and waited for her to move before handing over the goods.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 17th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
    • 3,912 Posts
    • 4,235 Thanks
    robatwork
    I dont think that. I think that shop assistants who try it on are very far and few between and mistakes happen.
    Originally posted by worried123

    They aren't that few and not that far between. I deal with retailers and shop owners on a day to day basis. Every single one without exception has fired one or more staff for hands-in-the-till.

    The £5 lesson for the OP here is
    Check your change
    Always get a receipt

    If this is a true story and the same thing had happened to me (white skin no cap) I would have gone back in the shop and insisted they call the police otherwise I would. Then OP would have seen a quick reaction I imagine.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 17th Sep 17, 2:14 PM
    • 19,304 Posts
    • 9,413 Thanks
    Moneyineptitude
    I would have gone back in the shop and insisted they call the police
    Originally posted by robatwork
    You really can't demand that. I imagine the police would take a dim view of you calling them yourself over such a trivial matter too.

    Calling the shop manager, however...
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