Smartshop App - Bag check ‘Errors’ - genuine errors or some kind of tactic?

I’ve been getting stuck into nectar this year and have been using the smartshop app to try to maximise savings on supplies for packed lunches for work.

When it offers me ‘nectar prices’ on items I would usually buy that are non perishable, I tend to buy in bulk to make the most of the offer - I have hundreds of coffee pods, 10 bottles of own brand detergent and 20 bags of granola in my cupboard. My partner thinks I am bonkers.

Ive noticed that nectar ‘swipe and win game’ went from me winning 100 or 50 points per go to me winning 5 points per shop. No big deal. 
They have also started offering me items such as 2 pints of milk at 30% discount where simply buying 4 pints would yield greater reward. No big problem there - all to be expected and easily understood and avoided.

    However I just got selected for a random bag check and to my utter surprise it said I hadn’t scanned a pack of ham and I needed to rescan everything. When I rescanned it came to same price as before - so I’d definitely scanned everything but they flagged it incorrectly. In effect the app made a mistake and indicated I had tried to steal.
   The app has been acting unusually for me - occasionally subtracting items or sometimes when I get inside the shop my saved offers disappear. Very frustrating.
     I’m very careful about scanning because I want to make sure I am getting the offers and prices promised. 
In sainsburys eyes i guess I would be classed as a low value shopper, I buy own brands in bulk in the largest quantities possible To reduce price per kg/ltr. I am not the sort of shopper that makes them much money.

I am wondering if it possible the software is going to be more inclined to flag me due to my unusual bulk purchases. Or even at the more conspiratorial end of the spectrum they are trying to make my experience with the app unpleasant to discourage me from taking full advantage of the offers.
   I am obviously still open to the possibility that I made a mistake of course, but I think it is unlikely. I guess I thought it would be good to start a thread in case this is a new tactic and see if anyone has similar experience in the coming months.


  • pumpkin89
    pumpkin89 Posts: 637 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I don't think they will be deliberately targeting you.  It is likely to be an annoying side effect of the way Nectar prices are applied.

    When you scan an item that is in your Nectar prices, the handset applies a price reduction, which is the same process as if you had scanned a "yellow sticker" reduction as far as the till is concerned.  When the Sainsbury's person rescans your shopping, their handset doesn't have your Nectar prices loaded, so it scans a full price pack of ham (in your example) where it's expecting to see a reduced pack of ham, and therefore flags that you haven't scanned that item.  When they rescan all your shopping, this includes your Nectar card, and therefore the same price reductions are applied as when you originally scanned it.

    I don't have any insider knowledge of Sainsbury's systems, but in my experience, if the full rescan agrees to what you had scanned, this tends to mean you don't get another rescan for a while.  I assume the system marks you as an honest (low risk) customer.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,767 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    Its possible you bought one pack of smoked ham and one of honey roast (for example) but scanned them both as smoked?
    So if when the spot check was done they scanned the honey roast ham the system doesn't think you scanned it. But when whole rescan is done the total value will match as those items were same price even though they are different items.
  • In my experience, if I add an item to my SmartScan shop, change my mind and remove that item, I get "flagged" at checkout.
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