Woolworths shoppers vow to boycott new surveillance equipment

Woolworths shoppers vow to boycott new surveillance equipment


Customers have threatened a boycott of Woolworths stores in response to the supermarket’s plans to implement new artificial intelligence equipment.

Frustrated shoppers have threatened to boycott Woolworths stores over plans to introduce new controversial artificial intelligence technology (pictured, Woolworths shopper)

Frustrated shoppers have threatened to boycott Woolworths stores over plans to introduce new controversial artificial intelligence technology (pictured, Woolworths shopper)

The retailer stated it would deploy sophisticated new surveillance equipment in checkout lanes to’reduce misscans’ and crack down on ‘false swipes.’

The overhead cameras detect incorrectly scanned items and prevent customers from weighing in cheaper items.

However, users have expressed anxiety over the technology’s ability to record them, while others have stated that the system makes them feel like “thieves.”

Woolworths is rolling out big changes to all its checkouts to 'reduce misscans' that will also catch out Australian shoppers who try to bag groceries without paying

Woolworths is rolling out big changes to all its checkouts to 'reduce misscans' that will also catch out Australian shoppers who try to bag groceries without paying

One Reddit user said, “If you want to treat me like a f***ing thief, then YOU scan my s***,” while another said they had boycotted their local store due to the additional cameras.

Customers have threatened to boycott Woolworths stores over controversial plans to implement new artificial intelligence technologies (pictured, Woolworths shopper)

Another frustrated consumer stated, “I have literally just walked out of Woolworths and left my items there since the self-service checkout wouldn’t let me pay.”

If a misscan is detected, the ‘very unpleasant’ system recommends incorrect or more expensive products, according to a second consumer.

“If I choose something that is not on the prescribed list of weight fruit and vegetables, an attendant must come and authorize it,” they explained.

The technology halts the checkout process to replay a video on the checkout screen in front of you if it senses an item being put into a bag without being scanned

The technology halts the checkout process to replay a video on the checkout screen in front of you if it senses an item being put into a bag without being scanned

Typically, one must also wait for eons because the attendant is assisting, say, ten other people.

Others asked fellow customers to inform the retailer that they object to being videotaped.

The purpose of the trial, according to Woolworths, was to determine if the new camera technology could assist eliminate mis-scans and increase the pace at which consumers go through the checkout line.

Woolworths is rolling out significant improvements to all of its checkouts to’reduce misscans,’ which will also catch Australian consumers who attempt to shoplift products.

Woolworths is installing security cameras at self-serve and cashier-assisted checkouts to prevent instances of fraudulent credit card use.

“If a misscan happens, a brief video will highlight the impacted goods, and customers will be given the option to rescan it,” the document stated.

On social media Australians reacted to in-store signs warning customers they could be filmed with a mix of anger and concern

On social media Australians reacted to in-store signs warning customers they could be filmed with a mix of anger and concern

While the majority of customers use our self-service checkouts correctly, we’re all busy and mistakes can easily occur.

According to Woolworths, the technology is utilized internationally and “should make the self-service scanning procedure more precise.” After being tested in Seven Hills, it is now in use at stores in Hornsby, Neutral Bay, Chullora, and Carnes Hill.

Nonetheless, the majority of customers and retail analysts believe the supermarket’s true objective is to capture more shoplifters at self-service checkouts.

According to the Australian Retailers Association, fake swiping by customers at self-service checkouts costs retailers up to $9 billion annually.

According to retail analysts, Australian consumers do not feel bad about fake swiping, sometimes known as “micro thefts,” because they perceive it as stealing from a “robot.”

By photographing the area where the customer is standing, Woolworths’ new camera system recognizes when an item has evaded the scanner, halts the checkout process, and activates a red light above.

The technology halts the checkout process to replay a video on the screen in front of you if it detects an unscanned item being placed in a bag.

On social media, Australians reacted with a mixture of outrage and alarm to store posters informing customers they could be watched.

The issue is then replayed on the checkout screen in front of you.

Woolworths retains the tape, which blurs faces and the payment keypad, in case police want it in the future.

The system encompasses all checkout lanes where the new cameras are being tested, including those where an employee scans your groceries.

That means the cameras can detect shoppers ‘forgetting’ to pay for bulky or heavy products in their carts, such as 24 cans of soda or a tray of cans of dog food.

As soon as a customer inadvertently or intentionally pushes their trolley past the scanner or the checkout operator, if it contains any products, the red light above will illuminate and a video of the situation will be displayed to the operator.

The trial will be expanded to hundreds of stores in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, as well as additional states and territories.

There are 1,086 Woolworths outlets in Australia.

As soon as a customer accidentally or intentionally pushes their trolley past the scanner or the checkout operator, if it contains any products, a red light will illuminate and a video of the incident will be displayed to the operator.

A store source told the Daily Mail Australia, “If you do the right thing, you have nothing to fear about.”

In the coming months, Woolworths will “carefully consider customer and team input on the pilot.”

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the supermarket boss will abandon the new anti-theft camera, regardless of the resistance from customers.

However, the technology is permitted in Australia, thus a store source stated that declining consent would result in being instructed to purchase elsewhere.

“Almost wherever you go, you’ll encounter CCTV, so it’s nothing new,” remarked one.

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