Woolworths self-serve checkout questioned as customer notices 'outrageous' detail

The Woolies customer claims the self-serve checkout scales overweighed her garlic, charging her $2 more than it should have.

The orange and yellow mini capsicums purchased from Woolworths on the shopper's home scale reading .036kg for orange and .037kg for yellow.
A Woolworths shopper claims a store’s self-serve checkout scales overweighed her produce during a recent trip. Source: Reddit

As Aussies continue to grapple with rising supermarket prices, it's no surprise shoppers are being vigilant about the bang they get for their buck. From accusations of pice gouging to frustrations over the weight of mince, consumers are realising it can pay to double check after going through the check-out.

It was that intuition that led one Woolworths shopper to scour their receipt after paying a whopping $4.55 for a single garlic bulb. They said the “outrageous” price “got [them] thinking”, prompting them to weigh their produce after returning home.

Taking to social media with the results, the Woolies customer claimed the self-serve checkout scales overweighed their garlic at 0.157kg and charged $4.55 ($29/kg) when it was supposed to be significantly less. On the home scales, which were shown to be calibrated correctly, the garlic’s weight reads just .072kg — which should of cost $2.55.

And the bulb wasn’t the only item incorrectly priced, the shopper said.

The receipt shows they also purchased .110kg worth of orange and yellow vine sweet mini capsicums for $1.98 each, but photos of the veggies on the home scale reveal they weighed much less — about .037kg.

“How does this happen?” they asked others online.

Left, the Woolworths shopper's overweighed bulb of garlic on their home scale next to their receipt. Right, stock image of shoppers at Woolies self-serve checkout.
After paying nearly $5 for a bulb of garlic, the shopper decided to do some double checking. Source: Reddit/Getty

Frustrated Aussies were quick to hit out at the apparent error, with some admitting they purposefully avoid buying items they have to weigh in store because they no longer trust the scales.

“I assume they are in fact tuned to over shoot to avoid losing money from calibration issues,” one person theorised.

“That’s some ridiculous amount of money you are paying. I got a small bag of garlic about 4-5 of them for $3 from a fresh food place ... what Woolies is doing is daylight robbery,” another argued after the images were shared on Reddit.

“Yeah self serve checkout f***ed me at Coles. Got charged $8 for a red onion. That was one expensive stroganoff,” another added.

In response to the customer’s garlic complaint, a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News the supermarket chain wants “customers to shop with the confidence they’re getting what they’re paying for” and implored customers to return wrongly weighed items.

“We have a range of checks and balances in place to ensure our products and scales comply with trade measurement requirements. If ever our customers are concerned about the weight of a product, we’d encourage them to return it for a refund,” they said.

A general view is seen of a Woolworths store in Brisbane.
Woolworths has encouraged any customers who are concerned about the weight of a product to return it for a refund. Source: AAP

The company says all Woolworths store conduct in-depth checks weekly across all manned checkout and automated checkout scales to ensure accurate measurement. It also expects there to be daily testing to ensure check out scales are working correctly.

If any self-checkout or manned checkout scales appears to be reading incorrectly, the checkout is closed immediately and re-calibrated before customers can use it again.

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