“I worked retail in the early ’90s. So, we still had actual price tickets which were scanned and read an internal SKU code. Initially, it would just bring up the SKU and the price on the screen. Well, we started having real problems with tag switching (ie, people would take the tag from a $20 item and put it on a $300 item so it would scan $20).
Now, this was a department store, so there was no one who truly knew all the items, just the ones in their own department. So, people would switch tags and bring the items to another dept to be rung up so they wouldn’t be caught. The cashier would just assume the ticket was correct.
So, to combat this, the registers were updated so it would show not only the SKU and the price but also a short description of the item on the register when you scanned it. The customer couldn’t see it, only the cashier could.
We got new inventory in and this woman brought all this new Jones and Co. apparel we had received that day (and I helped put it out on the floor), and switched all the tags on it so it rang up on sale at much lower prices. I knew what she was pulling, but I also knew she’d be a prick about it (just gave off that vibe). I rang the first one, a sweater, but it read it was pants. Just for kicks, I tried another one, it was a skirt, but it read a scarf when I scanned it.
So, I looked at her and said, ‘There seems to be a problem, looks like the prices on these are incorrect.’
She looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Absolutely not! If you misticketed them, that’s your problem, not mine. You have to honor the price.’
At this point, I saw plainclothes security out of the corner of my eye, so I knew they must have picked the dumb prick on the cameras.
I said, ‘Well when I scan your sweater, it comes up as pants and a different brand. Somebody must have changed the ticket on it, and I’ll have to take it off the floor to be reticketed.’
She started to say something but I had already scanned the next item and said ‘Oh, weird that one is ringing up as a scarf.’
Then I scanned another one and said, ‘Oh, look socks.’ She started to look a little nervous at that point and just kind of muttered under her breath, ‘Oh, forget it. I don’t have time for this,’ and ran out of the store, as shoplifters often do.
After she left, security came over and said they’d been watching her for a while and to let them know if I saw her again. I never did – but not sure if she was ever caught. Stupid lady.”