Frustrated Countdown shoppers are warning others to check their dockets following a spate of pricing errors.
A shopper from Canterbury started a thread on Reddit describing how he's noticed "pricing errors every time" he has shopped at his local Countdown, since the store upgraded its checkout computers.
"Yesterday an avocado advertised for $2.99 scanned as $6.00 and a cabbage advertised for $2.50 scanned for $4.99," he wrote.
"Staff are apologetic and quick to refund when the errors are pointed out. My concern is that I'm a numbers nerd and find it easy to remember the advertised price and catch scanning errors. But what about all those 'normal' people who aren't as pedantic as me? I have yet to catch a scanning error in my favour. Countdown needs to lift its game."
A number of shoppers shared similar experiences.
One Reddit user offered a more technical explanation for the issue: "sounds like they just rolled out 1pos. It sucks, we got it at my store about a year ago as part of the first wave roll out and it's literally a step backwards compared to the software we used before."
"The problem with the prices being wrong is due to SAP not communicating properly with the POS system at checkout. Using the avocados as an example, standard price is $6 (rip off, I know). The produce manager has probably decided to drop the price to $2.99 as nobody wants to pay $6 for those shitty small overripe avos we get, so he's jumped on the computer and reduced the price in the system," he continues.
"On the old software that price change would be reflected immediately on the checkouts, because it was simple and it worked. But now there can be a wait of over an hour for that price change to 'flow through' to the checkouts, and sometimes the whole thing throws a tantrum and it won't flow at all."
Another shopper said the new software is "f*****g appalling".
"I actively avoid self checkouts now because of it, the 'own bag' situation is particularly bad. I recently was at a supermarket that still used the old software and the difference was amazing."
A Reddit user says he's "now gotten into the habit of checking dockets each time whether through self service or not" as he reckons he is overcharged "probably a quarter of the time".
"Unfortunately I sometimes don't check until I'm sitting in my car, by which time I have to weigh up trudging back and waiting at customer service for what is sometimes only a small amount. Wonder how much Countdown are profiting off these 'errors'?"
A Countdown spokesperson denied that there's been any increase in pricing errors since the adoption of the new software and attributes mistakes in pricing to "mistakes made in our systems" or "human error".
"We've been upgrading our point of sale software since June 2016, and almost all our stores across the country are now using the new system," the spokesperson told the Herald. "The old software had come to the end of its life. We haven't seen any increase in incorrect pricing as a result of moving to more modern software."
Countdown says it is hard to comment on the Reddit thread without specific information on products or the stores in question. "We're happy to investigate further if those details are available."
Countdown shoppers should keep in mind that, when dealing with a pricing error, the store policy is to refund the price as well as providing the item free of charge.