Thursday, 27 June 2013

How a £1 parcel tape ended up costing me £11 in Poundland !!! (Hussy turns Hissy)

A couple of weeks ago, I run out of parcel (brown) tape.
The queue at the stationery shop was too long, out of pure laziness or impatience, I crossed the shopping centre to buy the tape in Poundlands.

Poundlands tape doesn't work out any cheaper than the stationer's. You may pay less but get less metres of it. Fair enough and nothing to rant about here.

So how did it end up costing me 1,000% (One thousand percent) !!! ?

Is this what inspired the cashier ? LOL



So here I am, setting off with £20 in my purse, stop in Poundland to get some brown tape and grabbing a couple of soft drinks.
I head for the till and hand my (legit) £20 note to the cashier.
The cashier turn hands me the change : a tenner hidden between my receipt and a fiver. Of course the coins too.
He announces with a smile and a cheery voice : £18 pounds change.
Well so far so good …

I walk up the street to my local Thai supermarket to get some supplies, coming up to a total of just over £8.
Pick up the £10 notes and instantly realise it doesn't feel quite right.
The friendly lady at the till is ready to cash-in my note but I warn her I feel there is something wrong with the note.
Sure enough, she checks it with a pen and confirms it is counterfeit.

I went straight back to Poundland and headed to another cashier to show him the note and ask for legal tender.
The cashier doesn't seem to understand what is wrong with the note and calls his supervisor.
I show my  till receipt to the supervisor and the change I was handed back by his cashier. The supervisor calls the manager.
The manager checks my note and tells me yes, it is a fake. However, we do not hold counterfeits in this shop.
- "Well you seem to do in this case. This is what I was given by your cashier" (unless the counterfeit fairy entered my handbag to swap the note when I was walking to the Thai shop…)
- "The cashier is out for lunch" says he, now opening the till and checking customers out.
- "When is the cashier coming back ?" I enquire
- "In half an hour" Still checking customer's out
- "What am I supposed to do for half an hour ?"
- "We don't have fake currencies in this shop and you can't prove the note is from here; you left and came back"

Of course, stupid Me ! WHY did I not think of that new line of business …. invest in a  press, fabricate money (silver seals - holograms and all) and go around shops, buying stuff for a couple of quids to then go back to the shop and point out that I have a counterfeit in my hands, allege that the said shop gave it to me and expect an exchange for legal tender ?

As I was not willing to give up and stood at the till whilst the manager tried his best to ignore my presence, he finally gave up and said he would call head-office to check what he could do.
- "Head office says you left the shop and have no proof. The only thing you can do is take it to the Police"

By then, I already wasted a good 45 minutes of my day.
However, contemplating the bad faith of the shop; I did take it to the Police.
Disheartened and feeling unfair to bother the Police for such trivial matter (£10); I was angry with the injustice of the situation.

Unfortunately, there was little the Police could do since I did leave the shop and there are no proof from a legal standpoint.
The Officer told me he was supposed to confiscate the note but would give me a chance to sort it with the shop first.
I went back to the shop, tried to remain sensible and polite with the manager and asked him to sort this matter.
He refused, and I offered to call the Police into his shop. The manager, knowing the Police couldn't do much since I left the shop and came back told me to go ahead.

Eventually, I surrendered the counterfeit at the Police station (as requested) and gave my statement.
Wrote a recorded letter to head-office explaining the situation (factually and in more details than here) and gave them 10 days for a reply or this matter would be taken to Trading Standards.
No threat ever seem to shake Poundland !
I  did receive a letter saying "they were unable to confirm or DENY this was given by the shop" and will not take further action. (See picture below).

I had pointed out to the manager that his cashier was tr
ained to spot counterfeit … customers aren't.
Therefore, yes, it took me another cashier to realise I was holding a counterfeit ! (And realised I had been short-changed)
But what really angers me is:  how do I know this is a genuine mistake from the cashier and not a genuine deceit, giving customer counterfeit whilst pocketing the legal tender from the till ? The counterfeit was concealed between the receipt and another note …


62 comments:

  1. I cant imagine how upsetting this is

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    1. Really was infuriating ! Bloglovin' your blog : http://shelovestorant.com

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  2. So frustrating I know. Many people would have just spent it elsewhere so at least you don't have the guilt of passing on the loss to someone else.

    There are ALOT of fake note and coins around, in fact they reckon around one in every ten pound coins is faked. My OH is the best for spotting them as he is a bit of a geek and used to collect money, as well as once being a prosecuting officer for the DVLA and obsessed with spotting fake car documents lol. But not practical to take someone with his skills on every shopping trip sadly.

    Certainly brings new meaning to checking your change before you leave the store.

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    1. The poor girl at the Thai shop was willing to take the note before I told her I thought there was something wrong with it.
      They are honest people, running a small business and trying to make a living independently. I am really glad that I spotted it (too late) but didn't pass the loss onto them.

      What I fail to understand is how a larger business (with supposedly trained employees) can act so irresponsibly and fail to admit their own mistake / failing.

      In any case, this experience has given me further incentive to shop with smaller independent retailers and stop feeding the pockets (and appalling ways of dealing with the little guys vs the big giant) of large, greedy corporations.

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  3. What a nightmare how many of us really cheak our change I think even if you hadn't of left the out come would has been the same but then you would have had police backing.

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  4. Unsurprising customer service from Poundland...

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  5. How incredibly frustrating to have TI bear the loss through no fault of your own especially of you suspect that this may have been done intentionally.

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  6. Oh no! What an absolute nightmare, and so unfair for you. It's so wrong that you were treated like that. I'll be more careful to check my change in the future after reading this.

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  7. I'd have been furious too, £10 is a lot of money - more so when you've only spent £1. I must admit, I never check the notes I receive in change but I'll be more inclined to do so now. It also makes me want to pay by debit card rather than cash in the future. If I were you, I'd write to Watchdog - let Anne Robinson sort them out! xx

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    1. Now that's a thought Me Book Shelf & I.
      Love your blog by the way : http://mebookshelfandi.wordpress.com
      xx

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    2. Your told there no way to prove that the operator from Poundland gave you the fake £10, untrue

      You could have forced the issue, by requesting the fake £10 note be checked for finger prints, and then checked against staff from Poundland, and your self, and if found to have his prints on the note, get he police to check all the notes in Poundland, and in theory the manager could find him self in trouble

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  8. Poundland are a terrible company in many ways. They continually flaunt employment law in the way they treat their staff.

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    1. Indeed … the price to pay for our greed for cheap.
      And mostly Poundland is not even cheaper as their products are smaller or of lesser quality !
      Our consumer's habit have to change but large corporations have to stop taking us for idiots.

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    2. why r poundland a terrible company

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  9. That is so frustating, I would have been ready pull my hair out, obviously Poundland weren't checking their notes and just banging them straight in the till, idiots. P.S Home Bargains do cheap tape, 59p a roll

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  10. What a nightmare. I do remember getting some dodgy looking pound coins in my change (they were more or less brown). I just spent them on though.

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  11. Oh thats a really horrible story, what a nasty way to lose money! I can't believe that Poundland wouldn't use some discretion in the situation!

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    1. It was quite a surreal experience.

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  12. Sadly it is becoming more and more common that you can be handed fake money, I have certainly been given £1 coins that turned out to be. Not as bad as a tenner, but they add up when it happens often. What with that and the dangers of card-cloning and identity theft etc it makes shopping such a pain - who has the presence of mind to be aware of evey potential problem when out shopping? And if you do take the time to double check everything you get tutted at for taking so long. Sigh.

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    1. Heather,
      Quite ! Never mind the tutting, I will now take my time to check. In particular at large retailers where customer service is poor.
      My local fishmonger was shocked at the customer service when I told him the story. He said that if it happens to a client of his, he would refund and apologies.

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  13. That's awful! I can't believe they treated you like that. When I worked in retail it used to be a case of 'the customer is always right'. When did that change??

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    1. I supposed that as customer's used and abused the system, the trend did a U-turn.
      However, retailers should still be able to use their own discretion on such matters.
      In particular when it is easily checked on CCTV !

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  14. that is really frustrating, not a good experience

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  15. unbelievable why not just give you a tenna back at least you would be likely to shop there again :S

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  16. OMG I never check my change -will do in the future! Hmmm I think he knew exactly what he was doing cheeky bugger. Grrrr

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  17. How annoying and bad customer service, I must say.

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  18. My last post...defairmans (Dawn F on rafflecopter

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  19. This is outrageous! I will be double-checking all my change from poundland.

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  20. You might be able to hustle shopkeepers into thinking that the paper money napkins is real money, to get free stuff.

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  21. that is apauling, its shocking they can get away with that

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  22. This is shocking. The manager should of gave you benefit of the doubt and your £10 back...I would be so annoyed!

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    1. The manager may be under pressure to respect the shop's policy … but head office definitely should have used their own discretion.They had the exact time, shop code etc with a copy of my receipt. Easy enough to have a 2 minutes call with the manager and check on what had happened.

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  23. I've been given fake coins before but not notes (as far as I know!). What a rotten way for poundland to treat you! Seems they aren't that bothered about losing a few customers!

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  24. How annoying. Whenever I have received a counterfeit note, my bank has always been good enough to swap it for a real one.

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    1. I didn't try to bring it back to the bank.
      Did you as as a retailer or bank's customer ?

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  25. I have never thought to check the notes but this will make me do so in future. I feel terrible for you and I am disappointed that Poundland did not resolve the situation satisfactorily.

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  26. This is terrible! im really surprised there was no goodwill gesture. Whatever happened to the customer is always right

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  28. my daughter worked for poundland they are a total nightmare

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  29. This is very frustrating. Its down to us as the customers to check our change. Not that any of us do.
    I heard once that over 1/10 of our pound coins are fake.

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  30. I think 1/10 of all our pound coins are fake.

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  31. not good, so not fair when you work so hard for every penny. x

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  32. That is annoying, they could have at least apologised!

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    1. i suppose that an apology would have been a part admission of their own mistake ...

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  33. That's just terrible. I hope I don't get handed any fake money.

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  34. That's awful. Poundland have a lot to learn about PR. Maybe we should all take the pens with us and test change and hold up the queue!

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  35. Disgusting - Poundland should have taken this on board and at the very least offered you an apology and another £1!

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  36. I work in retail and we've just had machines fitted to detect counterfeit notes,so this wouldn't happen where I work,bad customer service though,although I never leave a shop without checking change first

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  37. that is just awful i hope no one else as the same experience i will always check my change now

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  38. I am going to check my change very carefully after your nightmare experience ....

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  39. That's dreadful. I am guilty of not even looking at my change as I get it so this could easily happen to me. I recently went on a trip with my school to The Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh which is owned by the Bank of Scotland and I learned more about notes, coins and how to spot forgeries than ever before. I didn't even know that if you roll the short edges of a note together (at least the Scottish ones) the edges match up and they also showed the children how to identify fake £1 coins. It was very interesting. They handed the group £20 notes each to look at and spot things and I was just hoping they would get them all in again!

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    1. This sounds like a fascinating school trip.
      Thank you for sharing Kate.
      xx

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    2. We were buying stuff in Homebase last night and the staff there check every note with a pen which doesn't react unless it is fake and if it is fake it puts a brown line down it. Maybe we will all have to carry those with us to check our change in front of cashiers. Sorry you had such a bad experience.

      Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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    3. Thank you for the feedback Hazel.
      I am carrying one of these pens now ;-)
      xxx

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  40. No offence to anyone who has posted on here but has anyone thought that maybe the cashier didn't realise it was a fake? maybe it was their first day and they didn't have much experience. I am a manager in retail and I can now spot a fake a mile off but lord knows that when I got my first job I didn't know the difference between something someone had printed off the computer and a real note. And if the manager had given you the £10 note back it would have had to be from her till as otherwise a till would have been short by £10 without head office authorisation. That amount of shortage from a till would have been investigated and then when found that it had been the managers decision without authorisation he could have lost his job. Not all shops are fitted with cctv and some that are work on the old vhs systems so you cant review it. I understand that it is disappointing that head office did not offer some sort of compensation but I don't think you should take it out on the Poundland staff for that mistake. At least they are working and not sitting at home on the dole. Or worse making the counterfeits that people in-advertantly are given. The customer is always right is a silly notion. I had a customer the other day that insisted that I had short changed her. I assured her that I hadn't and showed her the correct receipt on the till to show it wasn't over or under. She called the police and the police reviewed the cctv and saw I had given correct change (she said I had given her £13 not £33 as was correct) and then as she was showing the purse to the police she found it crunched up in her change area. had I worked on a basis of the customer is always right then I would have made myself £20 short in the till system. And I can guarantee you that when she found it later she wouldn't have come back to give back the extra £20. Think about it. Are you a good enough person that would have gone back to the shop had she given you an extra £10 note by mistake? Probably not. She would have possibly lost her job and you would have just thought it good luck that you got something extra. Think on that before putting things like this on the internet where everyone can see it.

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    1. The note was carefully and conveniently put under the till receipts though.
      The point here is not only what has happened in the shop-floor but how it was handled afterwards.

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  41. Moral .... check your change, this happened to me in Marks and Spencer. .... White happens.

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