Who is responsible for this idiocy?

I saw this by a writer called Esther Davis:

Here in the UK when shopping we have to pay a 5p charge if you want to use plastic carrier bags. It’s kinda like a tax for polluting the environment!

So I went to the supermarket earlier on and paid at one of those self service tills.

At the end it asked me to put in the number of bags I used. So I carefully punch in the number 2 and am just about to swipe my card and pay when I get a tap on my shoulder and come face with some huge burly security guy.

I’m calm.
I go through what I have done.

Scanned everything? Yes.
I’m confused.

People start looking at me.
Still not sure why he’s looking at me like that.

“Yes? What’s the problem”? I ask.
Still calm.

“Did you scan the bags you used”?

“I did. I used 2 and typed in 2 when it asked”.

What’s going on??

“Let me see”. He walks over to see the screen. “I used 2 and am paying for 2”.

Are we really having a conversation over 10p?!?


He scrutinises the transactions.

“You are paying for the cheaper bags but you took the ones that are more expensive” he says.

Omg I feel like a criminal.

“So please change it as I had no idea and I will pay the difference.

He punches in some words and numbers and then I see the difference is I paid 5p and the one I had was 8p each!!

All that fuss over a bloody 6p ??

I’m so humiliated I leave after telling him I will never shop again in a place that treats its customers like criminals for making a genuine mistake.

Who was at fault?

Not Esther, obviously.

But also not the man.

Clearly he is not very bright – and bossy.

But if your business doesn’t pay people a decent wage then you’re bound to end up with a lot of not very bright people.

So you have to train them – and a good place to start is by reminding them that the customers pay their wages.

But how many do?

As an afterthought don’t you think Esther should have said which supermarket it was?

If they don’t know, how will they ever improve?

About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

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