Thursday 5 March 2009

‘Computer Says ‘No’…’

Staff at supermarket giant Tesco refused to sell wine to a mother - in case she gave it to her 14-year-old daughter.

Fraud investigator Karen Dumelow, 46, and her daughter Emily were at the check-out when a cashier said she could not serve her in case the wine was given to the youngster.
Of course, it shouldn’t be any damn business of Tescos what she did with it – drink it herself, give it to her daughter, christen a ship with it, or pour it down the sink.

But we no longer live in a world where we expect personal responsibility from adults and take appropriate action when they break laws – now, everybody’s business is everybody’s business, up to and including the checkout operators in major supermarkets…
She had been about to pay for two bottles of white wine at the Portsmouth store while doing her weekly shopping with her daughter.

Mrs Dumelow said she spoke to three senior members of staff who agreed with the cashier who had wanted to see identification for the teenager.
So, it’s not just the checkout where they don’t select for initiative and problem-solving….
She said today: 'The checkout assistant asked Emily for ID and I just told her that obviously she didn't have any because she is only 14 years old.

'I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was crazy. Do you have to leave your children at home if you want to buy alcohol now?
No. Just don’t shop at Tesco. Shop somewhere they don’t employ box-ticking morons at the checkout, or in the administration.
Mrs Dumelow, from Milton near Portsmouth, said today: 'The part that incensed me the most was that literally one minute later I bought the wine from the same till - it was unbelievable.

'All I had to do was send my daughter to the car and all of a sudden everything was OK. '
Well, that’s because, despite what Tesco PR flacks might say, this has less to do with ‘curbing under-age drinking’ and more to do with ensuring that it is seen to comply with the latest nonsense from the government. The customers can go to hell if they don’t like it….
Tesco today apologised for the incident and the embarrassment it caused.

'We work hard to prevent under-age sales, including proxy sales where adults purchase alcohol for under-18s. However in this instance we got it wrong and sincerely apologise.'
How about you stop ‘working hard to prevent under-age sales’ and just concentrate on being a supermarket? By all means, ‘card’ those who look underage as you’ve always done – that’s sensible.

But going down the route of rushing to implement every barmy ‘initiative’ this flailing government comes up with, in a desperate bid to stave off the inevitable, is only getting you bad publicity.
Do the sensible thing – cut your losses….


Anonymous said...

Common sense seemingly goes out the window every time retailers try and implement more central control dogma, ther's at least one story a day where a pensioner can't buy booze, sharp tools or something else because they can't prove they're over 21 by showing a piece of paper. The visual evidence should surely be enough. In this case I'm annoyed the woman didn't dump her shopping where it was and walk out.

Anonymous said...

Common sense goes out of the window because common sense doesn't get you very far with the CPS or in the courts. You could google and find hundreds, or even thousands of cases where common sense faced off against government dogma, and ended in arrest/prosecution/persecution.

You can't blame the supermarket really, blame the state nazis bringing in the ridiculous flood of laws.

Anonymous said...

One of the many ludicrous aspects of this story is that the army of online shoppers at Tesco can get the booze delivered more or less straight to their children's mouths without any restrictions at all. As do I, for instance.

Anonymous said...

How do you think every damn planning application thse shower of bastards makes is passed "on the nod"?

Because they follow what the "Government" tell them to do to the letter and without question.

They are the usefull tools of Incapability Browns Stalinisation of Britain.

Wiothout the likes of this Stasi infoprmer like scum, the plans of the wannabe aparatchicks in Westminster would be so much waste paper.

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

JuliaM said...

"You can't blame the supermarket really, blame the state nazis bringing in the ridiculous flood of laws."

Oh, I think there's enough blame for both! ;)

After all, they must be wondering how much more bad publicity idiot checkout managers are going to get them...

Although Von Spreuth has a salient point too.

"..the army of online shoppers at Tesco can get the booze delivered more or less straight to their children's mouths without any restrictions at all.."

Another angle for the government to crack down on the Internet in the future!