Attempts to cut costs at Point of Sale could generate increased costs instead.

Attempts to cut costs at Point of Sale could actually generate increased costs instead.

With the economy being the way that it is of  late, many businesses are looking for ways to reduce overall operation costs.  One way that this is being done by many retailers is to cut down on material overhead at Point of Sale.

To accomplish this, some Retailers have resorted to not printing or giving out receipts to customers unless they ask for one.  For many of these business owners, the often used logic for allowing this could be any or all of the following:

  • I’ll same money on receipt paper.
  • There will be less wear and tear on my printers, so they will last longer.
  • If I don’t hand out receipts, I can get more people through the registers faster.
  • If people don’t have receipts, they can’t return items.

Sometimes the unintended consequences can be:

Theft at the Till  –  For cash transactions, employees may not ring up the sale, and subsequently bag the items, and pocket cash at the register.  This is especially critical risk area in businesses that do a lot of cash transactions.

Irate customers –  If the stores return policy states that you must have a receipt, and the customer was never given one, they may be angered when they find out that they can’t return the item.  So this could end up actually costing you customers.

Customers being charged with theft  – I know of one situation involving a Credit Card  transaction where the clerk  printed a receipt and charge draft for the customer to sign,  but never gave the customer a copy of the receipt.  Later that afternoon, the customer  was detained  for shoplifting by store security and charged with theft for something that  they had legitimately paid for.  However,  the customer was later vindicated only when the security personnel reviewed the video surveillance footage, and the register transactions.  Further, the customer had proof of the purchase on their Credit Card Statement.    This created a scenario where the customer later took legal action to sue the  store for false arrest.  The end result was a lot of legal fees and an undisclosed  out-of-court settlement, plus the loss of a long time, loyal customer.
 Shrinkage – Items bagged for customers that were never rung up in the register. In these  cases the customer leaves with merchandise for which they were never charged.

If you would like assistance in reviewing your existing Point of Sale register procedures, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

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