Canada’s supermarket giants have attracted substantive public ire over the last few years, largely for the fact that groceries are a leading cause of our escalating cost of living, with food inflation hitting a 41-year high in 2022.
It seems as if every day brings another case of sticker shock at an Ontario Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, or even the smaller guys, but along with being accused of profiting off inflation, these companies are having some of their other practices called into question, too.
Loblaws has recently been lambasted for spending money installing new security gates rather than lowering prices and asking shoppers for money to support charity, among other things, while just last week, a Redditor shared a case of chicken being relabelled with a new, fresher expiry date by staff at their local Metro.
And, Metro is coming under fire on Reddit again this week for another concern — that its self-checkout scales for weighing produce and other goods are “rigged”.
“Metro self-checkout kiosk is rigged,” a customer wrote in the Toronto subreddit over the weekend along with a photo of the self-checkout screen attempting to charge them for 1.150 kg of green peppers when the scales both on and above the screen shows a weight of a far lower 0.470 kg.
“When I pointed this out to one of the staff members, they simply dismissed it saying I might’ve accidentally put some more weight when adding this,” the enraged individual continued.
“I know for a fact the self-checkout kiosk is ridiculously annoying when there’s a discrepancy in the weight of the scanned item and what is put aside after scanning. It almost always complains, screaming, ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ or ‘assistance needed.’ Only this time it didn’t, when clearly there was a difference in weight. Always double check what you’re paying.”
The post quickly garnered 1.2k upvotes and nearly 200 comments from people accusing the grocery giant of negligence and even fraud.
“Everyone go to their local Metro and try this out. Get photo evidence. Because if they’re doing this in more locations, they can’t just say it’s a tiny error,” one person suggested.
Others expressed doubt that the company would put itself in such a legally dangerous position by knowingly duping customers, saying that this case was very likely a user error or some type of machinery error — a point that some contended with the mention of the bread price fixing scheme that Metro participated in along with Loblaws, Sobeys, Canada Bread and others.
One commenter said that the exact same thing happened to them when shopping at the Gould Street Metro.
In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Metro told blogTO that they are unable to know what happened in this particular situation without knowing what was on the scale in the photo (admittedly not pictured), what had been on the scale prior to the person placing the produce on the scale, and other factors.
“All weighing scales across Canada are part of the government’s Weights and Measures Act that requires scales to be recertified every five years,” they added.
“During this timeframe, the scales are subject to random inspections by government inspectors to help protect customers and businesses from faulty information.”