The convenience of self-checkout is often a reason why many people prefer to go through with it when they’re in a hurry. It eliminates the need for a cashier and allows you to complete your purchases quickly and easily. However, there are some drawbacks to this method, especially at major retailers such as Walmart.
A lawyer advised social media users about using self-checkout counters, stating that doing so could lead to people being accused of theft.
The incident happened after attorney Carrie Jernigan posted a video on TikTok, where she talked about her experiences as a lawyer. In the video, she listed down three typical actions she would never do as an attorney.
Following the video, Jernigan created a follow-up video to explain her reasons behind the list. Among the shocking behaviors she listed down was the use of self-checkout counters.
@carriejernigan1 Reply to @afamily20202 ♬ original sound – LAWYER CARRIE
According to her, she has represented people who have been accused of theft after using self-checkouts. These include those who intentionally steal, those who make a mistake and accidentally miss an item, and people who don’t take anything.
She stated that due to how difficult it is for law enforcers to identify people who steal using self-checkout, big box stores have started to target those who actually bought an item after realizing that there isn’t enough inventory.
According to Jernigan, customers who accidentally miss an item while they’re in the store are charged even though they have no intention of stealing. She claims that big-box retailers don’t spend a lot of resources looking into whether or not the person deliberately stole. Instead, those who are in the third group will most likely face charges later if an asset protection department employee checks the inventory.
Jernigan stated that these types of retailers start watching the footage of the last person to check out with the item, and they will then start accusing them of stealing. Due to the nature of these stores, they usually have a hard time presenting evidence to support the charges. She also claims that these people are often fighting for their lives as they try to determine what day exactly they bought the item.
If you’re accused of stealing, it can be very time-consuming and expensive to hire a lawyer to fight the case. Jernigan also stated that using self-check out counters is not worth the risk. Following her video, TikTok users shared their own stories of being wrongly accused.
One user noted that his mom was charged with theft after she accidentally left a small amount of lemon oil in her cart. She was then required to perform community service. Another user claimed that he spent over $6,000 to clear his name after he was accused of stealing.
Another user noted that Walmart had mistakenly placed a photo of him in its system.