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underage test purchase

  • 01-08-2020 10:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    hi there...

    I began working this year in a supermarket. I was trained on tills when I started but usually worked in stock. Since around June I have been on tills more, maybe 1-2 shifts a week. Our training when we started was online modules, checking boxes.

    Two guys came in today and bought some drink each. The first one looked late twenties, and the other early twenties/maybe 20. I am always strict with ID, and have had comments before about how strict I am. I did not ID either of them as i didn't see any need. My manager was standing directly beside this guy sorting paperwork and didn't comment either.

    The second one asked for a receipt for his purchase (just the alcohol, a 8-can multipack, and two plastic bags). After i gave it to him and just as they were leaving a girl I work with commented that people usually only ask for a receipt for alcohol like that if they are test purchasers, but that she wouldn't have ID'd them either... I felt sick straight away.

    I went to the door of the shop and the guys stayed outside chatting for a while and checking their phones and then headed off down the street. They both paid with 20E notes. Another guy I work with passed me, and I told him one of the guys had asked for a receipt. He looked at him and said he wouldn't worry, he looks around 20.

    I know nobody can tell for sure if it was a test purchase, but am I correct in assuming no because if they were minors the guards would need to be either in the shop with them or waiting for them outside? To make sure they are safe? Also if I had just sold minors alcohol, wouldn't the guards have come to the shop straight away and asked for me and my manager?

    Does anyone have experience with getting through this type of thing, when does your job usually hear from the guards?

    I don't know if this sort of thread is allowed but my anxiety is sky high at home tonight, I really need this job and don't want to get in trouble or get a huge fine for the shop. :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭jarvis

    A test purchase can be made by the guards or by a contracted third party. If it was the guards they have to be present/outside and they would instantly return to the shop and raise their concern.

    If it was a third party then in most cases they’d notify the manager of the fail.
    Company’s are paid by the supermarkets to do these tests.

    Tesco use a company called Serve Legal. If a till operator fails then they leave a failure notice at the customer service desk.

    I wouldn’t worry about it.

    It definitely wasn’t the guards and if it was a contractor you won’t be reprimanded on a first failure.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭LuasSimon

    Seems a bit of a joke generally by the gardai sending in seventeen year olds buying alcohol while 50 yards down the road there are drug dealers selling bags of cocaine to teenagers and threatening to burn down their parents house if they don’t pay up .....

  • Registered Users Posts: 916 ✭✭✭markad1

    I always ask for receipt so I can prove I purchased items if ever challenged.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo

    You’re destroying yourself based off a random comment a co-worker made. Loads of people ask for receipts, it’s not uncommon at all and they could have a million different reasons. Your colleague is probably basing that ‘always’ off something that happened to them, or more likely that they heard happening to someone else second or third-hand, once. Consider how little you or your colleagues know about the process and whether there should/shouldn’t be a Garda there etc.

    The situation is out of your control now. If you felt they were definitely overage at the time, they probably were. There is no point in stressing constantly about it because this is something you’ll probably never hear about again. Life is hard enough these days, especially for supermarket workers during COVID, to be just adding stuff like this to your plate so give yourself a break on this. And on the tiny chance something does come back, you will be fine and so will the supermarket.

  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭gobo99

    The second one asked for a receipt for his purchase (just the alcohol, a 8-can multipack, and two plastic bags).

    Test purchasers often only buy a single can in my experience. They're usually on their own aswell and will be under 18.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,837 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    If there's any follow up, you will hear about it.
    My advise for what's it's worth, Id anyone that looks even remotely young.
    If they're genuine they won't mind, if they're underage they'll have to do without and either way you're protecting yourself and your job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    Hysterical nonsense by your colleague. I'll bet she reads rags like the daily mail and believes every piece of sh1te on Facebook.

    You’ll hear her talk about "child abductions" (always a white van), will have racist views and general gloom and doom.

    Never ever listen to these fools and be confident in your own judgment.

    Nothing to worry about at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought

    OP - I really wouldn’t worry about it. I sometimes ask for a receipt after if I am going into another shop or supermarket to
    get something else afterwards
    and this is probably why he did it . As regards the checks, in your opinion he looked well overage - we are not living in Sweden or India or dry states in the US where everyone has to
    show ID - you used your experience and traIned opinion to evaluate him and felt he was risk free. Your manager also
    didnt feel a need to challenge him - no doubt he will back you up. If
    they send in kids to test the shop they usually look obviously underage or are in school uniform so don’t worry - its a bank holiday weekend, lots of people are buying cans and
    drink for BBQ’s and house parties and to share - and maybe split thee bill - don’t waste Ny
    more time worrying about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112

    Keep up asking, you will actually flatter many as they will be like oh I look young...

    Don't kick yourself, just motor on.

    The wife does get asked on occasion and loves it as she does be like oh they asked...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 275 ✭✭sweet_trip

    Honestly OP nothing happened and you're experiencing severe anxiety over a random comment.

    Again, nothing happened.

    As far as I know, if a test purchase is made they inform you then and there.

    But these spot checks are very rare.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    I feel that you are quite probably worrying needlessly.

    But does your store not have a defined policy? I’m almost sure I’ve seen signs re ‘we’ll ask for ID if you look under 25, that’s our policy’. Possibly that age was 23. I can’t remember.

    If the store you work in doesn’t have an official policy like that, I’d still ask, and make light of it. If a customer wants to complain about that, then let them off

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi everyone.. I am very late but thought I would come back and say this was a test purchase. The underage shopper was 17 and 8 months, i found out a couple of weeks ago.