to give dd food before paying for it?

(736 Posts)
cantsleep Mon 29-Jul-13 22:20:29

Went to shops today with dcs. Dd was a bit tired and hungry and I wanted to get in and out quickly and home.

She was very hungry and has health issues and needed to eat that minute so I picked something up and let her have it. I have not done this before but couldn't have gone and paid then given it to her and continued shopping as she needed to eat straight away. Usually I have a snack in my bag for her but she had already had that one and I was going to buy more snack bits for her from the shops to replenish the ones I carry for her.

I noticed that a shop assistant was watching us intently and kept seeing her as we went round the shop.

When we got to the till I took the packet off dd for the man to scan and gave it back to her. As we were leaving the member of staff who had been watching approached us with a security guard and asked had we paid for what dd had eaten round the shop. I replied yes we had but she asked to check the receipt which obviously was fine.

She then told me that in future we HAD to pay for food before consuming it. I explained to her that it was a one off as I had run out of snacks I usually carry and dd needed to eat immediately but the security guard said food has to be paid for first.

It wasn't like I do this all the time and tbh as long as the food is paid for does it really matter?

WIBU to have let dd eat her snack before we had paid for it?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 29-Jul-13 22:37:19

I have never done this with any child, but your child has a health issue and they should have listened.
I'd have been tempted to tell them you'll shop at x because they let you do this, etc.
What bloody jobs worth.

frogspoon Mon 29-Jul-13 22:37:35

Ilovemyself.

No, it's not theft, but as I said the security had no idea of whether or not the OP was going to pay.

For all they knew she could have been intending to steal the food.

So whilst technically probably not illegal, still not a good idea.

BrianTheMole Mon 29-Jul-13 22:38:00

I don't see theres a problem as long as you have intention to pay, which you did. I do this all the time, the cashiers never seem surprised when I pass them the empty packaging.

Floralnomad Mon 29-Jul-13 22:38:28

TBH I think its safer to do what the OP did than to get food out of your bag ,how would you then prove that the pack of crisps that your daughter ate had been taken in with you ? That's the way I look at it with my mum anyway . I can't understand why they waited until after you paid to say something ,why not tell you at the time or approach you at the till which would have been more private ? That's what I would be complaining about .

Doodlez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:39:58

I think it is classed as theft frogspoon.

"Technically it's stealing as it's goods consumed that you haven't paid for. Supposing you had forgotten your purse?"

How is that different to ordering in a pub and finding you've forgotten your wallet when it comes to settling the bill? never done that, oh no

It feels like a breach of proper manners to me, but I do it all the time with my two because 2yo's don't really understand etiquette, but have got a pretty good grip on screaming at loud volume.

To me, producing food I brought from home, and probably bought in the same shop the week before, seems more fraught with issues - how do you prove it was yours?

sweetiepie1979 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:40:34

My dd always always has a pear and an orange in sainsburys while we go round with the trolley. If she spies Ella's kitchen in waitrose i will allow her to have it I always pay so I don't see the problem. Sometimes if she is walking with me and it's sweets she wants I'll let her hold them bit explain she can't open them until she pays the man/woman. Im always glad to see her eat fruit so she can go right ahead and eat. In fact in morrisons the shop assistants give her apples! Someone did say to me once when I opened a packet of something and ate some of it before unpaid for it, I replied very curtly that I was pregnant. But I don't think it should matter I will continue to do it.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:42:17

Bowlersarm. It is not stealing or theft, as you never intend to permanently deprive the owner (the store) of the item.

noseymcposey Mon 29-Jul-13 22:43:44

Sounds like they really overreacted as it's a pretty common occurrence. Although I too generally don't like it except in the kind of circumstance you have described above.

Sunnysummer Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:04

In the circumstances it does sound necessary, but as a general rule I think it is unnecessary and teaches kids confusing lessons about taking things without paying and mindless eating while preoccupied with other things.

In most countries you don't see it, it's not usually so hard to give a snack beforehand, and if you know that you or a dc has an issue, to travel with a stash of snacks.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:09

I see no problem with this in a large supermarket, and think they massively overreacted. It's quite normal to see small children chewing on a baguette in our local asda.

Also, I believe that technically you haven't stolen anything until you leave the premises without paying.

hadababygirl Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:12

No, I just take something, usually a banana, quickly through the self service checkout and then let DD have a nibble as we go round. I'm not a massive fan of this - just don't have the nerve to do it myself.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 29-Jul-13 22:45:09

I'd have nipped over to customer services to explain and pay (unless it was an absolute emergency). Stores lose a lot of money through shop lifting so they will watch people who they see doing this. That costs them in manpower hence they ban it.
It's not the end of the world, but not unexpected that the security guard pulled you up on it.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:45:55

I think it is classed as theft frogspoon

No its not, theft is to permanently deprive and is not physically possible until you have exited the shop.

If you have lost your purse its still not permanently depriving unless you do not return and pay.

With an intention to pay and a unexpected occurrence preventing you from doing so straight away you have not stolen anything.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 29-Jul-13 22:46:31

What shop was it?

NapaCab Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:38

It's not ideal but it's not the end of the world either. You did pay for what you had consumed so you were honest. Watching your DD like a hawk like that over a packet of crisps (50p?) is just ridiculous. It's presuming an intent to steal on your behalf.

Did you tell them your DD has diabetes?

I did this a couple of times with my DS who once grabbed a couple of strawberries from an open box and so I bought the box even though we didn't need any strawberries. The staff were very nice though and said I shouldn't feel obliged to buy something just because he had a couple from the box. Another time he screamed the place down because I made the stupid decision to buy loose raisins instead of the usual boxes and of course he wanted some. I gave him a few but felt embarrassed about it.

Anyway, I shop there all the time and spend a lot of money so if the staff had made an issue of it, challenging me with a security guard etc I would be reconsidering my choice of supermarket. I think most sensible businesses know that and try not to treat their customers aggressively, assuming some intent to steal.

Talkinpeace Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:43

I self scan at Waitrose - so once the bag of grapes has been scanned I am free to eat from it.
You cannot get the scanner without swiping a credit card
therefore no chance of not paying
therefore no guilt at all

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:58

Now do you pay for a single piece of fruit when you've eaten it?

Doodlez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:48:15

Sock, is that your interpretation or is that actually the law? I ask because these threads come up quite a bit on MN and I'm sure we had a solicitor on once telling us is was theft.

Only asking - as I said further down thread, I've done it myself so i ain't claiming sainthood here!

aufaniae Mon 29-Jul-13 22:49:27

I often do this in the supermarket. It keeps DS happy while we shop. We present the empty packets at the till. I have no shame grin

aufaniae Mon 29-Jul-13 22:49:58

It's not theft unless you walk out with it. That's my understanding anyway!

Cherriesarelovely Mon 29-Jul-13 22:50:32

It does sound like an over reaction on behalf of the staff in this instance, as soon as you had explained about your dd I would've thought they would've backed off. In general though, no, I don't think this is ok. You are eating something that you haven't paid for yet. I agree with SunnySummer. I've never done this. I don't think it's the end of the world but I would never do it or encourage my Dd to think this was the right way round to go about shopping for food!

flipchart Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:02

I have never done this but MIL used to allow my children to do this when they were little.
I've always been uncomfortable with it and found it completely unnecessary.

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:04

I meant how do you pay for a single item of loose fruit if you've already eaten it?

Cravingdairy Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:51

I don't think it's very considerate to the staff to hand over what is effectively a piece of litter and ask them to handle it. If you need something urgently pay for it upfront before you do the rest of the shop. I was dragged round supermarkets approximately a million times when I was small and my mum would never have let us eat something before it was paid for.

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