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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rogue Shopping Carts


Rogue Shopping Carts

A Mrs. Thevictorian recently posted about an accident her son had returning a grocery shopping cart to the grocery shopping cart corral.


 It is a funny story but what I took note of was that the Thevictorian’s actually return their carts to the cart corral.  I thought I was the only one who does this.

At our local markets, the lot is strewn with shopping carts.  Shoppers routinely leave the carts exactly where they last had them while unloading their car. 

This is a pet peeve of mine.

There are at all shopping lots multiple cart corrals, and yet people leave their carts all over.  When looking for a parking spot, I often have to get out and move one of these strewn about carts in order to get into a space.  When the wind blows ever so slightly, these carts will begin to move and they will not stop until they make contact with something…generally a car.  If you shop at a supermarket in my neck of New Jersey you will have dents and or scratches on your car from a runaway shopping cart.

This cranky old man is never guilty of such an offence.  I always make sure to return my cart to its corral. 

Is there anything that could force derelict shoppers into returning their carts to their proper place?  Signs imploring people to return their carts go unheeded.   Would a shopping lot patrol enforcing cart returns end the issue?  Probably not.  The supermarket does have hired help retrieving carts, but they cannot keep up with all those anti-cart-returners.

There is an answer.  At a shopping center we use when down at the shore, in order to take out a cart you need to put a quarter in a lock (this is hard for me to explain, take my word for it) when you properly return you cart, you are able to release your quarter.

There are no rogue carts in this lot.  NONE! For the most part, all those people who do not give a crap about loose carts and other people’s cars suddenly care very much.  What all the signs and enforcers are unable to achieve, a simple quarter a cart return fee does.  People who save every coupon and wait for double coupon days, will not leave their cart and lose a quarter.  They all return their carts.  If they forget, there are cart watchers just waiting to return that cart and collect the quarter for themselves.

I only wish all problems had such an easy solution.

27 comments:

  1. I'm always annoyed at the people who don't return their carts, and even more so at those who choose to take them off the property! Them things is pricey, and you're not helping the cost of food by doing stupid shit. Shopping most anywhere in Europe involves having at least fifty Euro cents or a Euro, otherwise, you ain't gettin' no cart. And yes, it's a simple solution.

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  2. Your idea of the quarter in the slot has been in Europe for some years.....you put in a euro coin, get it back when replacing the cart. Never saw a cart in the parking area in a year.
    In the US, I'm suggesting we use a idea that would somewhat reduce unemployment among vets and cure the cart issue: we hire them to be snipers, atop the building...walmart, safeway, whaever, whack the person offending, issue over. There may be questions of legality perhaps, but with Prez Trump, we'll be fine.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. As someone who hates guns, unlike Wyoming cowboys, I have to disagree with this full employment idea, though I guess knocking off a few non-cart-returners might also help reduce unemployment.

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  3. Seems like a two-bit solution to me.

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  4. We have the same coin locks out here in Australia. Not at every shopping centre, but at enough. We don't have quarters though, so our locks can only be used with either a one dollar or a two dollar coin. When these first came into use, many people didn't have a dollar coin handy, so plastic tokens in the same size were avaialable at the cigarette kiosks, attached to a small plastic clip and with a keyring so you could attach it to your keys and forever after you'd be able to use the carts. In Theory. People lost these tokens ALL THE TIME, because they weren't money, they got careless. After about six months, replacement tokens became available, but at the cost of a dollar. I still have my original token plus a couple of the replacement ones.

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  5. I can't understand why people don't return their carts. "job security" someone once told me, claiming that if we all returned our carts then the baggers would have nothing to do when the store is slow. I asked my son (who works at a grocery store) if he thinks that is true and he said, "Heck, no! There's always work to do. I mop or sweet floors when I'm not bagging. I return items to shelves when it's not busy. There's always something to do." He did say that he enjoys "collecting carts" because it gets him outside in the fresh air. So I guess there's that.

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  6. Of course a person would have to have loose change in the first place. In the case of most women, finding a coin in the depths of a handbag while juggling youngsters would be frustrating enough to take one's business elsewhere. ..or even shop online and pay extra to have it delivered.

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  7. Good idea, like airports. I always return my cart to it's proper stall. I've seen too many carts whipping around a parking lot on a windy day.

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  8. Grrr. Loose shopping carts and the lazy fools who made them that way, pet peeve indeed!

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  9. Probably all of us have been cart returners since we were old enough for our mothers to have us get them back into the store (there were no corrals back then). After children, there were grandchildren to push carts. The problem is, we've grown old and out of youngsters to replace carts.

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  10. I think the whole of Ireland cottoned on to the coin-in-the-shopping-cart solution back in the 80's. I never understood why they don't do that everywhere.

    ...of course, we seemed to always get the cart that refused to give our pound coin back.

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  11. We had a similar problem, some customers even used carts to cart their purchases to their homes. Years ago it all ended when we had to use real money to get a cart.

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  12. The Pony had a good time, but I think he hurt himself a bit. Too funny. I would have loved to have seen that.

    We put the carts away too. I hate having to remove a cart so I can park. People are just lazy. People are just rude to everyone else and that's what you are if you just leave the cart for someone else to tend to.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Sandee,

      The Pony insisted on taking the cart back TODAY in the same manner, even though we were parked right next to the cart corral. Even though I told him I didn't think I could stand watching that again. He didn't run into the corral today, though. But looked just as ridiculous. I've got to learn how to film him with my phone.

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  13. This is all news to me. I've never shopped in Europe or the Jersey shore, so I'm not familiar with the coin operated cart system. Here in Dallas we rarely see a loose cart in the parking lot...I'm guessing 95% wind up in the "corral". I have no idea why we seem to be able to follow instructions, and elsewhere most people can't.

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  14. Hah!
    Finally a use for those dollar coins the Treasury Department has been trying to sell for _________ years.

    The only mark on my ten year old vehicle is from a rogue shopping cart it got about two weeks after I drove it off the dealer's lot, brand new.

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  15. I always return my cart to the cart corral or I return it to the inside of the store. I wouldn't want to leave my cart where it might roll into a car or senior citizen.

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  16. That bugs me too. Just as irritating are the ones who just push the cart in the general direction of the holders. I push mine all the way in. Invariably people think I work there and try to give me their carts. I love the quarter idea. Perfect solution.

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  17. Drives me nuts, so lazy and so inconsiderate. Some supermarkets over here have the coin thing and some don't. Oddly our Asda has some you have to use a coin for and some not, no one ever uses the coin ones ...

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  18. We had a shop here that tried the quarter solution, and people got so mad about it they would leave and shop elsewhere. It went out of business.

    Yes, i return my carts, it's part of my daily exercise!

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  19. I used to work for a grocery store chain and I can tell you that despite the signs all over "we are not responsible for damage to your cart from a rogue shopping cart," if a customer complained loud enough and to the right people, they would get money to fix the dings and scratches in their cars. Who do you think paid for this? That's right, the customer...with higher prices.

    That's why I like Aldi - one of the reasons they can keep prices so low is because of the quarter you get back when you return the cart to the corral. All the stores in Germany do that.

    I return my cart to the store or the corral ALL THE TIME. It's a pet peeve of mine if people don't do that. Once I pulled into a parking spot and the owner of the car in the next spot put her cart right next to my car. As she got into her car, I took the cart and put it right behind her car so she couldn't back out. It's a good thing she didn't carry a gun...I think she wanted to kill me.

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  20. Yes, Aldi is the only place I've seen the quarter carts. My mom loved it! She thought she was getting a real bargain when she got her quarter back.

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  21. I like the concept of the quarter to return the cart. That is a pet peeve of mine too and I was actually going to do a blog post about where stray carts end up. There was actually a service when we lived in San Diego area that would collect those "rogue" carts (that often ended up stores away) and return them to their proper home.

    We always return our cart (I know that for sure because 99.9% of the time I am the one returning the cart). I look out though when we get to the store and see if there is a senior citizen or a disabled person loading groceries into their vehicles and then I often ask them if I can return their cart for them.

    How long does it take to return a cart? geesh!

    As you can tell, it is a pet peeve of mine, kind of like $4.00 bottle water at the movie theater.

    betty

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  22. I have also seen that at Aldi. The local grocer where I shop doesn't allow carts in the parking lots. You get a number and pull up to the doors and someone comes out and loads your car for you.

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