The University of London student visited the Tesco Metro on Kensington High Street at approximately 8am on Wednesday December 4.
When she got to the till and had to select the doughnut she was purchasing from a list, she noticed that she could just choose the Tesco own brand doughnut, which was only 17p.
The glazed raspberry filled doughnut which she had actually picked up was supposed to be £1.35, meaning she made a saving of £1.18.
‘Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the best, but they are so expensive for a student like me’ said the philosophy student. ‘Ever since I found out it was possible to get them cheaper, I’ve been doing it all the time. I’ve never been caught, well not yet anyway!’
Despite being illegal under the Theft Act 1968, this same process can easily be used when buying loose fruit and vegetables. The customer is simply asked to select the item they are buying from a list making it extremely easy to select the cheaper alternative on the till.
In Asda, for example, a Red Delicious apple costs £1.97 per kilogram but can easily be put through the till as an Asda Smart Price apple which only costs 57p per kilogram.
Other than watching the tills with CCTV cameras and employing a few members of staff to supervise the tills, supermarkets have done nothing to deal with this issue.
A computer animation student at Bournemouth University says ‘It’s so easy to put an item through as something else, or even just pretend to scan something and put it in the bag. Especially when you have a lot of shopping, the shop staff never notice’
The duty manager of the Bournemouth branch of Asda was ‘unable to comment on this matter’.