They don’t need to test Whangaparaoa Countdown

Whangaparaoa Countdown

Scouts have been recruited to undertake undercover supermarket alcohol stings on Countdown supermarkets. I can tell them right now that there is no need to test Whangaparaoa Countdown as their staff are well trained and enforce the rules consistently. I actually wrote a post about my adult children’s encounter when trying to buy alcohol for a New Years party. Both they and I were educated by a staff member of Whangaparaoa Countdown as to why my twenty-year-old son could not purchase alcohol when his 18-year-old sister standing beside him could not produce ID.

…Rovers, the Scouts division for people aged 18 to 25, have been approached to help test Countdown’s alcohol selling practices.

The Rovers will be paid $20 each to purchase alcohol from a Countdown supermarket and test if they check ID for anyone who looks under 25, as required by the chain’s internal policies.

Scouts will be paid $20 each to purchase alcohol from a Countdown supermarket and test if they check ID for anyone who looks under 25,

The Rovers will get to keep the alcohol and will be reimbursed for the purchase price.

Mystery shopper company Shoppers Anon, which is conducting the tests for Countdown, said the practice was legal, but some Rover members thought it was “not the best look” for the Scouts.

One Rover, who wished to remain anonymous, said the Scouting movement “doesn’t generally condone drinking”.

Conducting stings like this one is about protecting young people and is a good way for management to test their staff. I fail to see how the anonymous source thinks that doing that is condoning drinking.

“We drink occasionally at Rover camp fires or some games nights, but this I feel is being seen as buying alcohol counting towards your Rover service hours.

“It’s different from just kicking back after a long days work on a community service project,” he said.

“Essentially the national coordinator for Rovers has encouraged us to be doing the following – purchasing alcohol in an undercover sting.

“Kind of surprising as the Scouting movement doesn’t generally condone drinking as a Rover activity. Buying alcohol is generally fine, but not as a Rover activity.”

Another Rover leader, who also wished to remain anonymous, said it was not a cause for concern.

“They have got in contact with a group of people who have a trustworthy name in the age group they need. I am not terribly worried about it,” he said.

Shoppers Anon sent an email to all Rover members looking for volunteers. The email said there would be “certain conditions and agreements” for the Rovers to “help keep them safe”.

“They will not be allowed to do more than five a month, for instance. Also, for organisations such as yours, you may wish to make it a Rover project and ask the shopper to donate the alcohol back to you to use is a responsible way, like fundraising, for instance.

…Shoppers Anon liaison coordinator Clare Kelso said the initiative “was supposed to be confidential” and declined to speak any further.

Shoppers Anon general manager Nigel Burrows said Rovers were approached as they needed responsible young people to conduct the tests.

“Asking those over 18 to complete this work voluntarily is legal, and is done to help retailers prevent underage sales and alcohol related harm.

“Minors are never used in these mystery shops,” he said.

“We need responsible young people to undertake this work, as we require them to follow certain processes and make observations.”

Countdown general manager of corporate affairs James Walker said they only discovered about the Scouts initiative on Friday.

“They are a group of people who are responsible young adults. On the surface, it sounds bad, but in reality it is maybe quite sensible.”

He said Countdown used Shoppers Anon to test their systems.

“They are helping us to ensure we are not selling alcohol to people who are under age. We are trying our best to make sure our systems are as robust as possible.”

 – Sunday Star Times


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