Are you being short-changed? 1 in 3 of us have no idea.

How often do you and your employees check receipts when receiving payment for goods and services? Would you notice if you had wrongly charged a customer? And would you expect customers to own up if they had been?

According to a recent stunt by Paymentsense, it seems that consumers are quick to point out when they have been overcharged, but rarely own up to paying too little for their morning coffee.

The stunt was filmed in central London and featured a fake coffee stall selling both intentionally overpriced and under-priced drinks to consumers. We used a card machine to accept contactless payments.


Video experiment shows just how important it is for consumers and cashiers to check card payment receipts.

Paymentsense wanted to highlight just how easy it is to make an error that can cost business owners and consumers dearly when paying by card.

Only two people instantly noticed they had been overcharged, despite being charged £28 instead of £2.80. And as for the customers who were undercharged, none returned to pay the difference.

This point was highlighted further in the press recently when a woman made the news after being accidentally overcharged £700 by a famous burger chain in Redditch – only realising the error two days later when she noticed her account had been wiped out.

Double check

So, are there certain areas in the UK and Ireland where you might need to double check your spending? It would appear so, according to the data captured from 2,000 respondents.

58% of those surveyed in Northern Ireland revealed they had been overcharged before, with 83% of these cases related to buying food.

If you happen to be enjoying a drink out in London, Wales or the nNorth eEast, then you might want to take extra care when handing over your card to pay; one in four from these regions claimed to have been overcharged when paying for alcohol.

In the South West of England, 53% of respondents said they were likely to keep a receipt for a gadget, but only 6% did the same after doing food shopping. But this hasn’t prevented them from taking things back with 44% confessing to having tried to return an item without the receipt.

With 1 in 4 of South Westerners failing to consistently check the amount they’re paying before they hand over their card, it’s not a surprise that 45% regularly check their bank balance in case of any costly oversights.

But it’s not just just consumers who are making mistakes and paying a cost for their carelessness.

Careless cashiers

Londoners were also stung the hardest when it came to paying for taxis and travel cards; 13% of those surveyed claimed to have been overcharged at least once. Meanwhile, over in the South West, more than 20% of people admitted to paying for taxi services without checking the meter or mileage.

With so many payment errors occurring in the capital, it’s no surprise that Londoners are the most likely to ask for a receipt when paying via contactless.

However, things change dramatically when paying for goods in the north; 47.4% admitted to being undercharged when paying for goods and services. However, a third (34.5%) of northerners said they would feel too guilty walking away and would happily return to pay up.

Careless cashiers in East Anglia may not be so lucky however. A huge 80% of those surveyed in this region said they would not return to pay the difference when undercharged!

Guy Moreve from Paymentsense had this to say to business owners and consumers:

“During busy times, it’s easy for any business owner to enter the wrong amount on the card machine and end up accidentally over or undercharging a customer.

“We always advise business owners to enter amounts carefully on their card machine and provide customers with a receipt so they can check the amount themselves and avoid the hassle issuing a refund or leaving customer short-changed.”

So, whether you’re taking payment from a customer or out on a shopping trip yourself, it’s always worth double checking receipts to ensure nobody is left out of pocket.