A computer glitch hit Australian grocery giant Woolworths on Thursday afternoon, causing scanners to charge as free items with price tags below $10.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the problem occurred at around 3 pm, but the Woolworths staff at its Sydney Town Hall stores said they stopped transactions only about a minute due to a point of sales computer problem which was eventually fixed.
The grocery is back to regular operations after the glitch affected outlets in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. A Woolworths spokesperson clarified that the supermarket giant did not order the closure of its stores when the glitch was discovered nor did it order outlets to close.
Woolworths apologised to shoppers for the inconvenience it caused them when it halted trading for about 20 minutes.
However, one reader of SMH commented that the glitch was the result of the Coalition government's repeal of the carbon tax on the same day. Another reader, a former Woolworths employee, said the grocery really had free grocery promos all the time and said it was not a glitch but really a freebie.