Receipt Printers Hacked to Display Union Messages


Imagine retail cashiers during the busy Christmas shopping season, who present customers with receipts which have apparently been altered to display messages in support of unions. It’s happening, according to Vice News and Gizmodo with receipt printed with a thread on Reddit called r/antiwork. Those messsages vary in topic, but indicate the lack of security at receipt terminals in most retail settings. One message reads as follows:

Riddle me this

How can the McDonald’s in Denmark manage to pay their staff $22 an hour and still sell a Big Mac for less than in America? 

Answer: UNIONS!

Did you know that it is a rather simple task to organize a UNION?

Learn more: reddit.com/r/antiwork

Receipt printer hack allows anonymous union messages to retail employees.

It could be argued that these messages go mostly unnoticed due to the disdain with which most consumers view these flimsy scraps of paper. They are handed to shoppers by clerks who probably don’t look at them before given with change or the return of shopper debit/credit card and get immediately stuffed in a purse or wallet or back pocket or go into the shopping bag, never to be reviewed.

Regardless of the effectiveness of the method of union organizing communication, these receipt messages are one more addition to many attempts by retailers or business owners to make statements unrelated to your purchases on your spending record. We are used to seeing “Seasons Greetings!” or “Thank you for shopping with us!” or coupons enticing you to return to the shop.

Some receipt printers allow individual messages from the clerk or shop owner to be programmed in to the printer, but it appears this is an abuse of the capability. Whether it is due to a hack or disgruntled employees in the shop – it appears that as long as we are given printed paper receipts, that we’ll see more messages on them.


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