Trolley tag users told problems can be solved easily

Container Centralen managing director Phil Squance has said problems experienced by users of the company's new red tags can be solved easily.

He said the company, which operates a Europe-wide Danish trolley pool and introduced controversial security tags to prevent trolley theft last month, was receiving many unnecessary calls from customers who "simply needed to read the manual".

People were failing to lock tags properly, which meant chips were not scanning because they were not activated, he explained. He added that the chips needed to form an aerial to allow scanners to activate.

Squance pointed out that 250,000 trolleys across Europe had been brought back into the pool, having previously been thought lost or stolen. He said he expected at least another 100,000 to return: "They've always been there and using the pool free of charge and have been written off someone's contract."

He added that the January date for the change in the system was designed to "force the hand of people - the industry needs a kick to get it to change so we took the hard line".

But he predicted that Mother's Day on 3 April would be the moment to see whether the system works at peak time in the season: "That will be the testing point. If it goes wrong on Mother's Day, it will be too late. People are incurring costs now but there is plenty of time for the industry to sort itself out.

"Everyone is saying Container Centralen is causing the problems, but we're just trying to come up with a solution. Trolleys are not 'seen' in the industry, but because now they are seen as a cost people don't see the savings the trolleys have brought to the industry over the past 34 years."

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