UK Shopping carts — does it need to be this hard?

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Shopping_cart I’ve been living in the UK on and off since 1990. I have a British passport. My children were born here. I can make a roast that can compete with the best of them.

Why the heck can’t I steer a British shopping cart?

I am resigned to the fact that “things are harder here”. When I first opened a bank account 20 years ago, I went to the branch where I lived. Bad move. On a lunch break one day, when I needed to withdraw more money than allowed by the ATM, I had to travel 40 minutes from my work place in order to complete the transaction. The systems were not “connected”.

The Esso station down the road just installed pay at the pump. People are finally considering not using petrol. Still I don’t complain.

But the shopping carts I just don’t get. I vividly remember my first dealing with a British shopping cart. In the confusion of searching for grocery items at Tesco, I didn’t notice the shopping cart had a mind of its own. After spending hours trying to figure out where the cornstartch was and that fairy liquid was for “washing up” dishes (not clothes), I went to make my way to the register.

I pushed the shopping cart straight. It went left. I tried to correct it and directed it right. It still went left. I tightened by shoulders and put all my weight in to it as if I was pushing a twin stoller up a very steep hill . It finally went straight.

I must have screwed up my face because I got some strange looks from fellow shoppers. Then I bumped into an old age pensioner. When I said I was sorry, he said “it’s OK love, I have trouble with them too,” and he winked at me.

A decade later, it still isn’t any better. Try steering one of those carts when you are eight months pregnant with a toddler in tow.

Is this a conspiracy? Who makes these things anyway and does it really need to be this hard?

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6 Comments

  1. 22/11/2012 / 14:11

    I am looking for a reliable shoping cart. Will you email details of your shopping cart services please including all charges. Thankyou Clive Sheldon Quentin Publications Ltd

  2. Jay
    21/02/2012 / 02:48

    I have figured out the answer to this when i first went to tesco and almost killed a whole shelf of wine. In the US, shopping carts are like cars, the front wheels turn and the back ones are welded in a straight line. In the UK, all four wheels turn creating a uncontrollable nightmare. Why havent they fixed it? nobody knows.

  3. 22/12/2010 / 15:29

    Ha ha yeah now you mention is the shopping carts are a lot better here in the USA! Maybe they just chuck out the ones that are absolutely impossible to steer

  4. 30/10/2008 / 07:24

    fwiw, it’s not much better over here: I fight with the carts (which I still refer to as trolleys, much to my children’s consternation) at my local costco. I even berated my buddy who is costco’s legal guru and demanded that they address the problem. (I’m still waiting). Sigh. Maybe it’s a worldwide anti-mom conspiracy.

  5. 04/10/2008 / 14:36

    So what do these crazy shopping carts look like? And why are they so hard to steer? Yes, I can see how things as simple as a shopping cart can make life hard! Especially with a toddler in tow! lol! Good luck!