CUSTOMERS have told how they were turned away from buying their shopping at Asda after an electrical fault forced the shop to close.
The till system and phone lines at the store in the Bridge Shopping Centre, Fratton, stopped working at about 1.30pm yesterday and shoppers were refused entry into the store.
Customers who were already in the store were allowed to continue shopping and had to agree a price with managers for their shopping.
Only cash was being accepted for these agreed prices, or credit card payments on an out-dated machine.
Sam Menage, 25, of St Andrews Road, Southsea, said: ‘I tried to kill some time looking at the DVDs hoping the problem would get fixed, but when I saw that wasn’t happening I joined one of the queues.
‘There were about 12 trollies in my queue alone and it took me about half an hour to get through.
‘When I got to the front someone asked me how much I thought I’d spent. I had been totting it up on my phone so I knew it was about £25.
‘They just quickly looked at my trolley and said that was fine.
‘I might have paid a bit more or a bit less, I guess I’ll never know – but I was quite honest about what I thought it was.
‘I felt sorry for them because we were all getting a bit irritable.’
An abundance of people were refused entry into the store, including friends Peshtywan Ahmed and Zardisht Jallil.
Standing outside the store, Mr Ahmed, 30, of Green Road, Somers Town, said: ‘We walked all the way from South Parade Pier to get our weekly shopping and now we won’t be able to get it until next week because it’s too late to go anywhere else and I work all week.
‘It’s very annoying, they should have some sort of emergency system or something.’
Electrical engineers worked for several hours to investigate the cause of the problem and resolve it.
Bee Hessell, spokeswoman for Asda stores, said: ‘When the tills go down, it is standard practice to allow customers to agree the price of their shopping.
‘We wanted to do all we could to make it easy for them, and to make sure they went home happy.’