Shoppers in Australia will no longer have the privilege of talking on their mobile phones - as retailers are gearing up to ban mobile phones to keep a tab on ill-mannered, loud customers.
Damien Hinds, who manages a stationery store in Melbourne, has put up three "no mobile phone" signs in his shop.
He said he was fed up of customers who treated his staff "like an ATM machine".
"We used to have people pushing the stock and their credit card at us while they kept talking on their phone. (Staff) are people too, not pieces of machinery. Some people have not picked up on mobile etiquette at all," the Couriermail quoted him, as saying.
Hinds is even asking people not to use their phones for browsing, "unless they need to make a call about something they are in the shop for".
He said: "It's just about respect for other people. We like to create a nice atmosphere for the other customers."
According to Patsy Rowe, author of The Little Book of Etiquette, mobile phone use in shops was an "irritation for everybody".
She said: "It's so disconcerting for the person trying to serve you while you're talking to your girlfriend about where you went last night ... and it makes the whole (transaction) process take longer."
"But the main point is the plain rudeness. It's really quite bad that people are not thinking about how their behaviour affects other people."ustralian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said: "If it becomes disruptive, the shopkeeper obviously has the right to put signs up or tell people they would prefer mobile phones not to be used on the premises."
However, he warned that shopkeepers needed to maintain "a very fine balance" with anti-mobile policies: "They've also got to realise that you don't want to offend the customer. If you offend the the customer, they'll never come back."