Substandard Self-checkout Machines

Discussion in 'Misc & Others' started by Theo, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    As more places have a self-checkout facility, are these companies investing enough money in these machines? Recently I ended up spending so long at one because it couldn't recognize the bar code and the member of staff was nowhere to be seen.

    If stores do save money (which they do) surely that money should also save the customer time? I know theft is a greater possibility too using the machines, but sometimes saving money doesn't mean a better service.
     
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  2. missbishi

    missbishiWell-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more @Theo@Theo. I used a self-service checkout only today and was stuck waiting for a member of staff for what seemed like ages. All because I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels barbecue sauce which required age verification!

    When I'm at Tesco, I like to use the hand-held scanners as I go around. They help me keep track of every single penny I spend. However, I can't help but think that they really do invite theft. If you get selected for a random service check before you pay, the assistant has to scan five random items from your trolley to make sure they match up. The staff don't dig around in the trolley though, they just take five items from the top. I wonder how much stuff gets stolen now?
     
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  3. jneanz

    jneanzActive Member

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    Fresh and Easy also has handheld scanner as well as a standalone machine. Because there's always someone on the floor, they have little theft. One of the clerks told me that they caught someone trying to steal almost $250 in groceries and almost got away with it because it was after work hours on a Friday. But because a price check stalled the transaction, the thief got caught.
     
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  4. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I think it's just a gimmick or trend and hopefully go away soon. It just has too many disadvantages and not enough advantages to outweigh the cons. Not only does it not work half the time but when it does flake out on you, it only ends up making you wait way longer and waste way more time than you originally should have. Personally I only go to stores with regular checkout now because to me it's one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situations.
     
  5. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    Sadly it looks they they will increase. I know in some train stations stores they only have self-checkout and the counter service is for tobacco generally and lotto cards. They hire a member of staff to oversee the machines instead. Now some machines are good and others dreadful. In Marks and Spencer they are great, quick and easy, Sainsbury's and Tesco are usually fine, Morrisons is the worst and I leave stressed and annoyed. It's also the attitude of the staff, some are happy to come and help out and others when the red light flashes look at you as if to say 'what did you do that was so stupid?' when sometimes the price comes out wrong, or something is too heavy and they need to check it.
     
  6. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    In as much as i like them, they can be a royal pain! I think Morrisons have the worst ones. They freeze and jam all the time. It's like you have to call an assistant every two minutes to sort it out before you can finish. It really defies logic because you end up taking a lot longer than you would have, had you just gone to check-out. The Sainsburys ones aren't as bad. Marks and Spencer very rarely give me problems, actually. I guess it depends where you go.
     
  7. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    I am not a fan of self checkout. I always need assistance. I will only use these machines if I have one or two things and the other registers are full. I mean it doesn't save you any money, and it usually doesn't save you much time. The supermarket where I shop the most doesn't even have it as an option so I don't worry about it much.
     
  8. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I tend to avoid self checkout registers like the plague. I've rarely had a good experience with one. I think possibly 2 times when I've used them I've zipped right on through, and the rest of the times (I've posted about this at least once already here on this site), I have had to wait for assistance, or have walked out in frustration when no clerk arrived after 10-15 minutes of standing around waiting, with the alarm blaring away.

    I'm also not impressed with machines that are designed to take the place of humans, since people need jobs so they can afford to live, so in protest, I usually will stand in line at a regular register, even if it takes longer to check out.
     
  9. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

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    I remember when Topps grocery stores were around in my neck of the woods, they had notoriously bad self checkout machines. I would say about 90% of the time I would have to get a cashier to come over and correct something on the machine. They were constantly stopping and telling me to remove an item from my bag and re-scan it, causing it to show up more than once on my total. Their machines were hyper sensitive to any other extraneous items you were carrying with you, such as an umbrella or some other items you may have already paid for elsewhere in the store such as some liquor. They kept thinking these were all items you were trying to "sneak by" without paying for. In fact I was pretty convinced that they were programmed by design to do this on purpose every X amount of items, just to keep the cashiers coming over on a regular basis to check on everyone.
     
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  10. shoptodrop

    shoptodropActive Member

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    I'm so glad this was brought up. They are sometimes so horrible, yet other times they are so quick and easy. I've had trouble with a lot of them before way too many times. If I'm by myself and I have a few items, usually I'll just go to an actual checkout lane. 20 items or less. They're much faster and people are doing the work for you. I noticed lately at least 2 of the self checkout machines are always out of order at our local grocery store too. They're nice to have, but they need to get all the problems worked out of them.
     
  11. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    Some stores say they don't take away from cashiers jobs, but surely they must. The worst feeling is when the red light flashes and the member of staff has to go over to you and you feel like an idiot that has done something wrong, but often it's the machine. I bought a large bottle of bleach once and it cried out, 'item weight needs checking, please wait,' because it was a heavy bottle.

    I know some stores make sure there are cashiers on hand, but then staff are told to encourage people to use self-checkout and that they will help them do it to reduce lines. I recall one store where no one would use self-checkout and all waited for the sole cashier and the girl ended up up putting peoples shopping through on the self-checkout till for them.
     
  12. jneanz

    jneanzActive Member

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    Back when I was a teenager, I fell for one of those ads for proprietary schools. I would have signed up but the job counselor (who was dressed like Janis Joplin....but this was 1986) twisted my arm about wanting to be a cashier. She said cashier jobs were going to disappear like the 8 track tape. Guess she was right...bad fashion choices and all.