Self checkout tills….

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The self checkout till has become a familiar part of our lives – the idea is that if you only have a few items to pay for it is quicker than going to a ‘normal till’. In reality it saves the supermarket or store paying for a member of staff to man the till, I can understand the theory, and if it keeps prices down that is fine.

What I have issue with however is the massive variation in the quality of these machines….

One of Morrison’s “finest”

Today I have been to Boots in the Victoria Centre, their tills are quick to scan, and generally work faultlessly – a totally pain-free experience and probably quicker than using a ‘manned’ till.

Sainsbury’s on Castle Marina is a similar experience, their tills are not totally fool-proof, sometimes there is an issue with the ‘is it in the bag’ routine. But generally it works fairly quickly.

So why have Morrison’s and Asda both got such appallingly poor systems? It would seem that wherever you go into one of their stores the self scan system is painfully slow, doesn’t recognise items going into the bag and nine times out of ten requires staff input to sort out an issue – and of course the staff member has at least 6 machines to manage so is always sorting out someone elses problem and not yours!

Talking to the staff in the stores (you tend to end up having a chat while they try to resolve the third or fourth error on your till) it is apparent that they hate them – being put on them as a supervisor is akin to the naughty step it would seem!

So this is a simple request to both firms – either sort out your systems or put more staff on the tills!

Rant over.

2 thoughts on “Self checkout tills….

    Adrian Johnson said:
    July 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I too have issues with the self-scan machines. I actually find the Sainsbury’s ones the worst if you use your own bags, as the machine tells you to put them in the bagging area, then says it doesn’t believe you and needs to get a member of staff to verify you’ve put your bags there.

    The ones in WHSmiths are awful too – you think you’ve finished shopping and are about to pay and it asks you if you want to buy a promotional item. I feel like shouting “No – if I did I would have scanned it by now!!”

    However, my biggest bug-bear is the difference in operation between the M&S machines and all the others. Everyone else asks if you use your OWN bags – whereas M&S ask if you’ve used one of THEIRS (so they can charge). I assumed the wrong question so hit “No” even though I had used one of their bags – and walked out without paying for it (a whole 5p!). This shows an inconstancy in user experience – if companies make their screens different to what we expect, we’ll make the wrong choices. Not that I shop in M&S that often … !

    Although I prefer the self-scan machines, they tend to treat us as if we’re stupid. Hopefully one day they’ll get the machines to work properly.

    Trying to find a positive spin? « Simon Dare's Blog said:
    December 7, 2012 at 8:36 am

    […] self scanning tills – one of life’s more trying experiences! I have blogged about them before (so won’t say anymore). A recent visit confirmed my previous experiences and I do wonder just […]

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