Self service checkouts

  Armchair 10:14 16 Aug 2009

I was actually about to make a quick post post about them in the PC World topic, but it's been locked by the FE because someone's posts were too long and 'rambling' (I'll bear that in mind in future posts!).

Anyhow, I make use of these checkouts whenever possible. We have them locally in ASDA, Tesco, and Marks and Spencer. I like the fact that I can take my time, and not have (as sometimes happens) my goods flung to the end of the checkout by the checkout operator. I can also get rid of copious amounts of smal change without complaint. I would like to see more of them installed, with provision for handling trolley loads of shopping, as well as hand baskets.

I realise that they do have teething troubles sometimes, but hopefully the technology will improve in reliability as they become more common. At the moment, it's ususally one worker overseeing four or eight checkouts. I reckon they could eventually increase this to sixteen.

Anyone else make use of them, or do you prefer to use the traditional human checkout gossiper/worker? I think this topic belongs here.........

  oresome 10:37 16 Aug 2009

We did use one at Tesco yesterday morning for a small number of items, but we needed the intevention of the assistant several times to complete the purchase.

First thing to come up was "unrecognised article in the bagging area".......That was the reuseable carrier I'd placed there. The assistant advised us to scan the first purchase and place it in the bag before putting the bag and contents on the bagging area.

At the end of the transaction, I apparently removed the bag too early and the assistant had to reset the machine. Then it wouldn't scan the clubcard or allow entry of the number of own bags used and required the assistant again.

All in all, I wished we'd used a human from start to finish.

  Strawballs 12:19 16 Aug 2009

Use them all the time in our local ASDA the only thing I find annoying is the nagging, I got a slap from the wife when I said that's why they gave it a womens voice, especially when putting cash in and it keeps on untill enough it given.

  mikef. 12:31 16 Aug 2009

They're OK if there are two of you, but for us singles with a weeks shopping they are absolutely useless taking at least twice as long to use as you can't scan and pack at the same time

  spuds 12:50 16 Aug 2009

When I have used them, it is always the case a checkout assistant or supervisor as to intervene and correct some mistake, either I or the system as made. Give me the 'usually' friendly checkout staff everytime, even though on ocassions they forget to add the clubcard points or the recycled bags!.

Same applies to petrol pumps with credit/debit card facilities. Hate the things, especially after a bad experience a few years ago.

Next thing that we will be hearing about, is having public access to the warehouse at the back of the store, so saving on shelf stackers time. But on second thoughts, this might not apply due to 'elf' and safety. Around our way, the 'pick your own' farms are having an hard time with insurance companies plus elf and safety.

  Stuartli 13:12 16 Aug 2009

The least you can expect, if you have been wandering around one of Tesco's largest and busiest Extra stores in the UK, is for one of the cash out members of staff to add up how much you owe..:-)

  WolframBlitzen 13:16 16 Aug 2009

I have to say, I love them. The only real problem with them is that apparently, it's much easier to steal stuff when you use those. Persoanlly I've never tried that though (never going to either)

  ened 13:57 16 Aug 2009

I've been watching them for a while at our local Tesco and many times I have witnessed the necessity of assistance, as mentioned above.

As for the comment about dishonesty: the layout is such that it would actually be more difficult than simply putting something in your pocket (or whereever else these people put items) as you walk around the store. You put your basket down and everybody can see whether you scan each item or not. If I was going to try to be dishonest in that way I would not be prepared to rely on no-one mentioning it to the security people.

  ened 14:04 16 Aug 2009

Sainsburies recently had an offer of a bottle of Gin and a litre of tonic water for £10:00. I decided to treat my wife to a bottle of Southern Comfort at the same time.

There was no Gin on the shelf and the whisky shelves were bereft of JD, Southern Comfort and a few other (obviously popular items).

I asked at the Customer Service counter and the lady asked me exactly what I wanted.

She then proceeded to unlock a cupboard and get them for me.

Apparently they can't put them on the shelves because those items tend to disappear without going through the tills.

The Southern Comfort had a tag attached to the glass and one of those things around the neck, but she said they still walk.

I'm not naive but didn't realise there was that much of a problem!

  amonra 16:22 16 Aug 2009

Every time I use one at our local Tesco it throws a wobbly and a human being has to "help". They have a long way to go before they get the bugs ironed out and become more user friendly.
Surely the staff on the ordinary checkouts must be aware of the job-threat from these machines, more machines less jobs !

  Mr Mistoffelees 17:29 16 Aug 2009

When I use the self-service checkout at my local Asda I always need an assistant to sort out a problem or two.

At my local Tesco the self-service just works!

Asda need to sort out their software methinks.

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