Are You Shocked At How Many Self-Service Tills There Are In Stores Now?

@Janey1966 (24126)
Carlisle, England
February 29, 2012 8:20am CST
I would say that B&Q started this trend off as many of their stores have been "re-vamped." Yes, "re-vamped" meaning, "getting rid of some of our staff." Personally, I don't like the idea. For starters, there are going to be more people going down the shoplifting route "forgetting" to scan items. These tills aren't always supervised sufficiently. Even Anthony Worrall-Thompson (a famous telly chef over here) did this over Christmas and shoplifted the same items, namely cheese and cheapo wine from his local Tesco, 16 times! He says he has a "problem" that is to be addressed which is fair enough but that's only 'cos he got caught on a webcam doing it! The store that shocked me the most was M&S, the Food Store to be precise. When Mum was here a few weeks ago we went in there (and it was a Saturday) and some of the tills had been altered to self-service versions therefore staff MUST have got rid of for these to be installed, surely? I very rarely use self-service tills. They stress me out. I would much rather go to a person with a friendly face who knows what they are doing than a soul-less machine that bleeps madly at you if you do anything wrong!
6 people like this
23 responses
@GardenGerty (102516)
• United States
29 Feb 12
If I am in a store where the machine talks, I always talk back to it. Crazy, I know, but I cannot resist. I do not like them.Whenever possible, I avoid them. Many people do not like them. Our Dillons stores which are grocers Customer Service Representatives will come along, at a busy time, will check you out on the self check machine or have the person helping at that location check you out.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Mar 12
hi Janey I am a yank but I would not shoot the damned machine,shake it maybre lol. what a picure. they put one of those in the new Tustin library adn oh myG I flubbed up on it every step of the way. it scolded me and i tried to do what it said but my hands were shaking and the librarina who knew me from the old tustin Lib ray laughed and helped me out. I do wish I had been able to keep working long enough to have worked in the new libray most of the sanme staff are there too loll
1 person likes this
@succeednow (1636)
• Singapore
1 Mar 12
Hi Janey1966, I guess many people are so used to ckeckout counters being manned that they freak out once they have to use a self service till. This is understandable but people will soon get the hang of it if they start doing it regularly. I recall when I used the ATM for the very first time I almost freaked out. But now I would definitely use an ATM machine rather than queue up to be served by a flesh and blood teller. See how things can change. Anyway, the supermarket needs to install more self service tills as this is more efficient and saves cost. The staff that are 'displaced' can be trained and reassigned to other jobs which as yet cannot be taken over by machines. Issues like shoplifting and not knowing how to use the machines can easily be solved by education and monitoring. I think we cannot avoid this if we are to progress. We need to embrace change. Have a good day.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
Well, "change" is a good thing if staff aren't got rid of but believe me, they are. Earlier today there were more self-service machines being used than there were staff, my argument being, if they weren't being used they'd have to take on more staff.
@mysdianait (64056)
• Italy
1 Mar 12
If you have followed my activity recently you may know that I came back to UK (from Italy) and ended up working there after an absnce of 36 years! Morrisons opened up a new store in my home town and I passed the interview and got a job and was trained on checkouts, kiosk, customer service and... self-scan *UGH* In Italy I hadn't yet seen them. There are possibly some in the larger cities but not in the shops where I live - and I hope they never come either! I wouldn't use them as a customer and I loathe working with them. It is more the time that they end up out of order or make mistakes and I don't consider them to be quicker than the usual checkouts. They are so impersonal too As for shop-lifting, I believe, from the training that I had, that it is extremely difficult to get past without scanning and paying for an item because they are based on weight. I'm not going to mention the tricks that would-be shop-lifters could use with them that we learnt during training (not here anyway ) but I can say that when I have been responsable for them I did not encounter anyone even trying to outwit them. Everyone seems more concerned in not making a fool of themselves because when they block and shout out 'please wait, the assistant is coming' in that robotic voice, just about everyone turns round to see who has upset a machine
2 people like this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
Is it true that Anthony Worrall-Thompson just walked past them without even bothering to scan his items? Hope you're finding life good back in Blighty. Nice to have you back!
1 person likes this
@ecaron (678)
• Canada
29 Feb 12
I don't much like the self serve machines, either. It takes away jobs, which in turn is bad for the economy. It's probably why I couldn't get a job at the grocery store that I applied for a job. Shop lifting is a problem in all stores if there are self serve till or not. It costs the consumer and store millions every year. It's a problem but hopefully the cameras they install will help to catch thieves.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
I agree that it takes away jobs. Ironic that stores now want to employ the unemployed for nothing (but they will still get their dole money) and it makes me wonder what they'll be doing. Shelf-stacking probably.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
29 Feb 12
To be honest, I have friends with anxiety disorders that love these things, because they can go to the store for their necessities without having to freak out over dealing with people to do so. I think it's nice as well for when you don't have a lot of time, and there usually are't long lines to use them. As for the shoplifting issue, obviously if stores were losing that much money because of it, they'd eliminate the self-check lines or monitor them better, so it can't be too big a problem. I do feel bad over people losing jobs, but in most of the stores that I've seen, there are only a couple of self-check lanes, and many that still had cashiers. Plus people have to service the machines still and all that sort of thing.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
29 Feb 12
Goodness me. I don't come here very often and when I do I find one of my favourite "memories"! How are you and how is life? Still writing poetry etc?
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
The thing is, shops are understaffed as it is. If you take away the staff at tills what are we left with? Soul-less places with no staff AT ALL. That's the way this is going and if we all said "no" and refused to use them (which is what I do) then we shall go some way into re-employing staff that were lost.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 Mar 12
I see what you're saying, Janey, but different people make use of things in different ways. I don't really see it as any different from moving some purchases online, and that sort of thing. There are still always going to be people employed by the businesses, and if having self-service lanes gets more people in and out quickly making purchases, then it could mean more jobs in the shipping/stocking/whatever else type positions too.
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
29 Feb 12
I think this is the way of the future. I know here where I am there is a few places that started doing that. Like CVS and HomeDepot. I like the idea. I do see what you're saying about shoplifting, but here in New York think they will have tons of security. Also, I doubt they will do away with cashiers all together. But they definitely will cut back. It all comes down to the almighty dollar.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
If people didn't use them they wouldn't spread, which is my argument. I never thought I'd see them in the "usually" staff-friendly M&S and it's so sad a load of machines have replaced the people that used to stand in their place.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
8 Mar 12
Even if people don't use the self check out machines, in time it will happen anyway. Take a look at how computing is becoming more portable. With all the new wireless devices. This is the wave of the future. Also think of this, people are using their smart phones to pay their bills and not can be used in a supermarket instead of debit cards. We now live in a push button digital world.
• United States
29 Feb 12
I use the self-serve if I'm in a hurry. Also, it pays to know how to use these things because they are showing up in more and more places. When you walk into a store that has ONLY self-serve, you can't shop there if you don't know how to use the system. I had a housekeeper once who refused to use self-serve gas pumps. Suddenly, there were nothing BUT self-serves around and, much to her chagrin, she had to learn how to use them. It's survival in the new tech world as much as convenience, because I do not find them that convenient when they don't recognize an item or don't recognize that you have already put it in the bag, etc. If an attendant has walked away, it takes long minutes before you can get someone's attention to clear up the mess.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
I saw someone use a self-service gas pump the other day. It took him ages, using his credit card and some points card by the look of it. Bloody hell, why didn't he just go in the shop and pay; would've been quicker and keeps the guy in there in work.
• United States
1 Mar 12
I use my grocery store card to get money off each gallon. So far, the best I've done is $2.50 off per gallon for 20 gallons. Loved it!
@francesca5 (1344)
29 Feb 12
i don't mind them. its interesting as there is a university very close to where i live, and the local small tescos, used to have massive queues during the university term times, and then they did a refit and put in loads of self service tills, about 20 i think, and its only a small shop so they didn't have space for more tills. and of course the students, and some of the rest of us, all use them, but there are actually quite a lot of staff needed to run them, at quiet times there is always one member of staff permanently there, and then when it gets busy there is two or there, permamently there, and then they have to empty the machines, and help people sort out problems, and get someone in to fix them when they go wrong, so i am not sure it does save on staff, i think it just changes the jobs they do, as there now has to be someone to fix the machines when they go wrong permanently on site, and someone else to make sure no one is pinching anything. i don't think they do save on staff, in some ways it increases them.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
Well, the stores that I've been in have one person checking a load of these machines all at once..so you're lucky in the fact you have more than one person overseeing the customers. Do you think it might have to do with the student population the fact that there are more staff members on. Not saying that all of them shoplift but it does make you wonder!
1 person likes this
1 Mar 12
could be, but thinking about it it may be the amount of staff time needed checking their id when they buy alchohol.
@Anne18 (11036)
29 Feb 12
I also hate these sorts of tills and won't go on them at all, my hubby quite likes them, but I think they are awful and are taking away the interaction with shop staff. They are also having tills like this in the library's again very bad idea, I still go to the counter and get my books stamped unless I'm with the children and I get them to od it with me. Regarding the library you now can request a printed out slip showing you the due date back rather than the books being stamped, surely this is a waste of paper and in a way going backwards. If you odn't have this slip then you have ot just remeber when to take them back, unless you are linked ot the library via the pc. These self sevice till s don't let everything through, ie dvd's and anything else that is tagged so a staff has to ocem and help you. Bring back the corner shop, less waste as you took your basket ot shop and din't need these plastic carrier bags they now moam about us using. Bit of a rant.. sorry. Hope oyu are having a very good day
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
I don't think you're ranting at all, in fact you're quite restrained under the circumstances. This is the second time I've heard about self-serve in a library. When I was younger I loved going into the local library and one of the best bits was the stamp going down on the book, from the librarian. Always loved that bit and looking at the date on which I should bring it back! I wouldn't be into self-serve at all and what about the staff?
1 person likes this
@Anne18 (11036)
2 Mar 12
Also talking ot the librarian about books and asking what books were good ot read/what the librarian had read. It was a social outing. When I was a girl I used to pick wild flowers on the way to the library to give to my fave librarian lady
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
29 Feb 12
Hi Janey I agree with you. The way I see it is that it is bad enough having to go isle to isle picking the stuff up, lugging the bags to the car at store and then again at home and then putting everything away. I think that is enough work. I have no interest in checking myself out, packing the bags myself and those annoying beeps can go straight to hell if ya catch my drift. I also think that I am saving someones job plus its nice to have a human to talk to rather than a cat got your tongue computer!! Down with self checkout...
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
We should start up a petition! I'm all into technology (well, sometimes) but these things take the biscuit..but try scanning a packet of biscuits and you get nowhere. Haha!
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
2 Mar 12
TOUCHE janie!!!
@quisha89 (76)
• United States
2 Mar 12
I'm split on this idea. Part of me likes it because if I'm in a hurry and only grabbed one or two things, I usually don't have to wait in a long line to checkout. I just go to the self checkout. The other part of me thinks they can be frustrating at times because if something goes wrong you may have to wait for a store associate to come help you and you could end up waiting for longer than you would have if you just got in line at a normal checkout. I also don't like that one day, these could probably take many peoples' jobs. Computers do a lot now days and this could be taking the job of someone who really needs it and that's not fair to them. We're already losing jobs as it is, and with this, it may get worse.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
2 Mar 12
They're already reducing jobs now, judging by the lack of staff in ASDA over the road. Also, there was no supervision whatsoever of customers using the self-service tills BECAUSE there was a lack of staff.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
1 Mar 12
I don't like them at all. In fact I think it is a pain unless you only have an item or two. It is just a way to have to use less employees, and if we let them get away with it, that is the way it will be.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
That's exactly what I thought.
@CTHanum (8254)
• Malaysia
1 Mar 12
I read some where about the chef. He should have to do that. It was so embarrassing for someone like him to do so. We don't have such service here..But if we have that it is not going to be my choice. I would rather go to cashier girl than have machine to handle this thing out..(^^)
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
Same 'ere!
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Mar 12
me too Janey they ha ve them in Target and Walmart now.,i will not go there I will check out with a hunman being as 'if uyou do not know how to work the silly things they are more nuisance than good. give me old fashioned customer service and nmost of them in Target do smile.Walmart has some of the s urly kind but I smile and then they will smile back too loll I can handle an ATM machine but thats it.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
I was in our ASDA Supermarket earlier (one of the smaller stores) and noticed there was NO SUPERVISION of people using the self-service tills. In fact, there were only about 4 members of staff in the whole store! Oh, and I couldn't get my orange jelly 'cos they didn't have it although I did buy some yummy raspberry jelly and "proper" vanilla ice cream. Not exactly the time of year for it but I don't care!
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
29 Feb 12
I disllike those things intensely. I feel strongly that they are another way to cut staff without passing the "savings" on to the customer. I avoid them if I possible can. Unfortunately it is not possible to avoid the stores as they all seem to have them these days. Grr.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
I don't mind stores having the odd one so you have a choice in the matter. I don't go shopping that much but each time I do I'm shocked by the spread of these evil self-serve machines. It's bad enough having someone's trolley up your backside in a queue at a conventional till but being rushed at a self-service one..well, it's ridiculous and shoplifting HAS to be rife.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (20726)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
29 Feb 12
I don't use them, either. And the last time I took a book out of my local library branch, I got the impression the librarian expected me to check it out myself!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
1 person likes this
@CTHanum (8254)
• Malaysia
1 Mar 12
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (102516)
• United States
3 Mar 12
The library my daughter goes to has the option of checking things out yourself, I believe. They even have a step stool so the little kids can do it as well.
1 person likes this
@laura1991 (178)
2 Mar 12
i knoww its rediculous. there are hardly any jobs available as it is and now theyre replacing more jobs with machines.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
2 Mar 12
Good point and a valid one too, unfortunately.
2 Mar 12
and you can bet theyll be more self service checkouts in even more shops aswell until theres hardly any need for staff at all. then even more people will be out of work. whos stupid idea were these things anyway?
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
4 Mar 12
I don't know, they've just kind of appeared suddenly haven't they? The public certainly hasn't had a say in them.
@shaggin (37733)
• United States
1 Mar 12
Its supposed to make things faster for us to check out and not have to wait in long lines. But anytime I have used them they always mess up and everyones waiting around while the attendant goes to the machines to fix whats wrong. It was too much of a pain. It is fun to use them though when they dont mess up. I never thought about the fact that people could shoplift this way by "forgetting" to scan things. That is a good point.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
1 Mar 12
Also, when I went into our local ASDA supermarket earlier (which is small compared to the superstore) I noticed more customers using the self-service tills than the regular ones. Why? Because there was only one member of staff using a regular till. The two go together in my view. If the self-service tills hadn't have been introduced there would be more staff. I counted 4 staff members in there, that was it. When it opened it was crawling with them.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37733)
• United States
2 Mar 12
I think doing the self scanners is slower then the cashiers doing it since they are so used to doing it they can do it very fast and get it done probably faster then we can. Self scanners would be fun to have kids help with. I see them using these self scanning checkouts as a way to cut back on how many employees they have to hire.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
2 Mar 12
Well at least the staff outnumber the machines (in Morrisons at least) for now. Phew!
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Mar 12
It's all happening here too! It seems like all the big stores have a self service checkout. And I've noticed the big decline in number of people in the till too! Which doesn't really improves the service, as I see the same long line ups in manned tills, and the self service checkouts. I always have the problem or uncertainty when I'm in the self service till and I want to pass through a produce which isn't necessarily barcoded.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
12 Mar 12
I just find them incredibly stressful..so I don't bother with them.
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
10 Mar 12
Hi Janey...*waves*, I often wonder if, as a cost cutting measure, by off-loading staff when they put the self serve feature in, have they actually brought their prices down? I'll bet my bottom dollar they have NOT!!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
10 Mar 12
Hi MsTickle Janey *waves* back. You're right, I don't think their prices have come down either although I don't go in the worst store for these things..TESCO! Grrr!