Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Self checkouts

So many stores and implementing these self-checkout stations and part of me likes it for the quick one or two items, but I also don’t like it when 90% of the checkouts are now something I must do myself.

Recently we were shopping in a craft store, and they were pushing everyone to use the self-checkout which yes, I only have two balls of yarn, so I figured it should be relatively easy to do. I had to answer the normal questions, did I have a membership, yes, please scan your membership. Now, please scan your items. I did that and then do you have a coupon. I had to locate the button so that I could then scan the couple. Of course, it immediately says, have you finished scanning all your items. I had, but there was something that I couldn’t do at this self check out, and it was to add my senior's discount to my purchase.

There was a button that you could press to get assistance, so I pushed that and had to wait for a salesperson to come over so that they could give me my discount. Of course, when the person was walking over and the light on the top of the device was flashing, she asked if everything was ok. Why would I have pressed to get assistance button if everything was ok. She finally entered the discount, and I was able to make the purchase and get out of the store. If you give a senior’s discount or any other type of discount, make sure that these discounts are automatically available through the scanning of the membership.

Here is another situation that seems to be happening quite often when you use some of the big box store checkouts, especially when you purchase something from the pharmacy section. Some locations seem to have it set up that once the item is scanned, it deactivates the security tag on the item. Well, the location we were in this time doesn’t do that so, of course, the tag beeps when you are leaving the self-checkout area and then it again deeps when you are leaving the store.

So, maybe the self-checkouts are saving on the number of staff that is needed in a store which is saving the company money, but it is frustrating the customers which may decide to go to stores where there are people able to assist in getting you checked out in a timely manner with fewer frustrations. There are so many people looking for work right now and here stores are eliminating entry level jobs that students and semi-retired people want to do.

Self-checkouts are great when things work well, but they can be a frustration as well, and maybe stores should think about how these checkouts are impacting the customers that shop in these stores. A cost savings for the store could also mean an income lose for the company as people will find other ways of purchasing the items.

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