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DTMark

Self-Service Checkouts

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I'm not a techno-luddite. And I have actually worked for Sainsburys (on the checkouts, as a student) and Tesco (Head office, IT).

I should be able to use the self-service checkouts. Because the design of the things should be so straightforward that anyone can use them. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

On every occasion where the queue length has been huge and I only wanted a few bits, and I've attempted to use the self-service checkouts, the outcome has been the same. The items end up being left on the thing and I walk out without them. Presumably a supervisor then has to come over and cancel it and remove the items so that the next person can use it.

"Unknown item in bagging area"

There are two things that really feck me off about these things.

Firstly, you don't get paid for working as a checkout assistant. I did that when I was younger. IIRC I earned the sum of about a fiver an hour. Where's my discount?

Secondly, theft prevention.

I can well understand that the introduction of these things tempts theft.

I guess that the checkout looks up the approximate weight of each item and expects the bag to weigh about the same. It's trying to catch people who don't scan stuff and just put it in the bag.

Except that this is a bif of a farce. Day after day the same people probably go into the local Tesco and nick stuff. I'll bet they don't get anywhere near the checkout before it gets "concealed". And I'll also bet that people determined to nick stuff can beat these things.

For the overwhelming majority of people who just want their stuff and to pay for it, the "features" of these things coupled with the diabolical user interface (how can it be so wretched?) are a major turn-off.

And as far as theft goes, a calculation has doubtless been made about how much theft this encourages and it's balanced by the nil wages that they have to pay the units.

And finally, unless this has changed, the overwhelming majority of theft from supermarkets is by the staff, not the customers.

But then I have a slightly headstrong attitude and on point of principle I will, shall we say, cut off my proverbial nose to spite my face now and again. Call that a personality flaw.

Just this evening - I only wanted some beers and a couple of other things. One person in front of me, one checkout open (it's only a little Tesco). Taking a while. Checkout woman points out I could use the self service checkout. "No thanks - it always comes up with a message about the bagging area". Woman "Yes, nobody uses those".

Guy behind me has a go. "Unknown item in bagging area" - right on cue. "That sort of thing", I say. Bloke giggles, tries to cancel, unit goes ballistic. Guy leaves it, picks items back up and stands back behind me. Everyone is grinning.

Is it just me?

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I'm not a techno-luddite. And I have actually worked for Sainsburys (on the checkouts, as a student) and Tesco (Head office, IT).

I should be able to use the self-service checkouts. Because the design of the things should be so straightforward that anyone can use them. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

On every occasion where the queue length has been huge and I only wanted a few bits, and I've attempted to use the self-service checkouts, the outcome has been the same. The items end up being left on the thing and I walk out without them. Presumably a supervisor then has to come over and cancel it and remove the items so that the next person can use it.

"Unknown item in bagging area"

There are two things that really feck me off about these things.

Firstly, you don't get paid for working as a checkout assistant. I did that when I was younger. IIRC I earned the sum of about a fiver an hour. Where's my discount?

Secondly, theft prevention.

I can well understand that the introduction of these things tempts theft.

I guess that the checkout looks up the approximate weight of each item and expects the bag to weigh about the same. It's trying to catch people who don't scan stuff and just put it in the bag.

Except that this is a bif of a farce. Day after day the same people probably go into the local Tesco and nick stuff. I'll bet they don't get anywhere near the checkout before it gets "concealed". And I'll also bet that people determined to nick stuff can beat these things.

For the overwhelming majority of people who just want their stuff and to pay for it, the "features" of these things coupled with the diabolical user interface (how can it be so wretched?) are a major turn-off.

And as far as theft goes, a calculation has doubtless been made about how much theft this encourages and it's balanced by the nil wages that they have to pay the units.

And finally, unless this has changed, the overwhelming majority of theft from supermarkets is by the staff, not the customers.

But then I have a slightly headstrong attitude and on point of principle I will, shall we say, cut off my proverbial nose to spite my face now and again. Call that a personality flaw.

Just this evening - I only wanted some beers and a couple of other things. One person in front of me, one checkout open (it's only a little Tesco). Taking a while. Checkout woman points out I could use the self service checkout. "No thanks - it always comes up with a message about the bagging area". Woman "Yes, nobody uses those".

Guy behind me has a go. "Unknown item in bagging area" - right on cue. "That sort of thing", I say. Bloke giggles, tries to cancel, unit goes ballistic. Guy leaves it, picks items back up and stands back behind me. Everyone is grinning.

Is it just me?

Yes.

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I'm not a techno-luddite. And I have actually worked for Sainsburys (on the checkouts, as a student) and Tesco (Head office, IT).

I should be able to use the self-service checkouts. Because the design of the things should be so straightforward that anyone can use them. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

On every occasion where the queue length has been huge and I only wanted a few bits, and I've attempted to use the self-service checkouts, the outcome has been the same. The items end up being left on the thing and I walk out without them. Presumably a supervisor then has to come over and cancel it and remove the items so that the next person can use it.

"Unknown item in bagging area"

There are two things that really feck me off about these things.

Firstly, you don't get paid for working as a checkout assistant. I did that when I was younger. IIRC I earned the sum of about a fiver an hour. Where's my discount?

Secondly, theft prevention.

I can well understand that the introduction of these things tempts theft.

I guess that the checkout looks up the approximate weight of each item and expects the bag to weigh about the same. It's trying to catch people who don't scan stuff and just put it in the bag.

Except that this is a bif of a farce. Day after day the same people probably go into the local Tesco and nick stuff. I'll bet they don't get anywhere near the checkout before it gets "concealed". And I'll also bet that people determined to nick stuff can beat these things.

For the overwhelming majority of people who just want their stuff and to pay for it, the "features" of these things coupled with the diabolical user interface (how can it be so wretched?) are a major turn-off.

And as far as theft goes, a calculation has doubtless been made about how much theft this encourages and it's balanced by the nil wages that they have to pay the units.

And finally, unless this has changed, the overwhelming majority of theft from supermarkets is by the staff, not the customers.

But then I have a slightly headstrong attitude and on point of principle I will, shall we say, cut off my proverbial nose to spite my face now and again. Call that a personality flaw.

Just this evening - I only wanted some beers and a couple of other things. One person in front of me, one checkout open (it's only a little Tesco). Taking a while. Checkout woman points out I could use the self service checkout. "No thanks - it always comes up with a message about the bagging area". Woman "Yes, nobody uses those".

Guy behind me has a go. "Unknown item in bagging area" - right on cue. "That sort of thing", I say. Bloke giggles, tries to cancel, unit goes ballistic. Guy leaves it, picks items back up and stands back behind me. Everyone is grinning.

Is it just me?

Yeah it's you.

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I always suffered with these machines, then a member of staff took pity on me and explained the coloured lights.

After putting an item in the bagging item you have to wait for the lights to go green before you scan the next item.

Have a look the next time you're in there and you'll see what I mean. If you do it too quick it has the unknown item fit.

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Yeah it's you.

No it's not.

Try buying a pack of herbs or other very light item, booze or putting a trolley full through. I've abandoned a full trolley at the checkout when it was made clear that they would not get someone to put it through on a normal checkout.

Plus, the thing just talks at you the whole time, and not in an interesting manner. I like a chat with the checkout person.

If you have a few items, they can work well. But frequently shops are attempting to force people to use them when it's not useful. Supermarkets are cutting back on checkout staff in general, a fraction of the total are ever in action.

Feck me, if I were running a supermarket, and someone had gathered fifty quids' worth of stuff from my shelves by themselves, I'd be doing my darndest to make sure they were given the opportunity to pay for it ASAP.

The flip side is internet delivery- make them gather it for free, rather than do it yourself.

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I agree with DTMark.

The last few times I have used these systems and they have played up even once, I walk out leaving the goods (zero strike policy) - though I will admit to chucking the goods on the floor in WHSmiths on one occasion (the sooner WHSmith goes bust the better, I am not sure what the point of it is).

Personally, if I am buying overpriced goods from a shop, I expect to be served by a human. If I particularly wanted to scan goods, I'd get a job as a shop assistant. Are they really trying to replace minimum wage labour by getting their customers to do the shops work for free.

I am still waiting for a major supermarket to have too few cashiers and direct me, a trolley with £200 worth of shopping in and a bored toddler to the self service till.

That said, to date Waitrose, Tescos, Marks and Sainsbury have all been pretty good.

I some ways I applaud those who defraud these these system and cause shrinkage (whilst not condoning shoplifting) - if enough people do it i guess the stores would abandon self service.

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I always suffered with these machines, then a member of staff took pity on me and explained the coloured lights.

After putting an item in the bagging item you have to wait for the lights to go green before you scan the next item.

Have a look the next time you're in there and you'll see what I mean. If you do it too quick it has the unknown item fit.

Too slow I am afraid.

I think these machines are calibrated for the over 90s, pass the goods over the scanner like you have all day.

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I never use them out of principle.

I don't see why I should do their work and get nothing in return.

Internet delivery on the other hand is something I use frequently as that's exactly the opposite, I benefit from saving a considerable amount of time and effort for very little additional expense.

---

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I never use them out of principle.

I don't see why I should do their work and get nothing in return.

Internet delivery on the other hand is something I use frequently as that's exactly the opposite, I benefit from saving a considerable amount of time and effort for very little additional expense.

---

Lol

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Awww. Grumpy men being grumpy men.

I'd imagine this is how oldies felt when the internet was invented.

Get on with the program, or queue in the human checkout with the other oldies.

I thought I was failing the "sad old git" test with the first replies. And, it's probably true to an extent.

An irony: I'm actually a web developer, and worked for Tesco.com at one point.

Building, among other things, a fraud prevention system for the grocery website.

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I thought I was failing the "sad old git" test with the first replies. And, it's probably true to an extent.

An irony: I'm actually a web developer, and worked for Tesco.com at one point.

Building, among other things, a fraud prevention system for the grocery website.

So not only are you that git, but you built it yourself !!!

Edit : tfic , mind

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So not only are you that git, but you built it yourself !!!

Edit : tfic , mind

I wasn't involved with those things, though. They came along after I left.

And another thing. Why do they look like 1980s technology, where you could see that the thing - whatever it was - was basically made of "bits of other things stuck together" (so well parodied by the spoof series Look Around You II) - it sort of looks like part of a commode with a bit of Wall-E and you wonder if there's an Amstrad Emailer incorporated inside it somewhere.

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I always use the self-service even if there's staff sitting idle on the regular tills. Part of my ongoing campaign for the abolition of retail staff and I prefer the self-service too.

Advantages

- I can bulk buy Haribo without embarrassment despite obviously not having kids.

- I'm not socially awkward but really don't want banal small talk, Generation Game style commentary on my purchases or a barrage of questions about schools vouchers, am I using my own bags?, do I know bags cost 5p?, have I got my loyalty card? blah-di-blah-blah. Older men post-retirement age, of the variety that used to more commonly mix paints in B&Q, are the worst offenders. Followed by, typically, overweight women some of whom can also suffer from BO.

- I can pack my stuff at my own speed in the order I want not the order a checkout assistant arbitrarily plucks it from the conveyor and I don't have to abandon packing to fish for my wallet as soon as the assistant announce the grand total.

- The biggest one is generally I can do it more quickly myself get occasional 'unexpected item in etc.' or alcohol that needs approving but I'm not self-conscious so happy to attract a member of staff in an indiscreet and noisy manner.

Disadvantages

- There aren't enough of them in all shops and they don't currently accommodate larger trolley fulls well with the most common design.

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I always use the self-service even if there's staff sitting idle on the regular tills. Part of my ongoing campaign for the abolition of retail staff and I prefer the self-service too.

Advantages

- I can bulk buy Haribo without embarrassment despite obviously not having kids.

- I'm not socially awkward but really don't want banal small talk, Generation Game style commentary on my purchases or a barrage of questions about schools vouchers, am I using my own bags?, do I know bags cost 5p?, have I got my loyalty card? blah-di-blah-blah. Older men post-retirement age, of the variety that used to more commonly mix paints in B&Q, are the worst offenders. Followed by, typically, overweight women some of whom can also suffer from BO.

- I can pack my stuff at my own speed in the order I want not the order a checkout assistant arbitrarily plucks it from the conveyor and I don't have to abandon packing to fish for my wallet as soon as the assistant announce the grand total.

- The biggest one is generally I can do it more quickly myself get occasional 'unexpected item in etc.' or alcohol that needs approving but I'm not self-conscious so happy to attract a member of staff in an indiscreet and noisy manner.

Disadvantages

- There aren't enough of them in all shops and they don't currently accommodate larger trolley fulls well with the most common design.

Everyone's worst nightmare at the checkout... (for clarity, I am not suggesting that you have piles - rather, this, amusingly, supports one of your points...)

... and, I fear, shows my age.

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Awww. Grumpy men being grumpy men.

I'd imagine this is how oldies felt when the internet was invented.

Get on with the program, or queue in the human checkout with the other oldies.

Increasingly not possible. Our local Tesco has replaced ALL tills with self service ones. There's a human somewhere in the shop, stacking shelves, but all they can do is reset the machines when you confuse it by, for example, bagging a croissant and a muffin in the same bag (the horror!)

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Increasingly not possible. Our local Tesco has replaced ALL tills with self service ones. There's a human somewhere in the shop, stacking shelves, but all they can do is reset the machines when you confuse it by, for example, bagging a croissant and a muffin in the same bag (the horror!)

You will pack YOUR bags in the manner that THEY require.

That's an ORDER.

Tesco are going to get enforcement drones soon, I hear.

Anyway, got to go. I've seen a few looms that need breaking up.

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I never use them out of principle.

I don't see why I should do their work and get nothing in return.

Same here. Why should I faff about trying to locate the barcode on each item?? Do it for me, because I'm paying for your overpriced goods. I also don't appreciate being closely watched on those things. They're obviously looking for attempted theft. The kicker is on top of all that those machines are taking jobs away from people who might have problems finding other types of work. Why should I participate in that?

Over here the check out staff actually bag everything for you. It's quite a revelation. They're slow as hell though, so nothing is going to be perfect.

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Increasingly not possible. Our local Tesco has replaced ALL tills with self service ones.

Amazing.

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I genuinely love them - for much the same as Not a Chain Retailer (without the Haribo addiction). It's rare for me to get errors now. I resent them only when there is a queue for them - and then the annoyance is directed at the retailer for not providing more of them.

Some machines/supermarkets are better calibrated than others. The local Asda's and mini-Tesco's are the best - perhaps because they are relatively new.

It is unusual for me to buy more than 20 items at a time though - unless the bargain counter has been particularly generous.

Best of all, are the hand held scanners that you carry around the shop and zap the stuff as you put it into your bag. Absolute genius. I see how much it actually costs, get a running total and I don't repack at the check out counter. Completely painless. Almost as good as Asda's online ordering where it remembers what you bought last time - and you can just do a couple of clicks to get it again.

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~WHO BENEFITS? HOW CAN YOU BENEFIT?

---

NCR CORPORATION. Look for their logo.

~It is on HSBC, Santander, RBS, Natwest, Halifax and more ATM Machines.

~It is on Asda, B&Q, Tesco, +more Self service checkouts.

These guys could be bigger than GOOGLE.

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I'll use them if the main tills are full and I only have a few items; I think they have their place.

I didn't realise that supermarket staff are on teh fiddle quite as much as Mark said.

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The Tesco near me offer a scanner where you walk round and scan your items straight into the shopping bags in your trolley. You then pay on exit. Still I don't shop there because the quality if products is lacking.

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  • 241 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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