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Undetected Item In Bagging Area

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Waitrose has finally twigged onto the obvious.

How often do you get suckered into the short self service queue whilst the queue of twelve disappears quickly at the manned checkout and you are still waiting, ''Please ask for assistance'', "Put item in bagging area'', Undetected item in bagging area'' etc. etc.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/could-this-be-the-end-for-those-bleeping-selfservice-tills-waitrose-tests-the-waters-in-one-of-its-milton-keynes-stores-by-bringing-back-more-manned-tills-9105311.html

Edited by crashmonitor

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Waitrose has finally twigged onto the obvious.

How often do you get suckered into the short self service queue whilst the queue of twelve disappears quickly at the manned checkout and you are still waiting, ''Please ask for assistance'', Put item in bagging area'', Undetected item in bagging area'' etc. etc.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/could-this-be-the-end-for-those-bleeping-selfservice-tills-waitrose-tests-the-waters-in-one-of-its-milton-keynes-stores-by-bringing-back-more-manned-tills-9105311.html

I'll use the self service only if there isn't a line, otherwise a manned checkout every time.

And at the manned checkouts I would always choose to immediately follow someone who has a heaped trolley full rather than stand behind a line of half a dozen people each with 3 or 4 items, who each have to chat with the cashier and fumble with their wallet. The basket only lanes are also a trap for the unwitting.

Edited by LiveinHope

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Unmanned check out every time for me in Sainsburys. I have very little trouble with them.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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I'll use the self service only if there isn't a line, otherwise a manned checkout every time.

And at the manned checkouts I would always choose to immediately follow someone who has a heaped trolley full rather than stand behind a line of half a dozen people each with 3 or 4 items, who each have to chat with the cashier and fumble with their wallet. The basket only lanes are also a trap for the unwitting.

Yep I reckon everyone tries to make a judgement and sometimes sods law means you get it wrong from an unpredictable event such as a faulty product.

Pensioners like a good chat and a purse fumble, so indeed there's quite a few variables to consider.

Edited by crashmonitor

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The system just isn't up to scratch. It should be faster in theory - but the continual error messages mean in my local Tesco they have about 3-4 staff working the 12 or so 'self service' tills continually. Making them a bit pointless.

Personally i use them to avoid having to talk to people.

I assume if 1 in 5 waitrose users admit to stealing stuff - they don't have the same weight checking feature that the other places do ?

Or do they just play dumb when the staff member comes up and swipes them through ? In my experience they don't even check the bag before approving the 'error'- so they may as well just switch it off - and put the 4 full time staff to better use.

Just have one mean looking security guard with an obvious radio in his hand standing by these till. Would probably be more effective - and far cheaper.

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The system just isn't up to scratch. It should be faster in theory - but the continual error messages mean in my local Tesco they have about 3-4 staff working the 12 or so 'self service' tills continually. Making them a bit pointless.

Personally i use them to avoid having to talk to people.

I assume if 1 in 5 waitrose users admit to stealing stuff - they don't have the same weight checking feature that the other places do ?

Or do they just play dumb when the staff member comes up and swipes them through ? In my experience they don't even check the bag before approving the 'error'- so they may as well just switch it off - and put the 4 full time staff to better use.

Just have one mean looking security guard with an obvious radio in his hand standing by these till. Would probably be more effective - and far cheaper.

Or one of those cardboard cops............

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/NEWS/10980348.Posters_and_cardboard_cops_are_bringing_down_shoplifting_says_Rochford_top_policeman/ (I guess these shoplifters are a bit short sighted)

Edited by crashmonitor

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Or maybe they are just fed up of losing billions. TBH it is easy to put through things that haven't scanned and not realise it.........

http://www.smh.com.au/money/saving/selfscan-fail-supermarkets-lose-billions-as-thieving-customers-help-themselves-20140130-31o3p.html

It's not at all easy to put through an item without realising it, as the bag sitting on the platform is weighed and if you put something in without it being scanned you get a notification/warning.

They seem to have massively improved their software/hardware as these days I get very little problems with the self service scanners in supermarkets. Early on, they were a bit of a disaster with constant alerts requiring the attention of a staff member.

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I have yet to use any of these automated checkouts - or be put into a situation where I genuinely have no choice (i.e really need to buy the goods and so must use the machines if no-one will serve me).

This attitude is out of luddite stubborness - doing my token little bit to stop big corporations from going to extreme measures to eke out that extra 0.1p in earnings per share for their shareholders - at the expense of the people who work for them and their customers.

I noticed very early on, when standing in queue for a human to serve me, the endless trouble and delays those happily volunteering to use the machines were having - constantly having to call upon someone for help, which would often be the nearby security guard.

On balance I noticed very quickly that, superficially, the automated self-service checkouts appealed to those sorts of people who are constantly 'in a hurry', with never enough hours in the day to live their lives. In the end they would often still be either waiting behind someone struggling with a machine or struggling themselves - whilst I had already been served by someone and was making my way out.

There are other reasons for not wanting to be too quick to volunteer to use these self serve machines. For example, in the event I make a genuine mistake/oversight/error and bag something without scanning/paying for it, and am seen doing this, they will more than happy to see me hauled over coals for this transgression - of that I have no doubt. there is zero chance of that happening if I dutifully dump all the stuff from my trolley/basket onto a conveyer belt to be scanned in time honoured fashion by a nice checkout girl, who I can maybe even exchange the odd pleasantry with whilst waiting - no chance of that with a machine!

So far I have noticed that IF one 'stands their ground' and politely insists on being served the old fashioned way, that very quickly someone will be made to come and serve you - even if they are in the middle of doing something else such as shelf stacking.

The first time I came close to seemingly having to use self service checkouts was when going to a 24hour opening Tesco, just after midnight. I spent 20 minutes traipsing around aisles filling up my trolley and then dutifully trundled off to the checkouts to see not a single 'manned' checkout open. A security guard, who probably spent half his time explaining this everyone else, pointed to and explained that after midnight the store operated in self service mode only! I politely requested someone come and scan the stuff, etc. Was told again 'sorry'. I then, somewhat indignant, left the trolley where it was and proceeded to walk to the exit with a 'go to hell' frame of mind. Said guard comes after me to try and reassure that it was "very easy to use", etc. I merely responded "OK. In that case you do it for me!". At that point he called for someone to come and open a checkout and scan the stuff in the traditional manner.

Similarly, just last week, at a local Tesco Express in the middle of the day, with just a handful of items, I adopted the same stance and someone very quickly came to serve me. The chap, whilst subsequently scanning/checking out said items for me, perhaps under orders to reassure customers for the future that the selfserve machines were easy to use etc said that they were "much quicker to use". I responded by saying that it wasn't an issue, "That's OK. I'm in no hurry". :-)

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It is going to be a big cost to Waitrose if they remove all of these. In my local one, they have just installed a set at each end of the store.

They are not useful because they are unreliable and are unable to accept the myriad vouchers that even Waitrose have succumbed to offering these days.

The most annoying thing is that they have removed a set of 4 'express checkouts' (the ones where there are four manned tills for baskets only that only take up the space of one regular manned checkout. These are the fastest by far for most customers.

The worst offender is WH Smith who have decided that because they have invested in the automatic tills they only need one manned till and one other assistant to help those attempting to use the automated ones.

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I have yet to use any of these automated checkouts - or be put into a situation where I genuinely have no choice (i.e really need to buy the goods and so must use the machines if no-one will serve me).

This attitude is out of luddite stubborness - doing my token little bit to stop big corporations from going to extreme measures to eke out that extra 0.1p in earnings per share for their shareholders - at the expense of the people who work for them and their customers.

...

The first time I came close to seemingly having to use self service checkouts was when going to a 24hour opening Tesco, just after midnight. I spent 20 minutes traipsing around aisles filling up my trolley and then dutifully trundled off to the checkouts to see not a single 'manned' checkout open. A security guard, who probably spent half his time explaining this everyone else, pointed to and explained that after midnight the store operated in self service mode only! I politely requested someone come and scan the stuff, etc. Was told again 'sorry'. I then, somewhat indignant, left the trolley where it was and proceeded to walk to the exit with a 'go to hell' frame of mind. Said guard comes after me to try and reassure that it was "very easy to use", etc. I merely responded "OK. In that case you do it for me!". At that point he called for someone to come and open a checkout and scan the stuff in the traditional manner.

Have you ever had a job in retail? If you do care about the workers you should probably know that they aren't grateful for customers who make extra work for them on top of their normal duties.

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It's not at all easy to put through an item without realising it, as the bag sitting on the platform is weighed and if you put something in without it being scanned you get a notification/warning.

Maybe they do something like this (although I hope the penalties for being caught out aren't so stiff).

600full-indiana-jones-and-the-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-screenshot.png

Edited by tomandlu

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given the investment either (and) in technology / people I can't imagine the big supermarkets haven't spent fortunes on testing ratios and numbers of manned to unmanned, throughput, average queue sizes,times etc etc to ensure optimum deployment of resources.

The only time I ever use a self-service till is if I have 1 item and there's no Q. All that bagging nonsense is insane. Why put yourself through that misery?

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I won't use them....they wind me up and I am liable to kick the thing.....anyway I prefer interacting with real people, well worth the wait. ;)

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I won't use them....they wind me up and I am liable to kick the thing.....anyway I prefer interacting with real people, well worth the wait. ;)

Yeah, much more satisfying kicking real people, the wait be damned...

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Have you ever had a job in retail? If you do care about the workers you should probably know that they aren't grateful for customers who make extra work for them on top of their normal duties.

Many moons ago in my youth yes.

BUT the way I see this issue, of selfserve machines vs employing humans to do it, is that all that is happening is that countless checkout staff are now being relegated to doing manual labour instead (i.e just lugging boxes/stock around/shelf stacking/etc) - whilst no doubt getting no extra money for it.

Previously they had a physically undemanding job, with some occasional 'genuine' interaction with customers if they were so inclined to it to break the monotony (as opposed to the management mandated "don't forget to smile and tell them to have a nice day") - and now they are on their feet and working even harder.

And what will happen when shelf stacking/stock replenishment will be capable of being done by robots? What will these people do for a living? They will look back wistfully at how 'easy' their working lives once were. Expending minimal calories sitting on their butts......All gone now cos 'selfish' and impatient customers couldn't be ar**d to wait a few extra seconds or socially engage with a checkout bod.

So...by doing my little bit to help stop the relentless march of automation, and so helping keep their jobs, how am I their 'enemy'?

Edited by anonguest

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I've noticed you can get the staff quite worried if you start trying out the 'staff login' feature. A herbert in Tescoes got quite narked with me because I spent the time waiting for someone to come and sort out the unexpected item in the bagging area trying out various passwords. (In this particular store the usernames/password tend to be something like 11/1010 - not very imaginative.)

Also, the tills can be dismantled to a large extent without using any tools; just say "I've dropped a coin" as you pull up the cover and remove the scanner unit. ;)

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Yeah, much more satisfying kicking real people, the wait be damned...

Not that, but do have a chat....I ask them if they enjoy their work, how the company treat them, if they time them on scanning items, when do they get a break and general chat about what is selling well, the offers and soon the whole queue is joining in with their opinions and input..... :)

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So many of today's jobs are retail that if the stores are successful in replacing tills with automated check outs there will be thousands fewer jobs. That's my reason for not using them.

If I had a Waitrose within travelling distance I would use make a point of using them, just for being sensible.

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Have you ever had a job in retail? If you do care about the workers you should probably know that they aren't grateful for customers who make extra work for them on top of their normal duties.

And HOW am I making more work for them? They are paid to work X hours. Period. IF they haven't managed to stack X number of shelves as the store manager might have been expecting in Y amount of time, they merely have to point at the customers who keep calling them back to the checkout. They're not doing any extra work.

IF store manager comes to realise he is constantly failing to keep shelves stacked/old stock removed/repriced/etc he would have to report UP the chain of command to the clever twits that the selfserve machines are not yielding the benefits that had been hoped for.

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So many of today's jobs are retail that if the stores are successful in replacing tills with automated check outs there will be thousands fewer jobs. That's my reason for not using them.

DITTO

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Ooh this one again. I haven't changed my view: when checkout staff stop gobbing on their fingers before opening the carrier bags, then I'll stop using self service.

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Ooh this one again. I haven't changed my view: when checkout staff stop gobbing on their fingers before opening the carrier bags, then I'll stop using self service.

Errrr......how about then YOU opening the bag(s) yourself - as I do. Presumably you open the bags yourself anyway at the selfserve machines?

Or is this issue a case of "IF someone is going to 'serve' me then I insist on them doing it properly!" ?

Edited by anonguest

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So many of today's jobs are retail that if the stores are successful in replacing tills with automated check outs there will be thousands fewer jobs. That's my reason for not using them.

If I had a Waitrose within travelling distance I would use make a point of using them, just for being sensible.

ditto. I've posted on HPC before about being in WH Smith when I explained this to the checkout staff when they tried to get me to use the self service tills.

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Or maybe they are just fed up of losing billions. TBH it is easy to put through things that haven't scanned and not realise it.........

http://www.smh.com.au/money/saving/selfscan-fail-supermarkets-lose-billions-as-thieving-customers-help-themselves-20140130-31o3p.html

It is widespread there are numerous scams. The problems I have had with the machines:-

Got stuck in the undetected item loop

Crashed on card payment

Meat tag not deactivated so the alarm went off when i walked out

Scale not working

Did not recognise voucher

Could not use own bag as could not re-base correctly

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