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SELF SERVE in Canberra

By Brianna 3 October 2012 77

I just want to put it out there that I am truly ticked off with Big W and Woolworth’s supermarkets and their ‘self serve’. (I am sure there are many other businesses that can be named as well.)  I am ticked that I am being asked to use the self serve and that the stores manipulate the work force to try and shepherd customers to the self serve.  Many people do use them and today I saw people who joined the queue but then left to go to the self serve out of frustration that only one check out was open.

I absolutely refuse to use the rotten things and insist on being served at a check out by an actual operator.  I have an almost 17 year old who is finding it extremely difficult to secure substantial work and places like these are a part of the problem.

Thanks for letting me gripe.

What’s Your opinion?


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SELF SERVE in Canberra
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NellyBean 3:21 pm 05 Oct 12

OpenYourMind said :

NellyBean said :

eh, if a slow check-out is the worst thing to happen to you then you must be having a pretty good day.

said a parent of a screaming child never.

Then the slow-checkout is no longer the worst thing, the screaming child is. My statement stands.

Watson 1:38 pm 05 Oct 12

LegalNut said :

Yes ALDI is faster but that is because their model is to make the customer do half the work. I happen to like it but I know a lot of people who hate the fact that the items at ALDI are just batted across the scanner as fast as is humanly possible. As I understand from people who work there, the target is to scan 600 to 800 items per hour at ALDI compared to about 200 in a traditional supermarket where things get bagged one by one.

I love it, because it’s a challenge. If you don’t keep up with the cyborg at the register, you end up with crushed eggs and broken plates/glasses/whatever. I reckon they should make it into a phone app.

And like others, one of my reasons for always using self-serve at Woolies is because I prefer to bag my stuff myself.

OpenYourMind 12:02 pm 05 Oct 12

NellyBean said :

eh, if a slow check-out is the worst thing to happen to you then you must be having a pretty good day.

said a parent of a screaming child never.

NellyBean 10:30 am 05 Oct 12

eh, if a slow check-out is the worst thing to happen to you then you must be having a pretty good day.

OpenYourMind 10:18 am 05 Oct 12

Wow! Is self serve going to get the October Mully!
Why not throw a poll into the mix JB? Something like
1. Self serves have made my life complete vs
2. Self serve are the work of the devil – it all started with those evil self knitting machines

Antagonist 9:52 am 05 Oct 12

I have yet to see ANY store in Canberra with self-serve checkouts have them all operating properly. EFTPOS only, cash only, no cash-out, out of order etc. There is always a store employee filtering customers around registers that are not working properly. I’m looking at you K-mart Tuggeranong and Big-W Woden.

I don’t particularly mind self-service, but I much prefer to be served by a person if I have a choice.

ex-vectis 9:37 am 05 Oct 12

carpediem said :

I save $$ every time I use the self-scanners. If the item dosen’t scan on the second swipe, it goes straight in the bag. I’m not a trained checkout operator… how do I know?

You give it a second swipe? I love self-serve, the savings I’ve made on my shopping bill is quite staggering. Roll on self-serve liquor!!

JC 7:33 am 05 Oct 12

kakosi said :

I’ve found using self-serve a lot slower than having someone scan through items for me…mostly because most people take forever to scan their own items and often the self-serve scanners don’t work properly.

Agree. Someone before mention snaking lines and how bad they were. I remember at Wollies Kippax before selfserve they had a row of 8 express check-outs with one line. Sure the line sometimes was 20 deep, but do the sums, with 8 checkouts open (and yes at peak time all were open), a line of 20 is really 2.5 people per check-out, which isn’t really that bad, just looked bad.

Now there can be a line of say 5-10 and it can take for ever, even though it is a ratio of 1-2 waiting per register. Now shouldn’t say this but have found though that with 2 express lines open at ‘peak’ it is usually quicker to use them rather than selfserve. I only use selfserve is there is only 1 or 2 waiting.

kakosi 10:34 pm 04 Oct 12

I’ve found using self-serve a lot slower than having someone scan through items for me…mostly because most people take forever to scan their own items and often the self-serve scanners don’t work properly.

LSWCHP 9:18 pm 04 Oct 12

I’ve been at Costco when the place is packed solid, and still got through the checkouts faster than a slow day at Supabarn. Those people have a great system, and no self serve checkouts that I’m aware of.

Brianna 9:11 pm 04 Oct 12

Pirate_Biggles said :

Reading the comments, it’s interesting to see that ALDI is not mentioned at all.
I find the checkout queues at ALDI some of the fastest around, and they are manned.
I wonder if anybody has timing data on this kind of thing?

A very good point! I like shopping at Aldi. Yes, I pack my own groceries but you do that at almost every other place too. Costco is also incredibly quick.

TheDancingDjinn 7:07 pm 04 Oct 12

LegalNut said :

Pirate_Biggles said :

Reading the comments, it’s interesting to see that ALDI is not mentioned at all.
I find the checkout queues at ALDI some of the fastest around, and they are manned.
I wonder if anybody has timing data on this kind of thing?

Yes ALDI is faster but that is because their model is to make the customer do half the work. I happen to like it but I know a lot of people who hate the fact that the items at ALDI are just batted across the scanner as fast as is humanly possible. As I understand from people who work there, the target is to scan 600 to 800 items per hour at ALDI compared to about 200 in a traditional supermarket where things get bagged one by one.

I love ALDI because it reminds me of shopping in the 80s. Every supermarket i went to when i was a kid served you like this, we used to have to help mum bag the groceries ( in a roll of plastic bags they provided to you HAHA). What else i like about ALDI is that the staff don’t talk to you, i hate woolies and the way they train the kids to ask you stuff about your day – i don’t buy groceries to have a chat to strangers.

dph 6:48 pm 04 Oct 12

Self serve may be the greatest idea that the retail industry has ever come up with. For most of us, it’s quick, easy & involves no awkward small talk.

I sympathize with your son, Op. I suggest he hits up any of the major shopping malls around Canberra. There’s definitely no shortage of casual retail jobs. Especially heading into the Xmas period, where most stores are looking to bulk up their rosters.

As for self serve, you’re probably better off embracing it. It’s only going to grow & will eventually become common practice among major retail chains.

Postalgeek 6:10 pm 04 Oct 12

Pirate_Biggles said :

Reading the comments, it’s interesting to see that ALDI is not mentioned at all.
I find the checkout queues at ALDI some of the fastest around, and they are manned.
I wonder if anybody has timing data on this kind of thing?

Aldi works because they scan but make people go off to pack their own bags. It always annoyed me when someone would read a magazine or stand there gormlessly instead of assisting in the process of bagging their shopping. If they tried that at Aldi they’d be picking up their groceries off the floor.

It’s one of the many reasons we shop at Aldi.

c_c 5:44 pm 04 Oct 12

Pirate_Biggles said :

Reading the comments, it’s interesting to see that ALDI is not mentioned at all.
I find the checkout queues at ALDI some of the fastest around, and they are manned.
I wonder if anybody has timing data on this kind of thing?

If I recall correctly there have been and Aldi is quite quick. All comes down to the process and the staff quality.

(According to something I once read, the German parent company was actually a late adopted of scanning items, the staff had to memorise product codes!)

Very robust check out procedures, high level of staff training and performance, and a number of measures to reduce staff fatigue. German innovation!

LegalNut 5:43 pm 04 Oct 12

Pirate_Biggles said :

Reading the comments, it’s interesting to see that ALDI is not mentioned at all.
I find the checkout queues at ALDI some of the fastest around, and they are manned.
I wonder if anybody has timing data on this kind of thing?

Yes ALDI is faster but that is because their model is to make the customer do half the work. I happen to like it but I know a lot of people who hate the fact that the items at ALDI are just batted across the scanner as fast as is humanly possible. As I understand from people who work there, the target is to scan 600 to 800 items per hour at ALDI compared to about 200 in a traditional supermarket where things get bagged one by one.

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