Supermarkets without checkouts….

Dacquiri 28 September 2009 105

We’ve had ‘Yes, Minister’s’ hospitals without patients, we have ‘service stations’ without service, and now we have supermarkets where customers do their own check-outs.

I have just been to Woolworth’s at Belconnen where there was one single solitary human at one of the 20 or so check-outs.

Customers who didn’t spot the checkout light at the far end were being herded through the ‘self-service checkouts’ at the ‘express’ end, with another staff member trying to explain it all to totally confused senior citizens and non-English-speaking families.

I was determined to complain to someone in the ‘customer service’ area… but of course, there was no one there to complain to.

I was lucky, however: the single solidary human checkout chick told me that in another 30 min., she’d be gone and the only option would be DIY.

Does anyone else find this unsatisfactory, or am I just incurabaly old-school?

Self service checkouts at supermarkets

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105 Responses to Supermarkets without checkouts….
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peterh peterh 1:38 am 30 Sep 09

self serve will be great when all items have a radio tag on them. as you walk out, the tag scans, and your credit card is debited…

misshelly misshelly 8:36 pm 29 Sep 09

I have never used a self serve checkout. They scare me. I’m afraid of looking like a tool while the people behind me sigh and roll their eyes. I’ll just stick to the check outs with people on them 😛

Clown Killer Clown Killer 8:14 pm 29 Sep 09

Gotta say, yesterday at Woolies in Weston Creek the ol’ self service thing just wasn’t happening. The little old biddies trying to buy their bread and milk were basically just standing there at the machines waiting for the Woolies assitant to get to them in turn and run their products through the scanner, guide them through the payment process, bag the goods for them and wish them luch as they headed off into Coolaman Court.

bonnie123 bonnie123 6:50 pm 29 Sep 09

i am the person who always shopping at the woolley Belconnen. I love self serve service..i find it quicker but also find it make the check out human lazy …i went there with my 12 years old daughter on Saturday and there were long line on self serve so we went to human check out and wait for 10-15 mins without knowing that the lady (indian appearance) who was just stand there and said that she is still open when we asked whether she closed or still serving.Instead of serving us she asked us to move to another lane or self serve as she was busy today and very tired and she would be finish in about 15 mins. My daughter and I had to move to self serve as she didnt want to serve us. My daughter said to me that she might be really tired and maybe want us to use self serve. that is 12 yrs old opinion but for me i dont think it is fair for other staff who work/serve customer till the last minute of they time.Do you think this fair????? i really want woolley manager to train their staffs more especially checkout services//////

Ryan Ryan 6:51 pm 15 Jul 09

damo1 said :

I cant see any obvious reason for a significant revenue increase from these tills, as they are obviously geared towards the basket shoppers rather than the shoppers with a trolley loaded with $300 worth of groceries

While I have no idea on any cost savings measures that are the result of the installation of the self-serves, having once worked in one of the busiest Woolies stores in Canberra, Express is where the lines often wind to the back of the store. Having the self-serves takes the pressure off express, meaning that the supervisor can put fewer staff on express (and top it up with managers/longlife/office staff when it gets too crazy) and put more staff on the “full-lanes” (i.e. the non express registers)

So in my observations, I think having the self-serves allows for better usage of checkout staff.

KandyA KandyA 4:49 pm 15 Jul 09

Vote 1 Woodyman
seriously, you should copyrite that post, and offer it to WW for inclusion in their how to use our DIY checkouts brochures, which can be issued to: Broccoli man, premature lad, Homeschool mum,….

They could even do some re-enactments for tv adds

peterh peterh 2:47 pm 15 Jul 09

speaking as someone who has worked on the back dock of a woolies store, and on the checkouts, and run a small shop, and worked in a small takeaway, the biggest problem with retail is the customers. Think the checkout people enjoy dealing with the same types that woody has mentioned? not on your life.

The self service system is good for people who can understand technology. not for anyone over 65 who have enough trouble with their cashcard, let alone an automated system. The only difference here is that the customer service officer who is there to teach you how to use the self service system is now inundated by people who cannot read, follow instructions, or spell.

I will continue to use the register with a human being on it. why? because the scan speed of a checkout operator is far faster than the self serve system. The order of packing can be dictated by you, and the kids have no chance in grabbing extras for the trolley if the conveyor is higher than they are.

If it is such a cost saver, why hasn’t aldi put this system in?

Swaggie Swaggie 2:46 pm 15 Jul 09

Vote 1 for a WMC weekly “Look at Canberra Life” column – How about it JB/WMC?

Peewee Slasher Peewee Slasher 2:16 pm 15 Jul 09

I thnk we should run a poll on the wittiest post.

If I wasn’t involved, I’d vote for Woody Mann C.

Fantastic post.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:02 am 15 Jul 09

Waaaah. Things are changing. Make it stop make it stop make it stop!

Thumper Thumper 7:56 am 15 Jul 09

Ah, I see.

people actually want less service.

of course.

TP 3000 TP 3000 12:30 am 15 Jul 09

I think someone forgot an important point. This may sound sexists, but males & females do it anyway, you can’t “check out” the self serve checkout machine! I am sure that everyone has at least once in their life “checked out” the checkout person while waiting in the line.

But the other thing is that were are teenage kids going to earn those few extra dollars to pay for computer games/save for a car? Where are some older people going to a few extra dollars? Kmart Tuggeranong has few real old people at the checkouts.

But atleast with self serve checkouts all are in use. As Woolworths Kambah had a renovation 6 years ago & have like 8-10 checkouts, but during peak times when the express checkout line is right across the store, only 3/4 checkouts are in operation. While the rest remain closed.

Australianliberalist Australianliberalist 12:03 am 15 Jul 09

Having come from a place that had many Woolworths with self serve checkouts, I was initially frustrated in Canberra to find you dont have them. I found your lines much longer and service slower.Once you understand how they work you will find them quicker and the lines to use them are always shorter. I have really missed the self serve checkouts so it is great news to see you are finally catching up with the rest of the country.

bubzie bubzie 11:32 pm 14 Jul 09

I laughed at 54. GOLD!!

And at number 76, i can also agree with you. Generally, they cut down wages/shifts, to make sure the boss gets his little bonus at the end of the mounth…save money my ass!!


ant ant 10:49 pm 14 Jul 09

I liked these chekcouts… the ones in teh US work, so I reckon the ones here can work too. They have it for petrol pumps, too. I even filled up the car in rural Wyoming on a Sunday at a closed petrol station.

I no longer shop at Woolies because of their evident contempt for their customers, evidenced by the outrageous checkout lines. I cannot fathom why so many people put up with it.

And how they’re using us to cross-subsidise their new petrol promotion for people who buy hundreds of bucks worth of groceries.

PsydFX PsydFX 10:34 pm 14 Jul 09

astrojax said :

this is a fallacious argument, tom squared. i would love. to have some schmuck fill my petrol tank and wipe my front and rear windscreen when i visit a petrol station, like in da ol’ days, and rekkun pretty well everyone i know feels the same, but where do you find drive way service now? or did the petrol co.s work out ways to efficiently cut costs and tell us it was the way of the future?

I always thought it was EFTPOS that killed “service” stations.

Dacquiri Dacquiri 10:25 pm 14 Jul 09

Forgot to say: there are the exceptions, who do know about service, and not in a condescending way — such as the example in post 65, and the bloke at Go Troppo at Jamison who makes middle-aged female customers smile when he refers to them as ‘young lady’. But, getting back to where we started, I just don’t think it’s the customers’ job to scan the products and deal with inanimate objects, esp. if this is doing someone out of a job. However, the 20-somethings at work today said they don’t know a world where you didn’t have to put the petrol in your own car so they don’t think there’s anything strange about it. So guess I am just old school. 🙁

astrojax astrojax 10:19 pm 14 Jul 09

oops, bad italicisation – but you get the point.

astrojax astrojax 10:18 pm 14 Jul 09

my point really is people vote with their feet, if they dont like using the self serve they wont use it or they’ll shop elsewhere…

this is a fallacious argument, tom squared. i would love</i. to have some schmuck fill my petrol tank and wipe my front and rear windscreen when i visit a petrol station, like in da ol’ days, and rekkun pretty well everyone i know feels the same, but where do you find drive way service now? or did the petrol co.s work out ways to efficiently cut costs and tell us it was the way of the future?

i’ve seen the future and it sucks.

Granny Granny 10:08 pm 14 Jul 09

And culturally we have also become more ‘me’ focused than ‘other’ focused – not just the younger generations, but people my age and older. As a society we have definitely gotten ruder than we have been. We’re probably still not as rude as the convicts and the rum rebellion and stuff, however.

: )

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