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Supermarkets without checkouts….

By Dacquiri - 14 July 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….
chewy14 10:43 am 14 Jul 09

I purposely leave rubbish on the floor in movie cinemas to keep the cleaning staff employed.

Jim Jones 10:35 am 14 Jul 09

I refuse to drive cars because they put farriers out of work.

Duke 10:28 am 14 Jul 09

The self serve checkouts are convenient and make shopping faster, but I refuse to use them for two reasons;

1 – Each self serve checkout represents one or two employees now out of work.
2 – It is not the customers job to scan/bag items – it is Woolworths job.

I don’t support the Woolies duopoly replacing humans with machines, and so I stand in the human queue, even if it does take a bit longer.

chewy14 10:20 am 14 Jul 09

dommie said :

… or perhaps even put their prices down.

Haha
you’re funny.

dommie 10:15 am 14 Jul 09

I think the fact that the machines cost less to maintain than the personnel, perhaps they could put some of the savings they make front of shop and work to improve other areas … or perhaps even put their prices down.

gargamel 10:06 am 14 Jul 09

Meh – teething problems Jiv – once the technology has matured then it may not be such a big deal.

Perhaps this is Woolies way of reducing fraud. Given that most fraud is done in the workplace, reducing the number of employees they have ought to cut back on the amount of theft taking place.

It’d be interesting to know whether they’ve increased the number of security personnel though…

szeretetta 10:06 am 14 Jul 09

Also: the one downside?

People who insist on checking out their full trolley worth of goods through the self-checkouts. Sure, they might get to a checkout quicker, but they can not scan and bag stuff anywhere near as quickly as the checkout people.

szeretetta 10:03 am 14 Jul 09

The self checkouts are an improvement, at least in the early hours of the morning where there was previously only one checkout available, right down the end.

Jivrashia said :

The only problem with the self-service at Big W Gungahlin is that, after you’ve scanned an item, you have to place it on a platform that registers its weight. (don’t ask me what its for… no matter which way you look at it it don’t make sense)

That’s to make sure you aren’t stealing anything – eg, scanning something and then putting extra items in the bag.

DarkLadyWolfMother 10:02 am 14 Jul 09

I first came across these in the US some years back and thought they were a great idea. Given the limited bagging space though, they aren’t much good for a ‘full shop’ and you still need fleshy ones to run checkouts.

Jivrashia 9:56 am 14 Jul 09

The only problem with the self-service at Big W Gungahlin is that, after you’ve scanned an item, you have to place it on a platform that registers its weight. (don’t ask me what its for… no matter which way you look at it it don’t make sense)

If you have a large-ish item, such as a laundry basket, then it is likely that you won’t be able to fit it on this platform. So what do you do when the machine complains to place the damn thing there or else it’ll spit the dummy? Put your foot on it to out-smart the machine of course!

WanniAss 9:45 am 14 Jul 09

I think if you were incurably old school you’d keep using the grocer in the corner store – potatoes only 6d per lb

Jim Jones 9:43 am 14 Jul 09

Yeah, because you wouldn’t want grocery shopping to be quick and convenient, would you?

mp2615 9:36 am 14 Jul 09

I wonder what time of the day/night you were there. But yes good old woolies are determined to push as much of the work onto the customer as possible. First they softened us up by taking one quick moving queue for shoppers with a few items and breaking it up into about 6 slow moving queues, or less these days. Heaven forbid having an operator standing idle for a minute, let the customers line up instead. Now they bring in an option for people to escape the slow queues which lowers their costs. I feel very sorry for the checkout souls. lumbered with lots of cranky shoppers and now certain to be downsized. F**k ’em, shop somewhere else

Danman 9:29 am 14 Jul 09

Been using them since Big W in Gunghalin opened.. I find them great, quicker.

An added bonus is that these self serve counters seem to have much more personality and speed than regular paid operators.

I would like to use this opportunity to welcome Belconnen to the new millenium.

Jim Jones 9:11 am 14 Jul 09

You’re incurably old school.

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