Burning Questions: Self-serve checkouts in supermarkets - are they good or evil?

News Shopper: What do you think about self-serve checkouts in supermarkets? What do you think about self-serve checkouts in supermarkets?

SELF-SERVE checkouts are now an established fixture in supermarkets – but do you think they are good or evil?

Some people will no doubt say they love them, based on how they can at times have shorter queues and be quicker to get through than conventional staffed tills. Plus it might be considered an added bonus not to have to make awkward small talk with a checkout assistant on a quick visit to the shops.

Other people will curse self-serve systems and say they are the work of the devil. This may well be you if you‘ve ever got stuck behind people incapable of using the computerised tills or if you’ve ever suffered any of the infuriating ‘wrong weight’ or ‘item not recognised’ messages as you try to scan your items. Plus there is the issue of self-serve checkouts potentially costing people their jobs.

What’s your view on these do-it-yourself supermarket tills? Do you think they’re a brilliant time-saving innovation or a frustrating hassle? Scan your own comments in below and wait for the beep ...

News Shopper: Burning Questions

The Burning Questions feature aims to settle some of life’s perennial arguments and crack some of those tricky questions with readers’ collective knowledge.

If there is an issue you’re always squabbling about with workmates or friends or something that makes you go hmmm, email me with your suggestions for future burning questions to ask.

Comments (26)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:26am Tue 3 Dec 13

jacks60 says...

Not a big fan of them myself. I will use them for a couple of items but if doing a weekly shop on my own it takes ages to swipe the things and also to pack. It's not so bad if there's 2 of you. Added to that the invariable complications of the "machine" not being happy with something I'm trying to purchase then waiting for the assistant to come and sort it. They're great for purchasing a few items but I haven't been won over by them as yet.
Not a big fan of them myself. I will use them for a couple of items but if doing a weekly shop on my own it takes ages to swipe the things and also to pack. It's not so bad if there's 2 of you. Added to that the invariable complications of the "machine" not being happy with something I'm trying to purchase then waiting for the assistant to come and sort it. They're great for purchasing a few items but I haven't been won over by them as yet. jacks60

7:36am Tue 3 Dec 13

joertmclark says...

One of the aims of self service was to reduce costs. Until shops realised that the machines were always breaking down.
That's why Wilkinson - one of the first retail shops to have them got rid of them just before other retail shops started introducing them.
One of the aims of self service was to reduce costs. Until shops realised that the machines were always breaking down. That's why Wilkinson - one of the first retail shops to have them got rid of them just before other retail shops started introducing them. joertmclark

8:26am Tue 3 Dec 13

genna1310 says...

My grandad point blank refuses to use them and had a rant in Eltham Sainsburys because it is doing somebody out of a job! He then went on to refuse shopping in Sainsburys because of this! At 88 he is right again! I'd rather use them when I'm in a rush and wanna get in and out bit they play up beeping weighing and basically being a pain in the bum! Amount of people robbing from big shops must be crazy now!!!
My grandad point blank refuses to use them and had a rant in Eltham Sainsburys because it is doing somebody out of a job! He then went on to refuse shopping in Sainsburys because of this! At 88 he is right again! I'd rather use them when I'm in a rush and wanna get in and out bit they play up beeping weighing and basically being a pain in the bum! Amount of people robbing from big shops must be crazy now!!! genna1310

8:31am Tue 3 Dec 13

Simon bald says...

always good for putting jazz apples through as basics :-)
always good for putting jazz apples through as basics :-) Simon bald

9:28am Tue 3 Dec 13

molsey says...

"Scan your own comments in below and wait for the beep" ...

WHERE, HOW?
"Scan your own comments in below and wait for the beep" ... WHERE, HOW? molsey

10:04am Tue 3 Dec 13

nearly right all the time says...

Put scanners on the trolleys so you scan the items as you put them in,
as for age sensitive products put small gates so a staff member can vet
people going in the area containing the booze, knives etc.

this would stop underage drinkers getting their booze then going to one
of the tills with their mates on it and buying it that way!

the device on the trolley could take your card details, or if paying in cash
issues a carpark style ticket which you could pay at a paystation, this would save A unpacking your trolley, only to reload again. B queuing while some old biddy chats away about nothing to a bored and surly till operator.

and if any body says it cant work go to Seoul in Korea and see it working
as it has done for the last 18mnts
Put scanners on the trolleys so you scan the items as you put them in, as for age sensitive products put small gates so a staff member can vet people going in the area containing the booze, knives etc. this would stop underage drinkers getting their booze then going to one of the tills with their mates on it and buying it that way! the device on the trolley could take your card details, or if paying in cash issues a carpark style ticket which you could pay at a paystation, this would save A unpacking your trolley, only to reload again. B queuing while some old biddy chats away about nothing to a bored and surly till operator. and if any body says it cant work go to Seoul in Korea and see it working as it has done for the last 18mnts nearly right all the time

10:50am Tue 3 Dec 13

Hk says...

Only any good if you have a couple of items. I really dont know how people with lots of shopping can be bothered with it. There seem to be constant errors while using them. Would rather go through the proper tills.
Only any good if you have a couple of items. I really dont know how people with lots of shopping can be bothered with it. There seem to be constant errors while using them. Would rather go through the proper tills. Hk

10:50am Tue 3 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

Considering we live on a planet that is PURE EVIL with PURE EVIL at the STEERING wheel I would say that, YES,, self serving is pure evil.

Self serving? reminds me of the puppets in Government, self serving freeloading evil bankster kids. The more people dieing the happier these bankster kids are.
Considering we live on a planet that is PURE EVIL with PURE EVIL at the STEERING wheel I would say that, YES,, self serving is pure evil. Self serving? reminds me of the puppets in Government, self serving freeloading evil bankster kids. The more people dieing the happier these bankster kids are. white rabbit9

11:00am Tue 3 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
Considering we live on a planet that is PURE EVIL with PURE EVIL at the STEERING wheel I would say that, YES,, self serving is pure evil.

Self serving? reminds me of the puppets in Government, self serving freeloading evil bankster kids. The more people dieing the happier these bankster kids are.
Says the Shoppers very own Che Guevara, ( in his own mind ) in real life he is more of a Citizen Wolfie Smith from the Tooting Popular Front.


Now we ( Mrs G and I ) do all our shopping online and it's delivered to the door for a mere pittance. That way we don't have to be around council tenant types and BNP voters ( ie- the lower classes )
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: Considering we live on a planet that is PURE EVIL with PURE EVIL at the STEERING wheel I would say that, YES,, self serving is pure evil. Self serving? reminds me of the puppets in Government, self serving freeloading evil bankster kids. The more people dieing the happier these bankster kids are.[/p][/quote]Says the Shoppers very own Che Guevara, ( in his own mind ) in real life he is more of a Citizen Wolfie Smith from the Tooting Popular Front. Now we ( Mrs G and I ) do all our shopping online and it's delivered to the door for a mere pittance. That way we don't have to be around council tenant types and BNP voters ( ie- the lower classes ) Gypo.Joe

11:26am Tue 3 Dec 13

Silver74 says...

As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.
As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping. Silver74

11:47am Tue 3 Dec 13

donna_kebab says...

Hate them! Every time I have used one I have ended up having a row with the stupid voice making out that I am the one who is in the wrong. Not my fault if it can't detect the weight of a packet of sauce mix!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!
!!!
Hate them! Every time I have used one I have ended up having a row with the stupid voice making out that I am the one who is in the wrong. Not my fault if it can't detect the weight of a packet of sauce mix!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! !!! donna_kebab

11:56am Tue 3 Dec 13

Donna_T says...

Silver74 wrote:
As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.
So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for.

Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !!
[quote][p][bold]Silver74[/bold] wrote: As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.[/p][/quote]So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for. Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !! Donna_T

1:00pm Tue 3 Dec 13

highway warrior says...

Morrisons ones are atrocious, abysmal, shambolic, but the Tesco and Sainsbury's ones are pretty good
Morrisons ones are atrocious, abysmal, shambolic, but the Tesco and Sainsbury's ones are pretty good highway warrior

9:25pm Tue 3 Dec 13

toomush2drink says...

I wont use them because i dont get paid to use them.

Staff get paid to operate the instore machinery, i dont.
I give them my money so why should i now do the staffs job soon.

It wont be long before they have customers restocking the shelves for them too.
Whats next, cooking your own chinese takeaway ?
I wont use them because i dont get paid to use them. Staff get paid to operate the instore machinery, i dont. I give them my money so why should i now do the staffs job soon. It wont be long before they have customers restocking the shelves for them too. Whats next, cooking your own chinese takeaway ? toomush2drink

8:55pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Simon bald says...

all I need to know is the phone number of the bird in the boots
all I need to know is the phone number of the bird in the boots Simon bald

10:07pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Bestbaz says...

I find them OK and convenient, what really peeves me off with them though is when old folk who cant be asked to queue at attended tills, use the self service, have no idea or wish how to use them and then ask and expect the assistant to swipe their goods. Sadly the check out staff cannot refuse.
I find them OK and convenient, what really peeves me off with them though is when old folk who cant be asked to queue at attended tills, use the self service, have no idea or wish how to use them and then ask and expect the assistant to swipe their goods. Sadly the check out staff cannot refuse. Bestbaz

9:53am Thu 5 Dec 13

Silver74 says...

Donna_T wrote:
Silver74 wrote:
As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.
So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for.

Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !!
Actually, donna, I have my money and shopping bag ready, I pack as the items are scanned and pay immediately - unlike the person in front of me who waits till everything has been scanned by the till assistant before staring to pack and doesn't get her purse out of her handbag until she has put everything in bags. If there is a queue, I don't chat and I shop at a quiet time of day.
[quote][p][bold]Donna_T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Silver74[/bold] wrote: As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.[/p][/quote]So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for. Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !![/p][/quote]Actually, donna, I have my money and shopping bag ready, I pack as the items are scanned and pay immediately - unlike the person in front of me who waits till everything has been scanned by the till assistant before staring to pack and doesn't get her purse out of her handbag until she has put everything in bags. If there is a queue, I don't chat and I shop at a quiet time of day. Silver74

5:28pm Thu 5 Dec 13

pamela8 says...

There is no customer service...its much nicer to converse with a person...plus I think that anything that takes peoples jobs away is a bad thing...
There is no customer service...its much nicer to converse with a person...plus I think that anything that takes peoples jobs away is a bad thing... pamela8

12:13pm Fri 6 Dec 13

eltham_girl says...

I too find it annoying when people (exclusively older ones in my experience) go to the self service tills and get the one member of staff who's meant to be overlooking 6 tills to scan everything through for them. It's called SELF service for a reason!!
I too find it annoying when people (exclusively older ones in my experience) go to the self service tills and get the one member of staff who's meant to be overlooking 6 tills to scan everything through for them. It's called SELF service for a reason!! eltham_girl

1:41pm Fri 6 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

That rude woman that complained to the paper because she was asked not to use her mobile at the checkout should certainly use the self service machines!
That rude woman that complained to the paper because she was asked not to use her mobile at the checkout should certainly use the self service machines! PaulErith

6:31pm Fri 6 Dec 13

rw4732 says...

I will not use self service checkouts as they are responsible for putting people out of work by taking thier jobs and thier is enough unemployment already and with some only working part time we should all do we can to help people stay in thier jobs, because with more people working it allows them the dignity of work and they are paying into the system, rather than taking out, so I will not use them or shop in shop' s that have them!
I will not use self service checkouts as they are responsible for putting people out of work by taking thier jobs and thier is enough unemployment already and with some only working part time we should all do we can to help people stay in thier jobs, because with more people working it allows them the dignity of work and they are paying into the system, rather than taking out, so I will not use them or shop in shop' s that have them! rw4732

7:25pm Fri 6 Dec 13

molsey says...

Donna_T wrote:
Silver74 wrote:
As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.
So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for.

Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !!
Poor O'l Silveeeeeeeeer (as in the Lone ranger).
[quote][p][bold]Donna_T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Silver74[/bold] wrote: As I live alone, the till assistant is often the only person I speak to - sometimes in several days. I am not techno-phobic, but prefer the personal touch. I also think that it is a way of reducing staff as one person can supervise several self-service tills. I have used one once when all I wanted was a newspaper and there was a long queue, but avoid them for grocery shopping.[/p][/quote]So it's you who holds us all up while you're having a chin wag with the check out person. Then I bet it takes you ages to get your items paid for. Get down the pop in parlour for a chat, NOT the supermarket check out. Most of us are busy !![/p][/quote]Poor O'l Silveeeeeeeeer (as in the Lone ranger). molsey

7:27pm Fri 6 Dec 13

molsey says...

Simon bald wrote:
all I need to know is the phone number of the bird in the boots
Can yer share it wiv me?
[quote][p][bold]Simon bald[/bold] wrote: all I need to know is the phone number of the bird in the boots[/p][/quote]Can yer share it wiv me? molsey

7:32pm Fri 6 Dec 13

molsey says...

pamela8 wrote:
There is no customer service...its much nicer to converse with a person...plus I think that anything that takes peoples jobs away is a bad thing...
It's called progress, I can remember when petrol was only served by an attendant, now you are not given a choice, unlike the self-service checkouts
[quote][p][bold]pamela8[/bold] wrote: There is no customer service...its much nicer to converse with a person...plus I think that anything that takes peoples jobs away is a bad thing...[/p][/quote]It's called progress, I can remember when petrol was only served by an attendant, now you are not given a choice, unlike the self-service checkouts molsey

1:43am Tue 10 Dec 13

Harold_Monk says...

Avoid them at all costs. Always goes wrong. Need assistance. Prefer merry chat with check-out staff
Avoid them at all costs. Always goes wrong. Need assistance. Prefer merry chat with check-out staff Harold_Monk

5:09pm Mon 23 Dec 13

twangster says...

Reading the News Shopper just earlier, I was shocked as to the hate that people had against these self-service checkouts. I have used them on many an occasion before, and personally I have never really had any problems with them. They are convenient, speedy, and innovative.
These checkouts were introduced as an attempt to develop the world and allow life to run smoother. All the customer is required to do is to learn to use a scanner and press a few buttons, an act some people seem too lazy to pick up.
Reading the News Shopper just earlier, I was shocked as to the hate that people had against these self-service checkouts. I have used them on many an occasion before, and personally I have never really had any problems with them. They are convenient, speedy, and innovative. These checkouts were introduced as an attempt to develop the world and allow life to run smoother. All the customer is required to do is to learn to use a scanner and press a few buttons, an act some people seem too lazy to pick up. twangster

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree