Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes

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Phottoman
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 09:50:36 (permalink)
David_NYC
I would have taken a Magic Marker and wrote on the machine "This machine has a scale to weigh your purchases because we think all customers are thieves."

I believe that would be "tagging," and I wouldn't want to be seen defacing property, even if I felt the same way you do.  Sorry.
 
Photto
#31
David_NYC
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 10:06:23 (permalink)
Photo, those scales in self service lanes are a sore spot with me. When those machines first came to the NYC metro area, it was not mentioned anywhere (the newspapers, supermarket advertising, this forum, etc.) that there were scales built in. If a cantelope scan bombed out, the clerk would reset the aisle for me but not tell me why. I had to do a search on  the Internet to learn there were scales built into these machines. That made me very angry for two reasons:
1. It was the cause of most forced halts in the scanning process.
2. The supermarket chains did not, and still do not, publicize they have anti-boosting features built into these machines. These features do not work all that well, and waste your time everytime they are tripped off. But the supermarket chains do not risk offending customers by telling them they can't trust them.
 
Sure, you could get "done" for writing on the machine. But shouldn't the supermarket chains be honest with their customers and write it on there themselves?
post edited by David_NYC - 2011/07/21 10:07:42
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Tony Bad
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 10:13:30 (permalink)
I am not sure I understand why this would be an issue, unless you are trying to steal something. 
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felix4067
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 10:51:50 (permalink)
Tony Bad

I am not sure I understand why this would be an issue, unless you are trying to steal something. 

That's pretty much what I was thinking.
 
Although it is a huge PITA when you're trying to buy something that doesn't weigh enough to register as being bagged, it has gotten better since they've added the "I don't want to bag this item" option.
#34
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 13:28:45 (permalink)
David_NYC

Photo, those scales in self service lanes are a sore spot with me. When those machines first came to the NYC metro area, it was not mentioned anywhere (the newspapers, supermarket advertising, this forum, etc.) that there were scales built in. If a cantelope scan bombed out, the clerk would reset the aisle for me but not tell me why. I had to do a search on  the Internet to learn there were scales built into these machines. That made me very angry for two reasons:
1. It was the cause of most forced halts in the scanning process.
2. The supermarket chains did not, and still do not, publicize they have anti-boosting features built into these machines. These features do not work all that well, and waste your time everytime they are tripped off. But the supermarket chains do not risk offending customers by telling them they can't trust them.

Sure, you could get "done" for writing on the machine. But shouldn't the supermarket chains be honest with their customers and write it on there themselves?


At all of the stores in our area that have self-checkouts, there is a voice prompt after you scan the item that says "Please place the item in the bag."  It will repeat the message over and over until the item is placed in a bag or (such as cases of soda) on the platform in the bagging area unless you touch the spot on the display that says you "don't want to bag the item" (for machines that have this option).  I would think you would have to be really spaced out not to realize, without being told, that there is either a scale, some other electronic device (or perhaps an elf) in the bagging area that is determining that you have not placed your scanned item there, triggering the repeated voice prompt.  Hence there was/is no need for the store to advertise this fact.

post edited by 6star - 2011/07/21 13:30:54
#35
David_NYC
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 14:19:24 (permalink)
Tony Bad

I am not sure I understand why this would be an issue, unless you are trying to steal something. 

I have never shoplifted. But, customers need training to keep the scanners from bombing out. Lets say I buy a 12 pack of paper towels. I would manually put those in my shopping cart after the cashier scanned them because it eats up all the room on the counter. But if I were try that with the original self service lanes, the machine would bomb out. I once bought two cantelopes and a bag of onions. To keep the onions from stinking up the cantelopes, I put the cantelopes in plastic bags. This particular scanner had towers that checked the size of items as well as weight. I caught on when the clerk came over and wrapped the plastic bag tightly over the cantelope. The scanner detected the height of the plastic bag and declared the item was not a cantelope!
 
I resent designers who take the position "let them do it over until they get it right". But if you knew the machine had scales, you might know you can't just put the paper towels right into the shopping cart. Then there is produce at Pathmark. Do you know the reason why scanning stops when you scan a head of pre-packaged (cello) name brand lettuce? Because Pathmark makes the clerk manually verify ALL Produce Department purchases.
 
To slightly change that line from Animal House, "Fat, drunk and stupid is A BETTER WAY way to go through life, son." That way, you will be oblivious as to why those scanner do the things they do.
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Tony Bad
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/21 15:18:58 (permalink)
David_NYC
I have never shoplifted.

 
Didn't mean to suggest otherwise. Sorry if it came across that way!
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David_NYC
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/22 16:50:07 (permalink)
6star
At all of the stores in our area that have self-checkouts, there is a voice prompt after you scan the item that says "Please place the item in the bag."  It will repeat the message over and over until the item is placed in a bag or (such as cases of soda) on the platform in the bagging area unless you touch the spot on the display that says you "don't want to bag the item" (for machines that have this option).  I would think you would have to be really spaced out not to realize, without being told, that there is either a scale, some other electronic device (or perhaps an elf) in the bagging area that is determining that you have not placed your scanned item there, triggering the repeated voice prompt.  Hence there was/is no need for the store to advertise this fact.


I guess I come across a bit of a nutjob on these posts about self-checkout lanes. I attribute this to having worked for several years in a place with machine designers who had a real passion to built fault-free systems. Like the chef who spends months perfecting his signature recipe.
I guess I just notice things more than the average shopper. I did make a colossal blunder when these machines first came out; I thought you just recorded the purchases, packed them up, and settled the bill. It never occured to me they had anti-boosting features built in. And a first impression is a lasting impression, namely that these machines are not yet ready for prime time. Some grocery executives seem to agree with me, as this is the subject of this thread.
post edited by David_NYC - 2011/07/22 16:51:19
#38
bartl
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/22 17:16:27 (permalink)
David_NYC I would have taken a Magic Marker and wrote on the machine "This machine has a scale to weigh your purchases because we think all customers are thieves."

Of course, if you wanted to be accurate, you would write, "This machine has a scale to weigh your purchase because we think SOME customers are thieves."
 
Bart
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/22 17:26:10 (permalink)
David_NYC:
I worked about 40 years in the grocery business until I retired about 11 years ago when the store where I had worked for 37 years closed.  We had no self-checkouts, since this time was primarily before they ever became available.  I personally like them, use them wherever available, and have few problems with them, even though the self-checkouts at different grocery companies are slightly different from each other. 
 
The main reason I like them is that with self-checkouts, I don't have to stand in a line behind one or more "old ladies" (it is never men) who can't seem to find their money or their credit card in their purse, want to tell the checker all about their grandchildren and show her pictures of them, or get all the way to the checkout before they remember they need "just one more item" and have to "run" back thru the store to get it.  Stores around here usually have at least 6 self-checkouts available, so there is seldom very much wait in a line to get one.  Let's face it.  I have other things to do and other places to go and I don't want to make a career out of waiting in a checkout lane.
#40
ces1948
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Re:Supermarkets consider replacing self-checkout lanes 2011/07/22 17:44:33 (permalink)
Our largest suoermarket chain around here is Publix by far. I've never seen a self checkout in Publix though I haven't been in all of them. I don't know if that's just their corporate philosophy of they've never found a suitable system. They do have a couple of 10 items or less lanes which you can usually get through pretty fast. Last time though I got stuck behind a couple of VERY elderly ladies who were having all kinds of problems with a Publix gift card they were trying to use. The one who was trying to use the card ran it through the swiper several times the wrong way and also couldn't hear a word, finally the cashier came around to swipe it for them, then they didn't agree with how much was left on the card. Everybody behind me bailed to the other 10 items or less lane which then had about 10-12 people in it leaving me stuck behind the ladies.
I wished Publix has self checkouts at that point.
#41
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