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I wish to gripe about the Self Service checkout tills that have been springing up everywhere including my local branch of Tesco.
It is so disgustingly obvious that these things have been put there to save the company employing checkout staff. I would imagine one of these machines will pay for itself within two years. These machines are definitely not there for the convenience of Tesco customers, that's for sure. It takes twice as long to unload, scan, and pack your own shopping as it would for an assistant to do it for you.
I work in I.T. myself, I love computers and machines, but even I recognise the value of simple human contact in retail environments. There is a lot to be said for a simple "hello" or "thank you" from a checkout assistant at the supermarket. Not to mention the much nicer feeling of handing your money to a human being instead of a machine. So many aspects of life are already impersonal enough as it is without a soulless shopping experience as well.
Unmanned checkouts - a cynical attempt to force customers to use the self service tills?
What really winds me up, though, is when you go into Tesco at certain times of day, and of 10 "manned" checkouts, only one of them is actually "manned", the rest are left unattended, presumably in a cynical attempt to force customers to use the self service tills.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not an "anti-Tesco" person by any means. I like the shop. I just find these self service checkouts smack of laziness and penny pinching on the part of Tesco, and I find their very existence a bit of an insult.
The joke is, at busy times Tesco have to employ a member of staff to attend the "self service" checkouts. They're there to assist all the poor shoppers who get befuddled trying to use these machines, and all of these shoppers are noticeably annoyed and angry at having to use them in the first place!
If anything I'd say I'a Tesco fan, but I don't see one single redeeming feature in these "do it yourself" checkouts. Come on Tesco - surely you can afford to ditch them and go back to good old fashioned "members of staff"? Your customers would really appreciate it.