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Self Serve Checkouts, Good, Bad or Evil?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Mkey, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. More and more Retailers are installing Self serve Checkouts, some people say they are great, quicker and easier, less hassle.
    Others like Unions and staff are saying they are wrong and replacing people on the front line, so less jobs.

    But with Retailers cutting Back Staff in record numbers, I can see both sides of the Argument, Retailers say with the limited staff out Replacing Stock, helping Customers, cleaning, Etc people will be happier, rather than wasting staff to look after sales of 1 or 2 fiddly little Items.
    But Customers are saying this is one of the Reasons they are shopping online, Very few Staff around to help and the few staff that are there are kids with no experience.

    For the Record, I work in Retail (and have done all sorts of Retail jobs for the best part of 20 years) and I personally like the self serve Checkouts, from myself as a Customer it means I can get in and out nice and quick. And from a Retail Employee perspective if I had them in the Store I worked for, it would mean more time putting out Stock and keeping the place clean and tidy instead of wasting the time of a Staff member for every register for every fiddly little sale.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have an issue with Customer Service, it's my Job, but as soon as anyone brings up the issue of self serve Checkouts, it seems to bring out very opposing opinions on the Subject.

    Your Thoughts?

  2. Good, bad, evil.

    All of the above.
  3. I just got out of retail (at one of the big two grocery stores). Personally I love self-checkouts, but only if I have less than the full weekly shop.

    They're slower if you're buying fresh fruit and vegies (which I buy a lot).

    Also the Woolies ones are far superior to the Coles ones. The Coles ones will not scan item B until item A is placed in the bagging area and weighed to confirm you're not stealing anything. Much slower.
    Their computer also tells you every time to remove your card from the EFTPOS terminal and makes you press "Okay" (why can't it just detect that I already removed it?).
  4. I'd be happier if when I went through the Self-Serve staff weren't standing around virtually 'bullying' me to use it while they are standing round chatting to each other.....
  5. i refuse to use any self serve checkouts as it is taking away jobs.
    Do you think the retailers will lower their prices due to a reduction in Staff?
    Nope...they just increase their bottom line profit.
  6. Do you also refuse to buy anything that is manufactured by machine? Is your motorbike handcrafted?
  7. I like them. I can get out faster and with better packing than the manned registers and less fuss.

    I wish my local supermarket had them.

    (full disclosure: I worked at Woolies (then called Safeway) for 9 years finishing in 2004. Even after not working for Woolies for 8 years now I can still scan and bag faster than the kids on the registers now)
  8. I like them but neither my local (ie most used) Coles or Woolies has them yet.
  9. Checkouts open before they put in self service: 1.

    Checkouts open after they put in self service: 1.

    Bottom line is better though, quite right.

    I like self service, especially when I'm grumpy & don't feel like talking & smilling.
  10. In-store retail has died by roughly 25% across the board over the last several years. 50% and above in specialised markets. Of prior can buy from online at reduced price why buy from the shop?

    I don't like the self serve as to many idiots go through with their monthly shop making it almost as fast as regular checkouts. Besides, the people working the checkouts need to earn their keep. Of i'm paying, they can damn well serve me.
  11. Would you like to go into a bike shop and have no person assist you at the purchasing end of the deal?
    That's not really comparing apples with apples.

    My issue is I would rather be served by a person. It also creates jobs for the unskilled and for people under the age of 18.

    Taking on the manufacturing issue is another whole different kettle of fish as then we can get into the debate of food production.

    I see the big difference at the Supermarkets where regular 'Staffed' check outs are closed and there is one person trying to oversee 6 self service machines.
  12. #12 ogden, Feb 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I find them inconvenient. I buy fruit and vegies from the little man, so when I shop at either of those retailers (seldom), its only for a few bits. Never more than two bag fulls. They go straight in the bags I'm carrying. No trolley. When I get to the register the bags are gently upended onto the conveyor shelf, leaving me free to pack. This makes the chick on the register faster. And things generally go back in the same bag. Like with like. Heavy stuff at the bottom.

    The automated checkouts don't have much shelf space. It's a pain to empty the bag. Rather than emptying and filling up again,there is now an extra step for me. This could be solved by taking along an extra empty bag for when I got to the checkout. But then the heavy stuff would end up on top.

    Plus I hate that what was a social relationship liberated by the cash nexus to a polite yet impersonal greeting, is now a cash nexus liberated of the social interaction, where I pay to do the work of some soon to be unemployed bloke under the dutiful gaze of the surveillance cameras.

    I don't see how it benefits me, or how it benefits poor bloke ushering me unenthusiastically toward the automated checkout, lest he be one of those soon to be named surplus to requirements.

    This trend within our society - where service and polite interaction is supplanted by the inconvenience of inflexible automation, techniques of behaviour modification and surveillance - makes me uneasy. I can feel Weber's iron cage slowly closing around me.

    [URL="]Here's a song to cheer us up...[/URL]
  13. Fair enough, didn't notice a difference at my supermarket, apart form it being quicker, less hassle, & no cheaper.
  14. I find them hand when I'm just buying a carton of milk or loaf of bread, but when I've got more than a handful of items it's just as easy to go through the manned check outs.

    A few times, even with only one or two items, it was quicker to go through the manned check out, because there as a line up at the self server ones.
  15. While I think about it, I remember my mum getting upset when the majority of service stations went 'self serve'. Is this really all that different?
  16. Like it or not, it's how it os going to be.

    Assuming 90% don't like them (which I suspect is a VAST overstatement), it still won't make any difference. Why? Because people complain, but don't act. Action is inconvenient.

    Me? I'd rather a human. I personaly don't like that to push us to use the self-serve many of the human isles are ripped out (Kmart, i'm looking at you). Handycaping one service to push another is natural and businesslike in this day and age but that doesn't mean I have tio like it.

    I'm one of those few people out there who votes with my wallet. If you can smell the bullsh1t and see how someone is being screwed, go elsewhere or shut your trap.
  17. Yes.

    I would, indeed, be more than willing to pay to avoid the Australian idea of customer service. Fortunately I don't have to because, outside of grocery items, buying online is generally cheaper so I win both ways.
  18. I hate them.
  19. i would like to take a minute silence as we have found something that Rob & I both agree on ! hahaha
  20. Faaaaarrrrrk! :eek: