Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Check it Out

One of the greatest innovations in my grocery shopping life is the self-checkout line. My local Tom Thumb put in four stations a few months ago and I find it difficult to ever go back to my old checkout ways. But what's strange is whenever I shop, there is no line at the self-checkout. I'm not complaining, but it seems like other people avoid this spot.

For some reason, the people who don't have a lot of stuff in their carts are more likely to go to the self-checkout. Since my cart is usually a quarter full, I've never wanted to be in a line behind someone who had a full cart. So this self-checkout has been awesome. It's very hands-on, easy and quick. But that's just me; a shopper who shops solely for food to feed myself and no one else.

I wonder if people find this hands-on approach rather daunting. Sure, certain items are difficult to scan, but more often than not, there's at least one very helpful employee standing around willing to give you help. I'm guessing for people that have a lot of stuff in their carts and/or have kids in tow, self-checkout might be a little off-putting.

So clue me in here. Do you like or dislike self-checkout?


Py Korry said...

Self-check out sounds like a good thing, but the only time I've used it was at Home Depot, and it didn't work out too well.

Jackson said...

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hate these stations. This is another step in the wrong direction for Customer Service. Unlike you, I have had nothing but trouble scanning the items and properly placing them in the bagging area. It always bogs down with some sort of re-scan request or halts until I properly bag the 40 lbs dog food bag. Try placing that on the scale and also get your eggs to balance up there. To me, the only thing worse than this is the key fob shopping cards they make you have to get their "savings." That is crap. Just because I do not want to be a part of their mass marketing campaign, I have to pay .25 more for my green beans. Well, screw you. (I will admit the self checkout is only good at WalMart when they only have 1 checkout gal trying to handle a line of 10 people. Maybe they should task their labor to take care of their waiting customers better.) GEEZ.

Ryan said...

It's bad enough that I have to bag my stuff half the time I go to Tom Thumb, but to make me check myself out is worse. Yes, if I have only 4 things, it's great, but I usually buy for a week. And this is not that I am over grocery work, but they used to do it for you. I haven't seen the price of food go down, though my participation is going up. What's next, a tip jar?

Kev said...

I like 'em myself. My local Tom Thumb doesn't have one; I don't shop there all that often because the prices are so high, but I'll occasionally go in there late at night if I've forgotten something for the next morning and Super Target has already closed, and I'm stuck waiting for the one slow, overworked cashier with no sacker, so a self-serve would be ain improvement.

I agree that the ones at Home Depot never seem to work right; the ones at Albertsons (made by the same company; they have to be, since it's the same female voice issuing the exact same commands) are usually OK, except for the dreaded "unexpected item in bagging area" scenario, which is fairly easily overridden by the person assigned to the area.

In general, I find these things to be faster, though; you don't have to wait in as long of a line most of the time, and there's no danger of the elderly lady in front of you showing pictures of all 10 of her grandchildren to the automated checker (at least I hope not!).