Are you a self-serve or checkout shopper? 44



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The self-service checkouts have become an increasingly visible feature at Australian supermarkets like at Woolies and Coles. They’re designed to make our lives easier, reduce queue waits, as well as increase the volume of customers through the shops using minimal staff. Goodbye ‘checkout chicks’ and hello do-it-yourself!

How do you feel about the self-service checkouts? Do you prefer the checkouts operated by people instead?

Some people love them: they find them fast, easy to use and convenient. However others find they break the contract between retailer and customer. For many shoppers they would much rather interact with a person at the shops than deal with a self-service machine. Plus we have to wonder, are these self-service checkouts complementing or replacing people/jobs?

Apparently most people are in fact happy to choose the automated checkout when they have a few items but when it comes to a big shop, they want a smiling face.

Which do you prefer – automatic checkout machines or being served by a person, and why? 

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  1. In particularly our state, South Australia, I feel everything that can be done, to save jobs for now and into the future, should be done.
    I also feel that the supermarkets using auto check outs are doing so to cut wage bills, they aren’t doing the shopper any favours at all. When did they?
    The one occasion I did use the auto check out, and said that I hadn’t used one before (i.e. would you mind showing me how) I was given the ‘it’s all there’ comment, i.e. follow the instructions, now how long would it have taken her to give me some brief instructions? Courtesy towards customers?
    And whilst I am on the topic of supermarkets, I mostly use the one that has 5 letters in its name. Their new system of customer ordering and pick up, which has large trolleys being taken around the aisles by staff, grrrrr they take up so much room it is ridiculous!
    That’s all.

    1 REPLY
    • I like the self serve checkouts best and one reason is that I get a little tired of being called “sweetie, honey , darling and other little endearments. It seems to be the women checkout operators aged between 40 and 50 who like to do this and I know they do not mean offense but I really wish they could speak to me as they do the younger shoppers. Just because I am a pensioner, have grey hair and wrinkles I still have a good brain, am fit and able and not a dottery old person at all. Well that is why I prefer self service checkouts.

  2. I prefer going to the regular checkout because, hopefully, it keeps the checkout jobs available. It would be interesting to know how many lost their jobs when it started

    2 REPLY
    • I agree Yvonne. I’ll bet a lot of people lost their jobs when the self serve became available. Besides I like to have a bit of a chat with the operators when they are scanning my groceries.

  3. I use the self serve check out quite often, especially if I have a few items. Most times faster than waiting at the normal check out. If I have any problems there is a staff member handy to help me out.

  4. I will only go to a person on the register. Self serve you do not get a discount for serving and packing for yourself and also those self serve registers play up.

    1 REPLY
  5. It HAS to be checkout in preference to self serve, which is just another very mean idea of the supermarkets to, employ less staff, get us to do all the work yet charge us the same prices as are available at the normal checkout! At least at Aldi, where we DO have to pack our own bags, we get much cheaper prices to compensate us, and there are no self-serve outlets either, so staff are not being robbed of work.

    1 REPLY
  6. Our Coles have told us that these automatic checkouts aren’t taking people’s jobs. Sorry but we have eyes, and we can see how many ordinary checkouts are now missing. So no, we will only use them if we have about 5 items.
    Never if we have more. However they are making it extremely difficult by removing the “less than 12 item” aisle.
    So it would mean lining up behind trolleys to buy milk and bread. Luckily the staff are still happy and make you feel welcome.

  7. Definitely a check out. Supermarkets are trying to force us to use self serve by not having many counters open, when there’s a long queue, I just simply walk out.

  8. The big two are starting to feel the pinch of competition after decades of open slather for them on prices. Part of their answer is apparently cutting wages costs by getting rid of check out operators. I don’t deal with machines, I like a smiling face and a few pleasant words. That is why I shop at Aldi. I just hope that they do not go down the same track in the future!

  9. Prefer to use check out, although do occasionally use self serve. The latter can take longer.

  10. Went into Coles yesterday, early in the morning there were three checkouts open, got my ten items, got to the checkouts there was only one left open, had to stand in line with six other people who had half full trolley’s, it tells you something, a lot of people DON’T LIKE the auto machine’s. There forcing you to use them, I like to see a friendly face and someone you can talk to. They are cutting back on jobs you have to go on the hunt to find anybody on the floor if you need help. Even the shelves are always half empty, or it’s right at the back and you can’t reach it. Not impressed with Coles where I live. Rather shop at ALDI’S where you get a friendly smile.

  11. A check out for sure. It is a lot of jobs in our community for kids especially. Prices will not drop with self service but the owners or share holders will make more profit.

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