Why People Hate Self-Checkouts


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Self-checkouts were introduced to reduce waiting times and lines, improve customer experience, and cut store costs. Unfortunately, they made our lives worse, with most people hating them for these 13 reasons.  

Hate Being Made to Feel Like a Thief

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The numerous video cameras at the checkouts make many shoppers uncomfortable. They feel as if they are a step away from being called thieves. 

Others have found themselves being charged with shoplifting when they were innocent. The checkout machines were either wrong or malfunctioning and didn’t scan their items. Now, they’d rather not use one due to these unlawful accusations.   

Slower Than a Cashier

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Others hate it because the machine takes longer to scan many items compared to having a skilled cashier do it. 

See It as Doing Someone Else’s Job

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A few dislike them because they feel it isn’t their job to scan their shopping. A 60+-year-old asks, “Do I get a discount for doing someone else’s job?”

Genuinely Have Problems Using Self-Checkout

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People hate self-checkouts because they have trouble navigating the menu or working with the sensors. Some mention that sometimes the scanners are slow and less sensitive, creating long queues or demanding an attendant’s assistance. 

A poster narrates how their package of chicken wouldn’t scan, and when it did, it scanned twice. Then, they couldn’t remove the second scan without employee verification, and it took minutes to get this cleared up. 

See Self-Checkout as Anti-consumer

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“These greedy corporations want consumers to work for free. Every time you use a self-checkout, you incentivize corporations to hire fewer humans, saving them money,” describes a user.

Don’t Like Being Yelled at by a Computer Voice

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Some shoppers hate the computer voice that yells at them when they scan an item too fast, or there’s an unexpected item in the bagging area.

Exposure to Legal Liability Over a Scanning Error

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Some users also hate it because they can get charged for minor mistakes like using the scanner wrongly or forgetting to scan an item. 

Not Enough Space for Any Decent Number of Items

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Also, the checkout lanes have little room to place several items. “Even an armful of stuff fills up for self-checkout, and if you move anything, you get that error and ask for assistance,” complains a buyer.   

Sensors That Freak Out for No Reason

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Then there’s the issue where self-checkout sensors malfunction, annoying many shoppers. 

Having to Deal With Receipt Checkers at the Door

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Moreover, you must deal with a receipt checker to confirm that you didn’t steal anything. While this makes sense because the store is curbing theft, having the receipt counterchecked is time-consuming. 

Over-Stimulating Experience

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“They’re so close together (the checkouts); people are all around me. My cart is in someone’s way; someone’s cart is in my way. There’s not enough room in the bagging area to fit a full cart, so now I’m putting things I’ve already scanned into my cart next to things I haven’t scanned. It’s just a mess. Then something won’t scan or has an error, and I’ve just got to stand there and wait for someone to come over and clear it,” complains a shopper. 

Have to Wait for an Attendant Anyway

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Additionally, the self-checkouts don’t live up to their name because you have to wait for an attendant to check your ID when buying alcohol, certain aerosol sprays, or knives. And it may take forever for them to do so because they’re in charge of other checkouts.

Hate Replacing People With Machines

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Older adults hate self-checkouts because they view them as machines denying people job opportunities. In a traditional setup, stores would have an employee for each checkout. Now, one employee is responsible for manning up to eight checkouts, meaning seven people didn’t get hired. 

Source: Reddit
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