How do you feel about self-serve kiosks?

TastyReuben

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When available, do you like to use self-serve kiosks, or do you instead prefer the human connection?

I’m thinking of supermarket self-checkouts, self-ordering kiosks at fast food places, and even self-check-in at hotels and airports.

Personally, even though I like getting a little chat with service workers, I almost always choose a self-service kiosk when available, even if there’s no wait for a person. I can’t remember the last time I actually went through a checkout lane at Kroger/Target/Sam’s Club, or ordered from a counter person at McD’s.
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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My supermarket doesn't yet have scan&go, so I can't use the self checkout tills because of the trolley. The staff usually pack the bags for you here (on tills), do it for them and they are much friendlier and chatty. They all still wear masks & gloves etc, so I'm not worried about that. They are more than happy for me to leave extra stuff in the trolley if they can see it. Just put 1 up on the conveyor belt and let them know how many you have... so I unpack, they scan and I pack and we're done much more quickly and they are judged by speed and accuracy so their times improve (i know this from chatting to them) and their ratings improve etc. Happier staff and frankly until I can scan (as I go) my own stuff I'd prefer to use a till.

I don't really like the self serve because I've run into problems with some in the past. Try using a bag of your own that already has something in it... it sets alarms off and grumpy members of staff tell you you can't use your own bag if it already has something in it. So what am I meant to do with the bags contents in the mean time? I only had 2 items in it, I was buying 2 more items, I'm not going to carry 2 bags for 4 small items and I'm sure as hell not going to buy a bag for 2 items when I've got a perfectly good canvas bag that is almost empty. Yeah... not impressed.

That said, when we lived in the UK, even before we went off to cycle around the world, we used to use the scan&go as we shopped and were more than happy with it. We rarely had issues with it. The only reason we don't use it now, is that it isn't available where we live.
 

Yorky

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We don't have self service here; not in the sticks anyway. Very little is automated and with a minimum wage the equivalent of less that US$10.00/day it is unlikely to change soon.

Back in 2003 when we were last in England, my son picked us up from the airport. Calling in for petrol on the way home he alighted from the car to fill up. My wife asked "where is he going?".
 

TastyReuben

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My supermarket doesn't yet have scan&go, so I can't use the self checkout tills because of the trolley.
Before covid, it was expressly forbidden to bring a full-sized cart into the self-checkout area, or to have more items than the express checkout lanes allowed (usually, that’s around 15 items).

Once covid hit, they ended that, and now you can bring a full cart with the week’s shopping in there and take all day scanning them, which is related to this next bit:

Try using a bag of your own that already has something in it... it sets alarms off
Before covid, those damn checkout kiosks would alarm for no good reason: scan something and not get it in the bag fast enough? BEEP! Adjust some contents you’ve already scanned? BEEP!” Try and use your own bags, even after hitting the “Use My Bag” button? BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

We initially had six self-checkout scanners (we now have twice that), and it was deafening in there. For whatever reason, I’m extremely sensitive to any of those electronic beeping noises, like microwaves and oven timers, and on a busy day, I’d be almost sick to my stomach after scanning a dozen items or so.

About the same time as they relaxed the item-count rules, they either turned off the alarms or manually or through the software, and now they rarely go off.

One thing you absolutely couldn’t do before was to pick up a full bag and put it back in your cart before paying. I guess it figured you were stealing, and it was a way to enforce the item-count limit, as each kiosk has room for four bags at a time. You better be done by the fourth bag.

Now, you can pick them up, move them around, take things from one bag, put them in another…it’s almost impossible to trigger the alarms these days.

Back in 2003 when we were last in England, my son picked us up from the airport. Calling in for petrol on the way home he alighted from the car to fill up. My wife asked "where is he going?".
It’s funny when I think about it, but I’m 55 (56 in a couple of weeks), and I’m the last generation here to have been alive before self-service gas stations became the norm.

We still have one chain that’s exclusively not self-service, Swifty, and their gas is usually the cheapest as well, but there aren’t many of them. The funny thing is, having someone else pump the gas now feels like a big delay or a bother, as in, “Do I really have to explain to another person that I want a fill-up of mid-grade gas? I can’t believe this used to be the way you had to do it!” - when self-serve first came out, everyone complained about having to do it themselves! :laugh:
 

Morning Glory

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I'm not a fan of self service. Supermarkets are self service anyway, in the sense that the customer does the work: picks the food, loads it in a trolley, unloads it again to be scanned, puts it in bags, loads it into car, carries it into their house.

My feeling is that I'm paying a big mark up on prices in supermarkets, so why should I do the work? That is one of the reasons why I like home delivery. All I have to do is decant the stuff into my cupboards/fridge.
 

GadgetGuy

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I pass right by those self-checkout machines & go to a live cashier! I don't like those machines at all. They are more of a nuisance than a convenience!! I read that Walmart plans to put them in all of their stores, completely replacing live cashiers! Because of that, I won't go in those stores!! 😡
 

kaneohegirlinaz

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For the most part, I do like self-checkout.
I did have an unpleasant experience recently at my local Green Grocer who just installed self-checkout.
Let me just say that they are having some growing pains.
It didn't go well.
I had a 1/2 gal. (sorta-cuz not many manufactures make a real half gallon :facepalm:) of our favorite Ice cream ... it was pretty much melted by the time the TWO associates finally helped get me checked out!
I asked for a replacement ...
 

caseydog

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For the most part, I do like self-checkout.
I did have an unpleasant experience recently at my local Green Grocer who just installed self-checkout.
Let me just say that they are having some growing pains.
It didn't go well.
I had a 1/2 gal. (sorta-cuz not many manufactures make a real half gallon :facepalm:) of our favorite Ice cream ... it was pretty much melted by the time the TWO associates finally helped get me checked out!
I asked for a replacement ...

Since I use my own re-useable insulated bags, which hold a lot of groceries, I gave up on the cashiers. They have to move a lot of groceries quickly, so those cheap, disposable planet killer bags are great for them. Toss three items in each bag, and move on. The customer leaves with 10 bags for 20 items.

Those bags end up in my yard and garden on trash collection day.

I can get a whole grocery trip in one of my re-useable bags. A cashier can only seem to get five items in the same bag, at best. They they go right back to their comfort zone -- three items per disposable bag.

CD
 

JAS_OH1

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We still have one chain that’s exclusively not self-service, Swifty, and their gas is usually the cheapest as well, but there aren’t many of them. The funny thing is, having someone else pump the gas now feels like a big delay or a bother, as in, “Do I really have to explain to another person that I want a fill-up of mid-grade gas? I can’t believe this used to be the way you had to do it!” - when self-serve first came out, everyone complained about having to do it themselves! :laugh:
I went on a vacation once several years ago where I took my mother on her "dream" trip, which involved going to Niagara Falls, NYC, Boston, Atlantic City, and NYC. It was odd that in NJ you are NOT allowed to pump your own gas!
 

kaneohegirlinaz

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caseydog I do the same, I always have my own re-useable bags everywhere I go.
My Green Grocer had some issues with their new-fangled self-checkout computer systems ... basically, they don't work correctly and a "tech" had to come and figured it all out.
Apparently, the items that I purchased had not been programed in as yet :okay: that's how new to-them it was ... :D I wound up with some free items
 

Yorky

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Since I use my own re-useable insulated bags, which hold a lot of groceries, I gave up on the cashiers. They have to move a lot of groceries quickly, so those cheap, disposable planet killer bags are great for them. Toss three items in each bag, and move on. The customer leaves with 10 bags for 20 items.

Those bags end up in my yard and garden on trash collection day.

I can get a whole grocery trip in one of my re-useable bags. A cashier can only seem to get five items in the same bag, at best. They they go right back to their comfort zone -- three items per disposable bag.

CD

For a couple of years now, supermarkets and superstores here have ceased giving out plastic bags. If you need a bag then take your own or in some instances there are a few cardboard boxes around. However, other than tinned and packet foods, all produce is still wrapped in plastic.

In supermarkets in Malaysia back in the 90s, if you were buying pork products (available at a separate counter staffed by Chinese) the pork had to be wrapped in two plastic bags before a Muslim on checkout would handle it. They were not permitted by their religion to touch anything that had touched pork.
 

JAS_OH1

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caseydog I do the same, I always have my own re-useable bags everywhere I go.
My Green Grocer had some issues with their new-fangled self-checkout computer systems ... basically, they don't work correctly and a "tech" had to come and figured it all out.
Apparently, the items that I purchased had not been programed in as yet :okay: that's how new to-them it was ... :D I wound up with some free items
I too have reusable bags, although during the pandemic reusable bags were not allowed anywhere. Didn't matter since I didn't shop in person anyway. Now I do, a little. And I take my reusable bags with me. But, in Aldi, I like to use their extra boxes they have on hand, makes things a little more stable in my trunk and then I have a box or two to put the recycling stuff in.
 
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