Article | December 12, 2016

The Unknown Truth About Self-Checkout

Source: APG Cash Drawer, LLC

By Judit Ruckes, Marketing Manager, APG Cash Drawer

If you’ve been through a self-checkout lane at a supermarket or department store, you’ve probably concluded that “self” is more aspiration than reality. Something always seems to go wrong, prompting the self-checkout machine to inform you an attendant is on the way to help.

Perhaps the scanner can’t scan a coupon or an item’s bar-code. Or the option for yellow onions doesn’t appear to be available, though the monitor is telling you it will take Vidalia, Bermuda, pearl, Maui, red, green – just about any onion but the ones you have.

Then the station keeps insisting you place your two items in a bag even if you don’t want to. The conveyor belt kicks into reverse, and your items are back at the scanner. The time you were supposed to save at self-checkout just turned into a five-minute battle of wills with a machine self-checkout, that only a human equipped with an override key can arbitrate. If human intervention is unavoidable, then what’s the point?

So much for expediency! You go through this once or twice, and next time you decide to take your chances at a regular checkout. A smile and thank you from a cashier beats a frustrating experience with automation any time.