back to article 'Unexpected item in baggage area' assigned to rubbish area

"Please wait while we verify your bags." Oo-er, sounds a bit rude! Youtube Video In a Carry On film, they’d follow this up with "Ooh nurse, feel my pulse". Or as Butthead might say: "Uh-huh-huh. You said 'verify'. Uh-huh-huh..." After last week's SftWS column was spiked, The Reg was kind enough to re-run one of my old …

  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    Fucking self-scan tills!

    My nearby Sainsburys has a habit of closing all the operator tills after about 9PM.

    I refuse to use the self-scan ones and always ask for an assistant.

    Keeps spotty teens off the streets, and doesn't give me a pocketful of shrapnel. Sainsburys tills do not dispense 50p pieces. I once got 4 x 20p plus 9 x 2p coins as change. That was the last time I used one.

    It's the only way to be sure.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

      "I refuse to use the self-scan ones and always ask for an assistant."

      tesco refuse to put an assistant on the tills at night, even if there are 20-30 people queuing to use the self-service ones.

      The one thing worse than having to put your weekly shop through one is being behind 4 people who are doing it.

    2. Hollerith 1

      Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

      Until I understood that not a single staff person would go to the tills and serve me, I was always turning up late at M&S, getting a basket-full of quick to eat (= expensive) stuff, and getting to the tills to find I'd have to do it myself at which point I would put down the basket and walk away. Behind me, the staff person watching me would then pick it up to reshelve the items. I didn't want to keep being mean tot hem (they are only doing what they are told), but I totted up what I would have spend those four days and figured M&S didn't think £86 was worth it.

      I refuse to use them. I figure I am paying for the staff time calculated into the prices. If they gavce me a 27% discount or whatever figure it is that cover staff time, I'd be willing to serve myself.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

        It's closer to 1%, probably less.

        Minimum wage, 2min per customer is 21p. Double that for employer costs, so 42p.

        Staff spend far more of their time shelf-stacking, so you got your money's worth.

    3. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

      Sorry - I use the self-scans to get rid of all my 1ps and 2ps. They're a lot more accommodating than vending machines.

      What puzzles me is that there's often someone using a change machine a few metres away, for the same purpose, who's happy to pay a percentage for the privilege.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

        Actually, I think it was El Reg that taught me this trick a couple months ago, so I use a "self-checkout" only if I have a huge purse of change I've accumulated.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

          and lidl you pack QUICK, they really shift people through the tills. I walk past a home bargains on the way home from work, they have started selling basics (milk, bread, raw meats etc) and fresh vegetables/fruit, often enough for me not to shop for a few days and cheaper than supermarkets too.

    4. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

      I don't use them.

      I'm waiting for the companies that do to realise.

      You put self-service into my bank. I still use the counter. But then I stopped paying in cheques to you entirely, signed up for an online-only account and you've had to send me all kinds of doodads to sign in electronically and maintain the payment app ever since.

      You put self-service into my supermarket. So I stopped going in there on the most crowded evenings, fighting against people and/or repackers (depending on time of day), pushing stuff through checkouts myself (but, hell, even the normal checkouts I have to unload onto a conveyor belt, then repack, then wheel to my car, then repack into the boot, then unpack again when I'm at home! Instead, I get YOU to do all the packing and drive it to my house in the middle of peak hours and at my convenience, in a specialised refrigerated vehicle, pay you a pittance extra to do so and then use it as an opportunity to order 20 bottles of Coke at the same time which I'd never do if I was the one to have to unpack it. Hell, you have to bag it for me too. The odd substitution that I'm quite entitled to refuse is small-fry next to what you're having to do for your customer now.

      I find this everywhere you go. Businesses are trying to push tasks that THEY used to do onto their own customers. I'm at a loss how this make their customers feel like they are getting good service. And it translates up to government level too. Now *I* have to sort the rubbish that I'm paying you to take away? So I've just make the hugest compost heap known to man in my back garden instead.

      Sure, they might think they have "won" just as much as I have in most cases, through extra fees, moving of services, etc. but they have forgotten that they are supposed to be providing a service and that involves something more than the bare minimum to technically qualify. We just move elsewhere, where we get service we expect, and the infrastructure costs must be cutting into their profits like mad. How many self-service checkouts need their own dedicated person to stand there, check them, cope with errors etc?

      I actually refuse to use self-service if that's all there is. If I need one item and there's queues on the "normal" checkouts, I might do it. But I tried to use the passport-control ones at Stansted once. Instead of a long-queue, a fleeting glance and "Where have you come from today, Sir?", I got a longer queue, stupid people not understanding the system, then when I got to the front it just refused to work for me (literally 5 minutes just standing still while it tried), then I had to talk to the woman who is there JUST FOR THIS EVENT (and was very busy with everyone it was refusing), walk back out, go back to the "normal" queues and suffer the same fleeting glance as normal. As such, I will never use them again.

      I'm sure on paper it looks good, if you only look at one column of numbers. But overall they are losing my custom in all the places that try this rubbish on me. An option, yes. A cheque-paying-in machine in the corner is great when I don't want to have to queue. But MAKING me use it? No.

      There's a reason that the large supermarkets are dropping profits. There's a reason that the banks are closing branches left, right and centre (and still haven't caught up with the 21st Century, or even most European banks, and do things like text you for EVERY transaction, for free). There's a reason that shops and supermarkets are losing out to firms that do things like deliver fresh food every week (Graze, etc.), or have a warehouse that stocks everything that you can order in one click online. It's not that Amazon are so fantastically wonderful. It's that it provides the service I'm looking for. And they get customer service when things go wrong. Have you ever SEEN the Amazon returns / warranty service? It's wonderful.

      And, to be honest, I'd rather pay slightly more to get service than slightly less and be made to scan my own damn groceries in an inefficient and yet still-completely-untrusting way (You really think I'm going to put two oranges in the bag after scanning only one? Nice way to treat your paying customers of many years).

      I've seen this all over, and the polarisation between "company that gets customer service" and "company that doesn't" that exists now is just making me change the way I do things more than ever before.

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

        A fucking impressive rant, maybe you got into the pub at opening time today and drank a pint or ten waiting for your mates to arrive :-)

        However, and it's a big however. There's many a word I could use to describe Graze boxes, after the word "expensive", but "fresh" sure as hell isn't one of them.

        They have very, very neat branding, marketing, sales and pricing strategies.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fucking self-scan tills!

        I used to shop at Sainsbury's for the 'free' bags, then realised I'd have to serve myself, and pay about a tenner over the odds for the privilege.

        I now pay much *less*, inc. the odd 3p for plastic bags, and I am served by a friendly human - I now shop at Lidl.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're all idiots...

    No, not the spotty oik masquerading as a checkout assistant, but the self-scan till.

    Treat them like an idiot - just do everything nice and slow and resist the temptation to shout at it or kick it when it doesn't understand that you're in a hurry and everything will be fine.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: They're all idiots...

      I've tried that and they start acting up if you do things too slow as well. It's a no win situation.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: They're all idiots...

        even worse if the bags wont open. They get shitty at you for scanning too quick and shitty at you for opening a bag. they even get shitty at you if you pre-empt and start opening bags before you start.

        Nah screw em. The self scan conveyor belts at asda are worse too, at least you only have a basket full of stuff at a small self service, the large ones are made for despair and suffering with a big shop.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: They're all idiots...

      Why do they need to summon a human to "verify your bags"? All the till needs to do is check incremental weight. It should be the same with my bags (typical hessian bags-for-life) as it is with the supermarket's polythene bags. It's not as if I'm asking it to accommodate my desire to pack my groceries on top of a hundredweight sack of coal that I happen to have with me.

      1. David Nash

        Re: They're all idiots...

        Verify your bags is on the "scan as you go" machines, not the "scan one at a time at the checkout" machines. Yes there are two types of auto checkouts now. The Scan as you go ones allow you to pack items directly from the shelf into your shopping bags, which is why they can't do incremental weight checking.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: They're all idiots...

      I'm surprised so many elReg readers are having problems with something as basic as a checkout. Personally my job is full of electrical equipment that rarely works as it should.

      Yes the scales are often not working correctly, so try to thump down the heaviest thing you're buying first, so that it's more likely to register it. Don't bother mucking around with bags, just pack after you've paid. Too much loose change? Just pay on card, it's free, and it builds up loads of innocent looking transactions that make you more anonymous.

      And again, thank you to the commentator who pointed that you can turn the volume down to 'Off' in most supermarkets. No more annoying "Unexpected item..."

  3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

    Welcome back, Herr Dabbs!

    Q: What's a grumpy German called?

    A: A sour Kraut.

  4. Dick

    Come on, don't be coy,

    what caused last week's spiking?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Come on, don't be coy,

      It's not for me to say. Shame, since now you'll never get to see that video featuring heavy metal, partying, drug-taking and lots and lots of nudity.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Come on, don't be coy,

        In fact the real Dabbsy was away for brain scanning so he could be replaced by an auto-innuendo-bot.

  5. Teiwaz Silver badge

    BLEEP. “Help is coming.”

    Although I generally prefer the demented logic of the auto-checkout to the demented illogic of a human till most of the time, I'm very much concerned 'Help is coming' is an empty assurance in most cases.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: BLEEP. “Help is coming.”

      I was being served at a staffed till when the BLEEP help is coming was heard and the person serving me stopped serving me and walked around to help the person who had opted for self service. This is one way to train your customers that self-service is always the better option. Rather than waiting, I left, popped into the local petrol station and got the milk and cheap grated cheese I was needing. Now I go there a lot: stuff seems OK, quick turn-over, and I am always served by very nice people. That and home delivery have made groceries nice and easy.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must be to young

    This weeks column has gone right over my head, is 37 to young to be getting the innuendo jokes? I've never thought the machine was insinuating anything other than there was to much weight in the bagging area. Tesco's self service has always been pretty good and their scan and go works like a charm for me, also, if you ever get the random check message, they only check the easiest 5 items in the top of the bag, (I overheard a new assistant getting trained) and that has always worked for me. Morrison's system has worked pretty well, but they have crammed in an extra till or two into the same area as Tesco's system and its a little cramped.

    Either way, you old folks keep complaining and don't use it, I like sailing right though with my shopping.

    Posting anonymously because I don't want the supermarkets checking my details of course!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I must be to young

      I'm happy to report that after a mere 6 beers (and some occasional Jägermeister) the article makes exactly zero sense. So don't worry about the innuendo jokes too much...

    2. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: I must be to young - random bag check

      If you want to ensure a 'random' check EVERY time you shop, take a tip from my woman.

      In a very busy Sainsbury, in the days when you picked up a scanner on the way in, and scanned stuff as you put it in the trolley, she got a little irritated that there were only 2 (of 8) checkouts manned, while a dozen supervisors stood around discussing hairstyles or TV or whatever, and suggestes they could reduce the long lines by getting off their fat arses and manning the tills.

      Four 'random' bag checks in a row later (and this was everything out, reche ked and left for us to pack again), we took t using Safeway down the road.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I must be to young

      Dabbs isn't very good at it.

      I know some very good ladies who would be happy to give him a lesson.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I must be to young

      "Morrison's system has worked pretty well, but they have crammed in an extra till or two into the same area as Tesco's system and its a little cramped."

      Same here. The only gripe I have is when paying by cash and I've just dropped a fistful of shrapnel in, it starts sorting and counting then shouts out "Please insert more cash" before it's finished counting and I've got that couple of seconds wondering if I really didn't put enough in or should I wait a little until it sorts itself out. On the upside, unlike another commenters report of getting many coins as change, Morrisons always gives change using the minimum number of coins except on those rare times when it's out of 50p coins or similar.

      "Either way, you old folks keep complaining and don't use it, I like sailing right though with my shopping.

      Maybe I've lead a sheltered 52 years of life but I also don't see innuendo in the robot voices and always check the queue lengths/quantities before deciding on a robot or manned till, although I never take a trolly load to a robot till. It's good mental exercise to estimate if four people queuing for the four robots will be quicker than the old dear with a trolly load at a manned till and has she got her purse out in advance or not!

      1. Danny 14

        Re: I must be to young

        morrisons shrapnel conveyor works, the asda one doesn't. Morrisons is usually crammed at the tills asda malfunctions regularly. Both are more expensive than the lidl, aldi and home bargains so I use neither morrisons or asda.

  7. graeme leggett

    At Morrison's, if you separate the plastic bags before starting scanning so your goods can be packed quickly - the scales complain and the assistant has to override the 'error'

    If you start scanning, the bloody bags won't separate as you try and cram goods in, the scales complain and the assistant etc

    I find it easier to pile everything up on bagging area and then pack after paying. Even if it's embarrassing with the next shopper breathing down your neck.

  8. Rusty 1

    Self-scan FTW

    Almost every time I go shopping, I find I can be finished off using self-service far faster than if a member of staff has to give me a hand (benchmarked against a similar customers' loads I spy on)

    Ahem, yes, it's just being efficient: pick, scan, pack, repeat. Nothing complicated about it. Unless there is a stupid staff verification required because you are buying eggs on October 31st. FFS Sainsbury's!

    1. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: Self-scan FTW @ Rusty1

      I got finished off with a self service once.

      Just saying.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self-scan FTW

      Unless there is a stupid staff verification required because you are buying eggs on October 31st. FFS Sainsbury's!

      So there you go, it's not so efficient after all, is it?

    3. David 18

      Re: Self-scan FTW

      " I find I can be finished off using self-service far faster than if a member of staff has to give me a hand (benchmarked against a similar customers' loads I spy on)"

      Please tell me that was all intentional ;)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find myself tempted to topple the machines like dominos

    so that each falls onto it's neighbours bagging area. I guess that's why they don't arrange them in a circle. The resulting recursion might create an accidental second instance of the Large Hadron Collider

    Anyway, I'm safe from retaliation for now - the current generation of machines can't climb stairs

    1. Pliny the Whiner

      Re: I find myself tempted to topple the machines like dominos

      "Anyway, I'm safe from retaliation for now - the current generation of machines can't climb stairs."

      Or deal with doors. Robots have a terrible time negotiating the fine art of opening a door. So, if you want to avoid the entire Robot Apocalypse out of fear or general disinterest, just close your door.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: I find myself tempted to topple the machines like dominos

        Soon enough the robots will negotiate any door with an RPG.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Using your own bags

    This is IMHO the achillies heel of these devil devices.

    You 'Verify your bags' and start scanning. Without fail duing scanning at least once it will need to have your bags verified.

    As a result I put everything onto the post-scanned scales unbagged.

    At the end, I pack it all into my bag.

    IS this quicker than getting my bage verified again?

    IMHO, yes.

    Now it someone wants to rant of coin counting machines, I'll give you an upvote.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: coin counting machines

      A coin counting machine is simply a device for routing coins from the coin-in slot to the coin-rejected chute. I felt much better once I'd learnt to accept that

    2. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Using your own bags

      Ah - you are that annoying sod that gets in front of me! Nice range of disguises, btw.

      Not as amusing as the 'helpful' PFY that kept picking up items from the scales at random and putting them in bags. His mother didn't twig either that was why the Voice kept going off every 20 seconds...

  11. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    They vary

    "This weeks column has gone right over my head, is 37 to young to be getting the innuendo jokes? "

    I don't think so. He references Beavis and Butthead, and they would turn EVERYTHING into an innuendo, sort of. "Hey, go mow the lawn!" "Hehe... mow". "Go get some lunch" "Hehe... he said get".

    That said... I must agree, those self-checkouts are CRAP. I favor employment and use a live checkout every time. They do vary though -- Hy-Vee's more or less work, and although the display was rather sluggish you could actually scan items and shove in money as fast as you want, and I saw it complain about the weight once but didn't interrupt the checkout process anyway. Walmart's is basically garbage, very slow, it makes you wait for it to catch up before you do anything (who wants to pause like 5-10 seconds between scanning each item?), it constantly is whining about wanting items removed and re-added to the checkout (and just stops dead until you do), and even worse I saw it flat-out crash out in mid-checkout when someone was trying to use it. I refuse to even use it.

  12. TheOldGuy

    "Old is where the real action is at."

    I wish.......

  13. Dr_N Silver badge

    French Balls

    I'm sure there are better French terms for balls.

    "Glaouis" for example.

    You're obviously not down-wid-da-kidz, Mr Dabbs.

    (Although I think it's Maghrebi in origin.)

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "competitors such as Morrisons, which even ran an ad campaign promising it would provide more humans on tills"

    I can remember Tesco advertising the same thing.

    1. david bates

      Me too....I don't remember any adverts stating that they weren’t bothering with that any more so one must assume 'one in front' is still ongoing...

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I can't help thinking that the entire retail industry is engaged in some private competition to discover who can treat their customers the worst. Either that or they want to drive everybody to online shopping so that they can do away with all this expensive real estate. If it's the latter they're clearly following the example of the banks.

    As far as I'm concerned Tesco & Ikea both earn the never-again-set-foot prize years ago with the latter in a slight lead with a particularly ingenious twist.

    They're bad enough by insisting you run a long maze even if you know exactly what you want and are simply trying to get to the stock area to get it. But the very last time I went there I was without the assistance of SWMBO. The car park is a 2 storey affair & naturally I ended up on the upper story. The loading bay has room for about 3 cars.

    With a full trolley & nobody to guard it I'm expected to leave it for some toe-rag to load into his own car whilst I go and get my car & then join a queue of about 20 others waiting to load up? No, I'll put the trolley in the lift, take it to the car, load up & bring the trolley back down like any public spirited bloke.

    I found the lift had a notice saying "No trolleys". I took the trolley up to the top floor and left it there.

    1. Danny 14

      It must be a regional issue, the Newcastle ikea has let you take the trolleys into the car park as long as I can remember. The "maze" has plenty of short cuts through and the central lift works. The warrington and leeds ones were "one way only" almost and had bollards up at the car park.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is one of the most idiotic things the Reg has ever run. Congrats!

    1. Not That Andrew

      I seriously doubt that. There's no mention of global warming

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "There's no mention of global warming"

        There is now.

  17. Mike Pellatt

    The latest stupid in these tills.

    When I and the missus try to use the spawn-of-satan self-scan (why would I want to scan myself ?? Yes, I know it's an old one. So am I.) checkouts, we always hit another misfeature of them.

    They won't scan an item until the previous fucking item is in the bagging area, weighed, and verified.

    So any chance of me scanning the shopping rapidly and passing it to 'er indoors to bag up neatly and in her inexplicable positioning logic is totally lost.

    I reckon it takes us twice as long as it needs to because of this, with me frantically re-scanning wondering if the lack of a beep is because the barcode won't read, the item isn't in the POS database, or she's still deciding which bag the previous item should go in.

    Why not just weigh the whole fucking pile of shopping at the end and only then whinge if it's out by more than 0.00000001% ?

    With the arrival of Aldi in town, I'm not sure I like their strategy. You are ordered to just take your stuff straight from the checkout operator and dump it in the trolley. Shelves are provided for you to take all the fucking shopping out again and bag it up.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The latest stupid in these tills.

      "With the arrival of Aldi in town, I'm not sure I like their strategy. You are ordered to just take your stuff straight from the checkout operator and dump it in the trolley. Shelves are provided for you to take all the fucking shopping out again and bag it up."

      I find that strategy far more efficient. Their till operators scan it through so damned fast you rarely have time to bag the stuff up so taking the trolly to bagging shelf means you can take as long as you want to pack the bags properly so nothing gets crushed and the bags don't fall over in the car. This is helped with a little pre-planning by keeping your trolly tidy as you shop and placing stuff on the belt in the "right" order, ie heavy stuff first.

      1. Trygve

        Re: The latest stupid in these tills.

        "I find that strategy far more efficient. Their till operators scan it through so damned fast you rarely have time to bag the stuff up so taking the trolly to bagging shelf means you can take as long as you want to pack the bags properly so nothing gets crushed and the bags don't fall over in the car. "

        Exactly. Maximum throughput from a single till and competent operator, because while the people running Lidl may be evil bastards, they are actually competent.

        UK supermarkets are all run by incompetent tossers who think it's a great idea to dedicate a huge chunk of floorspace to accommodate a dozen checkouts costing thousands each, then leave half of them idle, staff the rest with incompetents, and then have the incompetents twiddle their thumbs for half their time while the customers use the checkout as a grocery rearranging area.Then since that turns out not to work well they use another chunk of floorspace to accommodate a bunch of expensive self-checkout machines and close three of the tills in use to free up PFYs to run round investigating bagging areas.

        Britain being Britain, do customers moan about having to pay for the costs of all that wasted space, unnecessary machinery and wasting time waiting for access to one of the amazingly low-throughput checkouts? No, they complain about having to 'rush' through the tills, and how they never have enough time or money.

  18. phil dude


    This must be a UK specific rant. Here in the US the local "big" supermarket (near to campus so lots of students as well as working folks), has a cluster of 8 self-scan and an employee with a wireless handset that manages the flow of "unexpected object in bagging area" type events. Honestly, it comes down to if you want to pack your bags yourself...

    And buying beer will get you into the farcical ID hunt...


    1. graeme leggett

      Re: strange....

      In the UK ratio of staff to selfscan is from 1 to 4 (local mid size Morrisons) up to 1 to 16 (Tesco 'Extra')

      With bagging issues, staff member comes over. Peeks quickly in bag to check you haven'tshoved a frozen chicken in under guise of a tin of soup, puts keyfob on machine and types in pin. They return to sentry position only to have to walk back straight away because scales can't detect change of weight due to greetings card.

      Its not surprising that waiting in a queue with only the front cover of a TV listings magazine to look at for 5 minutes in order to get a human operator could be preferable.

  19. Salts

    Hate the things

    Was trying to get two items neither age limited and the stupid till said help was required, young lad on duty just walked past me and stood at the end looking up and down the line of self serve tills and could not see a problem, left basket and walked out.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Hate the things

      At that point you are supposed to timidly draw the youngling's attention to your predicament as if it's your fault that the till is rubbish.

      I admire your courage in walking away. I tell the automaton (till not staff) what a piece of rubbish it is thereby warning the next person in queue a) pick another one b) I'm going a bit odd as I age.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hate the things

        "I admire your courage in walking away."

        I wouldn't usually walk away, I've invested too much time in picking the stuff in the first place. What I do is scoop it all back into the trolley & go to a manned till. But 3 items is about the max for a self-service till, more than that and the cumulative probability of one being queried gets too close to 1. And if you dump all the loose advertising crap out of a magazine before scanning it will fail to recognise it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hate the things

          Magazine? .... Oh yes, I remember. Shiny toilet paper before the internet came along.

  20. Bill B

    Would you like a shag?

    I'm not sure why this was struck out. If the person making the offer is old enough they are either offering some rough tobacco for her pipe or they're a carpet salesman.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waitrose (very posh - sorry)

    In Waitrose you can do proper self-scan. In that you have a hand held scanner and just wonder around scanning things and chuck them into your own bags, then go to a separate unmanned till and with two swipes of your credit card you are out. The only bit that they fail on is if you have anything that requires "age verification". The supervisor then has to check that I am not some PFY stocking up for the weekend having nicked the credit card.

    Anon in case I blow my age verified street cred :-)

    1. Joe Harrison

      Re: Waitrose (very posh - sorry)

      Yes, and for some reason it all works fine without needing to weigh all your stuff.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love to use them for quickness but the ones at Morrisons do not accept £2 coins however they do dispense them, so I cant go back to the same supermarket brand to spend my change next time!?! crazy

  23. DwarfPants

    I have posted this before but it is worth reitterating

    1) Approach Checkouts

    2) Evaluate items

    Nothing too light

    Nothing too heavy, long, big, etc.

    Not too much stuff (for pity's sake don't touch it to rearrange, once you have started the transaction)

    No illegible, missing bar codes

    No Drugs, Solvents, Glue, Paint, Alcohol, knives, anything vaguely dangerous

    No coupons, offers or other weirdness

    Own bags, its a risk!

    If you pass the above checks then there is an outside chance you could use a self checkout without assistance from the supervisor and the obligatory swearing at the machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have posted this before but it is worth reitterating

      Better ploy:

      Straight to manned till.

      Watch in smug satisfaction as you almost invariably get out ahead of the self-service queue.

      No manned till? Dump the stuff and walk out.

  24. Joe Harrison

    Never mind bag it, just bin it

    After a lot of thought I came to the conclusion that self-scans are so disruptive because they don't operate in the way that customers expect a checkout to work. Everyone has learnt from an early age that checkouts have a conveyor belt, a scanner, then a dumping ground where you can put your things into bags. The self-scans break that model with their unintuitive and ultimately pointless weight check.

    One of the most annoying aspects is that self-scans work differently in different supermarket chains. In Morrisons Manchester recently I even watched the machine's video which shows a cartoon figure placing scanned goods on a platform at the right-hand-side of the scanner. The weighing sensor is in fact on the left of the scanner. I pointed this out to the employee who turned up to help but she still treated me as if I was too thick to put my own socks on.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Never mind bag it, just bin it

      "I pointed this out to the employee who turned up to help but she still treated me as if I was too thick to put my own socks on."

      Try sandals.

  25. Schlimnitz

    Where I am (not UK) there are two supermarkets a 100 yards from each other. One has gone the route of converting two tills to four self-scans, the other simply has a strategy of opening new tills whenever the backlog is more than two deep, which is the deciding factor for me.

  26. Dr_N Silver badge

    Do those who don't like self-serve check-outs...

    ... also drive around looking for petrol stations that still have a man come out to fuel their car for them and bring their change out when you pay?

    1. Jediben

      Re: Do those who don't like self-serve check-outs...

      You mean the Welsh?

  27. Chris Evans

    Please don't use the self service tills.

    That way there is no queue for me!

    If I've got less than 10 items I'll use them as I find them normally quicker!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I go for tills that have a person operating them; in addition to not having to deal with an automated till that is not fit fur purpose, person operated checkout helps to keep someone in a job.

    Main supermarket I use is Lidl, in addition to its cheap prices, it only having people operated tills is another reason I choose to shop there rather than the (more conveniently located, quicker to drive to, better parking) other supermarkets in the town.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...spotty adolescent in a blue tennis shirt, trainers and niqab"

    If the teenager were wearing a niqab, you wouldn't be able to tell they were spotty, unless you are assuming. Most likely you mean a hijab.

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