5 Reasons Self-Checkout Lanes Are A Hassle

5 Reasons Cloud POS Systems Are Better Than Self-Checkout Lanes

Self-checkout lanes were supposed to make our lives easier. They were supposed to make lines shorter and checkout more efficient. Newsflash: they don’t. Below are 5 reasons self-checkout lanes are a hassle.

1. Limited bagging area

The self-checkout lane is designed to be an express lane. I know this because there is only room for approximately two and a half bags of groceries in the bagging area. If you buy two gallons of milk, you’re out of luck. If you try to remove a bag full of groceries to allow more room, the polite robot lady instructs you to “place items in the bagging area”. If you do, there’s no room to place new items in the bagging area after you scan them. It’s a vicious cycle created to make you swear at a machine. “It IS in the bagging area…!”

2. If you don’t have the magic code, is it really self-checkout?

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the self-checkout kiosk needs to be fed a magic code in order to proceed with your checkout. A bug may have landed in the bagging area and skewed the weight of the last item you scanned. The kiosk may be a union member who gets a break after every three minutes of work. Who knows? But you inevitably have to wait for an employee to enter the code at some point during checkout.

3. Weight measures

To prevent shoplifting, each item you purchase has a designated weight that must land in the blasted bagging area before you can scan the next item. If you scan a lightweight item like, say, a gift card and place it in the bagging area, there’s a good chance Robot Lady (RL) will think you put that gift card in your pocket and tell you to “Please place the item in the bagging area.” You would like to place the item somewhere else, if you know what I mean, in response to the redundant request, but that would just give RL the satisfaction of knowing that the item is not in the precious bagging area.

4. Kids

It is not physically possible for a parent to corral one or more screaming, running, or otherwise disruptive children; scan items; and properly place them in the bagging area all at the same time. Something or someone will be stolen in the process.

5. The technologically challenged

The same demographic of people who insist that check-writing is still a thing that happens in stores will choose the day you are in the biggest hurry to try something new. At that moment, the self-checkout lane ceases to be a self-checkout lane. Some poor soul who works at the store will have to teach a technologically-challenged individual how to scan an item and then explain why the kiosk doesn’t accept checks.

The creators of self-checkout lanes had good intentions: they wanted to make checkouts faster for us. And, in the middle of the night at the 24-hour Wal-Mart when the moon is in a certain phase, they are. At all other times, a mobile point of sale system (specifically an iPad POS) would be a better way to go.

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