?

Log in

No account? Create an account

fanf

Sainsbury's self-checkout fail

« previous entry | next entry »
10th Aug 2009 | 13:35

I hate plastic carrier bags, so I take a canvas bag when I go shopping (unless I forget). The city-centre Sainsbury's in Cambridge recently replaced their express tills with self-checkout tills, which use weighing scales under the bags to check that scanned things have been bagged properly.

If you put an unexpected object in the bagging area it flashes up an annoying message. This screen has a button on it saying "Using your own bag?" which I am pretty sure used to cancel the message and allow you to scan your shopping. It is now non-functional: if you try pressing it a member of staff has to come over and explain the correct procedure. If you want to use your own bag, before you put it on the bagging area you have to go into the "select an item" menu (for bananas and fresh bread etc.) and choose the "bag re-use" icon. Obviously.

| Leave a comment | Share

Comments {21}

Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 10th Aug 2009 13:59 (UTC)

Both Sainsbury's and Boots seem to use the same brand of automated checkout as Tesco, but both have managed to screw up the usage flow considerably relative to Tesco.

Tesco gets the thing right when you use your own bag, whereas I don't think the "own bags" button has ever worked properly in the city-centre Sainsbury's.

Boots is worse: you have to both press Start and deny having a Boots Disadvantage Card before you can start scanning stuff. Then you have to press the button to say you've finished shopping before it will take payment. At Tesco, it's usually possible to get things done without ever touching the screen at all: drop bag on scales, swipe stuff, put in bag, insert money, take change and receipt, walk away. Easy. Why make it harder?

Reply | Thread

Simon Tatham

from: simont
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:02 (UTC)

When I tried that in Tesco the attendant came over to let me know that implicitly going to the payment stage by putting money in was not the approved way of doing it. (They didn't use the word "deprecated", but it seemed pretty clear that they would have if they'd known it.)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Gerald the cuddly duck

from: gerald_duck
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:07 (UTC)

I think that's a defect in their approvals process, not in my behaviour. (-8

The only reason I can see to press the "pay" button is so multi-buy discounts get applied and a final total is displayed. If I'm sticking in a tenner to pay for "about eight quid" of shopping, I don't need to see the total first. If I'm going to make the exact amount, I can just look at what's outstanding after I've fed it the first fiver.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Simon Tatham

from: simont
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:00 (UTC)

That sounds pretty poor. I use the self-checkouts in Fulbourn Tesco most working days, which have enough leeway in their bagging-area scale that they don't get confused in the first place by the weight of my reusable string bag. It'd probably be more difficult if I were using something with serious weight of its own like a rucksack, though.

Reply | Thread

Just a random swede

from: vatine
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:34 (UTC)

Based on the one Tesco where I've used the self check-out, the weight of a day pack with a fibre-glass frame is enough to trigger the "remove unexpected item from bagging area" warning.

Reply | Parent | Thread

from: pir
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:33 (UTC)

I tend to just put my items on the scales without a bag, then when I'm done load them all into a bag... but I'm rarely buying a huge amount at the self-checkout tills.

Reply | Thread

Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:38 (UTC)

I'm usually shopping for a week of lunches at a time, which needs a bag to keep it all on the scales - as well as being a pain to repack while the till is shouting PLEASE TAKE ALL YOUR SHOPPING AWAY (or whatever it is).

Reply | Parent | Thread

oosp

from: oosp
date: 26th Aug 2009 18:20 (UTC)

The thing that irritates me about the repacking is that in order to balance everything on the scales in the first place [1] it's sensible to put the largest and heaviest items at the bottom of your carefully constructed shopping sculpture. Then when you want to repack into your rucksack the items are in the wrong order, so you end up having to move the light and delicate items onto the ground or into pockets before putting them into your bag.

[1] I actually have a lot of trouble opening up the Tesco bags at all, so it's a waste of time trying to use them to keep everything together...

Reply | Parent | Thread

Sheep with a guitar

from: sbp
date: 10th Aug 2009 14:47 (UTC)

I thought the using-your-own-bag button was just so they'd add an extra Tesco point for being good or something.

Reply | Thread

Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 10th Aug 2009 15:00 (UTC)

It also resets the scales. I think the reason for the FAIL is that the non-obvious UI adds nectar points - you can say how many bags you have. But they didn't fix the UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA screen to match.

Reply | Parent | Thread

The Bellinghman

from: bellinghman
date: 12th Aug 2009 00:30 (UTC)

No - you have to press the 'Used own bags' button during the payment process for that credit. Took me a while to realise.

Reply | Parent | Thread

(Deleted comment)

Eleanor Blair

from: lnr
date: 10th Aug 2009 17:29 (UTC)

However it is rather completely the wrong side of town for Tony.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 10th Aug 2009 17:33 (UTC)

That would be five miles out of my way :-)

Reply | Parent | Thread

from: Dave Holland [org.uk]
date: 10th Aug 2009 21:15 (UTC)

They don't have self-service checkouts

<panto>Oh yes they do!</panto> Although maybe not in all stores.

You get your own scanner to carry round with you and zap the items you choose. Then you take your trolley to the self-service till, scan the "finished" barcode, feed in your credit/debit card, and away you go. No human contact necessary.

Bonus points for: letting your toddler lick the scanner until it produces an error message on the screen; forgetting to leave the scanner behind at the end; getting chosen for a random (audit) re-scan of your overloaded trolley containing a month's shopping. (I have only done two of those.)

Reply | Parent | Thread

lizardc

from: lizardc
date: 10th Aug 2009 21:49 (UTC)

The Cambridge one has that system, I saw someone using it yesterday..

Reply | Parent | Thread

Sainsbury self-checkouts and disabilities

from: anonymous
date: 28th Jan 2010 17:42 (UTC)

I have had the most unpleasant shopping experience of many years this morning. I have been using my local Sainsburys prior to 8am, but recently they’ve not opened regular tills and have three people directing to self-service tills. I can assure you that self-service tills are nigh on impossible if you are partially sighted. I cannot find barcodes fast enough on items before I am informed that the machine has timed out. I had this bloody woman overseeing the machine who kept on telling me that I’d timed out and resetting the machine. In the end I walked out, abandoning my shopping. I feel quite depressed that I’ve been cut out of a process – the purchase of necessities – that was quite manageable. Who sets the timing of transaction on these machines – can it be overridden locally? I regret I was too anger to ask, in situ.

Reply | Thread

Re: Sainsbury self-checkouts and disabilities

from: anonymous
date: 28th Jan 2010 17:53 (UTC)

How very frustrating. You have my sympathy.

As an engineer with an interest in and experience with the law, I want to try to help solve your problem. I think there might be ways to get this situation improved for you.

Sainsbury's have a legal duty under the Disability Discrimination Act to make "Reasonable adjustments" for disabled people such as yourself. Did you ask supervisor for help, or explain that you were having difficulty because of your poor vision ? Getting angry was justified but probably not all that helpful (as I tell myself so often ...)

The supervisor should have offered to increase the timeout, or failing that offered to help you by scanning your shopping for you. If they refuse then I think Sainsbury's are breaking the law.

The starting point would be to write them a letter of complaint, demanding that they apologise and promise to do better. Hopefully you can get support for twisting their arm from organisations like the RNIB; perhaps they have a sample letter on their website. If not then people like me will be happy to help.

- Ian Jackson

Reply | Parent | Thread

Re: Sainsbury self-checkouts and disabilities

from: anonymous
date: 29th Jan 2010 20:20 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind comment and useful advice. It was probably my fault in as much as I did not disclose initially that I am partially sighted; I am not apparently disabled; and it's only when faced with novel challenges that are unwittingly assumptive of full sight that the disability emerges. The situation got out of hand faster than I could unbend and accept defeat. But thank you, I now feel empowered in one way, though still retaining a distrust of the wretched machines. - Nic

Reply | Parent | Thread

Own Bag self service Cans of Bitter

from: anonymous
date: 19th Jul 2010 19:13 (UTC)

I went to my local sainsburys and used their new self service.

I choose "Use own Bag" and yes a person came over to override the till.
I then scanned my Alcohol first as it was heaviest items

I completed scanning with other items and zipped up my rucksack which the lady had verified as being empty before I started.

I then tapped pay and like other supermarkets they have to verify that your over 25 yrs

The lady then informed me that she would have to check the items of alcohol.

I explained that they were on the base of rucksack and said you ahead.

She then unzipped my rucksack and had a very thorough search until she matched up the alcohol with what I had scanned.

I complained to sainsburys and they apologiesed and said there was not an acusation of theft they just wanted to make sure I scanned my items properly.

Which in other words is an acusation of theft.

Tesco and Asda have never searched my rucksack

I'm 46yrs lol

Reply | Thread

Sainsbury self-checkout

from: anonymous
date: 17th Aug 2010 21:26 (UTC)

If they want you to use the self-checkouts, shouldn't they be reducing the price of the goods? When I previously paid for items, I assume a fairly large part of the costs went to pay the checkout operators who did the work that I didn't want to do myself, i.e. accurately scanning the bar-codes, weighing fruit & veg. and ensuring they charged each item correctly. I don't want to have to work when I'm handing over my money. I could complain if a mistake was made, what if I accidentally make a mistake myself? Regardless of whether they actually gain by reducing staff, it's me who is now doing the work I previously paid someone else to do.

Reply | Thread