The Disadvantages of Self Service Checkouts

Written by christina dillon
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The Disadvantages of Self Service Checkouts
It can be inconvenient to pay with cash at a self-service checkout machine. (register with cash image by elke peterson from Fotolia.com)

Self-service checkouts have become the preferred method for many shoppers because of their perceived convenience, but there are instances when a self-service checkout can be less convenient than paying a cashier for your goods. Some customers avoid the self-service checkout method altogether, opting for a more traditional shopping experience, complete with human interaction.

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Difficulty Handling Price Discrepancies

Occasionally, whether in a self-checkout or cashier-controlled lane, an item may ring up at a higher price than advertised. This causes more of a problem with self-checkout, as you do not have the ability to override the price. In this case, you would either call a store associate to help or continue the checkout process, and then take your receipt to customer service for a refund. Neither method is ideal, as they both take more time than it would take for a cashier to resolve the issue while ringing your order.

Increased Chances of Leaving Items Behind

Sometimes, people are forgetful. We may complete our order, bag our items, and then forget to take something with us. It may not happen often, but in the event it does, it is helpful to have a person there to remind us that we've forgotten something.

Difficulty Handling Items That Won't Scan

There are ways to manually enter a bar code for an item that isn't able to be scanned, but many users either don't know how or don't have access to this method. If an item doesn't scan, often the only answer is to call for help. This means waiting for an associate to come and enter the bar code for you, which causes a delay for you and those waiting in line behind you.

Cash Payments Cause Delays

When you pay a cashier, you can hand them a stack of bills in almost any fashion. Many people try to organise them neatly, but it isn't necessary to remove every fold or crease. With the self-checkout method, you must enter each bill separately, making sure it is as flat as possible, which can cause a significant delay depending on how many bills and coins you must enter.

Buying Alcohol Causes Delays

When you purchase alcohol, in many stores an associate must be present to check your identification, regardless of your age. This causes a delay that you wouldn't experience if you were in a cashier-controlled lane.

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