People Divulge Their Biggest Issues With Self-Checkout

Sometimes we're in a hurry when we're getting our groceries, and in our rush, we decide the self-checkout line might be the faster option.

But frustratingly, sometimes that is not the case.

Redditor TPABolts88 asked:

"At stores in the U.S., what's so wrong with 'self-checkouts'?"

The Cost of Groceries

"The people who are clueless about self-checkout are definitely an issue, but they're not the only issue, at least to me."

"My main thing is that these self-checkouts are a money-saving measure for the store/company. But the store's/company's prices stayed the same or rose."

"If I'm doing the work that they used to pay someone to do, my grocery bill should be reduced, or at least stabilized."

- SayHiIntrepidHeroes

Not Worth It

"'Please place your item in the bagging area' about one second after I scan the item."

"The scanner scans the item two times and then has to wait for a person to come to cancel the item."

"I hate how these things work. I'm not opposed to using them when they work right and they should really be working better but they're annoying as h**l. I'd rather deal with a human."

- Illustrious-Mix9904

Unnecessary Errors

"'Please place your item in the bagging area' needs to come on like one or two seconds later than it does. It seems like ShopRite wants me to hurl everything sideways so it passes over the scanner and lands in the bagging area in a single motion."

- Muroid

Sensor Issues

"When they have over-sensitive sensors that need an employee to reset the scale after every item, and there's only one employee watching a dozen self-checkouts, it slows everyone down (Meijers was notorious for that)."

- Old-Passenger-9065

Inconsistency Woes

"For me, the biggest issue is the inconsistency store-to-store with sensitivity. One store I shop at often has zero problems with the self-checkout. Occasionally I get the 'please wait for attendant' notice, but that’s maybe one out of five times."

"The other store I go to the same amount, the self-checkout makes me question my sanity every time."


The Adult Hokey Pokey

"You put your item in the bagging area. You take your item out of the bagging area."

"You put your item in the bagging area and you shake the self-checkout machine all about."

"You do the hokey pokey as an employee comes around. That's what it's all about!"

- TechyDad

Over It

"I straight abandoned an entire grocery cart half-scanned. It ran into some sort of an error, wanting me to put something in the bag I’d already put in the bag and wouldn’t let me move forward."

"I waited like five minutes and there was no employee anywhere to be seen. I could scan anything and it started beeping at me if I removed items to put them back in my cart."

"So I shrugged it off and said, 'f**k it,' left everything where it was, said sorry to the guy stuck in line behind me, and walked my happy a** out the door to another grocery store where I proceeded to take my items to an actual human who won’t get stuck like the computer does."

- funklab

No Technical Difficulties, Please

"I'm 100% introverted so I love them. As long as nothing goes wonky and I have to call someone over to fix something."

- iamcatfurniture

Human Error

"Sometimes when I go to use self-checkout, I end up behind someone with an entire f**king cart of groceries who very clearly is not technology-savvy in the least. They stand there looking at the thing like it just landed from Mars, look around desperately for assistance, and start mashing s**t."

"Anyway, that’s the only thing wrong with them. Stupid people. Get in line if you have 60 items and can remember a time when everyone on the same street shared the same phone number."

- tykogars


"I think the issue is the customers at this point. Self-Checkouts have been a thing in most major grocery stores for almost 20 years at this point."

"If you're still incapable of following the directions on a touch screen after 20 years *you* are the problem."

"I'm tired of forgiving stupidity."

- Ohgood9002

New Self-Scan Options

"Sam's Club in the US has a phone scan option. I love it. I scan as I go, I can see my running total so I know if I'm over budget and I check out as I'm walking to the front. They have one or two people checking every person on the way out."

"Most of the time I don't mind self-checkout, but when I have a lot of stuff (ie weekly grocery trip) it doesn't make sense. When there are no regular lanes even open and people are forced to do big runs via self-checkout, that's when it's annoying."

"Now, at fast food places, I think it's dumb. My orders get screwed up enough as it is. If I'm going to put the order in and check out on my own, I'd rather go make the food too so I KNOW it's right!"

- Dizzy149

Senior Citizens

"I think of lonely senior citizens whose only interaction might be at the checkout. My aunt was a cashier and she made it her business to chat up anyone who wanted to when she retired, there were so many people who told her they would miss talking to someone."

"I read on Reddit a while ago that in the Netherlands, they instituted 'slow' lines to address this, which warms my cold, under-insured American heart."

- TheGreenBeagle

Profiting Who?

"They're meant to replace jobs. These large companies don't want to continue paying employees to scan and bag your items, they want you to do it for free instead. It's all about profits at the expense of low-wage workers."

- Ounceofwhiskey

Always Faster

"There's nothing wrong with them. I get through self-checkout 10x faster doing it myself, no matter how much I have."

- B0rtles

Me Time

​"I don't want to wait for someone to scan and bag my stuff anyway, I enjoy having the option of doing it myself. In and out of the grocery store, no muss no fuss, no questions, no asking for donations, etc."

- BakuTheMooneater

Though most people now utilize the self-checkout lines, they seem to have an endless supply of concerns about them.

From technical errors to human errors, they may not always be the time-saving machines major companies insisted they were.

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