View Full Version : U-Scan SCs
07-18-2006, 04:16 PM
Time for more Kroger stories!
Near the end of my time at Kroger, I was placed on U-Scan alot. U-Scan is a collection of 4 registers designed for the customer to ring his/herself up (perfect for those who don't like to deal with cashiers). I had several Scs come to U-Scan while I was there.
We had one of our U-Scans up against a refrigerated cooler of deli meats and cheeses one night when the cooler broke and started leaking water onto the floor nea the U-Scan. We mopped it up and, for safety reasons, shut down the 3rd U-Scan and placed those bright yellow "caution" signs around it to keep people from slipping on the wet floor. When you shut down a U-Scan, the screen goes blue and says "THIS STATION CLOSED" in big letters. It looks completely different than the other 3 U-Scan screens, not to mention the light on top of the machine goes off, indicating that the machine is indeed not functioning. Yet people were still coming up to it, staring at the screen, then staring at me like, "well? make it work!"
So I thought "ok, I'll put up some of those black register barriers." Nope. Still had people wondering why the machine didn't work.
So then I placed an "OUT OF ORDER" sign on the screen. To my complete and utter disbelief a teenage girl came up to the machine with tortillas and just started runinng them under the scanner; didn't even TRY to push "Start" or anything. Then she whines, "it won't woooooooooooooork!"
I have had just about enough of this, and I am usually very polite with SCs, but tonight had just been horrible. So I stated slowly through gritted teeth, "that machine is out of order, hence the signs and various barriers up around it."
I have also had many computer-illiterate people try to use the U-Scan. I don't know if these people know that they are computer-illiterate or not, but in any case they still try to use the U-Scan.
For example, I had this lady who needed my help every 5 seconds with each new part of the checkout proccess. Apparently when she was ready to pay she didn't see the "Finish and Pay" button, nor did she see the "Credit Card" button when she wanted to pay with her credit card.
I don't know about anybody else, but it just seems to me that if you have a cart overflowing with items, you wouldn't want to checkout at a place that's weight-sensitive bagging area can only hold 2 bags at a time. We have signs up around our U-Scan area that states an item limit of about 20, but if it's not busy we'll let in slide a bit. By "a bit" I mean by about 10 items. I had a woman come over with her cart literally overflowing with items and she also had about 3 little girls in tow. So I asked her to please go to a real register.
SC: But that lady over there just checked out here!
me: yes ma'am, and she only had about 25 items and no difficulty.
SC: she was still over the limit! I wanna check out here too!
me: ma'am, your cart is overflowing and I can honestly tell you that you will have a very difficult time checking out here as our system requires you to keep all of your bags on the bagging area as you check out (I usually HATE that about U-Scan, but in cases like this I thank God for it).
SC: *steaming and glaring at me, finally goes on her way*
I really wish I would have let her check out there after warning her just to watch her have a hard time. But I probably would have gotten stuck dealing with it.
I really think customers should be required to take an IQ test before using U-Scan.
07-18-2006, 04:31 PM
Weirdly, I see people with overflowing carts using the self scans here ALL the time... what the?
Even though we use the carousel for the bags here, it's still pretty inconvenient, IMO to have to scan and bag so much stuff in such a confined area.
On the topic of Uscan machines, I think the software programmers could've done a better job, at least on the ones we have here in grocery stores. Once the customer is done scanning, there's a delay of around 3-5secs before the "pay now" button shows up, which causes tons of confusion... Cause you see it when you're scanning stuff, and then it disappears (for awhile) when you want to pay :P
07-18-2006, 04:36 PM
Bah, it seems in our quest to simplify life we've just made it more complicated!
07-18-2006, 07:12 PM
Our self-checkouts have a conveyor belt instead of the bagging scales. This means customers often expect the attendant to bag for them (yeah, I'm gonna bag for 4 lanes at the same time). When we shut one down we have gotten into the habit of setting the volume on 100% (norm is 20%). Why do we do this? Because if you try to scan something when the lane is closed it says (very loudly) "This lane is closed!" :devil: .
07-18-2006, 07:20 PM
I LOVE me some U-Scan & I have to admit, sometimes I'll go when I'm going to have 4 bags worth. Still, there are times when I admit defeat & go to a cashier due to too much stuff. I just prefer to do my own thing. However, I DO notice when one is shut off. I've seen ppl cuss at the broken machine then at the attendent about it being broken. I mean, GIVE ME A BREAK!
07-18-2006, 07:45 PM
when I go to Wally World for groceries I always use the self-scanner. Mostly because the cashiers don't bag groceries the way I like. One time I got home and found some boxers I purchased on top of frozen foods. I have no clue how they train their baggers, but I perfer to bag myself.
It never fails though I always get behind the complete idiot who doesn't know what a PLU is or how to operate the credit card machine. Or they have dollar bills that are old as dirt and the machine won't accept them.
07-18-2006, 08:10 PM
I love the self-scan, especially the ones in Wal-Mart where you can put your bags away as soon as they've registered that you're done with them. I'll check myself out with a cart full of crap because I'm just as fast as a regular cashier but less likely to get irritated with anyone else's presence. But then again, some customers seem to still think that they can somehow sway things to their way.
Keep in mind, the lanes I use are the two "full service" lanes, meaning they have full-length conveyor belts and they ARE there specifically for people who want to scan their full carts. The four "20 or less" lanes are right next to them and granted, their lines can be LONG but they usually move pretty fast. So, of course, when I'm halfway through my $100+ order, I always get some harried soccer mom survey the long lines, then come running up behind me with a bag of Doritoes and four screeching children, and proceed scoff and gasp and haw at me for "taking up the self-check" like that...I suppose trying to shame me into letting her go ahead or something, I don't know.
Of course, not realizing that I openly show my contempt for most of the rest of humanity, I turn and give them a long, unyielding glare for about two minutes until they start squirming. Then I'm very pissy when I point out the various signs that say "20 or less" and "Full service", and then resume checking. SLOWLY. (I'm just evil like that. It's not my best character trait. :( )
It's amazing how often these ladies will just stand there and blow up like a puffer fish rather than swallow their pride and get back in the long lines. Especially considering that I always make sure I take so long that the lines circle through twice. Especially when I decide to pay by emptying out my change purse of all it's pennies...
The ones at my local walmart even walk you through it. There's a voice that says "Welcome, please scan your first item and place it in the bag".......etc etc....when you are done, you hit Finish and Pay, and the machine says "Select payment type", and there are PICTURES of all the types of payment, yet I always get behind some moron who either can't read or can't decipher pictures.
07-18-2006, 09:02 PM
Oh yeah, I love U-Scan too because I used to be a cashier and I like to do things myself. I just hate having to watch people be idiots with U-Scan. ;)
And blas87 . . . the ones at Kroger walk you through it too! It's hilarious that people still have trouble with them. I think some people are just so afraid of computers that they're like "waaaaaah, I don't know what to do because this is a machine and not a person!":cry::runaway:
07-19-2006, 02:20 PM
At the commissary on Lackland AFB, they had self scanners. There wasn't a limit, so if I went in there and it was really busy I would use it no matter how full the cart was. It was a lot faster than waiting in line. Also at base commissaries, they don't pay baggers any wages, all they make is tips, but a lot of the time they don't bag anything right!. They'll put bloody ground meat that drips in with sandwich stuff or something or put apples and pears on top of grapes and tons of other stupid combinations. So I just avoided using the baggers and bagged it myself at the self scan, so I wouldn't be paying someone for doing a bad job/ feeling guilty for not tipping.
At the commissary here, all the baggers are annoying teenagers who have really inappropriate conversations in loud voices. Like talking about sex in front of children. Graphically. There's no self scan option, so we usually just take the carts out to the car ourselves so I don't tip as much and it never fails that they've bagged something wrong. :confused: How hard is it to at least wrap ground beef separately instead of letting it bleed all over a container of ice cream?
07-19-2006, 02:29 PM
I f*cking HATE self-checkouts. I thought I'd like the idea, but i HATE them. They have just introduced them into Tesco stores over here, and they are impossible to use. Because no-one (including me) knows how to use them properly, the lines are always incredibly long, too.
The only good thing about self-checkouts is they attract the monkeys. In other words, the most annoying customers HAVE to use them, because they are the sort of people who always think they are cleverer / faster/more efficient than the cashier, so go and queue for hours at the self-checkout, allowing me to queue for mere minutes at the boring old ordinary checkout :)
07-19-2006, 02:40 PM
I also prefer to use the cashier rather than the self-checkout. It is not so much the hassle of the things, it is that they represent an effort to replace jobs with machines.
07-19-2006, 02:49 PM
usually, I like being on this station. I try to teach the customers how to put in information (i.e. PLU numbers, UPC codes, et al.), and hope they buy a clue (sometimes).
most customers at my store will realize when one of the self checkout kiosks are closed...some will not. these are the same people who cannot read english (white, non-hispanic, american) off of a pay kiosk: swipe card OR pay by touch (the OR gets them everytime...:rolleyes: ).
but yes, some people will try to self check over $100-200 worth of foodstuffs...when self check is mainly for quick (around) $50 orders. I almost lost a $300 order my first few months there late one night because the guy didn't bother to check if his payment was processed properly.
07-19-2006, 02:55 PM
I absolutely LOVE the self checkouts. My b/f and I go shopping and usually use self checkout (unless we have alcohol or something that we feel would cause an employee to come over anyway) because we absolutely loathe how some baggers bag our items.
meat and ice cream together? ICK. smooshing our bread with other stuff? I don't think so! I hate smooshed bread/buns and will go get another if I catch it before its in the trunk of my car. bug spray and food? no way jose.
I'm not TOO picky with how they bag it, but they bag it horribly. since b/f and I know how full and how we like our bags bagged, we go through SCO. I do the scanning (cuz I used to work with scanning stuff) and he does the bagging. What a team!
and, I do notice if its on or not, and if its a yellow light that there will probably be a delay with that individual.
there are some that are soooo slow that I just want to start scanning for them, and take forever with money, but I maintain my patient look while tapping my foot on the inside.
07-22-2006, 12:01 AM
Out here in the PNW, Kroger bought two chains, Fred Meyer and QFC. They have very similar SCO's, which really suck compared to other stores. The weight sensor is the problem. It either does not detect the item at all: "Please... put the item BACK in the bag" or it decides that something like a half-gallon of milk does not weigh the correct amount, and it says "Please wait for cashier assistance". Having to wait obviates the whole reason for using a SCO.
Other stores have SCO's that work very well and I love zipping through them. The only thing I don't like about ALL store's SCO's is that it is hard to use paper bags with them. I'm a geezer and I like the paper bags with handles over plastic.
07-22-2006, 01:23 AM
I really do love the SCO's that they have around here. Quick, easy, and I don't have to talk to anyone. I do go to regular check-outs for groceries, a friend and I once tried to do a grocery order composed of mainly fruit and veggies on a UScan and it failed horribly. We ended up having to get the cashier every 10 seconds because for the life of us we couldn't tell the difference between the 18 types of apples pictured on the screen. I was probably the talk of the break room "Darn SC couldn't get the machine to work, it's not rocket science!" :rolleyes: If I have an order composed of non-UPC-having items, I'll suck it up and go see a cashier. I'll also go to a cashier when I have coupons or something like that.
07-22-2006, 01:55 AM
for the life of us we couldn't tell the difference between the 18 types of apples pictured on the screen. Most of the produce in stores here has a sticker with a 4-digit number on it. The SCO will have an icon for a keypad, I find it's faster to call up the keypad and enter the number instead of trying to find the correct page of pictures of produce and then find the item. Bulk items or pastry items I will note the 4-digit number at the product display, write it on the twist-tie or on the bag, and use that at the SCO instead of trying to figure out it's "bagels, onion" or "onion bagels" in the choose-it-by-picture alphabetical list.
Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-22-2006, 02:13 AM
My company installed SCOs at a few of its stores. I liked using them if I had only a few items and never had any problems with them.
I highly doubt they will ever be put in my store though. We only have 8 checkout lanes and installing them would have to take out at least two of them. But then again, they're going to try and squeeze a walk-in clinic into my store, and I thought they'd never be able to find the room to do that.
07-22-2006, 03:48 AM
(Somewhat Related) I get customers all the time that try to use our kiosk. Now what's really odd is that these normally rational, intelligent, problem-solving individuals suddenly become total morons who can't do anything for themselves.
Why? I'll be completely honest with you; I have no friggin' idea. 99% of the time, the problem is the customer's failure to read the instructions or buttons on the screen.
The same customer that will notice a sign half-hidden behind a store fixture that advertises some obscure discount (but admittedly aren't able to read the expiration date), yet they can't figure out how to find THE ONLY BUTTON ON THE ENTIRE SCREEN!
07-22-2006, 04:20 AM
I usually try to go to the U Scan line for one simple reason, I don't like how most of the baggers bag my groceries. They either put way too much in a bag, or way too little, or they put my fabric softener sheets in with the deli meat. However, every time I do go to the UScan register- some lady (it's never a man) comes over and starts bagging my groceries. It aggravates the hell out of me. And you should see the look on their face when I ask them not to. :eek:
I have seen a lot of the illiterates at those things though, and it's usually pretty funny. This one woman- mid twenties I'm guessing, slid her credit card through, then of course it asks debit or credit, well she completely overlooked that and kept sliding her card through and had a HUGE hissy fit because "it's broken". Idiot.
07-22-2006, 04:40 AM
AHHH The Dreaded Self Checkout and the Dumb Sh*ts who use it. I am so fed up with the Self Checkouts at my Grocery Store. Being one of the original trainees on that incredibly useless waste of space has made me lose quite a few brain cells to horrific deaths, including being trampled by an angry sex starved bull who just found a field of virgin cows or being backed over by a large tractor trailer with chains on the tires while your body is on fire. If I hear another freaking person ask me why it isnt taking their money when they didn't hit the large PAY NOW button, I am going to scream and beat them severely with the tire iron in my car. These things must have a brain deactivation force field because it seems like I attract all the angry, stinky, dumbasses who couldnt find their own nose (despite the fact that their finger is firmly entrenched in it looking for buried treasure). I absolutely despise our self-checkouts because the bag scale never works right, the scanners break constantly, little kids come play with them because they think they are toys, and people cant figure out how they work (even though it talks you thru it and has large BRIGHT buttons). AHH...I tell my co-workers all the time to just get out of the way if you see my coming in with a bat or large metal object as I am going to smash the self-checkout. I despise them
That being said, I like em because I can manage my way thru it in 30 seconds, even with 10 items. Then again, I am not a lower life form on the level of the common ground slug (apologies to the ground slugs)
07-22-2006, 06:27 AM
When I'm stationed at self checkouts, most of the time people are really happy that I bag for them. A lot of people who attend the self checks just stand there until someone needs help.
It's nice to hear lots of thank yous instead of the other feedback that comes from customers.
Anyway, I walked up to bag this woman's groceries, and I was bagging things and the husband walked up and glared at me angrily and shouted "That's my job!"
Whatever... I just told him "ok" and walked away to help other people who appreciated it.
It's also painful to watch people go through the menus with the pictures for produce when all they have to do is type in a simple code.
They have trouble because for example, there are big red delicious apples and small red delicious apples. The big apples are sold by weight, the small ones are 25 cents each. They always choose the big ones from the menu, and when I see it, I let them know and fix it for them.
The thing that bothers me most is that people try to use them to steal.
This one boy had three types of produce in one bag, I think it was lemons and then a couple of items that were sold by weight. I asked him if he rang them separately, and he said no. I looked at the list, and sure enough, he'd just rang the lemons. I told him that the other things weren't free, and he looked kind of scared, like he knew he'd been caught. I rang the other items for him.
Then there was this guy who had a big 5 gallon container of refill water in his basket, and I asked if they payed for the water, and the guy had the nerve to say "I don't need to pay for this, it's a refill!" I told him "Yes, you do need to pay for it, it's not free!" Then I went over and punched in the code for it. I got evil glares from him and his family.
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