A Conversation for Choosing a Supermarket Checkout
There’s a big problem around the “pay then pack” phenomenon, especially in urban areas in my experience, where checkout operators seem to have an urge for speed. The goal for checkout operators used to be “scan goods faster, finish transaction quicker”, but the big chains have now realised this often isn’t helpful for the customer. Now, you only “scan goods at the rate the customer can pack them”. This causes less hassle for the poor soul packing, and less hassle for people behind who have to watch the whole mess. However, some supermarkets especially those in built up areas seem to have bypassed this change in theory. Some (though not all) operators will just scan things with apparent total disregard for whether anyone is able to pack them. So, when I go to a checkout at my local supermarket in London with a basket of shopping, I am often guilty of said “pay then pack” phenomenon. This is because by the time I’ve got to the far end and opened a bag, half the stuff has already arrived. And the checkout operator just ploughs on. In the end, they’ve scanned all ten items and I’ve packed just two now I pack bags quickly, but a trained checkout operator can scan items much, much quicker. Without drawing breath, the operator will then demand payment. So I abandon packing to pay. Usually I pay by card, and it fortunately slows him or her down a bit. This gives me a chance to do the rest of the packing, but paying by cash buys one no time whatsoever. So you end up doing “pay then pack”. Then, more often than not, the checkout operator throws in the killer twist and starts with the next person’s shopping before the last person has cleared off. If there’s one thing which makes the situation worse because when the next person finally gets the end of the till to themselves, they’re already a dozen items behind and about to become guilty of “pay then pack”. Sometimes it’s ineptitude on the part of the customer, but more often it’s bad form by the till operator. Usually I would defend the staff to the hilt on these issues but not this time. Definitely not. Sorry I’ve gone overboard on this, but it irritates me too. Occasionally you will get a customer who takes all eternity to pack, pay, clear off etc (and they are very frustrating) but the modern trend for training checkout staff should, in theory, be minimising the “pay then pack” phenomenon. Sadly not all checkout operators seem to be listening. ( I’m a seasonal checkout operator BTW, so that’s where the training theory comes from )
Oh yeah, one more thing. Checkout training in some supermarkets now incorporates helping the customer to pack. So if you’re the till operator, and your customer is a) not down the end ready to pack, or b) snowed under with the items you’ve sent down, lululemon outlet it’s your responsibility to grab a bag and help your customer out. Indeed, there’s a customer service scheme where I do my seasonal work which states the checkout operator MUST offer EVERY customer help either by asking, or by doing. If they don’t need any help, fine, but the operator has the ability to eliminate a “pay then pack” situation by chipping in themselves. When not helping, a sensible checkout operator will scan at about 70% capacity. Certainly not at full speed, unless there are about four people packing bags. Then things can get spectacular.
Re: cashiers packing everything True, sometimes it’s quicker/more convenient (if customer has only a couple of things which can be thrown into a bag, giving them time to get the cash out). It isn’t always quicker though, so there’s a big risk involved in the cashier deciding to do all the work themselves often they’ll have to make a tricky judgement, which naturally comes easier with experience. Sometimes it’s better just to let the customer get on with it. Especially if they’ve got their own “special” way of packing bags (and you DON’T wanna argue with those people, I can tell you ). It is possible for checkout operators to be TOO helpful. Then they just become unhelpful/irritating.
Okay, I just read the article and went through this forum, and I’ve got soem comments, so here goes. Re: Change giving. I always go for the “Dump everything into my pocket and sort it out later” approa lululemon outlet ch, even when I pay by card. That way, I don’t clog up the queue more than necessary. Re: Packing and paying I tend to decline help with the packing in stores, because usually, the till operators tend to underpack the bags, which means that instead of having two bags to carry, I get four or five bags instead. I’ve also noticed some people wanting to put a single half litre bottle of Coke or Fanta or something, into a bag. I’d prefer if they actually asked if I want a bag for it or not, rather than them assuming I need a bag for it. Maybe it’s part of the training to pack everything down into bags, though. Also, something that I haven’t seen at all since I moved to the UK is the lining up of goods with the bar code facing the scanner. In Sweden, people have been asked/indoctrinated to not pile everything up on top of each other, but to put everything on a line with the bar codes all facing the scanner. That helps the cahier since they then won’t have to twist and turn the items to try and find the bar code, and also prevents heavy and awkwards lifts for them. That method also hel lululemon outlet ps slow things down a bit as the custoemrs can space thing out evenly enough to be able to pack before the items go through.
“you’re new here aren’t you” To ask the great unwashed of the UK public to actually think of others whilst shopping would a sure fire way to oblivion. The tabloids would start a campain “Nazi supermarkets dictate how we shop The (insert tabloid here) say “not in Engerland you don’t”” (deliberate mis spelling) people would go out of their way to make it difficult even those who when they are not shopping are working in supermarkets. Alas, in england, shopping is the last area where people can go to be rude, obnoxious, selfish, indeed are expect to be all these it amazes me when I actually get out alive. CH
Bad. Bad thing. Does anybody else think chip and pin is a silly and pointless idea? I was in the local branch of a well known supermarket chain at the weekend, and the dear old lady in front of me decided to pay with her chip and pin card. I wasn’t even standing that close to her and could easily see what PIN she typed in. If I was the criminal type (which naturally I’m not), I could’ve mugged her outside and bought all the multisaver ice cream I wanted. Can anybody tell me why we’ve done this? It can’t be a security issue. Okay, so it’s possible that you can fake a “unique” signature, but it’s much easier to fake typing in four numbers on a keypad. It’s got nothing to do with the storage of information on the chip either the information is usually held at the bank, which the till can access with a swipe of the standard credit or debit card. I can only imagine it’s to combat demagnetization (sp?) of cards and allow them to last longer. But in my opinion this benefit is let down by the potential security risks outlined above. Please advise if anyone believes I’m on the wrong lines here.
I would say the problem with signatures is that staff just don’t check them. Mine is easily forgeable, and it’s been eroded for about the past year and a half. But the staff hardly ever check it. At least with the pin they’re forced to ‘try’. The promo says that chip pin reduced fraud in foreign countries by 80% (or some such number), so that is the rationale behind it. I don’t know the truth in this. It was interesting when I went to Greece recently because the staff had clearly never been trained how to do it. firstly having done the pin t lululemon outlet hing, the checkout girl then asked me to sign the receipt. Fortunately it is written in both English Greek on the receipt “No signature required” so I was able to point at that with the pen. secondly another operator didn’t know that the pin machine is removeable from it’s slot and can be handed to the customer. She tried to get me to lean across and type in the number. I pointed out the error of her ways. I’m sure as time goes on we will learn to guard our pins more effectively and the problems you mention may go away. BBS
Going back to my old example of Sweden where this practice has been in use for a fair amount of years, there are ways of protecting the PIN code being overseen by other shoppers. In Sweden, the pin keypads are mounted facing the customer and are not removable from the till, and there is a 2 3 inch high wall/shield around it, blocking the view from anyone else. It’s also a matter of how people enter their PIN codes. If they stand around, looking at the keypad and pressing the code with one finger and seemingly looking to find the next key, then it would be easy to find it out, but once people get used to using their PIN code it wouldn’t be much different then using it to go to an ATM where you can type it in fairly quickly and thus reduce the chance for someone to see what the code is. The PIN code IS a better way of doing things, as it requires a piece of information that is not printed or visible on the card itself and can therefor not be easily misused. Someone would have to actively be looking to see the PIN code and then make a note of it to be able to make use of the card if they got hold of it. Using the signature as the only way of identification requires that you can make a squiggle slightly resembling the one that’s already printed on the card.