New Sainsbury's tills infuriate customers

Shoppers weigh in with complaints


LONDON - JULY 3: View of a shopping trolley and aisle at a Sainsbury's supermarket on July 3, 2014 in London, UK. Sainsbury's is

Sainsbury's shoppers are up in arms over changes to its self-service tills that were supposed to make them quicker to use.

The supermarket has introduced new card-only checkouts in a number of its stores that, say customers, won't allow them to buy weighed items and don't provide an option for customers using their own bags.

"Please can your self-service machines have a 'weigh bags' option? I like being able to pack before I've paid, esp frozen stuff," complains one shopper on Twitter.

"At least put a sign up so customers don't get half way through basket & realise they have to use another till to weigh things," adds another.

Shoppers leaving 'millions' behind at self-service tills

One customer points out that the new tills don't ask for ID when buying restricted goods - potentially breaking the law.

And another, York City councillor Ashley Mason, has queried whether Sainsbury's consulted properly with partially sighted people before introducing the new tills.

However, Sainsbury's has defended the new self-service checkouts, claiming that shoppers have plenty of other options in its stores.

"We've introduced card-only tills in over 20 convenience stores and supermarkets to offer customers even more choice and help them shop more easily and quickly," it says in a statement to the press.

"These are, of course, in addition to manned tills and colleagues are also always available to assist customers with their shopping."

Are self-service tills really turning us into criminals?

There are now around 42,000 self service tills across the country, with the number rising all the time. But while supermarkets claim that they are all about customer convenience, the customers themselves aren't so sure.

A survey two years ago indicated that an overwhelming 93% of people dislike them, believing they are slower, less reliable and less pleasant than dealing with a human being.

And while supermarkets persist, with the aim of saving money, that may not be working either. Research from the University of Leicester has revealed that the amount of stolen groceries doubles when self-service tills are introduced.

The reason, says Dr Matt Hopkins, is that the technology gives shoppers 'ready-made excuses' for not scanning their shopping properly - behaviour that Sainsbury's new tills are only likely to encourage.

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