9 out of 10 customers hate self-service tills

1 July 2014

selfService_1700875c We use them because they’re there (and they’re marginally preferable to monosyllabic/overtly effusive checkout assistants). But a staggering 93% of us can’t abide self-service supermarket tills and say that they cause more problems than they solve.

A survey by cash management company Glory Global Solutions revealed the huge amount of customers who are frustrated, bamboozled, and otherwise kicked in the bagging area daily by self-service machines.

But we would rather use them than stand in a queue behind a glacially slow old lady buying 6 tins of marrowfat peas.

However, there’s a weird gender divide when it comes to using them. 80% of women used them regularly compared to 77% of men. But women were more likely to start yelling at the machines, with 96% admitting that they’d lost it in front of one, compared to 89% of men.

Interestingly, more than a third of customers avoided self service at both supermarkets and banks, preferring human interaction. And a quarter said they didn’t use the technology because it was ‘too slow.’

Young people, though, use self-service machines willy nilly and have few complaints, probably because they grew up with the sound of their mothers swearing at a computerised voice.

But the results showed that despite the rise of the machines, many of us see (human) customer service as a vital part of doing our shopping and banking. Mike Bielamowicz from Glory Global Solutions said:

‘While the majority of UK consumers are open to using self-service machines at least some of the time, it’s significant that interaction with a staff member is still a key part of the retail experience for many people.’

*Seeks assistance*


  • Whisky
    They are fine when you do what it says on the screen, its when people try to get ahead of the machine problems begin like scanning the next item when it is still wanting the last one put in the bagging area. However I used one in France last month, you could set the language to English and it was fast. No sooner had the last item hit the bagging area it was ready to scan the next. And here is the big plus - in France they are 10 items or less. Any more and an angry french woman shouts at you. No self service tills getting clogged up by 80 year women with the weekly shop in the local Morrisons.
  • Euan
    Dislike them, but I'll use them when (as there so often is) there's queues for the manned tills and plenty free bleepy ones...
  • Jess
    Well now people can have emotionless, careless, no bending or breaking rules, none fireable and unable to be bullied machines to deal with. Plus all those people who will lose those jobs, or won't gain those jobs, well they can be place on benefits, being paid by you tax payers (if society put them there, society can pay for it).
  • News P.
    [...] the man who did a dirty protest in Barclays bitterwallet/poo Do you hate self service machines? bitterwallet/bagging area How much does leaving things on standby cost you? bitterwallet/bzzz We want a beer machine! [...]

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