“If there’s no till open we shop elsewhere” – Sheffield Star readers share their view of self-service tills in supermarkets

Last week, following a 69-year-old woman who’d had enough of self-service tills, more than 119,000 people have signed the petition against self-service tills in Tesco.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 4:21 pm

The petition was started by 69-year-old Pat McCarthy, from Brentford in West London, after discovering 75 per cent of the tills at her local branch in Osterley were self-service.

We asked our readers for their thoughts and whether they’d like to see the return of supermarket till cashiers, and here is a selection of their thoughts:

Keith Jones says that “Self serving tills would be ok if each one of them had a staff member stood next to it to sort problems out...” a view that was shared by a few readers, who agreed with a ‘thumbs up’ emoji.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Young sales clerk wearing face mask sitting by cash register in supermarket and serving shoppers. Male cashier scanning grocery products at checkout.

In a state of pure euphoria or is it just relief? Janet Johnson commented that, “Morrisons at Ecclesfield had 2 checkouts open yesterday!”

Read More

Read More
Cole Brothers: 'It's an eyesore' - criticism of calls to list former John Lewis ...

“Shoplifters love em they don't check everything out legally”

Denise Granger had quite the detailed insight from a personal perspective, “Sometimes they are the better option, there’s nothing worse when you’re waiting to get served and the cashier is just having a full blown conversation with the customer. With no rush to move on. I do work in a shop so I’m just stating the facts, and i am polite and do chat to the customer but only whilst I am serving them, then I move on the the next customer.”

Little girl is at the self service checkout of the supermarket with her father.

Daisy Claire pointed out that, “In the West Midlands if you have a small amount of shopping you have to use self service,” which is lovely for the West Midlands, but here in South Yorkshire… those rules don’t apply, or do they?

Bridget Doman shared a personal experience that has since shaped her view, “I must admit when I went to Tesco (had a fall-out with them last summer, I don't like being treated like an idiot) I used to use them, taking a scanner round with me, but that was because I went on the free Tesco bus that goes past my house so limited to time, otherwise when I had a car I used the manned tills. I try to avoid self-service ones anywhere, including Wilko's near me.” Fair enough, eh.

“Yes they make enough money, so employ the staff” – Joanne Cooke

But that was not the end of lengthy experiences shaping their view of the rapidly-becoming-normal-self-service experience, Kazzi Kaz says that she will,

“Never use them or the scan and shop… used that service once and was stopped for a shop check. Fair enough but the assistant on the shop and scan took all my shopping out of my bags and scanned it herself put them all in another trolley, [and] then said, “all ok thank you”… she expected me to put shopping back into my bag… suffice to say I left [the] lot and chucked scanner in trolley too… never used em since and never been back to that supermarket.”

There were a number of people who really are not fans of the cashier-free tills:

Sandra Moore is firmly against self-service tills, “If there’s no till open we shop elsewhere.”

Doreen Skidmore does some of her shopping at “Poundland do it, if no one on till l put it back.”

“Cannot stand them, so never use them!”, said Christine Robinson.

“They take jobs away from the community they earn money from”

Jean Hepplestone likens the appearance of the electronic till assistants to that of a biblical event, “I avoid them like the plague. What is worse is when one of the many staff near self serve offer to put your shopping through. It takes just as long so why not put people on tills. It's OK for a few basket items but not for trolley shopping.” Doing people out of jobs and locusts too?

Adrian Ouath stated that, “I refuse to use them, they take jobs away from the community they earn money from.”

Susan Wilkinson is adamant about her views, “I hate the self service tills don't know how to use them anyway a real person for me everytime.”

John Gibbons is clear in his view, “Yes person service is better.” Before going on to point out that, “Shoplifters love em they don't check everything out legally.” Do you see this happening much?

Jeanette Haslam stated whether she’d like to see more cashiers over self-service tills, “Yes, the staff don't realise their jobs are at risk.” A view shared by Darren Fubar Clapham, who wrote, “Hate them and it takes peoples jobs.”

Following up Darren’s comment, Mary Pye said, “I hate the self-service tills for many reasons.” But she did not share one of those reasons… instead, you will just have to read the room to feel her unbridled silent rage.

But not everyone is against them, Diane Dewick says that she will, “always use them if possible do not want to wait in queues with shopping especially frozen food. However, there should be the choice available.”

A view shared by, Vivien Fleming, “No, I like doing it myself in my own time.”

Josh Smith says that, “Self-service for me, more the better, one less person for me to have to talk to.”

Adding some much needed insight to the conversation with his hot-take, Steven Ward responded by saying, “Stupid question!”, you’ll be alright.

The most popular response came courtesy of frequent commentor, Eugene Solomon, who had this to say…

“I never use them and if the shop doesn't have an actual till open, I spend my money elsewhere. Help management cut people's jobs? Nah.”

Finally, Hazel Kennedy is a firm, “Yes”.

“I think once you start throwing away the human touch then you lose something much more important than saving money. It’s exactly the same with all these automated answer machines instead of a “real” person directly answering the call.”

In conclusion, it really does seem like Sheffield don’t have too many fans when it comes to self-service tills, as convenient as they can be you can’t quite shake the feeling that this ‘convenience’ is coming at the behest of enforced obsolescence of working roles. Long gone are those days when you could stroll through a supermarket and know that the end of your journey around the store would be in conversation with a cashier.

Convenience is great but so is that all important ‘human/personal touch’… after all… moderation is key, isn’t it?

What do you think? Do you hate self-service tills?

If you like, you can even sign the petition here.