Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Convenience is not all it's cracked up to be.

Yesterday I stopped at the Kroger to pick up a couple of items, and when I went up front to pay, there was only one register open. Because a lady with a full cart was already in line, I decided to go against my principles and use the self check out. I do not like checking out my own groceries because first of all, it takes me twice as long as it would take an employee, especially when I’m buying a head of lettuce and the barcode is crumpled up and I have to straighten it so that the scanner will read it. Then I have to feed my money into the machine, and if a dollar bill has a crease on the edge, I have to take the time to straighten that out as well. But the main reason that I am against checking my own groceries is that I don’t get a discount for doing so. Part of the price that I pay for groceries goes toward the store’s overhead, which includes paying someone to work at a cash register, take my money, and bag my groceries. When I have to perform these tasks myself at a store, the store is receiving that much more pure profit while providing less customer service. Also, the extra labor involved in my checking my own groceries means that I am in effect paying more for my groceries than when I let the cashier check them.

Every now and then, when I am in the store and see a long line of people waiting to check out, I forget these things and go through the self check out because I perceive it to be more convenient. Yesterday, however, as I struggled to get the lettuce to ring up, I remembered why I hate the self check out, and I resolved to from now on be content to wait in the line and get my money’s worth in customer service.


jettybetty said...

Me 2--I only use the self check out if I have 5 or less items AND there's a long line. I figured it was just because I was lazy--why do all that work when they pay someone!

Jeffraham Prestonian said...

I guess it also depends on the value of one's time... this is why I find Wal*Mart to not be such a good value, because it's like swimming through a sea of humanity to get through the store to get the items I want, and then waiting forever in a line to pay for it.

JMG said...

That's why I never go to the Walmart if I'm in a hurry, and never on the weekend.

Tony Arnold said...

I love self-checkout. But I love anything that has technology that lets me get something done without having to involve another human. I find self-checkout faster.

But I use it mostly at Lowes or Home Depot as Anita does most of the shopping. When I am shopping it is for just a few items and self-check seems faster to me.

I do agree that self-checkout out to should help keep overhead down which should be reflected in product pricing.