22 August 2011

Self-Service Checkouts

I know this 'blog is supposed to be about my travels, but while on those travels I've had a few problems with self-service checkouts in a variety of shops. The problems range from forgetfulness on my part right through to... well... stupidity.

On a recent trip to a well known furniture shop of a Swedish persuasion, I bought a large recycling 'bucket' with handles. I used the bucket to put my other purchases in before going to the checkout. They don't have scales on their self-service ones, so I very carefully took everything out of the bucket, scanned everything, checked it twice on the screen, moved the bucket to the other side of the till and put everything back in it.

I was halfway to the door when the penny dropped... Once I got to the door (I was on an escalator at the time) I went back and confessed that I hadn't remembered to scan and pay for for the bucket itself. Firstly I was directed to customer returns, but they can't take money, only refund it. Eventually I was ushered to the front of the checkout queue where I was thanked for my honesty and everything was sorted out. My conscience wouldn't have let me not pay for it, so there was no question of not paying for it and I was very embarrassed at making such a stupid mistake.

A few days later, I stopped a northern supermarket for my weekly shop. After dealing with the somewhat temperamental and irritable self-service machine, I took my shopping and receipt and drove home. The following day, when I went to pay for something in another shop, I realised that I'd left my credit card in the till's chip and PIN machine - a call to the shop confirmed it and, as I'd already spoken to the card company, I asked that they destroy it.

But my crowing achievement took place some months ago, in another supermarket (one that's expanded all over the world), where after paying for my shopping, collecting my receipt and card, I then left the shop leaving my shopping neatly bagged at the checkout...

I'm sure I'm not the first to have done any of these, and I dare say I won't be the last. Perhaps checking-out shopping is best left to the experts.

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