The independent London newspaper

Checkouts! They should pay me

30 August, 2019

• I AGREE that self-checkouts are ghastly, (Robbed us of human contact, August 22).

Banks of these machines and usually only three or four staffed, of a dozen plus, (I have plenty of wait-time to count them) conveyor belt checkout tills with long waits for those queueing with trolleys piled high.

What happened to the “five items or fewer” tills? They’ve gone too. Maybe they are ideal for office and shop staff for a lunchtime sandwich and beverage, but I absolutely refuse to use them on the grounds that if the supermarkets want me to checkout myself then they can pay me.

There’s Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Iceland etc, etc – and the large Boots store in Brent Cross has almost 20 service pay tills with about five open at any time and very very long queues at all times.

You can short-circuit Boots’s pay tills and self-pay tills by using one of the cosmetic counters but the staff at those are less than happy if you do.

It is standard practice for all big stores, especially clothing outlets, never to have fully-staffed pay tills and so 15- to 20-minute queues.

The worst includes Zara – during their sale there were only two tills open and the queue snaked far back into the store. And Accessorize, Hennes, River Island and banks… need I continue?

When asked if they can open more tills, the standard response is “staff holidays, meetings, sickness, lunch breaks”.

There are major offenders – the cosmetic counters at Boots at Brent Cross can be compared with the Mary Celeste.



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