After struggling to utilise the store’s self-service checkouts, a Tesco shopper is demanding the supermarket to “stop replacing humans with machines.”
“Because you can’t communicate with a machine,” Pat McCarthy, 69, created a petition advocating for additional cashiers on the tills.
She is one of many customers who claim that self-service tills are excessively slow or difficult to operate, and her petition has over 97,000 signatures.
Tesco claimed that personnel were always available to assist customers at either sort of checkout.
Ms McCarthy, who lives in Brentford, West London, began her campaign after visiting a Tesco Extra in Osterley and discovering that three-quarters of the tills were self-service.
“These new tills are inaccessible to people who don’t have credit cards and can only pay with cash, or those who have limited trust using these self-service card-only tills—myself included,” she said on her Change.org page.
There were five or six manned tills, according to the volunteer who assists people with impairments, but she had to wait 30 minutes owing to lines.
“You need some self-service for the people who prefer it,” she said, “but only a few.”
Because she lives alone, Ms McCarthy enjoys speaking with checkout personnel, but “that experience has been taken away from me now.”
A Tesco spokesperson stated that “our staff and the welcoming service they give are vitally crucial to our stores.”
Ms McCarthy isn’t the only one who feels this way. Although self-service tills are advertised as being speedier, some customers have claimed that they are slower than staffed tills.
They irritate some people. Morrisons reintroduced personnel to 1,000 “express” checkouts in 2015 after research revealed that 67 per cent of customers were uncomfortable with self-scanning tills.
Tesco stated that it launched self-service checkouts about 20 years ago to provide customers with a choice and that both alternatives were available in all of its stores.
The supermarket changed its High Holborn store in central London into a Tesco GetGo in October, allowing customers to shop and pay without having to use a checkout.