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#52 Mar 04 2013 at 9:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kakar wrote:
I've heard of limitations on how much cash you can withdraw, I think mine is 350. The only time it was ever an issue was when I was in Vegas, and that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Well, no. You just use the card then to buy jewelry from the casino gift shop and pawn it to finance the gambling. You'll make it all back once you hit big.
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#53 Mar 05 2013 at 5:03 PM Rating: Default
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Kakar wrote:
Weird, I've never heard of a daily spending limit.


On a debit card? Sure. It's common, and it's designed (in theory) to prevent someone who steals the number from just draining the account before you can figure out what's going on. I think my debit card is limited to $1.5k. That's plenty for normal purchases, but there are things that this can not be enough for. It's pretty simple to just write a check for those higher amounts (easier than calling and getting your debit limit increased at least).

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I've heard of limitations on how much cash you can withdraw, I think mine is 350.


Yeah. That's pretty standard for ATM cards, and for pretty much the same reason.
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#54 Mar 05 2013 at 9:29 PM Rating: Good
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I read the article and it was somewhat confusing. While they had identified other real problems leading to loss of business, none of them seemed to cause the breakdown in the restocking chain. Has there been a massive upsurge in successful shoplifting? If items are shoplifted they won't show up as needing to be ordered and restocked.


Having worked there for several years, I can say that is actually very likely. One of Walmart's major problems is their experimentation with "self-checkout" machines. I had a manager say to us once that our store lost $1.4 million in customers "under ringing" themselves that year. $1.4 million in one year is enough to pay hundreds of real cashiers their sh*tty minimum wage. Despite this, they continue to not only use them, but replace real registers with more rows of self-checkout machines.

Not only that, but Wal-Mart is too cheap to hire any real sort of security. I use to work overnight in electronics, and when someone decided they wanted to load a shopping cart full of computers and expensive large-screen TVs and walk out broken fire escape door with it, there was nothing we could do about it.

Our store was also frequently victim to "puddle-jumpers." Opportunists who would enter the store looking for an object or wet spot on the floor so they could "slip" on it. This was an almost daily occurrence. Wal-Mart would opt to pay out a settlement every time instead of paying a lawyer to fight it. I'm not sure exactly how much these people made doing this, but I've heard it is somewhere in the tens of thousands per "accident" range.

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 6:29am by Kuwoobie
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#55 Mar 06 2013 at 9:14 AM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Not only that, but Wal-Mart is too cheap to hire any real sort of security. I use to work overnight in electronics, and when someone decided they wanted to load a shopping cart full of computers and expensive large-screen TVs and walk out broken fire escape door with it, there was nothing we could do about it.
Looks like I've got a reason to go to Jersey this weekend afterall.
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#56 Mar 06 2013 at 10:04 AM Rating: Decent
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Having worked there for several years, I can say that is actually very likely. One of Walmart's major problems is their experimentation with "self-checkout" machines. I had a manager say to us once that our store lost $1.4 million in customers "under ringing" themselves that year. $1.4 million in one year is enough to pay hundreds of real cashiers their sh*tty minimum wage. Despite this, they continue to not only use them, but replace real registers with more rows of self-checkout machines.


Expect to see more of it. It saves billions. Your anecdotal story is lovely, but lacks the counter-factual data about shrinkage from human cashier error, which is MASSIVE. The machines are going to get better at finding it, the people, well, aren't. So the choice for retailers is to either continue hiring cashiers, in general a high turnover, low skill, low enthusiasm population who steal things, sure, form unions, etc, and work 40 hours per week....or....buy a robot that can work 24 hours a day forever with minimal maintenance and will continue become more sophisticated and cheaper and progressively better at it's job. Eventually, NFC and RFID being what they already are, it'll be commonplace to walk into a walmart, fill a cart, then walk through an automated cashier, press "ok" and leave in about 4 seconds.

There is the downside that my wife won't spend 20 minutes talking to the human cashier and learn about how hard it is for her to pay for her kids braces, or whatever it is those people talk to her about. It'll be a shame to see that crazy ******** go away, but there will probably be more homeless people to walk across streets in traffic to have a conversation with her.
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#57 Mar 06 2013 at 10:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:

Having worked there for several years, I can say that is actually very likely. One of Walmart's major problems is their experimentation with "self-checkout" machines. I had a manager say to us once that our store lost $1.4 million in customers "under ringing" themselves that year. $1.4 million in one year is enough to pay hundreds of real cashiers their sh*tty minimum wage. Despite this, they continue to not only use them, but replace real registers with more rows of self-checkout machines.


Expect to see more of it. It saves billions. Your anecdotal story is lovely, but lacks the counter-factual data about shrinkage from human cashier error, which is MASSIVE. The machines are going to get better at finding it, the people, well, aren't. So the choice for retailers is to either continue hiring cashiers, in general a high turnover, low skill, low enthusiasm population who steal things, sure, form unions, etc, and work 40 hours per week....or....buy a robot that can work 24 hours a day forever with minimal maintenance and will continue become more sophisticated and cheaper and progressively better at it's job. Eventually, NFC and RFID being what they already are, it'll be commonplace to walk into a walmart, fill a cart, then walk through an automated cashier, press "ok" and leave in about 4 seconds.

There is the downside that my wife won't spend 20 minutes talking to the human cashier and learn about how hard it is for her to pay for her kids braces, or whatever it is those people talk to her about. It'll be a shame to see that crazy bullsh*t go away, but there will probably be more homeless people to walk across streets in traffic to have a conversation with her.


I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.
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#58 Mar 06 2013 at 10:22 AM Rating: Good
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I'd like to be able to buy as I shop, or at least keep a running total. When I reach my dollar limit, or the have covered all the aisles or my reusable bags are full, I just touch the 'checkout' button on whatever device I'm using, touch the confirmation button and lastly touch the 'approve' button' then leave the store.

I also want to be able to simply 'save' to my own device the recipes that some marketer used to sell me their product. Likewise clothing labels and care instructions manuals, warranties etc etc.

I think it would be really awesome if my shopping device would also tell me upon scanning an item, where each piece of it was manufactured, by who it was made, what practices were used in it's creation, etc etc.
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#59 Mar 06 2013 at 10:23 AM Rating: Decent
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I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.

I don't spend a great deal of time in Walmart, it's true. However, let's stipulate what you say is entirely accurate. What's your theory as to why they would continue to purchase and use the machines? Stupidity? The world's largest retailer just likes to lose money and can't do an elementary cost benefit analysis?

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 11:23am by Smasharoo
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#60 Mar 06 2013 at 10:25 AM Rating: Decent
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I'd like to be able to buy as I shop, or at least keep a running total. When I reach my dollar limit, or the have covered all the aisles or my reusable bags are full, I just touch the 'checkout' button on whatever device I'm using, touch the confirmation button and lastly touch the 'approve' button' then leave the store.

That's really not that far away.


I also want to be able to simply 'save' to my own device the recipes that some marketer used to sell me their product. Likewise clothing labels and care instructions manuals, warranties etc etc.


Probably that too.


I think it would be really awesome if my shopping device would also tell me upon scanning an item, where each piece of it was manufactured, by who it was made, what practices were used in it's creation, etc etc.


No one makes any money at that, so probably never.
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#61 Mar 06 2013 at 10:28 AM Rating: Decent
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:

Having worked there for several years, I can say that is actually very likely. One of Walmart's major problems is their experimentation with "self-checkout" machines. I had a manager say to us once that our store lost $1.4 million in customers "under ringing" themselves that year. $1.4 million in one year is enough to pay hundreds of real cashiers their sh*tty minimum wage. Despite this, they continue to not only use them, but replace real registers with more rows of self-checkout machines.


Expect to see more of it. It saves billions. Your anecdotal story is lovely, but lacks the counter-factual data about shrinkage from human cashier error, which is MASSIVE. The machines are going to get better at finding it, the people, well, aren't. So the choice for retailers is to either continue hiring cashiers, in general a high turnover, low skill, low enthusiasm population who steal things, sure, form unions, etc, and work 40 hours per week....or....buy a robot that can work 24 hours a day forever with minimal maintenance and will continue become more sophisticated and cheaper and progressively better at it's job. Eventually, NFC and RFID being what they already are, it'll be commonplace to walk into a walmart, fill a cart, then walk through an automated cashier, press "ok" and leave in about 4 seconds.

There is the downside that my wife won't spend 20 minutes talking to the human cashier and learn about how hard it is for her to pay for her kids braces, or whatever it is those people talk to her about. It'll be a shame to see that crazy bullsh*t go away, but there will probably be more homeless people to walk across streets in traffic to have a conversation with her.


I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.

Sure they have. Maybe not at Walmart but technology has certainly improved and will continue to. Go shop in Bejing and see how automated it is. Cashier will soon be as rare as 'bag boys' currently are.
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#62 Mar 06 2013 at 10:42 AM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.

I don't spend a great deal of time in Walmart, it's true. However, let's stipulate what you say is entirely accurate. What's your theory as to why they would continue to purchase and use the machines? Stupidity? The world's largest retailer just likes to lose money and can't do an elementary cost benefit analysis?

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 11:23am by Smasharoo



Stupidity. Yes. It is actually Wal-Mart policy to shoot themselves in the foot if it means cutting out those loathsome sub-human leeches they call "associates." I have worked at 4 different locations and they are all the same. They are constantly looking for new ways reduce the number of people working there, and the hours of those who remain-- even if it means lines of customers that wrap around entire store, and shelves not being stocked while merchandise stacked on pallets in the receiving warehouse area, well out of reach of paying customers. Their solution is to make a handful of suckers who are afraid to lose their jobs pick up the slack for all the people they aren't replacing.

Revisiting my old store in Palm Bay, I talked to one of my old coworkers, who is now "department manager" of 12 different departments. When I worked there, there was ONE department manager per each department, given it wasn't an especially small area, they *might* have covered two or three. Things started sliding downhill back in 2006, and have not stopped since.

Its not so much that Wal-mart is stupid. They are greedy. They want to have everything their way. If they are losing money, they will blame their workers. The turn-over rate is ridiculous. If they aren't happy with the performance of one associate, they will keep firing and rehiring until they find someone who is willing and able to cover the workload of a dozen people. They do not seem to care if they lose money when it turns out they cannot find enough of this kind of person.
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#63 Mar 06 2013 at 11:04 AM Rating: Good
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The grocery stores around here all have self-checkout. All the different stores seem to use the same manufacturer for the machines, and they work pretty well. My biggest wish: add an ID-scanner so I don't have to wait for the one employee that's over 21 to buy alcohol.

I often buy just 1-2 bags of food at a time, so I'll just use that instead because it's faster and I don't particularly enjoy talking to the cashier. Also, you can buy embarrassing items without anxiety. Smiley: thumbsup

It's easy enough for people to cheat and ring up expensive items as "bananas" ($0.64/lb), but the stores apparently profit enough anyway since they're still around. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about bypassing a cashier with an empty line to self-checkout, but so it goes. It's not the first nor last job to be replaced by a machine. Someone else will get a job manufacturing the things (although in China, I guess).
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#64 Mar 06 2013 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
The turn-over rate is ridiculous. If they aren't happy with the performance of one associate, they will keep firing and rehiring until they find someone who is willing and able to cover the workload of a dozen people.

That's not just Walmart, that's every minimum wage retail job.
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#65 Mar 06 2013 at 11:12 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
I'd like to be able to buy as I shop, or at least keep a running total. When I reach my dollar limit, or the have covered all the aisles or my reusable bags are full, I just touch the 'checkout' button on whatever device I'm using, touch the confirmation button and lastly touch the 'approve' button' then leave the store.

That's really not that far away.

That's how our Stop&Shop grocery stores work. Get a scanner gun, scan in your personalized store card, then scan items as you go. Keeps a running total, shows you discounts and coupons. Then you scan the register with your gun, pay with your card, and leave. 'Paying' the scanning gun with a NFC device is just the next step, eliminating the register altogether. Sucks, though, all those Downs folks will be losing their bagging jobs - they've already lost the WallyWorld greeter jobs.

And for those not using the gun, or a manned register, the self-scanners are indeed getting better - as long as they're maintained reguarly. Hard to scan barcodes when the scanning surface is covered with dried yogurt from some leaky cup.

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 12:14pm by Debalic
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#66 Mar 06 2013 at 11:16 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.

Sure they have. Maybe not at Walmart but technology has certainly improved and will continue to. Go shop in Bejing and see how automated it is. Cashier will soon be as rare as 'bag boys' currently are.


Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused and tell me to place my item in the bag, or remove it, or some other random shuffle of ingredients so that it is somehow satisifed that the item is being accounted for.

I know where the technology can be, but until these places stop using underpowered hardware with software from the lowest possible bidder, the experience will continue to be lackluster at best. Given the inability for these machines to keep up with an average checkout process without getting confused, I can't see how they can possibly be saving money (in the current state) other than anecdotally ("Well at least we're not paying salary and benefits to a cashier...").

Edited, Mar 6th 2013 11:17am by BrownDuck
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#67 Mar 06 2013 at 12:08 PM Rating: Good
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Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#68 Mar 06 2013 at 12:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


In the future, there will likely be no other choice. This is what happens when "innovation and technology" meets the mediocrity of retail penny-pinchery.
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#69 Mar 06 2013 at 12:46 PM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


In the future, there will likely be no other choice. This is what happens when "innovation and technology" meets the mediocrity of retail penny-pinchery.
Not surprised, but you missed the point.
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#70 Mar 06 2013 at 12:49 PM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


In the future, there will likely be no other choice. This is what happens when "innovation and technology" meets the mediocrity of retail penny-pinchery.

There will always be greedy corporations. You can certainly surmise that they don't get greedy until innovation and technology provide them an easy path to their greed, but I wouldn't agree.

There are some things that automation is simply better for. I would suggest that adding up prices and counting money is one of them. Throughout my lifetime I've caught lots of mistakes during my purchase of goods. Probably half the time the error benefited me, but it's an error none-the-less. And I'm sure there are many more that I didn't catch.

Better than speculating that Walmart's greed coupled with innovation is putting more poor bastards back onto the street is to simply give your business to someone else who might, in turn, give those same poor souls a decent job. Personally I don't shop at Walmart. Dunkin Donuts and Old Navy are a couple other companies I don't do business with. I think Bed, Bath and Beyond is going to get added to my list - just cuz they scarred my baby. I realize it makes no difference that one lowly little person doesn't buy their stuff, but still - I can complain about the companies without being a hypocrite.
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#71 Mar 06 2013 at 12:51 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


In the future, there will likely be no other choice. This is what happens when "innovation and technology" meets the mediocrity of retail penny-pinchery.
Not surprised, but you missed the point.

A point in many directions is the same as no point at all...~The Pointed Man
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#72 Mar 06 2013 at 12:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Well in my experience at the local big name grocer, lowes, and a few other places, the machines they use are underpowered recycled 10 year old computer hardware that can barely handle a simultaneous scan and bag placement. ****, it often takes multiple seconds for these things to register the fact that I've scanned an item or pressed the debit button. I can't tell you the number of times I've scanned an item and placed it into the weighted bag holder only to have the machine get confused

I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


In the future, there will likely be no other choice. This is what happens when "innovation and technology" meets the mediocrity of retail penny-pinchery.
Not surprised, but you missed the point.

A point in many directions is the same as no point at all...~The Pointed Man


Come at me bro ~ The Sea Urchin, The Cactus, The Hedgehog, The Porcupine... Smiley: lol
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#73 Mar 06 2013 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


When's the last time you were in a Lowes at 10:00AM? Around here, they don't even have any cashiers on staff most of the day, just those stupidvisors who are supposed to assist when the machines don't work.

That begs the question - if you have to hire people to babysit the machines, why have the machines in the first place?
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#74 Mar 06 2013 at 1:45 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
That begs the question - if you have to hire people to babysit the machines, why have the machines in the first place?


Because... one employee can babysit a group of 12 self checkouts?

That's what they do at local shops here... I don't know about yours. There is one master desk that appears to get reports from the other self checkouts, and that is where the one person monitoring things stands.
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#75 Mar 06 2013 at 3:07 PM Rating: Decent
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BrownDuck wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
I can't tell you how much it undermines arguments that they should improve them that you keep going back to an experience you find lacking.


When's the last time you were in a Lowes at 10:00AM? Around here, they don't even have any cashiers on staff most of the day, just those stupidvisors who are supposed to assist when the machines don't work.

Even if there were any Mexican day laborers left in the parking lot to pick up by 10am, d'you think Smash really even goes into the store himself? Sheesh...
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#76 Mar 06 2013 at 9:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:

Having worked there for several years, I can say that is actually very likely. One of Walmart's major problems is their experimentation with "self-checkout" machines. I had a manager say to us once that our store lost $1.4 million in customers "under ringing" themselves that year. $1.4 million in one year is enough to pay hundreds of real cashiers their sh*tty minimum wage. Despite this, they continue to not only use them, but replace real registers with more rows of self-checkout machines.


Expect to see more of it. It saves billions. Your anecdotal story is lovely, but lacks the counter-factual data about shrinkage from human cashier error, which is MASSIVE. The machines are going to get better at finding it, the people, well, aren't. So the choice for retailers is to either continue hiring cashiers, in general a high turnover, low skill, low enthusiasm population who steal things, sure, form unions, etc, and work 40 hours per week....or....buy a robot that can work 24 hours a day forever with minimal maintenance and will continue become more sophisticated and cheaper and progressively better at it's job. Eventually, NFC and RFID being what they already are, it'll be commonplace to walk into a walmart, fill a cart, then walk through an automated cashier, press "ok" and leave in about 4 seconds.

There is the downside that my wife won't spend 20 minutes talking to the human cashier and learn about how hard it is for her to pay for her kids braces, or whatever it is those people talk to her about. It'll be a shame to see that crazy bullsh*t go away, but there will probably be more homeless people to walk across streets in traffic to have a conversation with her.


I get the feeling you haven't seen just how crappy and useless the machines are, and how they've not improved in any way, shape or form at all over the years they have been in use.

If you're using the ones in Wal-Mart, yeah - they blow. Use the ones in Kroger and they're great. I will wait for a self-checkout in Kroger before I'll wait for a cashier.
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