A woman behind a petition asking Tesco to cut back on the number of self-service tills in its stores has explained why she launched her campaign.
More than 100,000 people have signed the petition on Change.org after Pat McCarthy, 69, opened a can of worms by asking the supermarket giant to restore a fuller range of manned tills. The volunteer, from Brentford, West London, launched the campaign after visiting a store where three-quarters of the tills were self service.
The Mirror reports that at the core of her argument against robot cashiers is a simple concept: “You can’t speak to a machine.” Writing on Change.org, the online platform she used to raise the petition, she said: “These new tills are not accessible for people who don’t have credit cards and can only use cash or those with little confidence to use these self-service card-only tills – myself included.”
Tesco has said that staff are always available to help, regardless of which kind of checkout you use. But Ms McCarthy, who shops at Tesco Extra in Osterley, claimed that she faced a 30-minute wait to pay for her goods with just five or six staffed checkouts available.
“You do need some self-service for the people who find them more convenient but just fewer,” she said. Ms McCarthy, who works with people with disabilities and who lives alone, said she enjoys the chat with staff as she pays for her goods.
A spokesperson for Tesco said: “Our colleagues and the friendly service they provide are absolutely vital to our stores and will always be on hand to help our customers, whether they are checking out at one of our colleague-operated or self-service checkouts.”
Exasperation at the self-checkout is far from new. In 2015 Morrison bought back 1,000 staff after a study found 67% of customers felt nervous using the machines.
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