Woolworths checkout practice sparks debate after shopper's rant

A furious Woolworths customer has accused the supermarket giant of implementing “unfriendly customer policies” that “inconvenience” those who just want to buy a couple of groceries.

In a seething Facebook post to the supermarket giant, the man unleashed about staff “double handling” his groceries, complaining about how long it takes to get through the checkout.

Checkout changes under fire

He began by sarcastically congratulating Woolworths on “alienating” customers before launching into a full-blown checkout rant.

“Today I found out you have a new policy where checkout operators now ‘double handle’ your items,” he wrote.

“First they scan the item but instead of putting the item straight in the bag after scanning it is placed back on the counter until enough items have been scanned to fill the shopping bag therefore having to handle the items twice, once to scan then to pack into the bags,” he explained.

“This doubles the time taken to go through the checkout, even though I had some staff try to tell me it's quicker and that it's better on their bodies?”

A general view is seen of a Woolworths store in Brisbane, Friday, June 25, 2021. Source: AAP
An angry Woolworths shopper has unleashed online about the time it takes at the checkout. Source: AAP

Shopper roasts self-serve checkouts

The livid shopper then pivoted to his gripe with the self-serve checkouts, grumbling about “card only” options and scanning issues.

“...and then when you are forced to use the self service section 90 per cent are card only and the buttons on the machines just don't work!” he continued.

“You have to press multiple times and even then you have to call for assistance!, and even then you are bombarded with donation request whilst paying for your items!

“And with the scale problems or scanning problems just buying a few things turns into an ordeal!”

He concluded his tirade with the suggestion that sacking staff would be “easier” for customers than having to deal with “unfriendly customer policies”.

Woolies defended by loyal customers

His grievances were swiftly met with protest from scores of loyal Woolworths customers, who jumped to the defence of the supermarket which was voted Australia's most trusted brand this week.

“Pack your bags yourself if you don't want them touching your stuff twice. Do you know how many other people, including other customers have potentially touched those items?,” one woman pointed out.

Another added: “Don't understand why you don't pack your own bags?”

Stock image of a handle of a Woolworths trolley showing the supermarket's logo. Source: AAP
Some shoppers defended the supermarket giant and its checkout operators. Source: AAP

One man hit back at his claims, suggesting the change is intended to improve the checkout process.

“I mean people complain when staff pack poorly. This process sounds like it's intended for staff to pack better as they'll wait until there's enough product and pack sensibly. Not everyone passes their items to staff in a logical order,” he commented.

A former cashier chimed in, explaining that scanning then packing is often faster.

“How dare the staff try to work in a manner that helps prevent injury to their bodies. Don’t they know you are so much more important than their health? As a former cashier, I can tell you that it is faster to scan and then put things in bags after putting a lot of items on the counter. When I was a cashier my scans per hour was 1500,” they wrote.

“The only thing that’s making this an ‘ordeal’ is you,” another man stated.

Debate rages on in comments

The angry shopper’s frustrations boiled over again in the comments.

“I’m just pointing out a few examples of Woolworth's constantly making up strange policies and rules that delay or inconvenience those that just want to get their couple of things and go,” he explained in response.

“...such as not allowing customers to pay for any items other than cigarettes at the smokes counter, those who spend hours deciding what they want wouldn't probably see it but if you want to get your couple of things and go it's annoying,” he wrote.

A photo of a self-serve checkout scanner at Woolworths. Source: Woolworths
The furious customer vented his frustration with self-serve checkouts. Source: Woolworths

The man then went on to list his biggest issues with Woolworths.

“...no more fast service isle with item limits, now they only put on 2 checkout operators even in the middle of the day usually already being used by people who live rural and have 3 trolleys each to get through so you're forced to go through the self service section where all but one or two machines are card only, which the machine proudly announces and prompts you to push a button just to continue, then the machine will have issues scanning the products to be put on the scale to then have the machine throw an alert because it didn't recognise the item assistant called who took 4 goes trying to reset the error, then once i've scanned my items i go to pay and i'm asked to donate to something i've never heard of to be able to pay!!”

He finished by questioning whether it was a marketing ploy to keep customers in the store for longer.

“Please go back to your fast service isles and please put more staff on the registers,” he begged.

Woolworths has been contacted for comment.

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