Tesco is to replace the audio on its self checkout machines with one that is "friendlier, more helpful and less talkative". It will also scrap the infamous alert “unexpected item in the bagging area” that was introduced with the self-checkout machines in 2003.
Tesco said it was making the change to the 12,000 machines in operation because some customers found the current voice was shouty and irritating.
Self service checkouts are the most tedious things ever. All I wanted to do was pay for my banana. "Unexpected item in the bagging area."— khloe. (@khloekamryn) July 20, 2015
Friendlier self checkout machines to come in Tesco, presumably they will be fitted with an alarm should any parent try to buy Ribena.— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) July 30, 2015
Six unhelpful phrases have been removed, including ‘please take your items’. ‘Thank you for shopping at Tesco’ has been added.
James Dewen, the self-service checkout operations manager, said that the customers found the current voice frustrating.
“It’s listened to by millions of customers every week, so we’ve acted on customer and colleague feedback and worked hard to get the new voice right to improve the shopping trip,” he said.
Fresh audio has already been installed in some stores in Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and Kensington. The remainder of Tesco stores will switch by the end of October.