'Unexpected item in bagging area': How to turn off that infuriating self-service checkout voice

Trick works in M&S, Tesco and more

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No example of machines replacing humans is more egregious than those now ubiquitous self-service checkouts in supermarkets, which seem desperate to try and wrongly out you as a thief or request age approval so you can buy confectionery containing 0.2ml of kirsch.

They inevitably only serve to slow you down in buying that miserable lasagne or else serve as an unwelcome reminder of the automated dystopia that stretches ahead of us.

But there's good news, it can be deactivated via a simple hack.

In fact it's not even a hack, there's just a volume button at the bottom of most self-service checkout screens, which you would have noticed can be tapped to mute if you weren't so busy protesting your innocence over an "unexpected" melt-in-the-middle pudding in the bagging area:

The function was spotted as early as 2012, but is only now starting to be shared more widely – ideal in the run up to Christmas as you can now focus solely on trying to successfully weigh parsnips without having to endure a disembodied voice intoning about ClubCards.

(H/T BuzzFeed)