So my neighborhood King Soopers has been dramatically expanded – nearly doubled in size, spacious new bakery/deli/meat/produce departments, new Starbucks, the works. Apparently, to pay for all this, they’ve had to cut back on some services, like providing cashier checkout after 9:30 pm. Which I didn’t learn about until after I had loaded up a cart with close to $200 in groceries. Yay! (The lady in front of me, who also had a full cart, simply left her stuff at the customer service desk and walked out.)
So I pushed my cart into the self-checkout lanes and started scanning and bagging all of my stuff. Meanwhile, the line of customers started backing up; surprisingly, no one pointed out that I had a lot more than the limit of 15 items in my cart (a good thing; I doubt they would have liked my response). I got down to my last few items…and the entire U-Scan system crashed.
By this time there was about 20 customers in queue, and the security guard directed us to two cashier checkout lanes while they tried to reboot the self-checkout system. So I waited in line again, with nearly all of my items already bagged and the ice cream starting to melt. As soon as it was my turn, they announced that the U-Scan system was back up.
I just looked at the clerk. ”Please don’t make me go back over there.” He didn’t. They were actually quite apologetic about it by that point. But it seems the entire debacle could have been avoided if they had just opened up a cashier lane on demand, like they used to do. I’ve been at that same store at midnight before (yes, I sometimes do my grocery shopping at odd hours; sue me), and they always had a clerk available to check out big orders. Why change that policy now, especially after expanding a store in response to what I can only guess was increased customer traffic?
Even seemingly simple changes in service can result in big headaches for customers. Business owners beware!
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