Tesco ditches 'unexpected item in bagging area' at self-service checkouts

Tesco self-service checkouts

It's the phrase that every shopper hates/dreads (delete as applicable) - "Unexpected item in bagging area!"

Now Tesco is ditching it from its self-service tills and introducing more customer-friendly ones like: "Thank you for shopping at Tesco."

The supermarket says it is getting rid of six "unhelpful" phrases after feedback from customers.

Tesco says a new male voice will make self-service checkouts "friendlier, more helpful and less talkative".

Out goes the female voice, belonging to former EastEnders actress Helena Breck.

It says things like "Remove this item before continuing"; "Please take your change"; "Notes are dispensed below the scanner"; and "Please take your item."

In comes a male voice asking shoppers to "Please check your packing area"; "Please don't forget your change, especially notes"; and "This can now be placed in your bag."

Tesco in West Kensington

Tesco admitted that its current system had "become a source of frustration" for customers, with some describing it as "shouty", "irritating", and putting them under pressure as they finish their shop.

The system's already been rolled out to a small number of stores, including ones in Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and Kensington, west London.

It'll be introduced in all of Tesco's UK stores by the end of October.

Tesco first introduced self-service machines in 2003 and has more than 12,000 in operation.

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