A Bit of a Moral Dilemma


Okay, I’ll make good on the mistake(s) the store made, so this isn’t a real toughie when it comes to doing the right thing.

But might I say why it’s very tempting not to do so?

A chain store in our area finally got dragged into the 21st Century, and now has self check-out. (Another of their stores in the immediate area has had them for quite some time, chains of theirs around the country, even longer. Okay, we’re talking Wal-Mart. I was gonna leave out the name to prevent any bias.)

So here I am at the self check-out, doin’ my thing, and although it’s slightly different from the hundreds of others I’ve used, it’s going along smoothly enough. Just needed to double check a few instructions.

Problem? A “helper” kept coming over kabitzing, sure that I’d never seen one of these “new age” instuments in my life.
As if that wasn’t insulting enough, she did it wrong. She kept insisting that the 2nd gallon of o.j. I was purchasing had rung up. Also, the second of 2 bathrobes I was purchasing. She was so annoying, (I didn’t know how to bag groceries, either), that all I wanted was out of there, so I shrugged my shoulders, and let her have her way.
THEN she was sure I didn’t know how to use a debit card!
It would’ve taken LESS time to wait in line and let a cashier check out my lousy 11 items!!!

Well, guess what. I get home, check my receipt, and sure enough, I walked out of the store not paying for one of the gallons of o.j., and for one of the robes.

Yes, I will give the store their money.
…and probably a piece of my mind.


I never use self-checkouts. I’m too likely to make mistakes myself. We’ve had 'em in our Walmart for several years now.

Hey, did you know that the spell-check at Firefox doesn’t recognize Walmart?


I tried self check outs a couple of times but I am more comfortable with the regular checkouts.


Same here.

2cent: The way I’d approach that would be to inform the manager that he may want to ensure his staff is properly trained on using the self checkout, and explain that you are returning to the store to pay for items that were not payed for because his employees were not properly trained.

Put the blame on the managers. That’s what I’d do anyways.
Well, if I was actually going to complain about getting a bargain.


I’ve used self check-outs for years w/o a prob.

I LIKE doing it that way. Mainly because so few stores teach or care how to properly bag groceries. Ya know? Frozen items together, and that sort of thing?

Yes, the good cashiers do make an attempt here, but there are enough flakes to make you sure it’s a dying breed.

But that’s not the point. The point is that the “Know-it-All” had me walk out of the store, essentially stealing, and now I have to go back to make it right!

Dim-bulbs with a superiority complex screw more stuff up than anyone thought possible.


If they gave a discount, maybe I’d use self checkout, but if I have to pay full price, I refuse to labor.
Kudos for your honesty. Just what I’d expect from you, BTW.


Oh, they’ll hear about it. And I intend to do so politely. As a matter of fact, I hope I run into the other woman who indicated, and very politely at that - from a distance - to smooth out any wrinkles.
One of the ‘wrinkles’ is having nowhere to put the items you’ve already checked out priot to your cart being empty.

But I’ll be sure to gripe about those bargains I got!


We have to self bag here at the stores I shop at. The technology does not bother me but I just feel more comfortable using the regular lanes.


I generally look at it as the same way as you. I shop at your store, please provide the service. It’s only customery. It used to be that “customer service” is what made one chose one store over the other. And most of us do appreciate being treated as a customer; not their servant.

Kudos for your honesty. Just what I’d expect from you, BTW.

Thank you. Didn’t mean to brag on myself. It’s what I figure most folks here would do.


Seems “customer service” is going by the wayside. It used to be what kept one store with competitive goods and prices above the other.
Now what’s going to be their attraction?

Seems to me that with so many stores facing the competition of internet sales, that customer service would be the one remaining ingredient left to attract customers.

Hmm. This could lead to an interesting trend.


That what I think also but I end up using self checkout most of the time because they (Walmart) usually find the most frail human being they can hire to run the “express” lane, I can save 5 minutes by doing it myself.


Im relatively young but I have rarely real customer service because customers dont want it, they would rather be treated like crap and save $50 than to pay more for an item and be treated well.


I use the self checkouts when it saves time, but for the most part there is not enough room to bag the stuff as I like it, as said above frozen stuff together… Frankly I would call the store first, you wouldn’t want to get jumped on the way to do the right thing. Plus you may not have to tote the stuff back to be scanned. They may just send you out for like items. Just a thought.


Well, that’s interesting, too.
And you’re right. It’s seems that’s why “specialty stores” became popular. If you wanted any kind of service at all, you had to go ‘high end.’ Then it became a trend. ALL stores offered that. It was the only way they could compete.
It’s at a crossroads now. I say, if they want my money, they are in a position to beg for it.
Don’t take that wrong. Stores competing with the same objects at near the same cost have but one thing to compete with; service.

I’ll admit, sometimes I’d prefer to browse on my own. However, when I’m in a store for particular item, there ought to be a sales person handy to direct me and help with that item.
And I’m perfectly willing to pay for it. “I’m looking for a cocktail dress in a size 4”, i.e." Or, “I’m looking for an iron that is as close to the one I like, but broke, and is no longer available.”

I WANT somebody INFORMED who can lead me to the best choices available.

However, in the same token, I can understand people looking for ways to cut costs, and businesses looking for ways to meet those trends.

(And to give you a hoot of sorts, back when, my husband went shopping some time ago at every specialty shop he could locate to find me the bathrobe I WANTED. Pink, zipped from bottom to top. I just found it, eons later at…Wal-Mart! Poor guy. I do love him so!)

But anyway, it’s gonna go the way of frugality wherever stores and people can find it.
Yes, I agree with you, and also, Tiny, that if there isn’t a discount to check out your own items, then why do it?
Because it’ll cut the cost of purchasing in the long run.
And when people can’t hardly afford to feed their families, they’ll take whatever bargain they can get.


Thats not always true, for one thing quality help costs more and can inflate prices and loss leaders are used as price competition


I was wondering about that. If they think I’m going to tote back the gallon of o.j. I didn’t pay for, they’re out of luck.
And if they think I’m going to run all the way to the back of the store to grab that gallon of o.j. I didn’t pay for, their nuts, too.
Now, the robe, I still have the tags. I want to exchange it, anyway. (Nimrods put one size on the hanger and tag, but well, turns out the XXX LARGE I grabbed was the wrong one. (Thank God! LOL)

But for the love of pete! If it wasn’t for the nimrod who was sure I was too incompetant to scan, bag, and pay for my stuff, ALL OF THIS COULD’VE BEEN AVOIDED!


Yes. Quality help costs more. It doesn’t inflate prices; it merely reflects the price of doing business with with quality salespersons.


I use the check-out method I want to still be available to me ten years from now…and I’m pretty sure the computer driven ones don’t need my support. (And the computer doesn’t notice that you grabbed a bad melon, and wouldn’t tell you if it did.)

Question: Why does every grocery store, utlity, bank, etc… think that I want to help them lower their overhead, become more efficient, and reduce their labor costs? When I called up about my electric bill, Ms Consumers Energy Corp answered and let me know that they’d get around to reading my meter when they got to it, the law only requires it to be read once per year, and she didn’t seem to have a grasp on why I didn’t want to pay an estimated bill for another six months, right after I’d umplugged the hot tub. And these bozos, with whom I ended up having a $600 credit, want me to go paperless on my billing…to save them dimes I’ll never see. How 'bout a six pack of Bite Me! to that idea? None of these Wharton MBA’s have ever offered to save me a dime. Screw 'em. I go through the manned check out lane every time I get the chance.

My bank is offering me a discount on the monthly fee it is going to charge me for keeping my money there, if I sign up for direct deposit of my paycheck. Screw 'em. I’ve been with them since 1972 and it’s over, now, and forever. They close my local branch in order to open one between my town and the one five miles west of me. No big deal, except the new one is further away, the ATM machine doesn’t need envelopes to deposit a check…but no one has actually seen the thing do anything of the sort successfully, and they let go the staff, most of whom had been there for thirty years…and were the only reason I still went there in the first place. I can get a computer to screw things up all on my own unassisted. When I need help from a banker it’s not about redeeeming my S&H Greenstamps, and I’d like it to be someone I know and trust, and whom has at least the slightest idea as to what the heck is going on. Somone who can figure out how their employer is trying to screw me yet again. They’ve got all kinds of ideas on how I can “save” money, none of which ever save me money, while I’m pretty sure they result in bank employee layoffs…of the only people who can explain a $7.65 charge out of nowhere. These are the same computer people who cannot send me a credit card statment by mail or electronically, but profess amazement when they call me up, because I’d never been late on the bill before. I’m past explaining, yet again, that I send a payment, as needed, twice a month instead of once a month because I don’t know when it’s due and nobody can tell me when its due, or how to get the invoices flowingh again. Screw 'em. They laid off my blue-haired teller lady and her supervisor, five years before retirement, and I’m going down to the Credit Union because I fixed their well last year and they seemed nice…and they had stamps, a whole roll of them, and no plans for me to make them more efficient.

DirecTV gave me $5 off for going paperless…and I had to beat it out of them. Hey, I like my mailman , I want to see him keep on working. He provides a reliable service… at least on his end. Why would I want lesser service for the same price? That’s the same sunshine they blew up my ass telling me how neat it was that I got right in to see the Physician’s Assistant, even though I paid the same rate as if I’d seen the actual doctor. Customer service is now getting right through to the person who cannot help you, has no idea how to help you, but is skilled enough to keep you on the phone long enough that you think, surely I’ve been helped by now, haven’t I?

I’m toodling down to the Credit Union in the morning because it occurred to me that all their employees looked happy to be working there…something that’s been missing at the bank the last couple of decades. I think it’s because they don’t spend all day having to explain to their customers how they just got screwed.


I like self check out when I have like 5 items but I always forget to put them on the scale and it acts like I’m a thief. The express lanes suck though. I don’t understand why people act like they’ve never ran their credit card at Walmart before.


Sway, you do make a point. I refuse to go paperless, also. Heard too many stories about people’s payments miraculously disappearing. My bills get paid by mail, and it gives me a certain amount of pleasure to stick a stamp w/the Statue of Liberty over them begging me to "go green."
I did, however, cave, and go to using a debit card recently.

Another thing I refuse to do is buy a bag to put my groceries in. Besides, how gross can it be to keep re-using the same bag for your food over and over?
And I don’t use Wal-Mart bags to line my bathroom trash cans, either.