Tuesday, June 25, 2024

International news: Tesco to end ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’

The UK retailer has announced it will introduce a brand new audio voice to its self-service and scan-as-you-shop check-outs following feedback from customers.

According to Tesco, the “friendlier, more helpful and less talkative” machines will no longer alert customers with the infamous phrase, “unexpected item in the bagging area”.

Tesco has more than 12,000 self-service check-outs, which were first introduced in 2003 and play a crucial role for busy shoppers up and down the UK, but the retailer says the current voice has become a source of frustration for customers, with customers describing it as ‘shouty’ and ‘irritating’, and saying it puts them under pressure as they finish their shop.

The new voice uses softer phrases and is described as more customer-friendly. As well as changing the ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ message, unhelpful phrases including ‘please take your items’ have been removed and ‘Thank you for shopping at Tesco’ has been added.

The new voice has already been installed in a small number of stores including those at Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and London’s Kensington. It will be introduced in all of Tesco’s UK stores by the end of October.

“We’ve acted on customer and colleague feedback and worked hard to get the new voice right to improve the shopping trip,” Tesco Self Service Checkout Operations Manager James Dewen said.

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