Saturday, January 03, 2015

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHECKOUT PROCESS AT GIANT IN BETHESDA? (PHOTOS)

Giant shoppers in Bethesda likely have opinions about their experience at the checkout counter, or self-checkout aisles. Now the grocery chain wants you to share your level of satisfaction with the speed of checkout, via a new feedback machine that has been set up at their Bethesda Row and Westwood Shopping Center stores. The response options are limited to four reactions, that probably mimic customer facial expressions after their respective experiences.
Feedback device at
Bethesda Row Giant

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sucks ass ... Why can't we get a nice grocery store?

Anonymous said...

One of the buttons should just be a 'W' to indicate I wish this store were a Wegmans. Bethesda is one of the wealthiest areas in the world but we have inferior grocery stores.

Harris Teeter is a joke for prices, Giant is just as bad on prices, when they have the item, and customer service is crap.

Anonymous said...

The people who work at Giant are nice, but it's too bad they're working in a sub-par grocery store. It's a mystery why we don't have a Whole Foods in Bethesda (other than the impossible-to-park store on River Road).

Anonymous said...

The Giant on Arlington Road seems well-run to me, and I like the staff there. The only problem is with the self-service checkout - all-too-frequent errors that require staff intervention, and not enough staff stationed nearby to respond.

The Safeway on Old Georgetown is another story. Checkout lanes are grossly understaffed, with no self-service lanes. Very, very long waits. Customer service desk is poorly attended. This place seems to be dying on the vine since the new Arlington Road location opened about three years ago.

@ 1:05 PM - if you're looking for a Whole Foods that actually has parking, try the one in Friendship Heights (entrance is on Friendship Blvd. just south of Willard.)

Wrol said...

That Safeway is a total joke.

But yeah, more development, please! We won't stop asking for more development until we get our Whole Foods! :)

Robert Dyer said...

2:45: An interesting thing I've heard about self-checkout and the frequent technical problems from those in the retail industry: the flaws that require employee assistance are intentional. They presumably allow companies to avoid paying additional cashiers, but use the "glitches" to discourage people using them from shoplifting or cheating the system.

Anonymous said...

Every Safeway I've been to in the area has had the slowest checkouts compared to giant!! They have so many checkout lanes but never use them it seems, so strange.

Anonymous said...

Robert, there are loss-prevention measures built into the checkout stations (especially with regard to product detection on the belt) which manifest as exceptions that require manual intervention more often than we would like, but to think that the manufacturer would plant "intentional" glitches is absolutely ridiculous, even for someone who knows less than nothing about making and selling technology products. But then again, you think there are people in this blog's comments sections that are paid to shill and whatever else, so you clearly wear your tinfoil hat a little too tight.

Anonymous said...

The problems that I've encountered have nothing to do with "loss-prevention". I've NEVER had a problem getting scanned items to show (other than scanning the barcode itself due to an irregular surface on the package). The problem is always when I try going back to the main menu after I've scanned the last item.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what you need to go back to the Main Menu for after you've scanned the last item?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm a bit clumsy with the terminology. I meant the part where I finalize the purchase - indicate that I have input all the items, and that I am ready to pay, select my method of payment, and pay.

Anonymous said...

"Finish & Pay" is usually pretty smooth. Not sure why you would encounter a problem there, and honestly, it's most likely a user error (not that the UI can't be improved). Most of the legitimate frustration arises from "Please place your item in the bagging area" --> "Unexpected item in the bagging area" --> Requires attendant. Those are accountability/loss prevention issues which are most decidedly not intentional, contrary even to Robert's rumors from "those in the retail industry."

Anonymous said...

Another problem area - why is it so hard for the system to not confuse my Giant savings card with a credit/debit card? It would seem that is a very straightforward distinction.

Anonymous said...

It's not confusing your member card for a credit card. Maybe the timing of the voice prompts relative to your actions are confusing you? After you click Start, scan your bonus card. Then scan and bag items. (...and this is what the voice prompts should be telling you to do anyway...)

Robert Dyer said...

8:54: There's nothing "tinfoil hat" about a self-checkout that you can rarely finish using without a store employee coming over to unfreeze the machine. It's a way to get out of paying cashiers while still keeping tabs on customers who might be trying to cheat the system. Otherwise, there would be an override button the customer could use when it freezes up. A retail employee in downtown Bethesda once said that these are not really meant to be true "self"-checkout machines, despite the marketing spin otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I realize that you're making assumptions and drawing conclusions without much fact and with virtually no understanding of what you're talking about, so as someone who DOES know what I'm talking about I can assure you that EVERY single thing that you just wrote in your last comment is blatantly and factually wrong. It is all false and unequivocally so. Every single thing. You can choose to refuse to accept this, but it doesn't change the facts. You are spewing verifiable horsesh$%t right now. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

And you know what? Since this IS a topic I know about and I can see clearly that you are commenting completely out of your rear-end, it makes me genuinely question the veracity of your overall reporting. It really does. I'm not a subject-matter expert on other topics and so I always have to assume that your content is reasonably accurate, but having seen this it honestly makes me want to just delete the bookmark. You are doing yourself a disservice.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of glitches when I use it.

In addition, if you use the portable hand scanner and bag while shopping, you'll frequently be "audited". An audit means an employee has to check your bags. Happens all the time if you scan and bag while going around the store.

Anonymous said...

You're an expert on grocery checkouts?

Anonymous said...

@ 4:39 PM -

If you want to see more of the same, I suggest you check out the end of comment thread on the "Busch Ice" review.

Anonymous said...

4:19 PM -

I strongly suggest that you learn the difference between "feature" and "bug". If your "retail employee" source actually exists, then he's making up BS, too. And he's making you look very silly in the process.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just ... wow. Yeah, I just got back from the comments section of the beer review and POLITICAL OPERATIVES!! LOL!!

Anonymous said...

The negative troll is back from his holiday vacation!

Robert Dyer said...

4:39: That's a talking point that you've used in the past. Total baloney. There's no article here saying anything about checkout machines. Someone brought up the frequent glitches of the machines, and I mentioned something I'd been told by a retail employee. I never published it as fact or as the subject of an article. Stop lying. Every article posted on here is fact-based, and my arguments are always supported by facts and evidence. You are desperate to create an impression that my reporting and writing can't be trusted, while simultaneously promoting a competing website. What a shock. Desperate, man, desperate.

Robert Dyer said...

5:12: Never said it was verified as fact, but it is a credible possibility. If retailers agree to pay for machines that actually don't work, and present that as their image to the public, well, they "look very silly in the process" as well. I think it's a credible explanation for machines that fail often, but don't provide an override system the customer can press to get the system operating again without employee assistance. By the way, how is an "expert" on development, taxicabs, and liquor also an "expert" on self-checkout machines? What are the chances? Can you give us some expert advice on e-cigarrettes and Obamacare for an encore?

Robert Dyer said...

5:09: Yeah, and they'll also see your bigoted comment you posted attempting to make light of disabilities, and use them in a negative connotation to insult people. Despicable. Your true persona is being revealed. You are a true anachronism in the year 2015. Please enlighten yourself and join society in the present day.

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking: On this blog, so far, we've found the only human beings who:
(a) are fans of Barwood taxis
(b) think Giant's self checkout machines work flawlessly

Anonymous said...

Robert, you seem to think I'm some other person with whom you've had disagreements in the past. I'm really, actually not. I'm a WHOLE NEW PERSON WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU. Shocking, I know. And when you post paranoid delusional crap, it makes people question the quality of your work. Me? I'm a software engineer with a specialty in HCI and have worked on SACAT platforms. I've been in product development for 20 years, I've started and sold a software company, and I am a co-founder of a tech company in the mobile space. Holy hell, you are delusional. I am not some person that you've argued about taxicabs and liquor with for God's sake. And I am certainly not a paid political shill or whatever else your wacked-out mind has you believing. Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:49 PM - what's "breathtaking" is your utter lack of reading comprehension.

Who said anything related to "a" or "b"?

Anonymous said...

To help you out, Robert, I'm going to sign my comments -A from now on. I posted @ 9:05PM. I did not post @ 9:15PM (a whole entirely different person did that... I swear!). Hopefully this will help with the paranoid delusions. -A

Anonymous said...

"A" here again. By the way, I ALSO did not post the comment about differentiating between bugs and features, although that comment is absolutely right on. And your response: "[not] provid[ing] an override system the customer can press to get the system operating again without employee assistance" -- do you understand how painfully ridiculous that is? When it fires an exception that requires attendant dismissal, it's because IT'S AN EXCEPTION THAT REQUIRES ATTENDANT DISMISSAL. If there was an option for the customer to disregard the exception it would never have been raised to that level of severity in the first place. Your willingness (and eagerness) to analyze something that you have no understanding of is profoundly frustrating. Ugh. -A

Anonymous said...

"A" here again. I'm still riled up about this issue. Who told you I hate cripples? -A

Anonymous said...

If you're concerned about identifying yourself, just use your name.
Robert does.

Anonymous said...

LOL, not all the time.

Alex X said...

LOL! You people are impersonating Anonymous posters now. At least you made me laugh this morning.

Robert Dyer said...

11:00 PM "A" - I was referring to the commenter who said people should go to the beer review, where he had posted an offensive comment earlier yesterday.

Robert Dyer said...

"A" - You're going to run the risk of being mistaken for the troll if you post anonymously and use insults, attacks, foul language and - coincidentally - some of the same talking points the troll guy uses. Why would you come in with such harsh comments if you are truly new here. Then you cast aspersions on the accuracy of my reporting, which that guy does often. Then you said "paranoid," which is one of that guy's favorite insults, as well.

Moreover, as I said previously, I NEVER WROTE IN ANY ARTICLE ABOUT THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF CHECKOUT MACHINES. Period. It was a response to somebody else's comment. Having said that, I think it's a credible explanation that the frequent employee intervention is a loss prevention measure. Since you mention that in your own comment, I'm not sure what you're arguing about. If someone is going to assert that the frequent employee intervention needed about 80-90% of transactions on these machines is not intentional, then you'd be saying that the manufacturer is selling junk, and the stores that use them are willing to pay for junk and have it be the public impression of their store. I find that difficult to believe.

Alex X said...

Robert, I decided to log in since we now have Anonymous posters masquerading as other anonymous posters (on the Internet! who would have imagined it). Anyway, I want to assure you that I'm new here. If I use the same language ("paranoid") as some other poster whom you have a history with, it is entirely coincidental. And what we're arguing about is this comment that you made @ 6:16PM: "the flaws that require employee assistance are intentional." If they're intentional they're not flaws. And if they're flaws, they're not intentional. That's what I want you to understand.

Robert Dyer said...

Alex, that point I can understand. I should probably have put quotation marks around the word "flaws" to be clear about my point. The things that stop these machines are so basic and frequent, if they were errors they would have been troubleshot this many years later. That's why I think what the guy told me is a credible explanation.

Anonymous said...

"if they were errors they would have been troubleshot this many years later."

Editor!!

Flynn said...

Kudos, Alex X. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Can we get Robert Dyer's mighty influence to get us a Wegmans or Whole Foods to replace that terrible Giant?