Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Those New Self Service Checkout Counters At CVS: Annoying Or Progress?

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The CVS at 395 Court Street has never been my favorite store in the neighborhood. I try to avoid it as much as I can. I know that others here in Carroll Gardens feel the same way. Many regret having lost such privately owned pharmacies like Renaissance, which closed just a few years ago at 331 Court Street. Their personal service just can't be duplicated in a chain store such as CVS.
Recently, CVS has chiseled away at their customer service a bit more by replacing their cashiers with electronic self-service check-out counters. Granted, the cashiers were nothing to write home about, but all too often, those self-service check-outs are out of service. Besides, the savings in wages did not translate into cheaper prices for customers.
My question to you, dear Reader is: how are you liking this new system?
Do you miss the human touch or do you prefer swiping and bagging your own purchases?





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14 comments:

concetta said...

sounds terrible! in fact one of their checkout clerks originally worked at renaissance (i hope she's still working).

Anonymous said...

I live one block from CVS and sad to say I go there ALL the time. But I am so annoyed by this change that I am going to have to walk farther to another drug store, ugh

Anonymous said...

Can't speak for the specific CVS in question, but self-checkout is IMHO the best thing to happen to retail in the city in a decade. Just wish the grocery stores would get on the bandwagon and dedicate a lane or two to self checkout.

jackie said...

self service checkout is great when they're all actually working. too many times i go into this cvs and there's only one checkout in service. w
what's more annoying about this cvs is all the boxes and crap in the aisles.

Anonymous said...

I'm not necessarily opposed to self-checkout, but what I can't stand is the lack of support to use the self-checkout. One of my items rang up at the wrong price and it took forever for a clerk to come fix it. Once she did, it was still wrong. She "fixed" it again and walked away. However, the self-checkout still didn't want to process my order. I left without my items and with the intention to never ever return to the store.

Anonymous said...

When I was 7 months pregnant I begged to use the bathroom there and was told it was for employees only. I had to run to Dunkin and almost did not make it. NASTY PEOPLE

Jeff said...

I go to this CVS at least twice a week, and I have found the self checkouts to be somewhat finicky. It is rare that I don't need an employee to fix an error, and there's only one or two open sometimes. That said, I am getting better at avoiding errors, and it has generally been quicker than waiting in the sometimes long lines.

Anonymous said...

The self-service checkouts are totally annoying, especially when they don't work and you can't get someone to help. I won't use them, so I go elsewhere. If CVS can't afford a couple of regular checkout clerks (most likely at minimum wage), then they shouldn't be in business.

Anonymous said...

Human checkers at all national chain drug stores are generally disconnected form their work--it's something with the organization of these large scale corporate businesses. But the auto machines have gone too far for me. I won't even go in and try them. The lack of social ceremony in the exchange of these goods renders all the goods in this store worthless to me. I much prefer to buy my toothpaste at Park Natural and to solve the occasional headache with a simple glass of water or cup of tea.

Jeff said...

Really, Anonymous? "The lack of social ceremony in the exchange of these goods renders all the goods in this store worthless to me." I guess you've never ordered anything online because it's all worthless. Do you really choose buy toothpaste at Park Natural and shun pain relief medication because of the automated checkout counters at CVS?

Anonymous said...

So far, every time I've gone into my local CVS, there has been at least one clerk stationed at the self service machines helping confused customers. I like to ask them if I will be paid for working as a cashier (cue sound of crickets and blank stare). The thing is, he/she could be checking the customers out much more quickly than the customers do it themselves. So we wait in line longer, while an employee stands by giving tips. I suppose CVS figures after awhile, they will train us to be good checkout clerks, and sometime in the future, they will no longer have to post a clerk there for help. It doesn't appear, however, that many are interested in being trained to be a good checkout clerk.

Leah said...

It's a very good question & good post. I think they are a little bit of both - annoying and progressive. As many of your readers suggested, it is fine to have progress and efficiency but it has to work! All too often the self service lanes don't work and we still end up needing the help of an assistant; that's the annoying part. I'd like to repost your blog post on mine with a link back - I'm a customer service junkie and questions like these always get my attention. Thanks.

Katia said...

Go right ahead, Leah. The more joining into the discussion, the better.

Anonymous said...

The stores in D.C. have just started using them and they only have one person helping people. There is no clerk in back of the regular counter. They need at least one person behind the regular counter to help seniors who have poort eyesight and folks with disabilities. CVS is saving money having us do the work and cutting back on employees.