2018-06-19

Tesco Scan As You Shop

Someone may point out the obvious that I am missing, but I am puzzled by the latest development with Tesco Scan As You Shop system.

Overall it works well, and even some of the issues I have seen in the past are now fixed (mainly that you could not scan through the notice of things being on offer, which you can now).

But this latest innovation seems a tad special. Scan As You Shop is all about convenience. You can pack bags as you go (something my wife takes very seriously) and then check out quickly.

Indeed, my wife gets exasperated at the occasional extra scan of like 5 items as it messes up her neat packing. I know why they do that - obviously to catch genuine errors and to catch those taking the piss as well.

However this new thing appears to be applied in a manual way, not part of the system. They have applied a red mark to some of the handsets and then they have staff force a full re-scan. Indeed, I wonder what would happen if you kept quiet about the red mark as I bet the "system" has no idea it is there. Update: Saw today - no, the system does not know, if you hide the red mark you can check out as normal!

I have to wonder what purpose this serves. If you are planning to shove a few things in the bag without scanning, you know not to if you get the red mark. So not for catching thieves at all.

Apart from having no advantages, surely it is just pointless in other ways. Sadly I think the system means you cannot simply pick up another scanner, as you have one already on that club card. Maybe take two club cards to the shop just in case.

But you can put the scanner back and walk away - go to a sensible shop instead.

You can also decide, well, if all is being scanned, I'll just use an ordinary till anyway, save me scanning stuff myself.

In what way is this at all beneficial to Tesco in any circumstance?

I can see us shopping elsewhere pretty soon. The pharmacy have already lost our business because they were unable to get Aviva blood test strips, and they are a pain for other reasons too.

Or have I missed the obvious here?

32 comments:

  1. Yes, I would definitely put the one with the red dot back and get another one, it sounds like a lot of extra work.

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    1. The scanner is chosen by the system and there is a locking mechanism so you can't just take any handset - the choice is probably based on randomness/whether the handset has recharged sufficiently. However I believe if you don't take the flashing handset it times out and lets you try again.

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  2. This is really weird, because several years ago the till picked you "at random" when checking out, rather than some crappy red mark on the handle.

    I assumed you built up some kind of "credit score" where you get checked a few times and if you'd been using the system correctly the frequency of the checks decreased.

    Evidently not....

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    Replies
    1. They do that still, yes, but that is only re-scan 5 items

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    2. Unless the cashier scans something that wasn't previously scanned, or accidentally scans an item twice when you only brought one (both automatically trigger a whole trolly scan) and (made up odds here) there may be a 1 in 20 random* chance of getting a 'check' but there is also a 1 in 200 random chance of getting a 'full scan check'. (* = I don't believe it is fully random as if you scan/remove more than a couple of items in a shop you do seem to be flagged for a 'random check' anyway).

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    3. I get my shopping delivered so no idea what you guys are on about, what are these 5 item rescans or random rechecks?

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  3. We like Waitrose's scan as you shop app. The app conveniently runs on mine or my partner's phone.
    Just slip the phone in to my back pocket when not scanning. Also it seems much quicker at reading barcodes rather than the Tesco handheld devices.

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    1. Sainsbury's do the same. Plus you can build a shopping list in the app too which is handy.

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    2. The only problem with Waitrose is the price

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  4. I'm guessing this is a local store level initiative to reduce theft. Report to head office if you are annoyed!

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    1. That is the thing - I cannot see how it reduces theft!

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    2. The thing about criminals... the majority aren't very smart...

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  5. It could be their (crappy) way of taking the responsibility of choosing a person at random away from the checkout operator - That way the operator can't be accused of any bias...

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    1. The checks were not based on operator choice before, they were done by the till, but only a 5 item check, not complete scan.

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    2. The item check (and it's not 5 items, it's a percentage of the shop IIRC, I've seen upto 11 items before now on a big shop) flags a full scan if any of the 5 items scanned are not on the shop.

      So you could be dishonest and as long as you scanned at least one of every item (and distributed them throughout the bags) you will avoid a full re-scan.

      Hit this on xmas eve 2016, when the missus chucked a box of eggs on top and didn't scan them. Livid. I had two trolleys of shopping (including the dog food, which was two big 20kg bags of dried food and took up most of one trolley plus bog roll etc. we normally park one up by the tills and complete using the other one.

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    3. It could also be a short-term 'honesty tracking indicator': how many people who are allocated a 'red dotted handset' a) continue the shop, b) let the assistant know *before* they checkout (as requested) c) if their shopping 'pattern' changes if they know they'll be selected later (i.e. less 'remove this item') and/or d) if the 'checks' at the end become more 'accurate' if people know they will be checked from the start.

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    4. The five item rescan is an opportunity to wave the RFID reader all around your bags looking for activations of tagged items that you haven't scanned. If such an item is detected then this "discontinuity" triggers a full manual scan of everything with the store operator having to register a store error or customer error (recorded) for undeclared items.

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  6. Maybe it's a psychological deterrent to theft. Totally unenforced, technologically pointless, doesn't do anything at all. But a nice red dot on the scanner and a little sign about extra checks makes people think they're having a crackdown on theft and so they're less inclined to nick stuff.

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  7. What a joke, as others have said if offered a red marked one I would just not use scan as you shop.

    I do like the system though, and the new scanners in our tescos are much quicker and more responsive than the old ones.

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  8. On twitter they have now tried the "it is for your benefit" argument - that I may have missed an offer or double scanned by mistake. Well, if for my benefit, let me choose to forego the scan if I feel my time is worth more than some offer I missed. No? Oh, so not for my benefit then is it!

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    1. It is totally for their benefit. Why else inconvenience a customer?

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    2. Yeah, how disingenuous of them.

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    3. That sounds like my local Sainsbury's "Making it easier to park on Saturdays". Before you didn't have to do anything. Now you have to validate your receipt to get free parking, which also involves entering your license plate into a machine. Easier my arse. It's an outright lie.

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    4. When the self-service till were first deployed, there was a supermarket executive who was interviewed, and asked whether he was worried about losing money to people scanning incorrectly. Unwisely he answered honestly - no, because they figured that honest mistakes would average out - people failing to scan would be balanced by people scanning twice. Needless to say this didn't go down too well with customers. (Source - my uncle who working in the food industry)

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  9. Presumably you could just do a 'null' shop by going straight to the Scan As You Shop checkout in the normal way (but with zero items) and then obtaining a different (hopefully non-red) scanner for the big shop?

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  10. Here's a system we've put in for your convenience, but we warn wau now we will incoveniincon you at the end of the shop...

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  11. I wonder what happens if one peels off the sticker.

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  12. Advanced notice of extra screening. Sounds like the US TSA "SSSS" system. I'd like to think the TSA is smarter than a local tesco store manager, but probably not...

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  13. Fed up to the back teeth with stores slashing their checkout staff and then doing everything in their power short of a full body search to show I'm not a thief.
    If I shopped at Tesco (and I don't because, in my opinion, they're evil) and I got a red handle, I'd be leaving a trolley full of food at the checkout with a "Damn well check it if you want, but I'm not buying it if you do."

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  14. That is a dim approach, and sad. More than twenty years ago now, Safeway (remember them?!) were doing this here, associated with your ABC card - same system, automatic selection for a full re-scan spot check when you went to checkout, presumably some mix of profiling and random chance. In those days the devices were bulky and slow with poor battery life, but overall still worked perfectly well - why did it take so long for them to come back?!

    If anything, the red marking is surely likely to make fraud worse - any would-be fraudster getting a non-marked device then knows they're less likely than usual to be checked, so more likely to get away with skipping an item or two?

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  15. Take two club cards into the store? Not me! I just "Scan and go".

    Too old?

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  16. Many moons ago Safeway introduced the same sort of system - I gave up ever using it when 3-4 out of 5 times I'd have to do a full rescan, except they were using a standalone "single basket" pedestal for the rescan - loadsa fun with a full deep trolley packed into the green crates they were pushing at the same time.

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