J Sainsbury Head Office
33 Holborn

Dear Sirs

Sainsbury Self-Checkout Machines

I am writing about problems I’ve experienced using the self checkout machines at your branches at ***** (Southampton), and *****, London.

On Sunday 31st October I was using the machine in ******, and constantly had to stop for the machine to be reset as it kept having an “unexpected item” error. The member of staff on duty advised me that this might be because I was supporting the bag with my hand: I stopped supporting the bag and unsurprisingly my shopping fell all over the floor. If I’d had time to shop elsewhere I’d have left it there and walked out, unfortunately I was in a hurry. This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems of that nature using the self checkout in that store.

This morning I tried to use the self checkout in *****, a store I often use. As often happens, my attempt to buy a small bottle of wine caused the machine to fall over, and I had to wait for a member of staff to come and confirm that I’m old enough to drink wine. Unfortunately on this occasion no member of staff was forthcoming, and after waiting as long as I could I had to leave the store without my shopping.

I generally like the idea of self service checkouts and have been using them in Tesco since they were first introduced – and often wished that Sainsbury would do the same thing. Unfortunately, being late into the game seems to mean you’ve rushed the implementation, and it might have been better to have delayed a few more weeks to make sure the bagging area scales worked properly, and that a workable solution to the “approval needed” process was in place.

As I’ve said, I like self service checkouts and I know from using them in Tesco how well they can work: perhaps some of your project team could visit a couple of Tesco stores and see if you can get some ideas how to resolve the teething troubles.

Yours Faithfully…

I’ll let you know if I hear anything…

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