Tesco makes “Scan as you Shop” system cashless sparking customer outrage

Tesco has announced plans to make its “Scan as you Shop” system cashless sparking outrage among many customers across the UK.

Its Scan as you Shop system allows any Tesco Clubcard holders to scan items’ barcodes with a portable handset as they shop, then simply scan the barcode at the top of a specialised Scan as you Shop checkout to pay for goods quickly and easily.

Despite the systems’ popularity, shoppers are now threatening to boycott Tesco after it announced that it will no longer be accepting cash payments for Scan as you Shop purchases, directing users who wish to pay with cash to regular checkouts.

Tesco sought to inform customers of the changes by printing on receipts: “The scan as you shop payment area will only be accepting card. Want to pay with cash? You can still do so by using self-service tills or main checkouts. Our colleagues will be able to help or answer any questions,”

According to the Manchester Evening News, shoppers have responded with outrage on social media at the changes, stating it felt like they were “being punished for paying that way”.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s scraps UK’s first cashierless grocery store admitting “not all our customers are ready”

One shopper commented on a picture posted of the receipt on in a consumer advice group: “Well if they don’t accommodate me I will take my business elsewhere. Sometimes I pay card and sometimes I pay cash – I think it’s important to have the choice.”

Another said: “Well I’ll be stopping using Tesco’s weekly then”, while further disgruntled customers explained they didn’t like “using my card unless I really really have to” but felt the Scan as you Shop service was “so much easier”.

In response to the backlash, Tesco told the Manchester Evening News: “90% of our Scan As You Shop customers check-out using card payment, so to make it easier and faster for customers, the Scan As You Shop tills at most of our larger stores will take card payments only, from the 13th January.

“The small number of Scan As You Shop customers who prefer to pay by cash can still do that at any self-service or main check-outs where colleagues will be more than happy to help.”

Last year Sainsbury’s was forced to scrap a the UK’s first ever cashierless grocery store after a three-month trial admitting “not all our customers are ready for totally till-free” shopping.

Sainsbury’s SmartShop Scan app allowed users to pick and scan items with their smartphone, adding them to a virtual basket before using the same app to pay for them, much like Tesco’s system.

However many customers were frustrated at not being able to pay how the chose, so Sainsbury’s was forced to install manned tills into the store.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • When you say outrage, do you actually mean irritation? Question: how on earth were they going to pay by cash except by visiting a till? By leaving the money on a shelf somewhere?

    • When you’ve finished scanning and shopping, you visit a self-checkout machine to pay. At the moment that machine accepts cash or other payment methods. All they are doing is switching off cash payment as one of the options.

  • Some people need to move with the times.

  • This is one of many “initiatives” (for want of a better phrase…or perhaps bullying might be more appropriate) that large, dominant or semi-dominant retailers are forcing on their customers eg. amazon, to conform to their own way of operating. Yes, there are intense financial pressures on retailers at present, but if anyone complains they will almost certainly get “your call is important to us….” The rather “inconvenient” individual is being pushed aside.

  • The self scan checkout were often a target for criminals as they knew they contained large amounts of cash.


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