Over 100,000 Tesco shoppers have a signed a petition calling for Tesco to replace its self-service checkouts with real people.
Pat McCarthy, a 69-year-old pensioner, launched the petition after realising her local Tesco megastore was replacing the majority of its tills with self-service machines instead.
“My local Tesco has inaccessible self-service tills with no staff which makes the shopping experience physically difficult and overwhelming,” she wrote on Change.org.
“At my local Tesco mega-store, and probably all over the country, Tesco is bringing in new self-service and sort-it-yourself card only till machines. They make up 3/4 of the tills now.
McCarthy said that the machines alienate customers who do not have credit cards and rely on using cash as a method of payment.
“People such as carers, older people, disabled people with mobility problems or lifting problems have to queue waiting for more than 30 minutes,” she added.
“These new self-service card tills have displaced mainly part-time women staff.
“I love chatting with the staff, albeit briefly, especially as l live on my own. Talking with human staff is important to me. Now that experience has been taken away from me.
“This is a physically taxing process. As an older woman, I can’t lift anything heavy, and that goes for many disabled people.
“I want Ken Murphy to bring staff back to do check-outs on the till and not have a replace people with machines policy.
“If we lose, it means an erosion of a great shopping experience into a Tesco’s shopping nightmare.”
The petition has been met with strong support, with Tesco customers taking to social media to “#BringBackTescoStaff,” calling on CEO Ken Murphy to hire more employees for the supermarket tills, instead of introducing more self-checkouts.
#BringBackTescoStaff These tills do not contribute towards National Insurance or pay tax /pay into pensions etc !
Companies that use these are saving huge amounts of money on their payroll but we are not seeing any reduction in shop prices.
Its madness a real bug bear of mine.
— Tracey Sultana (@TraceySultana) May 18, 2022
A spokesperson for Tesco responded by saying: “Our colleagues and the friendly service they provide are absolutely vital to our stores and will always be on hand to help our customers, whether they are checking out at one of our colleague-operated or self-service checkouts.”