Shoppers thinking twice about using self-checkouts in Washington

J.R. Heimbigner
self checkout section in storePhoto by Scott Lewis (Creative Commons)

Self-checkout is really common today. Sure, it can be very handy to use at times or when you are in a hurry. Many employers, such as Walmart, they often prefer having self-checkout because it reduces labor costs.

Currently, Walmart, Kroger and Dollar General are pilot testing stores that only offer self-checkout. With 223 Walmarts in Washington alone, this move could have serious impact in Washington, not just for employees but for many shoppers too. There are some definite challenges that accompany self-checkout. According to a survey last year of 1,000 shoppers, 67% said they'd experienced a some kind of failure when using self-checkout. They can also be very inconvenient if you are purchasing a lot of items. But there is even more to consider.

It is important to share that next point is more subjective and is solely based on one person's opinion. Carrie Jernigan is a criminal defense attorney and recently shared some things she does not recommend from her time practicing law. Jernigan says that she recommends not using self-checkout at all because of safety issues.

Jernagin warns that you could be potentially flagged as a shoplifter by using self-checkout, even if it is an honest mistake. While it is not super common, she says it is something she has seen. Jernagin also says the big corporations can easily get an affidavit for a warrant. Even if you aren't convicted of shoplifting, you often need a lawyer which is not cheap.

This is not to scare you away from using all self-checkout altogether. Rather, it is to make you aware that you need to be very careful when using self-checkout.

Ways You Can Exercise More Care When Using Self-Checkout

It is wise to pay with your credit card or debit card. When you pay with cash, that means having fewer financial records. That's why having your receipt is very important. Move slowly and don't use self-checkout if you can avoid it when you have a larger order.

What do you think of this information?

Do you use self-checkout?

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that this article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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