Tesco is scrapping its “unexpected item in the bagging area” alert as part of plans to make self-service checkouts less “irritating.”
The supermarket giant is introducing a brand new audio voice to its self-service and scan as you shop checkouts following feedback from customers.
The grocer is making the change to more than 12,000 checkouts, which have been introduced at its stores across the country since 2003.
It said the new male voice, replacing the automated female voice, would be “friendlier, more helpful and less talkative” after admitting it became “a source of frustration for customers.”
Tesco added that the voice often put shoppers “under pressure” as they paid for their goods.
The move comes as part of boss Dave Lewis’ push to improve customer service. He has already put thousands more customer-facing staff into stores after culling head office jobs.
As well as ditching the infamous “unexpected item in the bagging area” phrase, six other “unhelpful” sentences including “please take your items” and “thank you for shopping at Tesco” have also been canned.
Tesco self-service checkout operations manager James Dewen said: “Customers really like the convenience of our self-service checkouts, especially when they’re just popping into store to pick up lunch or a few items after work. But for some, the voice leaves them a bit frustrated.
“It’s listened to by millions of customers every week, so we’ve acted on customer and colleague feedback and worked hard to get the new voice right to improve the shopping trip.”
The new voice has already been installed at checkouts in Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and Kensington. Tesco said it would be introduced to all of its UK stores by the end of October.