If you’ve been to a brick-and-mortar store recently, you might have noticed that most of American and international retailers, with stores far and wide the United States, have implemented self-checkout machines to expedite the checkout process. But with UNIQLO’s new self-checkout technology, which uses radio frequency identification readers (RFID) embedded into price tags, shoppers no longer have to scan each product they purchase. While this technology may seem like a convenience, its impact on retail workers and the overall retail industry raises several concerns. Watch out Walmart and Costco: you’re getting left behind.
RFID readers may seem like a convenient way to automate the self-checkout process, but they also pose a significant threat to security. These readers can be hacked, which could lead to the theft of sensitive information from both retailers and customers. Furthermore, RFID readers can also be used to track individuals’ movements and purchases, which raises serious privacy concerns.
Why Are Costumers Hating the Self-Checkout Kiosks and What Risks Do They Represent
As we’ve said before, the self-checkout machines are often touted as a way to make your shopping process faster and easier, but that comes with a downside: the dehumanization of the retail experience. With the implementation of UNIQLO’s new self-checkout technology, shoppers no longer have to interact with a cashier or any other retail worker. The checkout process becomes a completely hands-off experience, which further erodes the human connection between retailers and their customers. So far, at some other retailers like Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club, you still can get the help from store employees if needed.
This is precisely one of the things that a large part of self-checkout customers hate so much: the absence of interaction with other people. Some buyers do want to be received and attended by a human who gives them back, even if it is a smile. In that other companies like Trader Joe’s, for example, have decided to stand firm, prioritizing human customer service that no computer can imitate.
Risks to be Wrongfully Charged at the Self-Checkout Kiosk
UNIQLO is trying to cope with the increasing of the self-checkout theft and shoplifting, and that’s why this RFID technology comes into play. But, there are risks even for innocent costumers. One of the most significant risks is being wrongfully charged. This happens when the kiosk charges you for items that you did not purchase or charges you the wrong amount for an item. The result is that you end up paying more than you should have.
There are several reasons why you might be wrongfully charged at a self-checkout kiosk. One reason is that the kiosk may not recognize the item you are trying to purchase. For example, if you are buying a piece of fruit that the kiosk does not recognize, it may charge you for a more expensive fruit or charge you the wrong price altogether. This is known as the “banana trick”.
Another reason why you might be wrongfully charged is that you might accidentally scan the wrong item. This can happen if you have multiple items in your cart that look similar, and you accidentally scan the wrong one.