Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update: ID Verification Needed for Stop & Shop's new 'Personal Check-Out Tool'

I've been using Stop & Shop's personal Check-Out tool once a week for a few months now. An interesting thing happened last week when I went shopping. When you pick up the Check-Out tool, you first need to scan your personal Stop & Shop card. I usually find this difficult, because the scanner is at a strange angle and it normally takes a few tries and randomly pushing buttons before it works. As I was doing this, a guy next to me was just putting his Check-Out tool away and since I must have looked like a new-bee, he asked if I needed help. I was curious as to what his trick would be, so I acted like I had never used the tool before and said 'OK.' He also had difficulty scanning my card, so then went ahead and entered the number on the back manually. He was a rough looking guy, with an unshaven face and a couple gold earings with a matching gravely voice. As he slowly entered in the numbers, I kept hoping he wouldn't make a mistake, since I was in a hurry. But, when he was finished, the number worked and I was able to get a Check-Out tool. He then showed me a special button on the device that will let you scroll through all the deals that Stop & Shop was offering to those who use the Check-Out tool. He went on to explain that I could get 24 cans of Coca-Cola on sale... I didn't have the heart to tell him that I don't drink soda and he shouldn't either if he wants to preserve his health, so I just replied, 'That's great!' I was impressed by his excitement of this device, and his excitement to teach others how to use it.

I then thanked him for his help and went along with my shopping. I still don't know the product code for loose carrots. It isn't on the list, so I just waited until I could ask an employee. When I was finished with my shopping, I had to again scan my Stop & Shop card. It still would not register, and an employee came over to help. I think I strongly give the impression that I am always in need of help. But, I quite enjoy watching what other peoples' approaches are. Not surpisingly, the employee could not get it to work either. And then I realized that the guy who had manually entered the number must have entered the wrong number. I did not tell the employee this. The manager came over and was shocked that my card did not work. She said she had never seen this happen. The employee then had to scan all my groceries once again. Lesson learned: Stop & Shop needs an easier way to scan in your Stop & Shop cards, and if you have to manually enter in your card's number, it should ask you to verify your name or address as well.

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