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Costco Slammed by Shoppers for "Awful" Self-Checkout

The wholesale chain is facing complaints about this service.

Costco allows consumers to stretch their dollar in many different ways. Not only can you save money by buying in bulk, but the wholesale chain can also help save you from the headache of having to go grocery shopping every single week. But these perks may not be enough to keep everyone happy—especially given the difficulties the retailer is reportedly facing in its stores. Read on to find out why Costco is being slammed by shoppers for an "awful" self-checkout process.

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Some Costco stores have a self-checkout option.

Customers standing on line to check out of Costco. Costco is an American corporation that operates a chain of members only warehouse clubs as seen on October 26, 2019.

Most retailers now have self-checkout lanes in their stores, including Costco. But this option isn't available at every warehouse. "We have implemented the use of self-service lanes at select locations and may expand to more warehouses in the future," Costco explains on its website.

The wholesale chain does not currently disclose exactly how many stores have self-checkouts online. But in Sept. 2019, ABC-affiliate KABC in Tustin, California, reported that Costco had this option available at about 100 of its stores and was planning to increase that number to 250 in the following months. And over the last few years, Reddit users have also confirmed that new self-checkouts have popped up at various Costco stores across the U.S.

But one shopper is now slamming this service.

Self checkout lanes in a Costco Wholesale store in Tigard, a southwestern suburb within the Portland metro area. Staff uniform is seen advertising Costco App.

The self-checkouts at Costco stores aren't being looked at as a good thing by all shoppers, especially when employees make the service more difficult to use.

In a June 19 Reddit post, user @Stranger_Dangus took to the r/Costco subreddit to share their recent frustrations with the self-checkout process. The user said that while workers had been telling them for weeks to use the hand-held scanner to help make things go faster, they were then criticized for doing this two days ago.

"Today I went in and had about seven items, several being larger items. I used the hand scanner and got down to my last two items (steaks) and a lady approached me saying I need to use the actual table scanner for my steaks," they wrote. "I told her I only have 2 items left and I scanned one of the packages and she yanked the hand scanner out of my hand and told me I had to use to table scanner."

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They said it has made them question renewing their membership.

Membership counter at Costco
dennizn / Shutterstock

Reddit user @Stranger_Dangus made their feelings very clear about the ordeal, titling their post in r/Costco: "Self-checkout has become awful." After allegedly yanking the hand-held scanner out of their hands, the shopper said the employee walked off without allowing a conversation to be had. "I used the table scanner for my last item and I made my exit," they added.

But this could end up being the last time they ever checkout at a Costco—whether they have to do it themselves or not. "Gotta say I'm on the fence for renewing my membership after five years with Costco," the shopper admitted.

Best Life has reached out to Costco about this complaint, and we will update this story with their response.

Employees say customers aren't supposed to use the hand-held scanners.

Closeup shot of a pharmacist scanning a box of medication for a customer in a chemist

Self-checkouts are a divisive subject for shoppers. But out of the over 1,600 comments left on @Sranger_Dangus' thread, many customers also shared their own complaints about the self-service process at Costco.

"I've had a super similar experience. I don't have the full context of what is happening behind the scenes with my once beloved Costco, but more and more I genuinely hate going in there," user @BeefTenderloinz commented. "They literally shouted at me in the checkout line for the same scenario."

Costco workers even validated frustrations with the retailer's self-checkouts—although they added that customers aren't actually meant to use the hand-held scanners. "At the Costco I work at we hide the hand scanners behind the screen," Reddit user @soxfanintx69 replied. "They are supposed to be for employees only to use. Having said that, our self checkout process is awful."

Another added that it's because shoppers are more likely to skip scanning items with hand-held devices. "When members use scanners, they make mistakes," user @OldFashionedLoverBoi commented. "We did it for two weeks and checked carts by self checkouts. 50 percent of members had missed an item."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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