Tesco scraps hated “unexpected item in the bagging area” phrase from its self-service checkouts

30th July 2015


Tesco shoppers have spoken and the retailer has clearly listened as the dreaded phrase “unexpected item in the bagging area” at self-service tills is being scrapped.

Introduced in 2003, Tesco now has more than 12,000 self-service checkouts but the current voice has become a source of frustration for customers, with some describing it as ‘shouty’ and ‘irritating’, and putting them under pressure as they finish their shop.

Following customer feedback, the retail giant is introducing a brand new audio voice to its self-service and scan as you shop checkouts

Tesco described the new machines as “friendlier, more helpful and less talkative”, and that they used softer, more customer-friendly phrases  – listen to the new audio here.

But most importantly, they will no longer alert customers with the infamous phrase.

As well as changing ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ six unhelpful phrases including ‘please take your items’ have been removed and ‘Thank you for shopping at Tesco’ has been added.

The new voice has already been installed in a small number of stores including Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and Kensington. It will be introduced in all of Tesco’s UK stores by the end of October.

James Dewen self service checkout operations manager at Tesco 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.”

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