Diatribe: Hand-Held Portable Cash Registers.
I did some shopping at the mall today. I hadn’t been there in quite some time but I was on a mission. I went, specifically, to JC Penney and was surprised to learn that they no longer use cash registers. I was greeted by a woman who appeared to work there who was wearing a sort of fanny pack/shoulder holster thing that carried a small wireless device that resembled a smart phone.
I found some really nice drapes on sale and decided to buy two panels.
The sales associate used her device to scan the bar code on each package and asked me how I would be paying. I handed her my credit card and she swiped the magnetic stripe along the side of the little machine. Then she turned it over to reveal a keypad where I was to enter my PIN number.
At no point during the transaction was I afforded the opportunity to see the mathematics involved.
I always watch the screen at the checkout counter like a detective on a stake out. I may be old-fashioned but I don’t always have a lot of confidence that the price I expect to pay will be the same as what I’m actually charged. There have been many times that my observations have proven beneficial. Particularly at the grocery store, when items are often scanned twice by accident.
Before I agreed to enter my PIN number, I asked to see the calculations because I wanted to be certain that I was paying the sale price. The clerk handed the device to me and showed me that the screen was, essentially, the same as what had been on their old cash registers. But it was super tiny and I couldn’t read it.
They’re making a lot of changes at JC Penney but I don’t like this one. She explained to me that the handheld registers would eventually be replacing the traditional machines. Apparently, the fact that they’ll be able to take payments anywhere within the store is going to be a revolutionary customer service. While I’m the first to lose patience when there’s a long line at the checkout, I think I’d prefer to wait for the larger monitor so that I could actually see what’s going on. I imagine that customers paying with cash will have to go to a special place to pay.
Have you encountered a hand-held cash register? What did you think?
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