You don't step up to a self-service supermarket checkout unless you're ready to gamble. Either you hit the jackpot and escape in record time, or you end up wildly hailing the nearest assistant while the infernal machine's repetitive accusations slowly chip away at your sanity. While Tesco can't make its automated checkouts any better at weighing up your loose veg, it can train them to be less annoying. So, for the first time since Tesco introduced self-service checkouts over a decade ago, it's changing their voice alerts, which the supermarket admits "has become a source of frustration for customers." Most importantly, you'll never have to listen to chants of "unexpected item in bagging area" ever again, as well as six other "unhelpful phrases" like "please take your items."
According to Tesco customers, the original voice was "shouty," "irritating" and put them under unnecessary pressure to finish up and get moving. Based on this feedback, Tesco is rolling out a new male voice that badgers you with "softer phrases" and is allegedly friendlier -- it'll thank you for your business as you leave, for example, rather than pointing you towards your change, your shopping, and the door. The new voice is already relieving stress in a few Tesco stores, like those in Hatfield, Peterborough, Edinburgh and Kensington, and it'll be on every automated checkout by the end of October. In the meantime, you can get familiar with your new friend in the clip below.