Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4262
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by storewanderer » September 17th, 2019, 11:07 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
September 17th, 2019, 9:29 pm
I was back at the same Fry's today and it was maddening to listen to all of the little songs going off. The attendant was pretty annoyed. I felt bad for her.

I am praying to the technology gods that they don't deploy that nonsense at the new downtown location. I want to support the store, but I also do not want to be driven crazy while checking out.
It seems this update hit my local Smiths as well. What a miserable thing. The worst part of it was how it does not print your receipt until after the stupid jingle plays. So you are literally forced to stand there and listen to it if you want a receipt.

More bad news on this front. I went to Safeway tonight and its self checkout did exactly the same thing. At first I thought I must be terribly confused so I waited for another customer at Safeway to complete a transaction and verified for a second time it too plays what I think may be the exact same jingle.

This jingle is not a pleasant jingle like the one that plays on the Denver airport trains at start or stop either. It just sounds creepy. And it adds time to the transaction unnecessarily. That is my biggest hang up with it.

So is it the self checkout doing this or is it the Verifone MX915 Pinpad?

You can mute sound at Smiths (bottom right corner of screen), you have to press it a couple times to cycle to zero volume. I wonder if that stops this song..

Brian Lutz
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 635
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: Lake Stevens WA
Been thanked: 4 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by Brian Lutz » September 18th, 2019, 12:28 pm

It seems to be the Verifone PINPad hardware, and is not limited to Fred Meyer stores. I've heard the same pinpad jingle (which indicates when it's safe to remove your chip card) in Target and Costco stores as well. Contactless payments (such as from payment apps) don't do it because there's no need to remove the card. It may be annoying, but consider that the alternative is a rather harsh buzzing sound, which was common before the jingle started replacing it.

So far I haven't heard anything in the local Fred Meyer store, but I haven't seen any upgrades to Pinpads or self checkout hardware there recently (the store in Snohomish is currently under remodel, so that may be coming later.)

rwsandiego
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 683
Joined: April 3rd, 2016, 10:57 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by rwsandiego » September 18th, 2019, 6:32 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:
September 18th, 2019, 12:28 pm
It seems to be the Verifone PINPad hardware, and is not limited to Fred Meyer stores. I've heard the same pinpad jingle (which indicates when it's safe to remove your chip card) in Target and Costco stores as well....
The one at Fry's is different. It plays after the card has been removed and appears to coincide with receiving approval for the transaction. It sounds to be coming from the same source as the "place the item in the bagging area" and price announcements.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4262
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by storewanderer » September 18th, 2019, 10:43 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
September 18th, 2019, 6:32 pm
Brian Lutz wrote:
September 18th, 2019, 12:28 pm
It seems to be the Verifone PINPad hardware, and is not limited to Fred Meyer stores. I've heard the same pinpad jingle (which indicates when it's safe to remove your chip card) in Target and Costco stores as well....
The one at Fry's is different. It plays after the card has been removed and appears to coincide with receiving approval for the transaction. It sounds to be coming from the same source as the "place the item in the bagging area" and price announcements.
Same at Safeway as well, it seems to come out of the same place as the other "instruction" phrases. Which is also odd as I did not think Kroger and Safeway were using the same self checkout software... they interface a lot differently... but it must be the same underlying software.

I can confirm as of today another Smiths here got the uhh, update. If you shut off the volume on the self checkout it does not play the sound. But you still get to hear the sound as the other 8 or 12 or 15 or however many self checkouts they have in there complete transactions. But at least you are not forced to stand there listening to it like a captive prisoner until your receipt prints.

drpep
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 6
Joined: October 20th, 2009, 12:21 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by drpep » September 22nd, 2019, 2:16 pm

Wegmans used to, maybe still does, have an announcement alerting employers it was time to take a minute to stretch.

Tops, starting sometime in the spring, plays “attention employees, security scan sections A, C and E”.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1521
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 12 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by Super S » September 28th, 2019, 9:03 am

My local Fred Meyer had the "recycling center is now open" page the other day. I am not sure what is recycled here...is this a limited time to take cardboard to the back? There is no customer-aimed recycling that I am aware of here.

Also, they are playing very annoying and loud commercials over the PA system for certain products such as Charmin toilet paper.

It is becoming tempting to wear earplugs at Fred Meyer...

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4262
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by storewanderer » September 28th, 2019, 9:30 am

Super S wrote:
September 28th, 2019, 9:03 am
My local Fred Meyer had the "recycling center is now open" page the other day. I am not sure what is recycled here...is this a limited time to take cardboard to the back? There is no customer-aimed recycling that I am aware of here.

Also, they are playing very annoying and loud commercials over the PA system for certain products such as Charmin toilet paper.

It is becoming tempting to wear earplugs at Fred Meyer...
The recycling center message refers to the call to the trash compactor for all departments to take their trash to the back room. The trash drop has to be opened by the manager on duty (common retail practice). Since Kroger's Zero Waste initiative they now refer to that process as the "recycling center." Cardboard is recycled if they can get someone to take it... (glut of that stuff right now, have to pay to get rid of it). Not sure if they are trying to compost other stuff or what but I don't see departments sorting trash, I just see them wheeling bags of trash to the back room, a process that looks the same as it has for the last 20 years.

I often shop around 9 PM. I get treated to the "top of the hour" page followed by an immediate security ghost call (seems to happen in most but not all of the Smiths), and then hear the recycling center page as well. The recycling center page is particularly meaningless because each store has a different schedule and departments close at a different time so when you play that page at the same time in every store it means nothing because every store has a different schedule. Smiths does not maintain consistent hours for its departments; some days/nights service meat and service deli will still be open well past 9 PM; others they are closed at 8 PM sharp. Employees are scheduled sometimes to 10 PM but sometimes not that late. So the trash process happens at a different time depending when the departments actually close for the night and when the closing manager is available to go back and open the thing up. It is unrealistic to expect this process to happen at the same exact time every night, thus a canned page that plays at the same time every night in every store is not practical for this process.

They really need to stop all these pages that have no relevance to the customer. It does not sound cute or make people feel good. It is an annoyance and it brings down the shopping experience.

The product ads are enough and the only thing that should be played between music (other than immediate store pages made by employees on an as needed basis). The store makes money from product ads played between music so I can accept those. This crap about "top of the hour" "recycling center" and ghost security calls, benefits nobody. I am sure it is the subject of numerous jokes among employees as well.

1111072036
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 11
Joined: December 1st, 2018, 3:23 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by 1111072036 » September 28th, 2019, 1:51 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 16th, 2019, 9:54 pm

Also, I am glad I have not experienced the self checkout ending with a song at Smiths or Fred Meyer. That sounds very creepy. Imagine the self check attendant hearing that hundreds of times in a shift. Yikes... Why are they concentrating on crap like that when they don't even have NFC working on their pinpads like every other grocery store?
Now, I have experienced the exact same annoying self checkout music, but oddly enough it wasn’t at Kroger or Harris Teeter. It was at Lowe’s Foods, who also happens to use Toshiba Self Checkout systems.

There, it goes off even when using Apple Pay.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4262
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 25 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by storewanderer » September 28th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Today at Safeway I had to stand there for at least 5 seconds holding my bag after I paid, listening to that stupid song before the receipt printed.

Previously at Safeway the receipt would print as the song was playing.

At Kroger there is a volume function on the screen that I immediately press twice to get to mute, and I can successfully avoid having to hear the stupid song there. But I still get to stand there for those 5 seconds while it would be playing, in silence, while the system cycles through the command and then finishes it, before I can get the receipt and leave. Maybe I'll try to uncheck the "print receipt" option so I can just skip it all and get out of there.

But I seriously do not understand what this Toshiba is doing with this song playing and delaying the transaction processing time. Typical Kroger has 8 self checkouts (some only 4, others may have as many as 16). If those 8 self checkouts average 225 transactions per day, it seems to me they are losing a couple hours of efficiency each day when you put together all those 5 second songs being played. Not clear if this is some sort of scheme on the part of Toshiba to sell more self checkout units or what but in the case of Albertsons who already seemed pretty leery of self checkout, I don't think it is wise to do anything with the software that hassles customers, delays the process/cuts efficiency (which hurts the ROI on the machines), or otherwise gives Albertsons a reason to go negative again on self checkouts.

SamSpade
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 724
Joined: September 13th, 2015, 4:39 pm
Has thanked: 67 times
Been thanked: 2 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger and creepy PA Announcements

Post by SamSpade » October 6th, 2019, 7:17 pm

storewanderer wrote:
September 28th, 2019, 4:32 pm
Previously at Safeway the receipt would print as the song was playing.

...But I seriously do not understand what this Toshiba is doing with this song playing and delaying the transaction processing time...
Today at Safeway for the first time ever, I had to hear this little tune as my receipt printed. What's that about?!?

Post Reply