I hate U-scan lanes. I really do. To me, they are just another sign of the depersonalization of society and the on-going death of customer service. Supposedly, they are there to make our lives easier and get us out of the store faster. Most of the time when I've used them, just the opposite has happened. Like, for instance, the morning a Kroger employee basically pushed my into a U-scan lane. So, I had an entire shopping cart full of groceries, including stuff that was on sale and a couple clearance items. And coupons, of course. So first of all, there wasn't enough space for all my bagged stuff on the little shelf, so the machine kept getting mad at me. And then for the clearance items, I had to summon the U-scan helper to key in the price. And then some of my sale items didn't ring up correctly. Another summoning of the U-scan helper to correct it. Except she actually entered the exact wrong price, which I had no knowledge of until after I paid. So then it was a trip to the customer service desk to fix that. Three hours later (ok, it was more like 30 minutes total), I'm finally walking out of the Kroger. Had I stayed in the regular lane that I had chosen, I would have been out in 10 minutes. So, they don't really save us time, unless maybe you're buying two items at regular price and paying with a credit card (don't get me started on feeding cash into those things--or coupons for that matter).
I also hear rumors that they are supposed to 'save money.' Well, they may be saving the stores money, but I sure am not seeing those savings passed on to me. My proposal is, if you voluntarily use a U-scan lane, you should get an immediate discount off of your total. Doesn't have to be much, just a little something. And if you have to use a U-scan lane (and it is becoming more frequent these days that at certain times, the only lanes open are do-it-yourself), then you should get a bigger discount. Until that day comes, I will continue to avoid those U-scan lanes.
As a side note on saving money, what the heck has happened to the price of milk? The soymilk I buy is now cheaper than the store-brand lactose free cow milk. It's jumped like $.60 or more in the past two months! I'm going to have to get a goat or something.