Walmart has implemented automated missed-scan detection technology at its self-checkout kiosks in an effort to reduce theft. However, this technology has led to confrontations between workers and customers who trigger the alert, according to employees interviewed by Business Insider. Shoppers have also reported feeling "treated like thieves" due to honest mistakes and technical glitches.
One customer, Charles Bisbee, recounted an incident where an employee approached him and accused him of not paying for an energy drink mix. Bisbee, a former US Marine, felt embarrassed and pointed to the screen to show that the item had been scanned. He emphasized the negative impression such accusations can have, especially in a small military community.
Another customer, Karen Baker, experienced intermittent freezing at the self-checkout kiosk due to a missed scan. She discovered that the system was flagging her wallet, which was in her armpit, as unscanned merchandise. Baker found this experience frustrating, especially since Walmart doesn't even sell the same wallet.
Shopper Daniel Jones felt accused of a crime when his kiosk lit up and played security video footage of an alleged missed scan. He was wearing his work uniform at the time and was concerned that others might think he was stealing. Jones also felt punished for using the hand scanner when he had to wait for an employee to reactivate his system.
Walmart spokesperson Joe Pennington stated that the company is continuously working on security processes and encourages customers with concerns to provide feedback. He emphasized that Walmart's associates are trained to handle these situations professionally and respectfully.
While the missed-scan detection technology has been effective in reducing theft, it has also resulted in uncomfortable interactions and feelings of being treated like criminals for some shoppers. Both employees and customers have highlighted the need for improvements in the system to avoid unnecessary confrontations and misunderstandings.
Those interested in sharing their perspectives on Walmart's missed-scan detection technology can reach out to Dominick via email. It is recommended to use a personal email and non-work device when contacting Insider.