Dollarama customer shows how buggy new self-checkout machines can be

@bensanimalhouse/TikTok Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘If it doesn’t work after 3 attempts i do just take my items without paying’: Dollarama customer shows how buggy the self-checkout machines can be

'I don't go anywhere that doesn't have adequate cashiers.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jul 10, 2023   Updated on Jul 10, 2023, 1:34 pm CDT

While the idea of being able to use a self-checkout machine to complete one’s shopping quickly and efficiently may seem like a pleasing concept for shoppers looking to get in and out of stores as quickly as possible, this expectation doesn’t always line up with reality. CNN reported that 67% of surveyed shoppers who’ve used self-checkout machines experienced problems in doing so.

TikToker Ben (@bensanimalhouse) can definitely resonate with those shoppers after a recent trip to Dollarama, a Canadian dollar retail store. Ben posted footage of a frustrating error that kept popping up on a self-checkout machine as he was trying to purchase a single product.

A self-checkout kiosk screen displayed an error message: “Remove last item placed in the bagging area.”

Ben panned his camera over the bagging area, which revealed the item he was purchasing is clearly resting there. He removed the item from the bagging area, which prompted an audible response from the machine telling him he removed an item from the bagging area and that he must put it back. He complied with the computer’s requests, only to be met with the same error message that prevented him from completing his purchase.

Ben called the saga his “villain origin story.”

@bensanimalhouse A husbands villain origin story. #originstory #villain #villainoriginstory #villianorigin #dollarama #selfcheckoutproblems ♬ original sound – Ben's Animal House

Judging from some of the comments viewers made in response to the video, it would appear that this was an experience several folks have had at self-checkout machines. One TikToker detailed how they deal with this particular scenario. “If it doesn’t work after 3 attempts i do just take my items without paying,” they said.

Another TikToker said that this occurs in Dollarama frequently and that the problem is so persistent, they’ve shoplifted items out of pure “annoyance,” despite never stealing from retailers before. “I have never shoplifted in my LIFE until Dollarama introduced these self checkouts,” they wrote.

It’s unclear if Dollarama did away with human cashiers entirely. But in 2017, it began testing the concept of self-checkout machines after several provinces pushed to raise the minimum wage, Canadian Grocer reported at the time.

One viewer stated that what Ben experienced is why they “don’t go anywhere that doesn’t have adequate cashiers.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Dollarama via email and Ben via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2023, 1:30 pm CDT