Man talking(l+r), Walmart app(c)

Vladimka Production/Shutterstock @jackmacbarstool/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘We are now charged to spend money’: Shopper blasts Walmart for allegedly forcing customers to get subscription in order to use self-checkout

'I have to pay a subscription to tracks my subscriptions.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Mar 20, 2024   Updated on Mar 19, 2024, 3:02 pm CDT

Walmart’s self-checkouts are changing—and not for the better, say internet users.

Earlier this month, Walmart captured headlines after announcing that it would be making some changes to its self-checkout system. One of those changes, according to internet users, includes possibly limiting the ability to use the machines to those who pay for a subscription to Walmart+ or Spark users, Walmart’s delivery service.

Although this idea was only first floated at the beginning of the month, it appears to already be making an impact on stores. One internet user claimed that their local Walmart made them buy from a cashier after closing off the self-checkout machines, while another noted that the self-checkout machines at their location now remained off much of the time.

The internet’s reaction to this decision has been largely negative, as TikTok user Jack McGuire (@jackmacbarstool) notes in a video with over 409,000 views.

“I want you to imagine a world where you have to pay a subscription fee to use self-checkout devices at major retailers across this country,” the TikToker starts. “Now I want you to stop imagining it because it is about to be a reality across this country.”

McGuire claims that not only Walmart is considering charging “annual subscription fees to use self-checkout,” but Target is as well.

“Not only do we not make any money, we are now charged to spend money,” he declares.

“Somebody has to stop all of this. I don’t know who it’s going to be, but somebody has to step up. And their first order of business is they have to get rid of all of these subscription services. I have more subscription services than I can even count,” the TikToker adds. “They ruined TV with the subscription services. I have to pay for subscription services for channels I didn’t even know I had if I want to watch a show now. They ruined TV and now they’re charging us to check out.”

“What’s next? What are they going to charge next? Oxygen?” asks the TikToker in conclusion.

Fortunately, it appears that Walmart and Target will not, by default, be charging guests to use self-checkout machines. However, that doesn’t mean the self-checkout process will stay how it is today.

According to VERIFY, “Target representative Loni Monroe confirmed to VERIFY that ‘Target is not charging customers to use the self-checkout.’” However, updates to the self-checkout process “include a new Express Self-Checkout option and the ability for store leaders to mandate self-checkout hours based on store needs.” The former limits shoppers to a set number of items in self-checkout.

As far as Walmart is concerned, “Walmart does require customers to have a paid subscription to use its ‘scan & go’ feature, which allows users to scan items as they shop, using their cell phone. Customers paying with ‘scan & go’ must still complete their purchase at the self-checkout kiosk, however, the kiosks are not limited to Walmart+ subscribers using this checkout option,” explains VERIFY.

Much like Target, Walmart may also limit when its self-checkout machines can be used.


What is this reality we are living in. Walmart will be first. Target after that.

♬ original sound – Jack Mac

Users utilized the comments section to share their gripes about this idea and subscription services in general.

“There are subscription fees for printers and the freaking auto start on your car,” said a user. “I want to go back to just buying an item and being able to use it because I bought it.”

“I have to pay a subscription to tracks my subscriptions,” stated another.

“I’d genuinely rather wait an hour in line than pay to use self check out,” offered a third. “If there’s no cashiers I’m going to another store lmao.”

The Daily Dot reached out to McGuire via Instagram direct message and Walmart via media relations contact form.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 20, 2024, 1:00 am CDT