Automatic checkout solutions have become a hot topic on social media after videos of customers ordering fast food from A.I. drive-thrus went viral.
TikTokers have had mixed reactions to the new tech. Some feel the systems work too slowly, while others say they prefer speaking to a robot to place their order.
Now, another voice joins the conversation. TikTok user Jason Blackwell (@mrspeed2.0) posted a video showing the automatic checkout lanes Circle K recently introduced to some of its stores—and why he isn’t a fan of them.
In the now-viral video, Blackwell shows that the scanning station used to determine which items a customer is purchasing failed to properly identify the products he was trying to buy.
The clip begins with a view of the checkout screen, showing that the scanner rang Blackwell up for a $14.99 bottle of Hennessy, a $0.99 Polar Pop fountain beverage, and 2.5 gallons of Diesel Exhaust Fluid for $25.99.
Blackwell then pans his camera to the checkout station, which shows that he was only trying to buy a hot dog and a soda.
“The new Circle K automatic scanner be tripping, thinking I’m getting DEF for a diesel and some Hennessy,” Blackwell says in the clip. “I ain’t gonna spend $45 for a hot dog and a drink.”
The TikToker tagged Circle K’s account in the video’s caption, writing: “@circlekstores you are [killing] me lol.”
@mrspeed2.0 @circlekstores you are killimg me lol #hennessey #def #automaticscanner #hotddog #circlek ♬ Creepy and simple horror background music(1070744) – howlingindicator
In the comments section, viewers joked that the scanner knew the TikToker’s true desires and charged him for the products he actually wanted.
“Go grab some Hennessy then the register knows what you want lol,” one commenter quipped.
“Hennessey and DEF you know your planning on mixing that,” a second joked.
Other commenters said they’d had similar issues with Circle K’s new scanners.
“The clerk just makes me use and it correct all of its mistakes in a transaction that’s now 4 times longer,” one wrote.
“Wasn’t paying attention one night and it tried to charge $26 for a drink and a snack. the cashier caught it before i did lol,” a second shared.
However, some said the machines’ mistakes often work to their benefit.
“I always end up with the wrong drinks on there that are cheaper. I don’t say a damn thing lmao,” one viewer remarked.
“Charged me 2$ for pads it rang up sugar,” another said.
In an email with the Daily Dot, Blackwell shared more of his thoughts on the checkout machines.
“The machine is new and from what I hear they fail often,” he wrote. “If a[n] object is odd or looks odd it references to a similar object I assume.”
He added, “The clerks have to fix the wrong items and usually tell you to walk over the regular register.”
Despite mixed customer reviews, the machine seems to be coming to more Circle K stores in the future. According to a June 2022 Retail Wire report, Circle K’s parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard, “will deploy more than 10,000 self-checkout machines in 7,000-plus Circle K and Couche-Tard convenience stores over the next three years.”
The Daily Dot contacted Circle K via email form for further comment.
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*First Published: May 11, 2023, 6:38 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.