Well-known member
They tried to install those stupid self checkout machines in supermarkets here in Seville a couple of years ago but no one used them, so they've got rid of them now.

Depends on the demographic. Some Whole Foods markets here are 75% self-checkout kiosks and 25% with a human cashier, and I'll bet that reflects the preferences of their customers.
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Tight but Polite
It took me a while to realise that the train ticket machines belong to particular operators and do not necessarily offer you the cheapest way to get from where you are to where you want to be. Not only that, but some tickets can only be acquired by going to the ticket office and specifically asking for a particular route and operator combination e.g. if you don't care about speed, you can get a Midland/Welsh Railways combo from the cashier £32 return to Manchester rather than £90 from the Virgin machines - and even then you have to 'remind' the cashier that this option exists because he won't offer it straight off if you ask for the cheapest option.
The British train ticketing system is such a clusterfuck. Totally gold standard example of why you don't get a coherent system by breaking things up and privatizing them and then introducing regulation piecemeal to try to get the privatized operators to do what you want. They're looking at moving to per-leg ticketing soon, which should help, but it's still not great.

If you ever want a laugh, try to understand the full rules of what counts as "any permitted" route when that's what the ticket allows:

Benny Bunter

Well-known member
Tbf the machines themselves were so shit they didn't even work properly, but even if they did I don't think anyone here wants them.

I feel bad for the old people above all, all this faffing about with screens is so much harder for them


Well-known member
My mom would rarely even use her credit card, paid for almost everything with cash.


Binary & Tweed
That said, if companies start to find that LLMs do outperform human representatives in this customer support role, I'd imagine best practices would shift accordingly - not because companies care about customer experience for altruistic reasons, but because they care about customer experience for profit-maximizing reasons.
One example of this:

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thread death
EasyJet (others too but my experience is with them) - an airline that frequently runs late, has no staff on the ground with which to interact, all communication via an app which glitches all too often, cancelled my fucking flight and left me stranded and falsely offered me accommodation (when I tried to claim, the app just said ‘sorry, nothing available.’) Shoddy service which may or may not lead to some compensation but like dogs returning to their bowl of vomit, we all still use these airlines over and again.

I managed to get out of the airport and get a train to a mate but what a fucking shambles.

Benny Bunter

Well-known member
Might be my imagination or just personal experience but Ryan air is a bit better that easyJet. Can't afford anything else apart from these two.


Well-known member
Doctorow's in the FT talking about 'enshittification' again;

"I think that the enshittification framework goes a long way to explaining it, moving us out of the mysterious realm of the “great forces of history”, and into the material world of specific decisions made by real people; decisions we can reverse and people whose names and pitchfork sizes we can learn."

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
Cory Doctorow said:
Last year, I coined the term “enshittification” to describe the way that platforms decay. That obscene little word did big numbers; it really hit the zeitgeist.

I dunno John, I don't purport to have the answers. I'm sure you're right that neoliberalism has played some part in all this, but I don't think society was by any means perfect before neoliberalism came along and ruined everything, and in some ways things are still a lot better than they used to be, despite the current depressing trend for a general societal enshitification.