Tesco says goodbye to irritating “unexpected item in bagging area” phrase. Here is the replacement

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The bagging area is a place where emotions run high. In the early 21st century it has become a key battle ground between us and the machines.

You are a bagging area! How unexpected is my bag?

The machines remain maddeningly calm in the face of such human frustration, repeating “unexpected item in bagging area”, until whatever it is has been removed from the disputed area. You cannot win.

But these small victories for our robot adversaries are now set to be a thing of the past, in Tesco at least.

After feedback from humans, Tesco has decided to drop the penetratingly irksome phrase from its machine checkouts.

It is also set to change the voice of the machines, adding a new male voice. A total of six infuriating phrases are to be dropped, including the idiotic “please take your items”.  Yeah, because I was just going to pay for them, and leave them here.

According to Tesco, customers described the voice of the supermarket’s current android skivvies as “shouty” and “irritating”, and said they put customers “under pressure as they finish their shop”.

Tesco self service checkout operations manager James Dewen said: “Customers really like the convenience of our self-service checkouts, especially when they’re just popping into store to pick up lunch or a few items after work. But for some, the voice leaves them a bit frustrated.

“It’s listened to by millions of customers every week, so we’ve acted on customer and colleague feedback and worked hard to get the new voice right to improve the shopping trip.”  

Here’s the replacement voice:

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