Self-checkout: Yay or nay?

You've seen them around: those self-checkout stations at grocery stores and pharmacies.

You've seen them around: those self-checkout stations at grocery stores and pharmacies. While for some they herald a new source of convenience and autonomy when shopping, for others they are a nuisance with too many kinks to be a viable alternative.

In fact, recent studies have shown that, despite the technological implications, customer service is preferable to self-checkout systems. One study by industry research firm the Food Marketing Institute found only 16 percent of supermarket transactions in 2010 were processed at self-checkout lanes (in stores that provided the option), compared to 22 percent three years ago.

"It's just more interactive," Keith Wearne, a shopper at Big Y Foods in Manchester, Connecticut, told The Associated Press. "You get someone who says hello; you get a person to talk to if there's a problem."

Many stores are beginning to scale back on self-checkout services due to customer complaints or a sheer lack of use. However, a substantial portion of shoppers still prefer the newer technologies over traditional checkout options.

"I like to get in and get out," another shopper Greg Styles, told the source. "These lanes are quick and really easy, so I use them all the time."