Shopping Cart Confusion

Some of you may think this post is about online shopping carts, but you would be wrong.

This is about good old-fashioned physical carts, the kind you would find at a grocery store.

Last week Amazon Express opened up a store near us, and we had to check what all the excitement was about.

Here’s how it works:

I scanned in with my Amazon Prime app barcode on my phone and started shopping. There are hundreds of cameras hanging from the ceiling, and apparently, they can pick up everything that you put into your shopping cart. You can place your items into a bag in your cart, either your own bag, or they sell paper bags for 10 cents each. Then, when you are finished shopping, you just scan your Amazon Prime app barcode once again, and that’s it. There is no formal checkout process. I was told I would get my receipt in about 30 minutes.

I was curious how accurate those cameras would be, so I looked forward to comparing the receipt against what we actually bought. It took a while to get the receipt (several hours), and when I compared it to our purchases, I discovered that we had been charged for two items we had not bought. A simple five-minute phone call to Amazon Fresh resolved the problem, and I received a refund.

Overall, I thought the experience was great, despite the hiccup with the receipt. The store was clean, seemed to have a great selection of products, and the checkout process was quite easy. I will happily return to do more shopping. (People who do not have Amazon Prime can shop there; there is a regular checkout line with a cashier.)

But my shopping experience at Amazon Fresh is not what motivated this blog. That happened when I went to put my shopping cart back in its place.

As you can see from the photo above, there was enough room to have three columns of carts. One side looks fairly organized, I’m not sure what’s going on with the other side.

I was on the organized side, and when I went to put my green cart into one of the two green cart columns (it seems kind of obvious to me where those two green cart columns are), whoever dropped their green cart right before me was apparently confused as to how the process worked. I guess they could not decide which column to put it in, so they just left it right between the two columns.

It was easy enough for me to get things back on track, but I felt a bit sorry for the people who work at Amazon Fresh. I am sure all the employees were well-trained and ready to answer lots of questions about barcode scanning, how the checkout process work, your receipt, all the cameras, product selection, and so on.

But I am guessing they assumed that everyone would know how to put a shopping cart away, and so there was no one telling customers how that part worked.

So despite all that high-tech, sometimes it’s the most basic of tasks that cause the most confusion…



67 thoughts on “Shopping Cart Confusion

  1. Whoever it was thought it was good enough and someone could fix it later. That’s a part of retail that’s always been there. You are parked exactly opposite of the cart corral but can’t be bothered to cross the aisle and put it away but rather just leave it in your parking spot in the way of the next person.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Do I detect a few notes of sarcasm? I am a big fan of sarcasm. And are you assuming that the person before you actually wanted to put the cart away? I on the other hand assume that the person was just too lazy to bother. Or maybe too lazy to think.

    Also, I would want to know how those many Amazon cameras came to the conclusion that you purchased more than you actually did.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know you love sarcasm – so I wrote this with you in mind πŸ™‚

      I am going with lazy, and lack of awareness.

      As to the cameras, I can see how it might happen if you put something in your cart, and then take it out. But we don’t recall doing that with the items we were charged for had not bought. Maybe they are still working out the glitches…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so proud of my Autistic son who even today morning saw to it that the cart he took for shopping got to its point of return. Maybe his OCD had something to do with. Anyway I am curious to shop live at Amazon store πŸ™‚.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. putting away things where they belong, so it is easier for the next peson, is a great life skill to have mastered. And I was excited to try shopping at Amazon, and I was impressed by the experience…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure if I like this idea or not. I like getting my recipe right away because I like to know if I’m being charged the right amount. Also, I have never ever gotten a live person within 5 minutes on the phone. You must have some kind of Amazon connection Jim hahaha πŸ˜„ 🀣 And even though I feel iffy about the whole recipe thing, I will probably still check out the store and see what its like. 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a little nervous about not getting a receipt right away as well, but I was pleased with how quickly the problem was resolved. I was also surprised that I was able to talk to a person so quickly, but the receipt included an 800 number which might be specific to Amazon Fresh…


  5. It was me. I wanted to inspire you to write a post.

    What would you have done, had you checked your receipt and found you were not charged for a few things? Would you have still called Amazon? WWJD?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate the inspiration πŸ™‚

      I di dthink abou that scenario of being undercharged, and I’m pretty sure I would have called to let them know. I would then be curious what they would say, if it was a relatively cheap item. Would they find a way to charge me, or just let it go? WWAD?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While I think many would be attracted to the high-tech, simplified shopping experience, I would think that if overcharging happens too frequently, it would certainly turn some people off. Right now, I am ok, and regard it as a fluke, part fo the growing pains with using new tech…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is one of my oddities. Anytime I return a cart, I organize the corral, and it always needs organizing. I assume in some small way I am helping out the next person. Also, if I need a cart, I take one from the corral and take it with me into the store. That is one less cart for someone to have to lug back to the front of the store. Great post, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could you let me know when and where you shop, so I can be sure to arrive right after you have orgainized things? πŸ™‚

      We need more people like you who think about the impact of their actions on others…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I applaud the person before you for saving 1.5 seconds by not racking their cart as they knew the next person would need to do it to put their own cart away. My guess is that the perp has not yet learned that cooperation is the key to society, and they will, in the (hopefully not so distant) future, rack their cart because such courtesies to others makes the whole world run smoother.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sometimes these grocery carts resemble wandering sheep! While I haven’t visited an Amazon Express, my wife and I occasionally use Amazon Fresh for difficult to find grocery items (always ordering at least $35 to allow for no delivery charge).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it is funny to see shopping carts scattered all over a parking lot. I guess the people used all their energy inside the store.

      and Amazon is a great place to find those hard to find items…


  9. Less tech, more courtesy, I say!!! For people, rules, the environment and so on!!! It seems we are missing the big picture with all this high technology: it’s people that matter most, and what we do, how we feel and how we interact is crucial to improving our quality of life! I hate to sound β€œsappy” or β€œpreachy”, but the conveniences of such places still shine on a light on the complacency of so many. ☹️

    Liked by 1 person

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