Associate Explains Why She Hates JCPenney’s New Mobile Checkout System

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JCPenney is switching over to mobile checkouts, but not everyone is as happy about the changes as CEO Ron Johnson.Johnson is a big fan of using iPads and iPods over the traditional cash register, and so, he’s working on phasing out the old technology. Eventually, the vacated cash register space will be filled by coffee and juice bars.

We spoke with a JCPenney associate who works at a store in the Midwest about what it’s like on the other side of mobile checkout at the retailer.

She had a bunch of complaints about the new systems that have been put in place.

Here’s what the associate, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job, had to say (lightly edited for clarity):

“We use iPods in some of the departments now. Often they do not work.

If a customer does go to an associate and the associate uses an iPod that’s working for a sale, and then customer wants a paper receipt, we have to go halfway through the store to get the receipt and then take it back to the customer.

That is not convenient for the customer. At least we don’t see how it is (on the sales floor).

We can see why Internet sales are down: there isn’t a catalogue department anymore. Customers go to a register — where there is one — and then their item is brought to them. Before Ron Johnson it was right there in the catalogue department itself — no long waits.

Older folks who were used to just going in getting their merchandise and then leaving happy are not leaving happy anymore!”

JCPenney is banking on mobile checkout to improve the customer experience in stores, so hopefully the process is improved over time.