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Whenever you are offered a choice between human service or a machine (touchscreen service, for example), in buying something or making a reservation or inquiry, which do you prefer and why?

13 Comments

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13 Comments
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I would prefer to deal with people. That said, if the machine is faster, I will use it. In practice, though, the machines are usually slower and more frustrating, due to glitches, poorly designed interfaces, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People. I particularly dislike public touchscreen tech, it's a hotbed of cross infection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The personal touch with a warm,genuine smile can never go wrong.But the convenience of an electronic machine can't be denied also.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It depends. For check in at an airport - the people definitely. I hate the check in machines.

For buying something simple in a store either way is fine

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In Japan, I always chose the self checkout. I'd be all over promoting jobs and use the human, but I'm tired of explaining that I don't need a bag. Even when i say so, they either forget, give me the clear bag anyway, or are so roboticized that they just say yes, and smile while putting my items in a bag. I don't lile the look I get when I have more than 2 items in my hand either. They look at me like I'm breaking some rule or world record.

I only recently started using the machines at the convenient stores too. This one is less about the bags.

I use the Ofuna New Days nearly on a daily basis. I find their "perfect" customer service to be the most annoying thing of my day. Wether it's early on the morning before work or after a long day, there is nothing more irritating than hearing them trying to pack in all the mandatory greetings and smiles into a 7 second transaction. Ugh....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And as mentioned by cracaphat above, a warm genuine smile would be nice, but although I see smiles everywhere, almost none of them are genuine. This new white robot that many shops are getting has about as genuine a smile as any cashier here.

That being said, when I ask questions anywhere other than the cash register, I feel genuine smiles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At the hospital here they have permanent staff standing alongside all of both the check-in and payment machines, and an officer who leans out between the gates to take your parking ticket from your car window and insert it into the machine for you. Perhaps they got tired of people struggling with the hospital machines.

Having said that I generally prefer human interface to 'poorly designed interfaces' as commanteer says above.

Recently they changed the cash machine at the convenience store and I could not figure out how to enter the sum needed. The machine kept repeating "Enter the sum you need now!" and then it gave up and went blank. So, start again! Finally I saw that the little window in the middle of the screen which used to be white was now black, and my mind had been jumping over it. Simple, but a stupid mountain for someone in a hurry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lol, depends....................... is the person cute

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've coined the fake smiles as the "misekake" ones.When you've lived in Japan long enough,you can read them. I mean...do you want an equivalent scowl from back home lol?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pepper Japanese Staff

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as the machine offers everything I need, I'll choose the machine. 99% of the time, it's faster and easier. Then I also know that any mistake that is made is my own fault.

I just ordered a pizza at Costco last night at a new automated kiosk with no lines while about 20 people waited in line to order from the cashier. I just walked up to the counter and got my food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I prefer machines. Faster, more efficient and easier to deal with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Something done frequently, machine (grocery, banking); less frequent ones, personal touch (flight check in)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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