shoppers drugmart

Toronto doesn't like the new Shoppers Drug Mart automated checkouts

You can take the cashier out of the snarky teen, but you can't take the snarky teen out of the cashier.

Shoppers Drug Mart announced this month that it would soon be changing the voice used for its recently-installed, automatic self-checkout machines after lots and lots of negative feedback.

Isn't "less attitude" one of the upsides to replacing people with robots? Like, aside from the fact that robots work for free?

Regardless, some Shoppers customers say they feel "judged" by the imaginary person inside their check-out machine.

Others find her voice "incredibly grating" and say the robot sounds "like a bored drunken teen."

The fake cashier has also been compared to the "Cash Me Outside" girl, several teenagers, the receptionist from the original Ghostbusters movie, Family Guy's Peter Griffin in a flashback, and a "whiny millennial."

The most common criticism among customers is that it the checkout speaks with what's called "vocal fry" – a term that's inspired dozens of viral think pieces over the past few years.

Think young women who draw out the ends of words to sound sexyyyyy – or creaky, as some hear it. Think "valley girl." Think Kim Kardashian.

Shoppers has been receiving so many complaints online (and presumably through other means of communication) that the company recently sent the following public message to a customer:

"Thanks for your tweet! We are currently working on new self-checkout prompts using Canadian talent. Watch out for this in the next month!"

It looks like robots aren't so perfect after all now, are they Shoppers? They may work for free, but they still hold the ability to alienate customers who "don't like [their] tone, young lady."

Ha. Humans: 1, Machines: everything else.

Lead photo by

SookeVoiceLOCAL


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

The history of the Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood in Toronto

Someone is collecting 96 cards for a Toronto senior's 96th birthday

Someone fished an old school chair covered in molluscs out of the Toronto Harbour

People can't agree on where the oldest sidewalk stamp is in Toronto

The TTC is shutting down subway service along a huge part of Line 1 for 10 full days

Toronto police ask victims to come forward after arresting man for assault on TTC bus

Unmasked Toronto nurse refuses testing and quarantine at Pearson Airport

University of Toronto ranked best in Canada across 5 subject fields