Lowe's Self Check Out Is Apparently Just A Huge Pain In The Ass

Reader Jason says that the self check out system at his local Lowe’s simply refuses to process his debit card transaction properly. After the third time, he’s finally given up and will be shopping at Home Depot. Aren’t self check out systems supposed to be convenient?

Just had to share our recent experiences with the self-checkout POS (ironic acronym) terminals at our local Lowe’s, as this was the third and most ridiculous time this has happened:

After the long process of selecting our few meager items in a disorganized store with unhelpful employees, we make our way to the self-check out, hoping for a quick escape from the endless corridors of merchandise. Scan item, place in bag, etc.

We would like to use the debit/credit card associated with our checking account as a credit card (gotta love those bonus points), so we select the “Credit” option as our payment type. (Note that “Debit” is a completely separate option, which we did not select.) Slide card. Asked to enter PIN number. Since we do not want to use as a Debit card (with the PIN) we select the only available option: “Cancel”. We know that virtually every other self-checkout that we use will then proceed to process the transaction as a credit card transaction. But Lowe’s?

No! “Cancel” brings us back to the payment selection mode. More time wasted starting over: Re-select “Credit” as payment type. Re-swipe. Wash, rinse, repeat. In our previous two visits to Lowe’s (when the same thing happened!), the POS would finally give the option to accept the card as a credit transaction after about the 3rd or 4th cycle. Fed up that this was happening yet again (with a different card and at a different self-checkout terminal, by the way), we decided to ask for help from a clerk whom we will descriptively refer to as GrumpyOldLady.

GrumpyOldLady proceeds to emulate the futuristic characters on Star Trek as she brings up screen after screen on the POS in rapid succession, meanwhile keeping us waiting for additional minutes when we should have been long gone by now. She manually codes in all of our personal details: card number, zip code, name, on and on — some details entered more than once.

After what seems like an eternity, the result flashes on the screen: Error, cannot process transaction. (Note that there was plenty of money in the account for this measly little $6.xx transaction, so this is not an issue of insufficient funds — just a POS POS.) GrumpyOldLady then proceeds to blame us for some reason; something about not being able to read the 3-digit security code on the back of the card (cataracts?).

She offers no solution to rectify the problem.

We do, however. Thanks, but no thanks. We take the card and leave, vowing to NEVER return to any Lowe’s store. We are forced to go to the Home Depot at the other side of town.

Long story short: Lowe’s is trying to force people into Debit transactions that cost them less in processing fees. Great idea – save the Credit processing fee and waste customers’ time, causing customer to never return.

Thanks Consumerist, and goodbye Lowe’s!

Does this happen at every Lowe’s? Or is something rotten at this particular location?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.