26/11/18 – Argos self-checkout machines too high for wheelchair users.
So I emailed Argos regarding their recently installed self-checkout machines.
This is what Argos had to say,”
I know your concern was about the height of the Quick Pay Kiosks. Having investigated further, it seems that the design of the kiosks is historic and none of the current designers know where the guidance was consulted at the time.
We are however aiming to ensure that new designs are more inclusive and I am working closely with the Store Format teams to ensure moving forward this is the case. We are also trialling other technology where you can browse for products and pay on the same terminal and these are more accessible. However, there will always be aspects of Argos stores that are not accessible for every customer, and when it occurs, our colleagues are always happy to assist (which is of course something Argos is required to do under the Equality Act 2010)”.
Hmm, she says the new terminals where you can browse and pay (presumably the ones pictured above) are more accessible. Not quite sure about that!
I’m in a pretty high seated wheelchair and you can see below, the touchscreens are too high for me to use, it is above my head! For a disabled person like myself who is unable to raise their arms past chest level and doesn’t have very good dexterity, this becomes an impossible task. Now, remember, you have to pump in numbers or the name of the item you wish to browse/pay for on this screen. Gonna take some time I reckon! Yes indeed, staff may be required to assist under the EA 2010 but try finding one in the Hounslow branch!
Argos said in a further email, replying to my email with a few suggestions:
“I went around one of our stores on Friday in a wheelchair (before your email came through) just to try to get a view of the barriers in store for wheelchair users, albeit it was the Liverpool Belle Vale store that has just been refitted with the Pay at Browse device. While it is a good height for a wheelchair user, the screen while lower than the kiosk that you mentioned, may well present an issue to a user who can’t reach higher than chest level. We will need to give some thought to how we make sure a wheelchair user can get close enough to the screen e.g. get their knees under the desk and still have the screen and the pay point within easy reach”.
Now I’m really not sure what machines she is talking about as it seems she has mentioned several. As she mentioned the Liverpool branch has just been refitted with the new machines, I can only assume she is indeed talking about the ones pictured above. Now, this being the case, how on earth can it be concluded these are a good height for wheelchairs?? You would definitely need to reach up past your head.
The plus side is, Argos haven’t completely disregarded my comments or even my suggestions. They do say they will give some thought on how to improve things, this is definitely a plus for Argos.
So now the waiting game and in the meantime, I still can’t go shopping independently!!!!
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
***UPDATE*** 27/11/19 – Argos self-checkout machines too high for wheelchair users.
Argos have been true to their word!! They have indeed installed new LOWER machines in their Hounslow store. I was in the store last week and found these lowered machines to be much easier to use. Unfortunately, the machine at the lowered counter meant for wheelchair users wasn’t working. (I did report this).
The only slight issue is the fact if you’re not careful, you could very well hit your knees on the bottom of the machine. Other than that though, I say, good job Argos.