The Reason Some Whole Foods Employees Hate Amazon Prime's QR Code

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Online retailer Amazon revolutionized the grocery world in 2017 when it bought the supermarket chain Whole Foods. The 13.7 billion dollar acquisition marked the beginning of new advancements for both companies, in turn expanding their selection of products and available services for customers in-store.

It also came with a massive remodel of Whole Foods' brick-and-mortar locations, complete with all kinds of technological updates designed to make shopping more efficient. Shoppers with Amazon Prime memberships could also now access a host of benefits, including an exclusive 10% discount on certain items and the ability to return Amazon orders in-store.

With the newly upgraded checkout systems and Amazon pay feature, people also don't have to bring a credit card or cash with them to shop. Now they can simply open their phone to the Amazon or Whole Foods app, pull up a unique QR code for the cashier to scan, and have all the transactions automatically charged to whatever card they have on file. Pretty neat, right? It would seem customers think so. According to Amazon, in 2017, more than 33 million people registered with the app to make at least one purchase.

However, while the system is convenient for customers, it turns out it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for employees. 

The QR payment codes aren't as user-friendly as they seem

On Reddit, several Whole Foods employees opened up about their frustrations with the QR payment system. Among the chief complaints are technical limitations as well as dealing with customers who refuse to learn how to use the payment app, but still expect to get the perks. The discussion began after a worker known as Redditor @devilsupreme shared a story about an encounter with an irate customer who was unable to pay with their Prime code. "Yesterday I got yelled at by a old lady because she wanted to use her code and she couldn't pull it up since her phone was dead," they explained. "She didn't even buy anything that was on sale that could get her 10%."

Fellow Redditors could relate to the employee's plight. "I hate everything about the prime discount. Not to mention how [customers] can't follow simple directions," one user states. Another frustrated employee shares "Every day I cashier I get some sort of attitude related to that code."

The OP also suggests the speedy convenience of the app payment has made customers more impatient, consequently robbing all transactions of any genuinely pleasant interaction. "I would try to be nice and greet them but instead they just shove their phone screen at me," they said. 

It seems that convenience isn't always as beneficial as one may think.