Are Supermarkets making us deaf - Your Thoughts

Hi everyone, has anyone ever noticed at their local supermarkets that the volume levels for either the music being played in store, or tannoy announcements, or the volume levels at the self service checkouts are deafeningly loud and can potentially damage your hearing? I've noticed recently in a lot of supermarkets where I live that the volume levels have just been going up and up. Therefore if you have normal hearing, or have children who are super sensitive to loud noise, it will just damage their hearing. Also people are Autistic and noise sensitive. Again, it makes it uncomfortable for those people to shop because of the loud volumes within these stores. I just wish that supermarkets and all stores would be more considerate with regards to this and have volume levels set at low to moderate levels. Unless they all think that we are all deaf! On a more serious note though, are the volume levels not a breach of the Environmental health regulations?
As always, your thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks :)


  • TimSynths
    TimSynths Posts: 603
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    Always got my earphones enjoying Radio three when in Lidl.
  • ceh209
    ceh209 Posts: 876
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    My local supermarket do quiet hours 9am-10am twice a week. Designed for those with autism etc, I'm not autistic but I try to do my shopping at those times now. I've been there when the lights go back up and the music comes on at 10am and it's just awful!
    Excuse any mis-spelt replies, there's probably a cat sat on the keyboard
  • olgadapolga
    olgadapolga Posts: 2,263
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    Not sure about the noise levels in supermarkets, etc., but I have noticed that as I get older, I am increasingly more intolerant to louder sounds. Even the TV at home drives me insane - I have it quieter than my children who then complain that they can't hear it. 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
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    My supermarkets do not  play music.

    Have you raised the issue with the supermarket?
  • soul1
    soul1 Posts: 108
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    sheramber said:
    My supermarkets do not  play music.

    Have you raised the issue with the supermarket?
    Hi sheramber, yes I have. Here is what I have experienced so far with different supermarkets :-

    1. Lidl - When my local Lidl store installed self-service checkouts, the volume level of the female voice at all the self-service checkouts was set to maximum. I complained about this numerous times to the store staff at the store and the response that I got was that they have no control over the volume levels as they are controlled/set by head office. This is completely untrue and not one member of staff offered to get in touch with head office and get this issue looked into/resolved. I then ended up contacting Lidl UK Customer Service and then the Area Manager got the volume levels turned down. However it seems to me that certain staff at the store don't really care about customers hearing and other colleagues hearing as the volume levels were put right back up. One staff member at the store recently tried to help and she turned down the volume on all the self-service checkouts to an acceptable level. However someone at the store has now gone and turned them right back up. Just to add that the volume levels at all the self-service checkouts at Lidl can be adjusted by staff. Therefore if you have normal hearing and have young children with normal hearing, be careful at your local Lidl store re self-service checkouts as the volume might be set too high causing permanent hearing damage. What I don't also understand is why the store needs to have the volume levels so loud at the self-service checkouts when there is always a staff member looking after the self-service checkouts anyway? One staff member at the store told me that they need to be able to listen to the voice from the self-service checkouts across the store, so that they can help customers if they have any issues, hence that's why the volume is set so loud. I totally disagree with this as that means it's okay to potentially damage a customer's hearing because of this. I've raised this now with the CEO of Lidl UK. Let's see if they finally take some action and get this resolved.

    2. Waitrose - my local Waitrose used to have the female voice on all their self-service checkouts at the lowest setting. It was brilliant and once again, there was always a staff member present near the self-service checkouts to assist customers. Recently however, they have put the volume of the female voice at all their self-service checkouts to maximum. Their reasoning being that some customers are not paying for their items at these tills due to them not listening to the payment instructions given by the female voice. Once again, no excuse to do this as you are potentially damaging customer's hearing because of this. I've raised it with my local Waitrose store, let's see if they take any action or not.

    3. Marks & Spencer self-service checkouts at M&S Food stores, once again the voice at these checkouts used to be quiet, but for some unknown reason, M&S have put the default volume up by a lot.

    4. Aldi - had a new Aldi built near me a couple of years ago. No idea who designed the store, but if you stood underneath any of the speakers when they made an announcement through the tannoy, you were exposed to deafeningly loud volumes. This volume can't be avoided if you are in the queue paying for your shopping as you are standing underneath those speakers. Raised a complaint with Aldi and they were very quick to respond. They acknowledged that this is an issue and have turned down the volume re when doing tannoy announcements. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than before.

    5. Asda & Sainsbury's - sometimes they have their tannoy announcement volume too loud, or the music playing too loud especially at Xmas. Asked them tom turn down the volume and they do.

    As you can see from the above, these supermarkets are not taking into account people with normal hearing, babies/children with normal hearing and who are very sensitive to hearing damage, plus Autistic customers and other people who might be noise sensitive due to health etc. 
  • Zinger549
    Zinger549 Posts: 1,284
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    You might find them to loud but if they've not had many other complaints about noise they probably won't do anything. They play music at my local Tesco and never found it or the announcements to be loud.
    Come on you Irons
  • Archie_Duke
    Archie_Duke Posts: 285
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    I’ve noticed Morrisons is constantly playing music, which is a bit annoying. I can’t bear Asda, the noise is awful! I prefer more of a quiet atmosphere, local Lidl or Waitrose are best for me.
  • donnac2558
    donnac2558 Posts: 3,606
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    edited 28 April 2022 at 7:43AM
    When in the supermarket, I sing along with the song.

    Xmas was fun as they cut off Fairy Tale Of New York before the Scumbag part.
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