A customer information terminal system having a docking member for supporting a data collection device on a shopping cart, wall or the like. The docking member is dimensioned to receive the data collection device and allow for convenient storage thereof during and after use. The data collection device may take any number of forms, including a consumer assistant data terminal, a pen based data terminal, a scanning gun terminal or the like, and may communicate with a host computer system storing customer shopping data. The docking member may provide one or more degrees of movement, so that the data collection device may be situated in a convenient position. An interlock switch may also be provided to allow for the alternative selection of power sources. When the data collection device is located remote from the docking member, the interlock switch causes the device to be powered by an internal power source. When the data collection device is situated in the docking member the interlock switch causes the device to be powered by an external power source. In addition, the external power source can be used to charge the internal power source.