Ask The Consumerist: Do I Have To Let Stores Check My Receipt?

Reader Carlton writes in with a query:

“Can one legally bypass the whole receipt-checking- process once you’ve made your purchase at a store? Can you just say ‘no thank you’ to the guy checking off your receipt as you exit the door and mosey back to your warm, cozy pickup truck? Once you have completed your transaction at a store, do they have any legal right to keep you in the store?”

Aside from membership-based stores like Sam’s/Costco where you may have agreed to a search in your contract, the answer, it seems, varies by state. However, it’s safe to say that unless you’ve met your state’s definition of probable cause for shoplifting… a retailer has absolutely no right to detain you.

Let’s look at New Jersey’s definition inside.

Presumptions. Any person purposely concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store or other retail mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of such store or other retail mercantile establishment, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed such merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof, and the finding of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person shall be prima facie evidence of purposeful concealment; and if such person conceals, or causes to be concealed, such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the same shall also be prima facie evidence of willful concealment on the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.

To us (not legal experts), that reads “If they see you concealing something, you are in trouble.” You’ll note however that it says “unpurchased merchandise.” If you’ve purchased the merchandise, it’s likely that you’re not covered under New Jersey’s definition of probable cause for shoplifting. Therefor, a Best Buy would have a hard time justifying detaining you. If this means a lot to you personally, you could try printing your state’s shoplifting statute and presenting that rather than a receipt. We suggest simply refusing to shop at stores with the offending policy. —MEGHANN MARCO

Comments

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  1. Elara says:

    Hmm….since it usually takes 5 seconds to check a receipt, why in the world would you refuse? To prove a point? And what point would that be, anyway? That it’s easy to annoy everyone else behind you in line? That you can be a jerk to people who have no control over what they’ve been directed to do by their company? In my experience, stores only do this when they’re having problems with shoplifters. So why cause the poor hourly employees even more angst by acting like an ass about it?

  2. since it usually takes 5 seconds to check a receipt, why in the world would you refuse? To prove a point?

    You’ve obviously never been to Fry’s Electronics, where the obligatory receipt check takes longer, and when on a Saturday afternoon, there may be thirty people stacked up at the overworked dimwit checking receipts. Checkout and returns at Fry’s take long enough; why should I take even more of my time to help them police loss prevention?

    Plus, it’s insulting. After spending several hundred dollars on one or two items, I’m not going to stop and waste more of my time waiting for someone to verify the number and types of items in the bag I walked all of fifty feet from the cash register with. The checkouts are all partitioned from high-dollar items like electronics in these stores anyway.

    At Fry’s my usual response is to avoid eye contact and walk right past the receipt checker. In one case, when he physically blocked my exit, I asked “am I suspected of something?”, and he waved me by.

  3. nikoniko says:

    I agree that one shouldn’t act like a total ass, but neither should honest consumers be harassed and treated like suspected thieves.

    I don’t make a big scene, but I do just keep going through the door, unless the employee is blocking it. If the employee starts to freak out and try to stop me, I say, “I’m sorry, but after I purchased these items, they belong to me, and so does my receipt and my bag. You have dozens of cameras, a team of trained security professionals, and your cashier witnessed me purchasing all of these items. Now, I’ll thank you to please step aside and allow me through, unless spending money in your store is a crime.”

    I don’t blame the employees, but some points need to be made. Good customer service should be a huge priority for any store, and harassing the people who keep your company in business is despicable.

  4. infinitysnake says:

    I do not allow bag/receipt checks, ever. yes, it’s to make a point- the point that I won’t be lined up and searched because I don’t live in East Germany. I’ve been hassled twice in several years’ time, and both time the employees who tried it got in trouble when their respective bosses caught on.

    Nobody has a right to detain and search you unless, just like the cops, they have probable cause- and if they don’t, you can sue the pants off ‘em, which Walmart (among others) has learned after trying it onn the wrong perswon. IOW, they can ask, and you can refuse- and if they insist, touch you, or detain you, consider it your Christmas bonus.

  5. cryrevolution says:

    Honestly though…although it might be hassle and quite annoying at times, i kind of agree with Elara. It is their job to do and giving them grief for it only complicates the situation. Put yourself in the receipt checker’s shoes-how would you feel if you were obligated to do this as a job requirement and every person who passed by you made a big deal out of it? i mean granted, in some big box stores like walmart, you can get by the receipt checker without so much as a glance, but there are some stores that are quite adamant about checking receipts.

  6. Kat says:

    If you think the suspicion of consumers stealing is bad, try working at Wal-Mart. I used to (*shudder* I feel so dirty and ashamed) and once had car trouble. My mom picked me up and parked on the general merchandise (GM) side instead of the grocery side, which is where employees were supposed to enter/exit. (She wanted to shop while she waited for me to get off work.) My manager saw me and I got interrogated, saying it was awfully suspicious for me to go out the GM side, and it looked like I had something to hide. That was in addition to the regular bag/lunchbox search (which was more of a glance than a search.)

    • smiling1809 says:

      @Kat: My sil got fired b/c her till was $20 short and she was not the only one who had been in that drawer. I am 100% sure she didn’t take it, but not so sure that the MOD didn’t do it and then blame it on her. I avoid Wal-Mart whenever possible b/c in my opinion, that place is run by tools.

  7. dantsea says:

    since it usually takes 5 seconds to check a receipt, why in the world would you refuse?

    I just paid for my goods at the cash register, the place where a higher than usual concentration of store security observation takes place. They know what I did, they have it on tape, along with my name from my credit or debit card. When I get to the front door the register tape check is an implication that, in spite of all this observation, the default assumption is that I’m trying to steal from them. I resent that assumption and I do not participate.

    To prove a point?

    Yes.

    And what point would that be, anyway?

    That this paying customer doesn’t appreciate being treated like a suspected shoplifter.

    In my experience, stores only do this when they’re having problems with shoplifters.

    Not my problem. I paid.

  8. Karl says:

    I’ve had a few friends that worked at the local Fry’s tell me that LP busted a scam by some cage workers where they’d swap out a lower-spec CPU than the one that was on the quote. They caught it when they were checking a customer’s bag and the CPU didn’t match what was on the receipt.

    Now, if LP hadn’t checked, the customer would likely be stuck with the lower-spec CPU. If the customer tried to return the CPU, there’d be no way to tell who was scamming who, and they’d likely deny the return.

  9. FLConsumer says:

    I don’t find the receipt checking to be any different than Microsoft’s Activation scheme — both highly annoying and intrusive, and they’re only going to affect honest, non-stealing people. Pirates and real shoplifters (the ones who steal more than a pack of gum) are going to know how the systems work and ways around it.

    I’m willing to bet that a paid plain-clothes security guard or two would be FAR more effective than the idiot up front checking receipts.

    As far as Fry’s / Best Buy / etc., I’m not sure why people shop there anymore. Their prices aren’t good, staff are often immature/untrained/unknowledgable, and the whole transaction is generally a pain in the ass. Don’t get me started on them asking for my ID when I’m using a credit card (a big no-no with Visa/MC). The less service I receive in the retail stores, the more I’m liking online shopping.

    //Side rant: Are the any good (sub)contractors anymore? The previous owner of my house hired some hack to replace the heat pump and in doing so, totally botched the install. I’ve called 9 contractors, telling all of them that I wanted to rip everything out and start from scratch and “money is no object.” Out of those 9:

    Only 7 of them actually bothered to show up. (You’d think the “money no object” line would have at least gotten them to show up)
    Only 5 of them submitted quotes.
    Only 2 of those quotes followed my specifications
    Only 2 of the contractors bothered to go into the attic and look at the installation to see the extent of the damage and what a new system install would entail. Unfortunately, one of these two didn’t submit a quote.
    Only 1 of them actually understood how to do air con in Florida (humidity levels are the key, NOT temperature control in muggy but temperate Florida).

  10. inzain says:

    Man, you people are rather noble. I just walk right past the receipt checkers for the sole reason that I want them to stop me. I’ve done my fair share of research on the topic and I’m confident that I know my rights to this issue. I want someone to challenge those rights so I can actually show my knowledge on the issue.

    Basically, I want them to stop me (physically or otherwise) so that I can blabber a bit at their boss about the immorality of the situation. No such luck so far :(

  11. informer says:

    The check at the door is to make sure you aren’t in cahoots with the guy working the register (i.e. having him scan a couple low priced items while you walk out with the expensive stuff). Still, I’m not going to waste my time helping them catch shitty employees.

    • smiling1809 says:

      @informer: They need to work that out with the guy at the register instead of every single customer who walks through the door and buys something. I allow them to check my receipt, but if it were ever really crowed, I would walk by them no problem.

  12. weave says:

    This really annoys me as well.

    A few months ago, at a local CompUSA store, it was dead inside, I was the only customer at the registers, purchased only one fairly large item, the door checker watched me do it and pay for it, and still insisted on checking my receipt.

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s more to check the honesty of the cashiers than the general public.

  13. Trae says:

    In my retail experience, the receipt checks (while originally intended to check for theft) really ended up being a check for incompetence by the cashiers. Often the wrong things get punched up, people get charged wrong, and mistakes are made.

    It’s not there for preventing purposeful theft, but instead accidental mistakes which can cost the store money. It’s not about treating people like criminals, but instead treating their own employees like morons… which is sadly often the case.

  14. DaveB says:

    I don’t play that game at all. They always want to check my receipt at Home Depot and I have always refused. Once an overzealous rent-a-cop followed me out to my car(a distance of 300 feet from door to car) and demanded I show him my receipt for the 2 dollar wooden dowel I just purchased. I told him to f..k himself and get the hell back in the store before I beat his ass.
    Man, Black friday has made me an angry man today.

  15. RumorsDaily says:

    Those receipt checks are there to stop theft by the cashiers against the store. They prevent the cashier’s buddy from coming it, bringing thousands of dollars of merchandise to the counter, paying twenty dollars for the only thing they bothered scanning, and then walking out the door.

    So, yeah, don’t stop if you don’t want to.

  16. gte910h says:

    I’ve had a real off duty police officer (who was hired part time) as store security repeatedly slam my car door shut as I attempted to leave at a Brandsmart in Doraville, GA. They had three other security guards around the car (who weren’t identified as cops) after I walked past the checker station.

    They repeatedly ignored me inside while I was trying to get a couple pieces of merchandise (a usb to 802.11b dongle) which had pissed me off enough to not bother and to just checkout with the random crap I had.

    I ended up buying a pot and a floor fan. If I didn’t have people coming over in an hour and a half, I would have risked arrest for the payday for this detention (25 minutes I believe).

    –Michael

  17. Brianron says:

    Why do people immediately assume that companies are out to treat them like criminals and morons, rather than maybe, just maybe, the companies are trying to solve a problem in the least intrusive manner possible?

    Shoplifting is a major problem for any store. Check-out clerks are not infallible and are sometimes dishonest, especially where high-ticket items can be very small and easily hidden. Sometimes, honest mistakes are made (i.e., something you bought didn’t get put into your bag). In less than 10 seconds, the store is reducing theft (which helps keep prices lower) and helping to avoid mistakes.

    Yes, if can be annoying, but, big deal. Is your life soooo important that a delay of a few seconds is going to ruin your day?

    Yes, if you want, you can just march right past these people and they cannot stop you — that is your right. But why? Why go out of your way to antagonize people? Because you can? Wow. You people who get so bent out of shape by something so minor as this, which is, in part, to assist you, must lead very sad lives where you are looking at every slight as a personal insult. You are the type of people who always assume the worst motives in other people and assume everyone is out to screw you, and then cannot figure out why the world isn’t more friendly.

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The whole “check your receipt” thing is extremely annoying, and yet, not a big enough deal for me to care enough to go running out the door to see how many rent-a-cops will follow me. I pick my battles and while I find it slightly annoying, it’s not enough for me to make a huge deal about it.

    I have noticed at the local Best Buy, the guy sitting at the entrance purposefully makes eye contact with you and says hello. Not because he’s being nice, but because somewhere buried in shoplifting research, there’s a paragraph that says once people have been recognized and acknowledged by store staff, they’re less apt to shoplift.

    I agree…it’s a pain in the ass, but I don’t feel like challenging it every time I go in there. So, if you’re listening, Best Buy, that’s one of the reasons I shop online. I only go into Best Buy if I have no other choice. Maybe I’ll just stop going in altogether.

    If the purpose of the “check your receipt” guy is truly to prevent cashier fraud, then maybe they should explain that. People are a lot more understanding if they understand that there’s another purpose for a certain procedure other than the store thinking their own loyal paying customers are thieves.

  19. rbf2000 says:

    Don’t get me started on them asking for my ID when I’m using a credit card (a big no-no with Visa/MC).

    I can never understand why anybody would have a problem with an employee checking an ID for a credit card purchase. It’s not a “no-no”, it’s how stores cover their asses and prevent problems for customers. Checking an ID for a non-signed card (which, on the back of the card it clearly states that the card is not valid unless signed) or checking an ID when a a signature does not match is how stores prevent fraud.

    I hope that stores ask for my ID because it makes me hope that if my credit card ever did get stolen, they thief would not be able to make purchases with my card.

    Back to the topic and hand, though, in Circuit City in Virginia, they were very strict about retaining people. Basically the rule was that you had to see a person take an item, conceal it, keep them in view the entire time they have the item on them (so you know that they couldn’t have put it down), and then you have to witness them pass the last point of sale terminal towards the exit. Only if all of those conditions are met can a person be stopped.

    The risk of being sued is greater than the cost of the item being stolen, in most cases.

  20. dantsea says:

    Oh, please. Spare us the “it’s for your own protection!” company line. That one is a real knee-slapper, especially when someone is trying to tell you, with a straight face, that the person armed with the pink magic marker at the door will know if you’ve been overcharged on any of them 25,000+ items these superstores carry.

    My purpose in the store is to buy something. I go to the shelf, I pick out what I want, I go to the cashier, I pay for it. I’m terribly sorry to hear that these stores have a huge problem with theft both external and internal, but it is not my problem nor is it that of the hundreds or thousands of paying customers they see every day. I would venture to say that most of us are somewhat perplexed that our refusal to be treated like thieves on our way to the parking lot would “antagonize” anyone but the basest of control freaks who view customer = enemy.

  21. ElPresidente408 says:

    If you refuse to show your receipt at Best Buy they have a right to suspect something is up. Same when a police officer wants to search your car and you tell him no. You can do that, but don’t expect them to say “ok” and let you go.

    At Target we have a poster that says “It takes 5 GPS units to make up for the loss of 1″. If you set off the detector on your way out, security has every right to make sure you’re not hiding something in that luggage you just bought. Theft is a big problem in retail stores. What’s stopping you from having a friend ring you up for only half your merchandise? If you have a problem with receipt checks, blame everyone who’s decided to steal before you, not the store. The more a store has lost to theft, the stricter they’ll be with receipt checking.

  22. Mike_ says:

    I used to set off the anti-theft alarm every time I left Best Buy. Eventually, I started ignoring it, and I haven’t stopped for one since. The worst I’ve had happen to me is a clerk saying, “Uh, sir?” as I walked away. If they’re so concerned about loss prevention, they should invest in a system with fewer false positives.

    If the receipt check is meant to thwart thieves, it has a nearly 100% false-positive rate. Most customers are not thieves, and most thieves know how to evade detection. Therefore, the “drag net” is mostly a nuisance to the innocent. I like the “ignore them” approach.

    If the purpose of the receipt check is to verify you got everything you paid for, the representative should politely offer (not request) to double-check your purchase for accuracy. It should be phrased in such a way that the most common response is “no thank you”. (Of course, they don’t check your receipt as a courtesy.)

    There are less invasive ways to improve security. These businesses should chose methods that don’t leave the impression they presume every customer is a potential criminal. If more people objected to the post-purchase inspection, they’d be forced to come up with something less obnoxious and more effective.

    Anyway, I say just ignore them. If you didn’t steal anything, you have nothing to worry about. They’re better off leaving you alone, rather than risk falsely accusing or detaining you without any actual evidence.

  23. Mike_ says:

    Same when a police officer wants to search your car and you tell him no. You can do that, but don’t expect them to say “ok” and let you go.

    ElPresidente408, when they ask if they can search your car, they’re asking you to waive your Fourth Amendment rights. If you say no, and they don’t have probable cause, they absolutely have to say “ok” and let you go. Refusing to waive your rights does not give them probable cause.

    If I refuse to show my receipt to Best Buy, they have a choice: accuse me of something, or let me go. If they’re going to accuse me of something, they’d better have more proof than me just not feeling like being detained for a receipt check at the door.

  24. DeeJayQueue says:

    Even the cops can’t stop you unless they’re pretty sure beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ve done something wrong. It’s called “innocent until proven guilty.”

    Nobody has the right to stop you or detain you or search you. The only time the police can is if they have “probable cause” in other words, they see you doing something wrong or the see contraband on you or someone you’re with. If you’re not a cop, this rule doesn’t apply to you.

    It might seem like the people who are against their stuff being checked are acting antagonistically but they’re defending their 3rd amendment rights. If we start to give them up routinely at the checkout line then we’ll just start taking for granted that we don’t have them anymore at all.

    The people who set policy for LP departments in retail stores DO see every customer as a potential shoplifter, and that’s how they train their people to act as well. This is why they have blanket rules like receipt checking and bag checking at stores. They think everyone who walks in the door could be stealing from them at any given second.

    These are the rules that the honest people who actually pay for things and keep the buisness’ doors open are upset about.

    If a policy sucks and enough people complain about it with their voices and their wallets, the policy will change.

  25. Kornkob says:

    “If you refuse to show your receipt at Best Buy they have a right to suspect something is up. Same when a police officer wants to search your car and you tell him no. You can do that, but don’t expect them to say “ok” and let you go.”

    Ya— great! So you think that it is reasonable to assume that someone who declines to give permission to have their person or property searched is, therefore, suspicious?


    Obviously anyone who the police talk to who decline to speak without a lawyer are guilty—after all, if you have nothing to hide then there’s no possible way anything they found or you said could possibly be used against you. /sarcasm

    It’s that very kind of logic being propagated that puts the government in a position to degrade the rights of honest citizens.

  26. Hey, Elpresidente408. Here’s your homework assignment this weekend: watch this video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=852084776135050182

    Yes, they WILL say “OK” and let you go. It’s called “probable cause.” Because, recent developments aside, we still live in a reasonably free country.

  27. plumpy says:

    I can’t speak for every state, but in Oregon, when they ask to see my receipt, I just say “no thank you”. Not once has anyone ever stopped me. Usually they’ll just say “okay, have a nice day.” They know they’re not allowed to do anything.

    Similarly (at least in Oregon) they can’t even stop you if the security gates go off. According to what I found when researching this, in Oregon, the only reliable way to detain/search someone and not face a losing lawsuit, you have to SEE THEM take something and then not lose sight of them until they leave the store. It’s an incredibly high standard. Fred Meyer here actually got sued because they pressured people into believing that they were required by law to stop when a security alarm went off. It’s NOT TRUE. If they want you to stop, take off all your clothes, find whatever bullshit thing caused it to beep, make them arrest you. Otherwise, just say no. I once had a pair of jeans that made security gates beep at a few places when I wore them. It was very strange, but I got very tired of dealing with it. So I just stopped.

  28. Triteon says:

    Time to clean some things up:
    Don’t get me started on them asking for my ID when I’m using a credit card (a big no-no with Visa/MC).
    FLConsumer: As someone who has been the victim of ID theft, and had stolen checks used at Wal-Mart, I am incensed when checkers do not ask for ID. Try spending two days in court (as I have) trying to explain to a DA and an attorney for WM how the signature on the fraudulent check facsimile is not yours. I realize CC companies don’t want ID requested, but it’s ridiculous not to ask.
    infinitysnake: C’mon, there is no East Germany anymore;) (Though there is an east Germany.)
    Now, if dishonest cashiers are such a problem for retailers then why aren’t the security personnel stationed at the counter? Yes, it would cost a ton of money– but everyone would be honest then, right???

  29. Mike_ says:

    Regarding the Credit-Card-ID-Check tangent, from the Visa Merchant Rules (PDF):

    When should you ask a cardholder for an official government ID?

    Although Visa rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their regular card acceptance procedures. (p.29)

    … kinda like how nothing precludes merchants from asking to see your receipt, but merchants cannot make reviewing your receipt a condition of leaving the store.

  30. Gari N. Corp says:

    The only place I’ll really put up with this nonsense is J&R in lower Manhattan, because they have a foolish and unwieldy system of buying merchandise, but have reasonably knowledgable staff and very good prices. The system there does seem more to be about checking for cock-ups than stopping shoplifters, but inconvenience is a slight feature of the J&R experience anyway.

  31. Elara says:

    Wow, apparently some of you have had some really bad experiences with this. The worst I’ve ever had is at Costco, where they look at your receipt, guesstimate how many items you’ve got, and then check off your receipt and off you go. If someone started acting like I was a criminal, I’d be pissed too. But I’ve never had anyone be rude or even slightly obnoxious about it. I have no idea what Frye’s Electronics is, but it sounds like they’re pretty jerky about it.

    So, I guess I still don’t see an issue with it in most cases. If you don’t like the way a company does business, then stop going to that company. If they don’t appreciate your business, there’s always somewhere else you can go that will.

  32. Nick says:

    RE: Receipts
    I generally balance out the hassle/courtesy factor when showing receipts–if there is a huge line to get out the door because one employee is taking their time with the receipt checking, I will simply walk out. The only time I’ve ever been stopped (at Fry’s), I told the employee that I “don’t allow searches of my personal property” and kept walking.

    RE: Credit card ID
    I have no problem with showing ID with checks (there is no signature to compare). However, I get really ticked off when cashiers insist upon a photo ID when using my card; I usually don’t argue with the cashiers though (unless I can tell that they are managers of some sort). To help remedy this, I got one of those cards with my photo and signature already on it. Now when stores insist on seeing my ID in addition to the photo card, I get beyond angry. My usual policy in those situations is to have the cashier cancel the purchase, and walk out the door. The VAST majority of credit card fraud is electronic, NOT somebody swiping your card and trying to use it at CompUSA. Plus, the two times I had a fraudulent charge on my card, a simple 10-minute call cleared it up.

  33. ajn007 says:

    Fry’s is the worst. I was walking out of there with a 34″ CRT television (in a huge box) and stand (in another huge box). That’s all I had purchased. And, actually, I wasn’t walking out of the store with them, the employees helping me bring them to my van had them on dollies right behind me. And the kid at the door STILL asked to check my receipt. I said, “You’re kidding me, right?” “No,” was his reply. “Store policy.”

    Idiots.

  34. North of 49 says:

    At the walmart the famdamily went to yesterday, the security bars kept on going off. About every second or third adult walking back out.

    Mr. No49 walked through with the older two kids and didn’t get dinged just after watching another customer getting interrogated.

    Mrs. No49, however, had the bars go off when she and the baby were the only ones going through. But, since LP was busy with the previous dinger, she just kept right on walking. No one stopped her or chased after her. If they had grabbed her, she was going to go straight to the media and tell them off. She had the walmart receipt, not the Mr. So if she was stopped, it would have been unlawful detainment.

    But if the bars keep on going off, maybe there’s something wrong with the desensitizing thing at the checkouts? That would make more sense than a series of shoplifters.

  35. Helvetian says:

    I do not consent to showing ID as a condition of any sale, and I will assert that at point of sale. If a cashier is suspicious of the transaction, they need to call in a “Code 10″ and let the financial lender make the final determination. Infact I had this happen once, they insisted on ID and I refused because it was a condition of the sale. After 30 seconds of stating that this was a violation of the MasterCard International Acceptance Procedures; the supervisor agreed to permit the transaction.

    When dealing with goons, it’s usually helpful to make the name or policy sound official. Simply stating “this is not allowed” is usually not enough. You must point out the official terminology to sound more informed. Whenever a merchant says “min $10 purchase,” I say “Excuse me? That is a clear violation of Visa International’s Global Acceptance standard and is considered ‘card suppression.'” I’ve never been forced to present ID or comply to a min amount.

    And finally, receipts; I absolutely refuse to show them at all. It is about my rights and I will not renounce my right in the name of a store’s LP issues. That is their own issue to deal with.

    For me, it’s the equivalent of permitting police officers into your home to search due to a neighbor being robbed. The police just want to make sure it wasn’t you or that you have any of the stolen goods. Despite not having anything to hide, I would never consent to having my home searched nor my person. It may sound dramatic, but no I will not show my receipt. It’s in my bag or wallet.

  36. jwissick says:

    I never stop for the reciept checkers. Except at costco and only because I agreed to when I joined.

    I hope fry’s tries to stop me… I would love the payday. I know I am not stealing anything, always check my reciept before I leave the counter, and have no desire to help them catch thieves until they improve customer service.

    Fry’s is one skanky store. They love to break the law and never want to help you. Returns are a hassle there and the employees never know what they are talking about.

  37. Triteon says:

    Methinks Baby No49 is shifty-eyed:) The Stewie of Canada, perhaps!
    Shall I just add– here is yet another reason not to shop at Best Buy.

  38. spud says:

    For years I shopped at Costco and fantasized about challenging their request to review my receipt as I exited their store. My imagined responses varied from “Bl*w me……please” to a straight forward “No thank you”. Included in my list were the following;

    – “Will I be detained if I don’t permit you to review my receipt?”
    – “I’m sorry; you have already taken up too much of my time. I spent 20 minutes in your check-out line and I am not waiting in another line”
    – “I am sorry. My three month old twins are in the back-seat of the Geo. I was here much longer then I had planned on today” (Phoenix gets warm at times. Downside is they might really call the police).
    – Bypassing the line completely, walking past everyone in line and ignoring the receipt checkers.

    Last Valentines Day, I found myself at Costco picking over the fresh cut flowers in a last minute attempt to squeak by another year without making elaborate and romantic plans for the evening. After spending 15 minutes in the check-out line behind an unshaven gypsy-type who frenetically challenged every price on every item in her cart, it was my turn to pay. I paid quickly (cash) and made it towards the exit.

    To my dismay I found no fewer then 14 customers in line while two disheveled Costco employees checked receipts. As I got closer to the front of the line I could hear one of the employees commenting on the merits of customers purchases and polling the men about their plans that evening with their “Valentine”. The second receipt checker had a bit of a palsy and wasn’t quite up to moving merchandise from side to side in the cart, she feigned tallying the merchandise and weakly scribbled a check on the receipt. She sent each customer out the door with the admonition to have a “Blessed Day!”

    This wait was becoming way too much for me. I had enough guilt and self-loathing in me at that moment (for buying roses from Costco and failing to make any plans for the evening) that I was able to re-direct my anger towards Costco, their fascist policies and their absurd hiring practices. I skipped the line and purposely headed for the door, holding my receipt in front of me. As I got toward the door I was warned by the more cogent of the two employees that I must wait in line like everyone else. I disagreed and told her “I had already paid and I wasn’t going to wait any longer”. As I left I heard vague disagreement from people still standing in line and heard the receipt checker yell something about the police and customer service.

    I had parked a considerable distance from the store and quickly headed towards my car. As I got to my car I popped the trunk and set the flowers inside the trunk. As I turned around I found myself face to face with a giantess who had some type of a Supervisor title on her name tag. She told me I had to come back and get in line to have my receipt checked. I told her that I didn’t have to and asked to move because I was getting into my car and driving away. She then demanded to see my Costco membership card and my receipt. I told her I wasn’t going to show her either and again told her I was leaving. She then stated I had agreed to show my receipt whenever (while shopping at Costco) asked when initially I signed up for a membership. I told her I hadn’t agreed to that and she should check my application. She then told me my Costco membership was revoked and asked my name. I again told her I was leaving and asked her to move aside. She then got on her radio and asked for another type of supervisor to assist her. I took the opportunity to slowly back-up and leave the parking lot.

    Not much of a story but a true experience. I still wonder if I agreed to show my receipt when asked by a Costco employee as a condition of my membership. I spoke with a judge friend of mine who made a vague reference to a law in Arizona which allows retailers to detain individuals until the police show up. He stated the way the law is written the retailers can basically hold you against your will and they are not guilt of false imprisonment. (He said it is pretty simple to get a law passed in Arizona and the retailers lobbied for this law several years ago). I haven’t verified this either.

    My membership was never revoked, I still shop at Costco and I haven’t broke line and headed towards the door since Valentines Day. I have had my thrill and I actually fear getting smacked down by my wife if I try such a daring stunt in her presence.

  39. InsaneNewman says:

    On the Credit Card ID tangent-

    I absolutely agree that I should not necessarily need an ID to use a proprly activated and signed credit card. However, it seems to be common sense to me that if a card is unsigned, and the customer refusesto show ID, the retailer has every right to reject the sale (regardless of how the merchant terms are written), because the card “is not valid” without a signature. I.E., the signature is a condition of acceptance.

  40. North of 49 says:

    Methinks Baby No49 is shifty-eyed:) The Stewie of Canada, perhaps!
    Wrong sex. That would be Boy49 (age 4). Girl49 is 2. Baby is a month old.

  41. crankymediaguy says:

    “Yes, if can be annoying, but, big deal. Is your life soooo important that a delay of a few seconds is going to ruin your day?”

    Actually, yes. I’m sick of corporations assuming that THEY have all the rights and I, as a customer, have none.

    I just read where the police in some part of Great Britain are now going to put microphones alongside the cameras that already spy on people. At what point do we say that we no longer live in a free society?

    Perhaps you feel that I’m exaggerating, but we all draw the line at some point, and mine is being treated like a criminal by a store I’ve given my money to. If you can’t figure out a better way to cut your theft loss than treating all your customers like suspected shoplifters, well, I’m not going to play along.

  42. medalian1 says:

    I only show my receipt at sams/costco, damn the rest of ‘em.

  43. john_nyc says:

    I agree that the whole receipt checking requirement is an annoyance of modern life, but I play along like the majority of people do.

    After all, if the receipt checker’s one marketable job skill is to stand at the exit of a door and look at people’s receipts, who am I to stand in the way of them plying their trade?
    If they’re efficient and pleasant, it’s not that big of a deal.

    The only time I’ve ever had any trouble was while exiting the Union Sq Circuit City. I didn’t see the guard (because he was standing off to the side milling about) and he yelled at me as I had one foot out of the door. I responded that if he’s supposed to be checking receipts he should be standing near the exit. He then started yelling at me that he knew how to do his job and that I shouldn’t be telling otherwise.

    It was very exciting.

    Now when I go there I just conceal my legally purchased goods in my bag before I leave the checkout area. No one seems to care about that.

  44. Ookseer says:

    CompUSA kept trying to stick stickers on my stuff when I went into the store. Which, since I regularly have over $2K of hard earned stuff in my bag (none of which they even sold at CompUSA) certainly pissed me off.

    However, when they want to check my receipt I usually ask “Why? Do you think I’ve stolen something?” They of course say “No!”
    I say “Then you don’t need to see my receipt.” and walk out.

    If you don’t defend your rights, someone will take them away. They’d be foolish not to.

    And I don’t believe they’re trying to stop cashier fraud or they’d look closer at the merchandise rather than just making sure the number of items is correct.

    But everything is done half-assed at this CompUSA, so I could be mistaken.

  45. nikoniko says:

    You are the type of people who always assume the worst motives in other people and assume everyone is out to screw you, and then cannot figure out why the world isn’t more friendly.

    No, we’re the type of people who don’t like the worst motives being assumed about us, which is exactly what these stores are doing (and which you just did with that statement). I personally don’t think the world is out to screw me, and I find most of my experiences while shopping to be pleasant. I actually write thank you notes to companies and their employees for providing great service. But I also let them know when I have a complaint, because they ask me to provide them feedback and assure me that they are committed to improving the shopping experience for everyone.

  46. John Jenkins says:

    I am a lawyer and a ten-year veteran of retail, from front-lines to store management before I went to law school.

    In most states there is a “shopkeeper’s privilege” that permits merchants to detain customers if such merchants reasonably suspect the customers of having taken merchandise. This limited privilege precludes prosecution of an action against the merchants in such situations (though whether there existed reasonable suspicion might be a fact question. Some statutes presume reasonable suspicion if the customer is found with concealed merchandise. The particular statute noted above has to do with an element of theft crimes: the intent to deprive the possessor thereof. If you’ve concealed the item, then it is presumed you intended to steal it. That does *not* appear to be the N.J. definition of shoplifting.

    @DeeJayQueue

    Even the cops can’t stop you unless they’re pretty sure beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ve done something wrong. It’s called “innocent until proven guilty.”

    That’s manifestly incorrect. The police can stop you with a reasonable suspicion, which in the criminal context is a very low standard. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard for criminal conviction, not a stop. Moreover, the police are generally protected by qualified immunity, meaning they have to do something exceptionally egregious for you to have any cause of action (typically under 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Finally, the 3rd Amendment has to do with the quartering of troops in private homes during peacetime. I think you mean the Fourth Amendment and private actors cannot violate the Fourth Amendment; it is a check on the government only.

    @Mike_

    The Visa merchant guidelines are an agreement between the merchant and Visa, not you. While you are conceivably a 3rd party beneficiary, I doubt you would have any recourse if a merchant refused your card because you didn’t show ID. Merchants do lots of things that they aren’t technically allowed to do under those agreements (minimum amounts, for example).

    @jwissick

    I never stop for the reciept checkers. Except at costco and only because I agreed to when I joined.

    There is a misconception here, and you’re not the only one who seems to have it. Contracts need not be written. Ever walk into a store that has a big sign out front with some conditions? By shopping there, you may be agreeing to those conditions (you’re an invitee, and your permission to be present can be limited in most cases). Some state laws may not allow this, but in many states you may have agreed to a search.

  47. Pelagius says:

    Didn’t we just have this argument?

  48. One standard I haven’t seen here yet is the one I use for deciding whether to cooperate or whine. I look young for my age, so if I’m shopping at a store with high-value items that’s frequented by a lot of teenagers, I submit to the receipt check with good grace. I used to work at one of those stores and teenagers taking advantage of the five-finger discount were legion. A lot of the stores go to the trouble (or did, when I worked at that type of store) to send employees to special shoplifting prevention training seminars, or to hire specialists. They’re giving you a once-over looking for particular cues when checking the receipt. (The ones who just stare at my receipt … I don’t get it.)

    Store frequented by full-grown adults I become very chilly and irate if they insist they check my receipt. And a luxury store that treats me that way will lose my business.

  49. Mike says:

    Here’s my experience with Best Buyâ„¢ in April of last year… I refused to show my receipt and was treated horrendously by their staff:

    I went into Best Buyâ„¢ to buy a wireless internet router for my father-in-law-to-be. [Father-in-law-to-be has ENTIRELY too many hyphens!]

    Anyway, I was already running late because I had to meet Rach and her ‘rents at the house at 3pm so we could all go meet the wedding photographer.
    The point is that I was, you know… in a hurry!

    So I picked out the router and paid for it at the mobile phone / PDA counter. I paid there because there was no line, and also because if you go up front, they always want your phone number and they offer you subscriptions to magazines you don’t want. So why bother with that? Once I’d paid, the guy tried to put the router in one of those clear bags they use, but it was too big. So he just gave the box to me raw along with the receipt, and suggested that they’d want to check it. This is important…

    Now things get interesting. Anyone that’s been in a Best Buyâ„¢ knows that there are two sets of double doors separated by a small foyer: there’s two IN doors you go through to enter the store, and two OUT doors you pass through to get, uh… OUT. There’s also one of those SensorMatic® thingies at the OUT door that you’re supposed to pass through that beeps if it thinks you’ve stolen something. AND, just to make SURE, there’s a guy sitting at the OUT door that asks to see your receipt. You know, for your convenience. [Right.]

    But I was in a hurry!

    :)

    And besides. *I* knew I paid. There’s an electronic record of my payment at the register. And there’s security cameras all around. Why should I hassle myself with a receipt check at the door? In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty, so why should I have to bother proving my innocence just to leave the store? Oh, and did I mention I was in a hurry?

    You can see where this is going…

    So I put the receipt in my pocket and took the box and went to the front of the store. But instead of going through the OUT door, I waited just 5 second for new visitors to enter the store, thus opening the IN door for me from their side. I slid through the first IN door, crossed over the foyer, and left via the proper OUT door. This had two Really Neat Benefitsâ„¢: first, I didn’t have to be scanned by that SensorMatic® thingie to prove my innocence, and second, I didn’t have some minimum wage “security” guy there trying to stop me from leaving before he saw my receipt.

    Anyway, I slipped right out of the store, purchase in hand, and started walking at a normal human person pace towards my car.

    I got about 10 seconds into the parking lot.

    “Sir? SIR!”

    I stopped and turned around to see a woman hurrying towards me. “Sir, I need to see your receipt.”

    To which I calmly and politely replied, “oh, no thank you,” and turned around and continued walking. I’m nothing if not polite. This didn’t make the nice woman very happy though.

    “Sir, I need to SEE your RECEIPT please,” she insisted. She was now even with me in the parking lot, and I could see her nametag. Myra. She was one of the managers, but I never did figure out if she was the head manager. [Turns out she wasn’t, by the way.] By this time, two more Best Buyâ„¢ employees were hurrying over as “backup,” one of whom was the receipt checker guy that I slipped by.

    I calmly asked Myra if there was a problem, and she said, “you could have just taken that off the shelf! And if you’d just have shown me your receipt in the first place, we’d be done with this!” She was starting to raise her voice now. Not to mention, she just implied that I was a thief! RUDE, I tell you! So much for being in a hurry, but she’d lain the gauntlet down. To protect my honour, I now felt it imperative to prove a point to Myra. There was no way Myra was going to see my receipt now!

    “Are you suggesting I stole this?” I asked her. Myra told me that if I didn’t produce a receipt that she would take my license plate number down as I left the parking lot. I asked her if this was the way Best Buyâ„¢ treated all their customers, and she said, “just the annoying ones.” A manager! Insulting the customer!

    “Look Myra,” I said, “I’m really late, and I’m gonna go now.”

    “Are you really late, or are you just TRYING to be annoying?” she continued.

    The employee next to her, a girl, said, “he’s being annoying.” I mean, shit, if the manager can insult the customer, it’s okay for her to do it too, right?

    I told Myra that she had every right to ask for my receipt. [“Darn right I do!” she agreed.] I also told her that according to the law, I also had the right to decline her. She insisted store policy commanded me to comply with her, but since when does store policy trump the law? She wasn’t happy about this and threatened to take my license plate number down again.

    Now, if I had more time, like all afternoon, I would have let them follow me to my car. Except instead of walking to the car, I’d have led them on a merry chase [a slow one, mind you] though all corners of the parking lot, only to end up at the Staplesâ„¢ next door. Ah, maybe for another day…

    Instead, I made Myra’s job easy: I told her my license plate number! Not only THAT, but whipped out my wallet and flashed my ID for her. She was furiously writing all this down on her hand, and I helpfully made sure she spelled my name correctly. She suggested that I wouldn’t be welcome to shop at that store in the future.

    And then I politely bid Myra and the Subordinates good day, and left.

    Now, you might argue that it would have been much faster to show my receipt. And it would have, this time. There have been other times and other stores that I’ve slipped out without going through security. In fact when at all possible, I make sure that at least my purchases go around the SensorMatics® in stores, even if I can’t. And when there’s alternate ways out of a store, like those shower curtain thingies at some Wal-Martsâ„¢ that they use to shuttle carts in and out, I go through them.

    Don’t make me prove I didn’t steal something. You prove I did. It’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing, dammit. And I ran THIS particular incident up through the customer service line at Best Buyâ„¢ corporate. I wanted a personal apology from Myra for:

    1. Accusing me of theft
    2. Threatening to call the police, and
    3. Insulting me, and in so doing making it okay for her subordinate to also insult me.

    I’ll go to the ends of the earth to prove a point. Does that make me a bad person? :)

    The general manager of the Best Buyâ„¢ store called me on my mobile a few days later. Brendon was a pretty nice upbeat guy, and I told him the entire story of what happened last week.

    Now at first, he was all into the “we catch shoplifters every day and we gotta protect our assets” schpiel, but he had quite a different tune when I explained how Myra and Company had treated me.

    He apologised profusely and assured me that not only was I of course welcome back in the store, but that he’d be going over procedures with Myra and her buddies. An apology! Yay! I win!

    Mwahahaha!!!

    He did admit that my particular situation was one he’d never run across before, so maybe I get points for originality. He also said that if I ever see him personally while I’m in the store to come up and say hi. Now granted, a nice gesture to be sure, but I bet he REALLY wants to put a face with the name.

    That’s okay, I can do that for him. He treated me well. Besides… I bet I never get questioned at that store again. I’ve got them trained!


    Mike


    P.S.: …would it be bad form to give Myra a raspberry next time I see her?… [just kidding! sort of!]

  50. gaelenmag says:

    “One standard I haven’t seen here yet is the one I use for deciding whether to cooperate or whine.”

    I’m not sure why the pro-receipt checker commenters charactere “whining,” “antagonizing” the checkers, etc. as the only alternatives to not having your receipt checked.

    I don’t “whine” or “antagonize” anyone. I simply walk out the door. Nobody’s ever hassled me about it, except to sometimes call “excuse me” behind me as I exited.

    I’ve got more important things to worry about, I just want to leave the store and get on with my day.

  51. acambras says:

    @Mike,

    While you may be right in principle, what you did doesn’t show a lot of common sense.

    1) You pocketed the receipt, even though the cashier warned you that store personnel might want to see your receipt since you were sans bag.

    2) You left the store through a means other than the exit, thereby circumventing store security measures and raising suspicion.

    How much would it have cost you (in time and in moral concessions) to hold up the receipt as you proceeded through the exit? Instead, it took a lot longer to walk around the parking lot arguing with store personnel.

    I am not defending Best Buy because they suck. Nor do I care to have stores where I shop treat me like a criminal.

    But I think you just wanted to provoke a confrontation because you COULD.

  52. srhb says:

    The bottom line: Unless you’re in a “members only” type of store such as Costco, no one has the right to legally demand a receipt upon exiting the store. Furthermore, no one has the right to inspect your – yes YOUR merchandise upon exiting. You paid for it – you own it! Demanding a receipt and / or a search of your merchandise implies a suspicion of theft. As a law abiding citizen I take offense to such implication. A couple of years ago this idiot at a Wal-Mart store demanded my receipt and I refused. He then tried to stop me from leaving the store by grabbing the pushcart containing MY PAID FOR merchandise. Needless to say, this clown didn’t succeed in his endeavors and I proceeded to my car and placed my purchased merchandise in my trunk. I then went back to the store and asked for the manager – who turned out to be yet another idiot who concurred with his employee. Not believing my argument about his illegal actions I insisted that he called the police; he did. Best of all, it was very satisfying to see the expression on this clown’s face when the police told him that neither they not he have any legal authority to demand a receipt from me. I then wrote a letter of complaint to S. Robson Walton – the Chairman of Wal-Mart and by the time everything was said and done, they made the store manager personally come to my home to apologize and offer me a gift card for my troubles. Know your rights, and don’t let people intimidate you! By the way, had this guy grabbed me instead of my pushcart, I could have had him charged with assault!

  53. Helvetian says:

    JohnJenkins says:
    The Visa merchant guidelines are an agreement between the merchant and Visa, not you. While you are conceivably a 3rd party beneficiary, I doubt you would have any recourse if a merchant refused your card because you didn’t show ID. Merchants do lots of things that they aren’t technically allowed to do under those agreements (minimum amounts, for example).

    Incorrect, the merchant agreement requires merchants to accept the payment card as per the association rules. Cardmembers are bound to the terms setfourth by their lending bank, however merchants are bound to adhere to the merchant agreement which outlines acceptance policies.

    Visa and Mastercard strictly enforce their terms. A cardmember must report the violation to their issuing bank, who will then relay the encounter to the appropriate area. It’s called “Card Supression” and ID as a condition of the sale, surcharging and/or imposing minimums are not tolerated.

  54. BonnieT. says:

    I wish I had read what is posted on this web site before I went to Wal-Mart today. After I PAID for my purchases I was stopped by an elderly store greeter who told me one of my packages had made her buzzer go off. She walked over to my cart and began to search my bags and as she was searching she was demanding to see my receipt. I did not have the receipt in my hand. I had put it in one of the bags but didn’t remember what I had done with it so I was looking in my purse and pockets for the receipt. All this time I was stared at by shoppers coming into the store who surly thought the reason my packages were being checked is that I must have been stopped for shoplifting. It was extremely humiliating! She finally found the article that was making her buzzer buzz and to add to my embarrassment it was the bra I had BOUGHT. I finally found my receipt and of course the bra was listed as being paid for. Now the real kick ass part of the story is that they never gave me my receipt back. I can not check to see if everything rang up properly plus I also bought an inexpensive watch to wear while outside gardening but the 90 day warranty is not good without the cash register receipt. I certainly wish I had known my rights before I went shopping this morning. But, trust me on this, if I am ever in this kind of a situation again I will “make an ass out of myself,” refuse to show my receipt, and continue to walk out the door!

  55. LovinItAll says:

    For the record:

    I was recently stopped and detained at a local Best Buy for refusing to show my receipt. Additionally, I was physically escorted to the LP office by LP personnel, my arm twisted behind my back. A side note – the “buzzers” on the anti-theft gizmos did NOT go off…it’s a good thing, too, as that would have constituted probable cause under the laws of my state.

    There’s no additional info here: I simply said “No, thanks” when they demanded to see my receipt. They stopped me, refused to allow me to leave, and I said, “I’ll tell you what: I’ll wait here while you check the register at which I made my purchase (I even identified the register), or you can apprehend me for shoplifting, or you can let me leave the store with the merchandise I have purchased. Which is it going to be?” I never raised my voice or made any sort of threatening gestures. They chose door #2 and apprehended me for shoplifting.

    After detaining me for over 30 minutes, the police arrived, checked my receipt, and said I was free to leave. I asked that the LP person who grabbed me be arrested for simple assault, but the police officer said that he could only arrest individuals for assault in domestic violence incidences unless he was a witness to the act.

    I called Best Buy immediately upon arriving home. I even submitted a complaint on their website. Over the next several days, I continued to call Best Buy to complain, but no one would accept or return my call. What did I want? Not a big lawsuit, just an apology for being treated like a thief, embarassed in the store, and being mistreated in the LP office. I guess they thought I would simply go away, but that was not to be.

    After a couple of weeks, I contacted my attorney. When I sat down and met with him for the first time, he asked, “Why didn’t you just show them your receipt?”

    Many of you may disagree, but this is what I said:

    “Agreeing to show them my receipt takes away yet another civil liberty of mine. It is my opinion that every time a person allows a civil liberty to be intruded upon, society as a whole loses.”

    But there’s more: I had always allowed stores to check my receipt — I thought I had no choice. About 4 months prior to this incident, I was shopping Best Buy and selected a computer for purchase. Upon reaching the checkout, I presented my signed Visa card. I was asked for my ID, and for reasons that go beyond the scope of this letter, I didn’t have it. I informed the cashier that they really couldn’t ask for ID if my signature matched. They told me they would not accept my Visa unless I had ID. The computer I was trying to purchase was on sale, so I schlepped back home, got my Driver’s License, retuened to BB and made my purchase. Because the box was large and I have a bad back, I asked the guy checking me out if someone could help load the box into my truck. They said “Sure”, and we headed for the door. We were met with a line of about five or so people, all submitting to receipt checks. It took over ten minutes to get out of the store because of some confusion with one of the customers.

    I called the corporate office of BB the next day to complain about the whole ID thing. I got a senior LP guy on the phone who apologized for the inconvenience. I also complained about having to wait at the door to have my receipt checked. He said, “Sorry about that. We check receipts to make sure cashier’s have not made an error. It’s a voluntary process.”

    What? I asked, “So, I don’t have to show my receipt when I exit the store?”

    “We ask that you do, but as I said, it’s voluntary. We can’t make you show your receipt unless you set off the theft sensors.”

    I researched the law in my state, and though it clearly states that the sensors going off constitutes probable cause, it says nothing about receipts. It was then that I decided to stop showing my receipts except at stores where I had contractually agreed to allow them to do so (Sam’s, Costco), or unless I set off the sensors.

    Back to the story: I’ve filed a lawsuit and have spent about $15k so far. BB continues to allege that they are allowed to detain customers for failing to show receipts. We have supboened their “receipt check policy” which explicitly states that if a customer says “no” to a receipt check, the BB employess is to say “Thank you for shopping at Best Buy. Have a nice day.” It seems that they are trying to use my case to set precedent.

    So, there’s my story. All I ever wanted was an apology for being mistreated. Seems they aren’t into issuing apologies.

    The moral? As the story is still incomplete, all I can say is that you had better be prepared to fight a lengthy legal battle should one of those goons actually detain you for failing to show a receipt. BB has deep pockets…fortunately for me, I do, too.

    I’ll keep you updated…..

  56. levyzoo says:

    My son is a grocery store bagger. The associates can literally watch a shoplifter, but are told not to follow them out of the store. This is for their own safety… “if a person would steal, they also might shoot”! These idiots who are chasing YOU (a-would-be-shoplifter) out of the store for a receipt check, are actually risking injury IF you really were an armed shoplifter!
    I’ve had a WalMart manager confront me for being in the dvd section too long! As I conversed with her, she explained how brazen thieves are… they fill a backpack with dvds & fly out of the store before backup help can be called. They do the same with batteries.
    What a world we live in…

  57. RChris173 says:

    Here is FL Law info:

    [flsenate.gov]>2007->Ch0812->Section%20015#0812.015

  58. Chris Bertaut says:

    Wait a minute. If you were trying to steal something, especially something small, how would a bag check stop you?

    I mean now-a-days most women carry around oversized handbags and the such. Couldn’t you just go to the counter at Fry’s Electronics with your Coke and $10 cable, pay for them, and then get through the receipt check with an $150 Wifi adapter in your purse?

    And I agree with the above. I just do online shopping, unless going to a store is absolutely needed.

  59. sideshowbob55 says:

    when i worked at Wal*mart, every night when i left if i had a bag (often times it contained my containers from lunch) and I would be asked for my receipt but the greeter, usually the same one… and after pointing out that it was my lunch they would let me go… at the time I didn’t think about it, but after 2 years of this it got kind of old…. and to be honest a bit insulting… I mean if an employer can’t trust their employees to come to work, eat their lunch, and then go home, then something is wrong. Especially since I never gave them a reason to be suspicious, at least i don’t think I did…

  60. Twistie says:

    Having worked in a box-style electronics store, that for a period, did not do receipt checks, I must say, this is the best loss prevention measure we have implemented. I know, people find it a pain, but here in Australia it seems to be an accepted fact, that if you enter a store, they have the right to inspect bags and check receipts. Infact, on a few occasions where the receipt checker disappears most customers will ask nearby counter staff if they want to check their bags or receipt. We have in-store security but most of the people who do steal these goods, are crafty enough to work out how to avoid in-store security, including cameras and get away with goods ranging into the many thousands of dollars. In the last year we have implemented receipt checks and have reduced loss by approximately 80% (approximately $18,000 per quarter), most of it being handed over by embarrassed thieves at the front door. Some consumers do find bag checks insulting, but when you consider that on average the company I work for loses 5-7% of our revenue to shoplifting every year, its probably safe to say that approximately the same percentage of people steal from us. Furthermore, surprisingly actually, the receipt checks have not turned up any staff misdealings with friends, but have turned up a few computer price screw-ups and accidentally incorrect quantities all, so far, saving the consumer money. In all honesty, I doubt the monetary loss of consumers that are outraged by receipt checks and don’t return is far smaller than the loss that is caused by not doing receipt checks.

    While I understand where consumers who don’t like receipt checks are coming from, and I would say our store is probably an extreme case, it does have an immediate advantage in the companies who are implement these loss-prevention strategies. Furthermore, If your problem is having to wait, then your problem is not with the receipt checking itself, its the simple fact that the company is too cheap to hire enough people to do the receipt checking. Perhaps, you should make a complaint to the company, and not stand there telling them something they already know, and would have already told management a million times before.

  61. mudster says:

    I have been to Best Buy and purchased something within the store, and not right at the front registers, and in that case, I think they have a legit. argument to want to see a receipt. I don’t think there is a sane argument otherwise in this case. If you bought it at the front registers, than that is different, although I think it’s a big something out of nothing.

  62. obits3 says:

    I like the idea of printing the statute (lol), of couse that’s assuming that the receipt checker will read it. I’m not saying that they can’t read. I just don’t believe that they will take the time to read it. After all these are the same people who have been brainwashed into thinking that the customer is guilty until innocent…

  63. rwalford792 says:

    I dont show my receipts at doors. If the stores have such high theft rates, maybe they should invest in “Loss Prevention” security teams and cameras rather then someone checking the receipts. Is this to prevent me from stealing, or to ensure the cashier rang up the items correctly? If its for the correct items being priced then that door receipt checker must have been through a ton of training and know exactly what is priced and when and how… WHEW! TOUGH JOB FOR THEM…. I hardly think some elderly woman checking my reciept needs my attitude, and Im generally nice to them when I decline, but I also think that Walmart in particular needs to get a heads up and stop having elderly get the beat down when some punk doesnt show his receipt and clocks her one in the face (not cool by the way).

    At the end of the day, if a company wants my business then I wont be required to be in a camp, lined up, showing my number. Beside that, its not the cheap companies like Walmart people steal from, hell even welfare recipients can afford that place, its the expensive places that people steal things from.