TigerDirect Apologizes For Unlawfully Detaining Customer For Refusing To Show Receipt

The manager of the TigerDirect that unlawfully detained reader Shaneal Manek for his refusal to show a receipt called him this afternoon and apologized for his store’s behavior. Shaneal told The Consumerist by phone that Tony, the store manager, pledged to retrain his staff on proper procedures and that they wouldn’t retain the services of the security guard involved in the dispute.

Earlier, we spoke with Tiger Direct Executive Vice President Richard Wallet, who confirmed the receipt dispute incident did occur, and cast doubts on Shaneal’s version of the events.

When asked whether the verbal altercation happened as Shaneal described, Wallet said he couldn’t be sure as he wasn’t there. He said that he found it unlikely that the security guard would taunt and threaten Shaneal as he had met the guard and he “didn’t seem that type of guy.”

Wallet accused Shaneal of trying to bait the store after being detained a week prior for also refusing to show a receipt. Shaneal said that on that occasion, he declined to show a receipt because he had already waited over an hour for a part to be pulled from the back, some more time at the register, and didn’t feel like waiting in a line for a security guard to check his receipt when he was under no legal obligation to show the receipt. On that date, cops were called to intervene, which is store policy whenever there’s a possibility of a confrontation with a customer, Wallet told us. He also said the cop told Shaneal to not return if he wasn’t going to follow store policy. Shaneal says that that didn’t happen.

Wallet also told us that on the date of the most recent incident, Shaneal purchased three items in two separate transactions and stuffed one of the receipts in his pocket and began to walk out of the store with his items. Wallet said the head cashier only saw one of the transactions and that gave her cause to tell the security guard to stop Shaneal. Shaneal told The Consumerist that he was buying items for a friend who wanted his own receipt for record-keeping purposes.

By law, shopkeepers are only allowed to detain customers under suspicion of shoplifting if they actually see the customer hide the item on their person.

Wallet encouraged any customer with a TigerDirect complaint to call him directly at 305-415-2441.

Shaneal told us that he is satisfied with how the situation got resolved and thanked us for posting his story as he felt it otherwise wouldn’t have been paid as much attention by TigerDirect. Wallet said he had been fielding phone calls and emails about the issue all morning.

Comments

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  1. pertsix says:

    GO SHANEAL. His rights are more important than they think they are.

  2. juri squared says:

    I wonder if it was the cranky old dude. Because he really needed to go.

  3. Helvetian says:

    Good work, and yes more stores need to properly educate and train their staff especially security guards at the exit points about this. It needs to be stressed that under no circumstances is a customer required to show their receipt upon exit. And if a customer declines, that is fine. Antagonizing just leads to bad service.

  4. chrisgoh says:

    Good for him! Hopefully this will clear things up for all the folks in the original thread that said he was in the wrong.

  5. ColoradoShark says:

    Did the apology include unbanning him from the store?

  6. walterk29 says:

    Yes, please do retrain your staff. I live (and shop) in the area, so I called up the store yesterday. I asked if receipt-checking was mandatory, and I was told it was (at this point, they cited several Costco and Sam’s Club as having the same policy). I asked if they would physically prevent me from leaving if I refused, and they said they would. I asked if they knew this was illegal, and they outright refused to accept it. I promptly informed them I would no longer be shopping at their location and hung up.

  7. Craig says:

    Is this the same manager who was berating him?

  8. Helvetian says:

    The employee that publicly chastised the customer was probably a standard supervisor. This sounds like the Store Manager. Horrible situation.

  9. timmus says:

    I guess I’m going to get a beatdown for this, but I have to say that reading the whole saga found me gravitating toward the store’s viewpoint. Some astute comments were made that this is for checking up for store losses ascribed to the cashiers, not to the customers. For me that was a bit of an epiphany.

  10. cryrevolution says:

    It’s great he followed through with this and stood his ground. Did the customer have those beeping security things that you walk through? Whats the use of asking for a receipt on small transactions if you have those? I know the few times I EVER go into Wal-Mart, they never stop me if I just have one or two bags. It’s the big loads they stop. But then again…Wal-Mart isn’t the BEST example. :

  11. cryrevolution says:

    *not customer, store….

  12. 3drage says:

    I’m not keen on the fact that the manager apologizes and then accuses their customer of lying. What’s up with that?

  13. Buran says:

    I still can’t believe people were saying things like “it would just be easier if you had given up your civil rights”.

    Yeah, look where THAT gets you if allowed to continue.

  14. North of 49 says:

    That’s not an apology. That’s a warning to other potential customers “show your receipt or else.”
    @cryrevolution: what really pisses me off about those damn magnetic security devices is when the cashiers don’t properly deactivate the tag and it goes off as you go out the door. There’s been at least twice where I just kept on walking because I had bought the item in question, I knew I wasn’t shoplifting and if they wanted to “stop a shoplifter” then they better have proof that I had shoplifted and not just a stupid magnetic scanner.

  15. Buran says:

    @timmus: Yes, you most likely are. We have a Constitutional right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and therefore we can’t be made to submit to a search without prior consent unless a police officer has a reasonable cause to search. A private individual can’t force you to do so, either — touching you is assault, and taking something from you without your consent is theft. Both are criminal charges as is detaining someone. The OP should have, I think, pressed criminal charges against the people who did this to him. If a movie theater can force the cops to drag someone into court over something that caused no one any harm, why is a direct threat to someone’s liberty and safety allowed to go ignored?

    If a store has problems with cheating employees, it is not reasonable to expect the general public to help fix that problem. The only stores that CAN require a receipt shown at exit are those where you signed an agreement to allow the store to look it over before being allowed to enter. 99% of stores out there do not do this. The store must come up with some other solution, end of story.

    I like having rights. I like exercising my rights. I don’t like people telling me that I should just happily waive them for anyone who asks me to.

  16. CubFan99 says:

    Apparently the issue here is whether the store has the right to ask to see a receipt when you leave the store. Not the fact that it may seem like the customer seemed to simply be stirring the pot just to do so.

    If a retail store is having problems with their employees aiding in theft then I see no problem in asking the customers to aid in keeping prices low. I know of one scam in particular where a “customer” goes to the check out line with a handful of DVDs or games and the clerk appears to scan each item only he glances too quickly over some. The final bill is only for 3 of the actual 10 or more movies. From afar the scene looks legit. The “customer” even pays for it (probably cash) and then begins to leave.

    What does the security guard do? Ask to see a receipt which would clearly show only 3 movies and a bag full of DVDs or let the guy walk because he says “Um, I have rights and you can’t do that to me even though I’ve been shopping here forever and spent $10,000 here and everytime I’ve come in here you’ve asked to see my receipt.”

    I really don’t think 2 seconds out of your whole day is worth a big stink. And yes, maybe you give up some rights but its not a slippery slope where it would lead to having a guard escort every person in the store. Its a minor inconvenience for the benefit of pricing.

    Is it worth it at Wal-Mart? Probably not. Best Buy, TigerDirect, etc all have high priced electronics that run expensive. The smallest packages can be $100 or more.

  17. Apparently Shaneal’s dignity is really cheap.

    Lip service, whoopidoo!

    [www.tian.cc]

  18. Helvetian says:

    @Buran: Well said.

  19. Crazytree says:

    I wonder if Shaneal is lying about the first encounter with police.

    A request for a copy of that day’s incident logs would confirm/disprove Tigerdirect’s allegations against Shaneal.

  20. 3drage says:

    @CubFan99: It is indeed against the law to detain a person without reasonable evidence of shoplifting. No matter how much you think “2 seconds” is unimportant, it is a violation of your civil rights. There are far better methods of theft prevention. So yes, it’s worth the effort to protect your rights, because if you do not there is no one out there that will.

  21. Crazytree says:

    people should stop talking about civil rights violations, because it’s more applicable to a racially-motivated murder and less applicable to some security guard asking to see your receipt.

    what is really happening here is the common law tort of false imprisonment. and potentially slander per se if you’re accused of having committed a crime in front of others [shoplifting].

    the funny part is that people will continue to shop at Tigerdirect even if they hire East German border guards to man the exits…. BECAUSE MONEY TALKS… and bullshit walks…. all the way back to Tigerdirect for more of that cheap electronic crack.

  22. @3drage: I thought the same thing. Why bring that up if you’re apologizing?

  23. SOhp101 says:

    @Buran: Hear, hear!

  24. Freedomboy says:

    I will never permit a search without a police officer present, I also, though I have never yet have had to play this card, will never “go” anywhere inside the store for “privacy” with any store employees. What is there to stop them from “finding” something in the search??? Makes it real difficult to fight a false charge if the store suddenly has this watch and says YOU had it in the bag. And if true the,laughably silly as it is, idea that , “well we just need to check our cashiers to make sure THEY are honest” is ever used on me then this might happen,I stride right back to the checkstand and yell right to the cashier I used – “Hey Bob, they guard just checked me and I guess you didn’t commit any crime THIS time so just keep up the good work but it sure looks like they are watchin’ YOU so all you checkers better be careful because they are presuming YOU are thieves, have a nice day!!

  25. gatopeligroso says:

    AHA! So the truth comes out;) Some of us are so readily able to dismiss what the manager said about a prior incident as a lie. What if, for a second, what he was stating was true. Why would Shaneal continue to shop there if he did not like the customer service. It appears to me that he might in fact have been trying to instigate a confrontation between himself and the store.

  26. eldan says:

    Buran, Your right to leave a store without submitting to a receipt inspection has nothing to do with the Constitution, which does NOT apply to private individuals or organizations but only to government entities. The Constitutional right to freedom from “unreasonable search and seizure” therefore does not apply. State law in this case prohibits the store/employee from unlawfully detaining you, unless the store/employee meets the legal standard for detaining a suspected shoplifter. Declining to show your receipt as you exit the store falls FAR short of that standard.

  27. vangogh71 says:

    @CUBFAN99

    So the next time you come out of a store it should be ok to frisk you too? I understand showing a receipt may not be a big deal but where does it end. If the technology was available would a camera hovering over your head and following you through the store be ok as well.
    The balance between individual freedoms and those of the corporation/government is slowly tipping and little stands like this helps reaffirm that we don’t have to be sheep.

  28. smanek says:

    Hello again, this is the OP Shaneal.

    Just as some clarification, the executive VP Richard Wattle was rude, inconsiderate, and confrontational. The Store Manager I spoke to, Tony, was extremely helpful and apologetic. The VP said I was still banned, while Tony said I was welcom back to the store any time I want.

    And, as for the thing about me having two seperate receipts, that is true. I split the purchase up into two orders (to give one receipt to the person I was buying some items for). However, the guard did not know this until well after he illegally detained me.

    Thanks for all your support

  29. ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild says:

    I have a question that maybe a couple of the lawyer types on here may want to address. I know every time these stories pop up people call it “civil rights violations” and false arrest and say business dont have the right to unreasonably stop people without proof of theft. But cant a company say “We have the right to check receipts as a condition of service from our store”. If that is a stated policy then you really cant complain about it if you purchase something right? If you dont want to consent then you have the right to go elsewhere. Wouldnt this work?

    I would think it would be no different then them requiring shoes or shirts as a condition of service.

  30. cindel says:

    Why is the manager apologizing then say the customer is lying?

    So this is the SECOND time the Shaneal has been detained by the store eh?

  31. dbeahn says:

    Let’s be honest here, if the STORE’S version of events was the way it really happened, there’d be video posted on the internet already.

    The fact that they haven’t posted the video is a huge clue that the video would show the guard and the store manager both obviously being jerks.

    I don’t care if he “baited” them or not by asking that his civil rights not be violated. How is expecting the store to obey the law considered “baiting”, anyway?

    Furthermore, there’s no way a COP is going to comment on store policy, let alone tell someone to “not go back to the store if you won’t submit to having your civil rights violated”.

    First TigerDirect blows it by detaining the guy, then they blow it again by spinning the story full of BS.

  32. cindel says:

    oops that should be “Why is the VP…”

  33. Esquire99 says:

    @ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild: I’d say the only problem with this is the receipt-check is done after you’ve been “Serviced” by the store. I somewhat agree with the stance that once you have paid for your item, your transaction is complete. The no shoes/shirt thing would be addressed BEFORE you were serviced.

  34. XTC46 says:

    Checking the receipt is a store policy, if you don’t agree with it don’t shop there. The store cannot hold you, but can ban you from the store if they choose to do so, they do reserve the right not not help you. I like Wal-Marts policy. They only check the receipt if the item is not in a bag. If its in a bag, they assume it was paid for unless the buzzer thing goes off. Also, I hate receipt checks because they are a waste of time, and in most cases the guards don’t care and dont confirm anything is on the receipt. At a place I worked a customer came in, took the laptop to customer service and placed it on the counter, the rep wasn’t paying attention and the customer stuck it back in her cart, got her refund from the customer service clerk, walked to the front door, the door guard checked her receipt which clearly stated the item was returned and a refund was given, and he let the person leave with the laptop. Its all a big show to try and deter shop lifters. A better deterrent would be uniformed security guards walking around the isles.

  35. Flynn says:

    Um, if a store has problems with their cashiers skimming/screwing up, wouldn’t it make more sense to put higher security on the cashiers and the transaction itself, rather than foisting it on the customers?

    Just a thought.

  36. XTC46 says:

    @ ARTDONOVANSDRUNKENLOVECHILD

    yes, that typically is what occurs. By purchasing an item, you agree to that stipulation as long as it is clearly posted. Most sotres have that sign posted at the entry/exit and at various point around the store, but the most that allows them to do is refuse service next time, it does not allow them to search you or retain you.

  37. spinachdip says:

    It bothers me that victim-blamers on this site will reach far into the fine print to point out what the consumer did wrong, even when a corporation is clearly acting unethically, but when a business blatantly commits a criminal act against a paying customer who refused to submit to a voluntary (I can’t emphasize that enough) receipt check, it’s acceptable.

    And why is it accceptable? Because, just maybe, it’s possible that the store had hired a bunch of scammers, and the only way to remedy its own lack of institutional control is to bully customers.

  38. Televiper says:

    @vangogh71:

    I don’t think any of the people who said “show your receipt” believe that it should go any further than that.

    Much like I don’t call the cops and report every bozo that doesn’t give me the right off way when I’m walking across the street. That shouldn’t suggest that I’d also shrug off becoming their hood ornament.

  39. crnk says:

    @walterk29:
    Interesting how they mentioned costco and sams club…I’m not totally sure, but I thought I understood that they were allowed to as part of the membership package.
    However, you call just sounds like you’re a schmuck on an ego trip (but much less so that the OP)…maybe you should get off your high horse and either boycott or get a sign and protest it in public.

  40. spinachdip says:

    @ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild: For most stores, such a policy would be illegal because imprisonment would be required to enforce it. It would only be valid in members-only stores where customers explicitly agree to searches and receipt checks before entering the premises.

    The “no shirt, no service” comparison doesn’t work because the policy is about keeping people out of private property and doesn’t require breaking the law to enforce.

  41. Mike_ says:

    He apologizes for his employees’ behavior with one breath, and accuses the customer of “baiting” the store with the next. That doesn’t sound like much of an apology to me. It’s like saying, “Sorry for punching you in the face, but I didn’t like the way you looked at me.”

    I find compulsory loss prevention inspections insulting, and I do what I can to avoid them. I have never stolen anything in my life, and I have 100% confidence that I have done nothing wrong. If an alarm goes off as I leave a store, it’s because the equipment is malfunctioning — I keep walking. If you’re going to detain me, be prepared to falsely accuse me. Also, be prepared for the subsequent litigation.

    I probably wouldn’t have allowed the situation to escalate as far as Shaneal. Instead, it would have gone something like this:

    Loss Prevention: Receipt, please.

    Me: No, thank you. Have a nice day.

    LP: Sir, I have to see your receipt.

    Me: Are you accusing me of something?

    LP: No, but it’s store policy.

    Me: Here is my receipt. As you can see, I paid for these items.

    Returns Desk: How can I help you?

    Me: I’d like to return these.

    RD: Any reason why?

    Me: I don’t appreciate the way I was treated by your store.

  42. Slytherin says:

    @Buran: Wow, I can almost hear the “Star Spangled Banner” or “America the Beautiful” playing when I read your comment.

  43. digitalgimpus says:

    I would have done this:

    1. Get the name of the security guard.
    2. Walk back to customer service counter.
    3. Return merchandise and ask to speak to a manager. Tell them you don’t like the way ____ (use real name) treated you, and you’ll be taking your busines elsewhere because he illegally tried to detain you. Get managers name. Do this with a rather loud voice, but still professional voice and be polite so other customers hear you, but don’t think you’r just a jerk.
    4. Go home, and complain to the corporate office, mention the managers name as well. Let them know other customers heard you complain at the counter and looked shocked. That way when it gets back to the store, that will go with it.

    Would have had a lot more impact. This little PR stunt they just pulled is just talk. I doubt they will really do anything, and that guard just got assigned to another store his company works for.

  44. walterk29 says:

    @crnk: Correct, the stores they cited do have membership agreements that allow the stores to check receipts.

    And I wasn’t really going for the “schmuck with an ego trip” when I called. I just wanted to see if they stuck with their (illegal) policy as the OP reported it.

  45. Rudko says:

    The part about 2 receipts and 3 items as told by the VP sounds like BS to me as well. How was the head cashier supposed to know that the 1 transaction she saw was only for 2 items or 1 item or whatever?

    Items and receipt is all anyone but the actual people standing at the cash register should see and most of the time that is all anyone would know.

    This bs about 3 items but only 1 receipt just doesn’t make sense to me unless I am missing something. Why just because you had 3 items should you have 2 receipts?

    So anytime the Head Cashier only sees one transaction but more than one item she tells the guard to stop the person? Makes no sense. Someone was lying to cover up.

  46. TimSPC says:

    No one is doubting the stores motives of wanting to prevent loss. We are simply questioning whether they have the right to demand that individuals must prove ownership of property when those people are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

  47. XianZhuXuande says:

    I won’t be doing business with Tiger Direct again.
    I previously spent >$8,000 a year with them.

    I have nothing more to add to the thoughts Buran has already contributed.

  48. jkaufman101 says:

    I may want to try this myself. Which other major chains like TigerDirect receipt-check?

  49. Christopher says:

    As much as the story makes me want to side with TigerDirect, I won’t.

    The thing is, whenever a customer gets into a dispute with a company, and especially if it’s made public, it’s best for the company to just swallow its pride and do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. Pointing fingers, and playing the whole “he did it FIRST!” game just looks horrible to outsiders, who are already inclined to believe the innocent customer.

    I’ve worked customer service for many years, and now manage a retail store, and the best thing that I’ve learned is that the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong! It’s a shitty situation, but it’s the cost of doing business.

  50. BritBoy says:

    @bradg33:

    ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild talks a lot of sense.

    A store can easily make ‘produce receipt at exit upon request’ a condition of sale. Customers might decline to make the purchase, that is their choice.

    This is a huge storm in a teacup. Creating a huge constitutional rights debate simply invites corporate blowback – i.e. all stores setting a condition of sale as above. Theres a time and place to enforce ‘rights’.

    (Online shopping is great BTW !)

  51. smanek says:

    Hello, the previous week the police were also called, but I was not detained. The guard asked me to stop for not showing my receipt, and I asked if I had to. The guard said yes I had to (without actually physically detaining me), but a manager overheard and assured me I was free to leave, but she would appreciate it if I stayed until the police arrived. Because she asked nicely, I consented. The officer arrived and told them they couldn’t detain me unless they saw me stole.

    Unfortunetly, they didn’t learn their lesson. The next week the same thing happened (different manager, same guard) but I was physically detained and unable to leave. That is when I tried to press charges and emailed the consumerist.

    In the first incident they did nothing illegal (it was poor customer service, granted, but I was willing to give them a second shot).

    The store’s manager, Tony, said he spoke to everyone involved and agreed that my version of events was substantially correct.

  52. TexasScout says:

    He was still a Dick. He went in there to cause trouble and he got it.

  53. BritBoy says:

    @smanek: And why and by whom were the police called on the first occasion ?

  54. Knux says:

    I really think it comes down more to ethics than anything else, I mean civil rights and all that jazz are understandable. But when it comes down to it would you really want to shop somewhere where they think you are a thief, and they are constantly questioning your actions? Honestly I would go to a different store, they are being shady in their business.

    Furthermore is this really an apology or an explanation? What was the point of this follow up, to say hey we were wrong but so was he? Honestly step up to the plate TigerDirect, say that you are sorry and stop making excuses about it. Sure there was more to the story, but the way Wattle says it points a finger at Shaneal and it is shameful. Learn some ethics for gods sake take a look at a good company like Nordstrom, talk about an A company….

  55. BrockBrockman says:

    @Buran: Yeah, technically speaking, civil rights can only be violated by a government actor – not a private actor, like a store.

    BUT, I totally agree with you in principle.

  56. Knux says:

    I really think it comes down more to ethics than anything else, I mean civil rights and all that jazz are understandable. But when it comes down to it would you really want to shop somewhere where they think you are a thief, and they are constantly questioning your actions? Honestly I would go to a different store, they are being shady in their business.

    Furthermore is this really an apology or an explanation? What was the point of this follow up, to say hey we were wrong but so was he? Honestly step up to the plate TigerDirect, say that you are sorry and stop making excuses about it. Sure there was more to the story, but the way Wattle says it points a finger at Shaneal is shameful. Learn some ethics for gods sake take a look at a good company like Nordstrom, talk about an A company….

  57. 5h17h34d says:

    Tiger Direct is a slimy company. The only time I bought something there recently I used a newly created spambait gmail account and a week later I requested to be removed from their mass mailing ads.

    I started getting spammed to hell in that email account within a few days to a week.

    No doubt here that they sold my email address to a spammer. Pricks.

  58. 5h17h34d says:

    In other news, Tiger Direct has brick & mortar stores? Which part of the country?

  59. xredgambit says:

    @Freedomboy:

    If they search anything of yours or do a “pat down” I would then claim that I am suddenly missing $500 in cash that was in my bag or pocket.

    This is why no one is allowed to search your belongings. So it does go 2ways.

  60. nctrnlboy says:

    @North of 49:

    I have had that happen a couple of times & I usually just stop dead in my tracks & look at the employee manning the door near (or nearest cashier) with a wide-eyed “wtf did I do wrong?” look on my face & the person almost always just waves me through. I stop because I dont want to be tackled in the parking lot by some dirty harry wannabe loss prevention employee (or pulled over by a cop down the road).

    Its a bit annoying because everyone within earshot of that alarm is looking at you like you are some POS thief!

  61. ThyGuy says:

    This changes nothing. I still think the OP over reacted. I’d rather be a modest “sheep” who shows his receipt and goes along on his way, then the asshole who waste everyones times just so he can flex one of his “rights” muscles.

    I’ll now say rude things toward people who waste my time in stores by pulling this bullshit. Your right to be a asshole, my right to embarrass you more than you would have ever been if you just showed the fucking receipt.

  62. ShadowFalls says:

    All this is nothing out of the ordinary. TigerDirect has always had bad customer service, this is why I don’t do any business with them to begin with. I left Target with a PS3, they didn’t try demanding to see my receipt as I went by the security guard, no demands for it.

    When asked for a receipt I have always declined and said it was my right to do so. No one ever gave me an issue with this, but I can anticipate there will eventually be a problem. Sure you can just show them a receipt, but why must an honest person prove they are not a thief?

    Hell in some stores, I have seen people go out of the store, the security system goes beeping and no one even tries to stop them. That I suppose would be reason enough to stop someone, but hey…

  63. ARP says:

    After reading the saga and the posts, I fall on OP’s side. I think OP should have shown the receipt (yes, civil rights, blah, blah, blah). I honestly don’t think its that big of a deal. I choose to save my anger for spying on my emails, phone calls, IM chats, etc. without a warrant and then push to give the companies immunity. BUT, I think once he refused, Tiger had a choice, escalate the issue because they really thought the guy had stolen, or let him go. They choice to escalate and they chose wrong. The law is clearly on OP’s side.

  64. Uriel says:

    Haha, PLEASE!, for some of you “gravitating toward the store’s viewpoint”, remember, even a cop cannot search you without charging you with something, or having probable cause. That receipt is her property, as well as the groceries that she just bought. If they have no evidence of her stealing anything, such as a surveillance tape, they have no right to detain her. Even then, unless she’d previously entered into a contract with them, allowing them to do so, they still can’t search her. Tigerdirect, and any other shithole store doesn’t make Federal Law, and they’re certainly not above it.

    ~Grow A Brain
    Love Nero

  65. jwissick says:

    @ThyGuy: Fine. When a store illegally detains you and a guard lies to get you arrested (and it does happen [blogs.mercurynews.com] Don’t call me for help. Don’t complain about it. Just do your time and reflect on it. You don’t exercise your rights, then you do not deserve them or deserve anyone to come to your aid when they are violated.

    The fact is you have YOUR rights because ‘assholes’ fought for them…

    After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you don’t like the way we squeak, then up yours and the horse you rode in on.

    Baa Baa Baa

  66. EtherealStrife says:

    Ugh. Please sue these pricks. They will just keep doing what they’re doing until someone shoves a lawsuit up their asses. On a sidenote, do any process servers offer this as a delivery method?

  67. crankymediaguy says:

    Im wondering how all the people who posted in response to the original story and said that Shaneal should just have showed his receipt and “gone along” with the store’s policy feel now that the store has agreed that they acted illegally?

    So, Shaneal should have just gone along with an illegal order?

    You guys would have made great Nazis. Just do what the authorities say (even if they’re really only minimum-wage security guards). You’re going to LOVE showing your government-issued ID card every time you go to the court house…or the local DMV…or the post office.

  68. dantsea says:

    @crankymediaguy: They’re all too cowed to give a legitimate response.

  69. Whoa says:

    @dantc:

    Dantc, Cranky…

    The store admitted to acting illegally when they detained the OP, not when they asked to see the receipt. I think that most of Shaneal’s critics would reiterate that the store’s illegal behavior would not have occurred if he had produced the receipt. Neither I nor they are condoning the store’s behavior once the situation escalated and Shaneal was detained. The point people are trying to make is that they would rather show a receipt and avoid the potential ensuing conflict. There are a number of ways to put this – “pick your battles,” “don’t be a jackass,” “chill out” – you get the idea… but they drive home the same point.

    And cranky, if the governmental authorities (i.e. the courts, USPS, etc. begin to do those things, that is the time to raise civil rights issues and Nazi analogies.
    Not when a private entity does it.

  70. JohnMc says:

    Pretty much I am with Flynn’s comment. TigerDirect needs to rearrange their stores so the checkout is an aisle format. When you clear the register you are nearly out the door.

    A Fry’s near me has the same arrangement. They do the stupid check receipt thing. I refuse every time and just walk past the checker. But this store is so arranged that anybody can walk out of the store without approaching a register aisle, they have product displayed AFTER you have checked out. I mean come on. The Tiger/Fry arrangement is very antiquated on this score.

  71. @ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild: “I would think it would be no different then them requiring shoes or shirts as a condition of service.”

    Other people answered the first part above, but in many (probably most) states, you’re required by law to be clothed and shod in places of public accommodation. (This even includes things like requiring dancers to wear shoes the second they come off stage so they can’t even run to the dressing room barefoot!)

    The other policy (“you must show receipt or be detained” without an actual contract signed) tends to contravene state law. “No shirt, no shoes, no service” is merely a store restating state law. There’s a huge difference.

    @All: As for other stores that do it, some Best Buys do. I don’t shop there anymore because of it.

  72. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    If the store has a problem with their employees stealing, it is NOT MY PROBLEM. It is THEIR PROBLEM. If they want to make it my problem, then I expect to be paid or otherwise compensated for my time and trouble, and I expect to be able to opt out if I choose not to participate in their loss-prevention program. That means that, at minimum, the prices for everything I buy should be significantly lower than they are at stores that don’t expect customers to give up their time and rights to help catch their dishonest employees.

  73. Allura says:

    The more I’m thinking about this, the more I disagree with it being a “civil rights violation”. *If the policy is posted,* (which, admittedly, I don’t think it was), then you always can choose NOT TO SHOP THERE. But otherwise, it’s private property and unfortunately, they can choose the conditions under which you enter. The US Constitution applies specifically to interactions between the govt and it’s representatives and individuals. What the constitution does let you do is stand outside on the public street and hold up a sign saying TigerDirect is a bunch of jerks. :)

  74. stjlaw says:

    Basically, the search in this case is probably not unreasonable, since the receipt is more like a written manifestation of the contract (for the transaction) between two parties, and when viewed that way, while there is the right to refuse to show a receipt, the store has a right to ban the customer for this (though, really, that would be a stupid practice). What is illegal is the forcible detention against Shaneal’s will, which is tortious. Having worked in retail (big box home improvement retailer that isn’t Home Depot), great care is taken to almost never confront a customer even if they are blatantly stealing because of the potential liability. I think receipt check in general works much in the same way as people who put up signs in their yards for security systems they don’t have. I mean, I’ve certainly never had anybody go over each and every item in my cart to see if there is a corresponding entry on the receipt. I think TigerDirect is missing the point of the practice.

  75. virtual_2u says:

    Vangogh71 – Well said! As our rights are kneaded, over and over again, slowly but surely, we become more maleable and can be formed into whatever the corporations/government (one in the same anymore) want.

    The rights we have lost, and are still losing, were not lost overnight. This has been a constant, deliberate and covert assault. Having our rights taken away a little at a time, ie: showing our receipts to prove we aren’t liars and thieves, will inevitably lead to something much more intrusive, ie: a camera hovering over our heads and following us through the store. I, for one, am not OK with this!

  76. Jon Parker says:

    On the other thread, I was tempted to invoke Godwin’s Law when people started ranting about Rosa Parks and soldiers in Iraq.

    When you come right down to it, my policy is simple. If there’s no line to get out of the store, I’ll show the receipt. If there is, I walk right by. They have the right to courteously ask to see it, and I’ll normally accomodate that, but I’m not waiting my turn to do so.

  77. smanek says:

    Even if the policy is posted, they can’t use force to detain a customer. All they can say is that you are no longer welcome back. And I didn’t see a posted policy either.

  78. spinachdip says:

    @Allura: You’re missing the point – even if the policy is posted, it can’t be cause for detainment. And once you detain someone without reasonable cause, yeah, it is a civil rights issue – it’s false imprisonment.

    And simply posting the policy isn’t enough. Çustomers have to have explicitly agreed to inspections and possible detainment. But “it’s our private property so we can set whateverthefuck rules we want” doesn’t work in this country. By that logic, we’d all get away with criminal acts as long as we do it in the privacy of our own homes.

  79. Buran says:

    @Slytherin: I am not one of those people who think the government is always right (far from it!), but I DO think they did something right when we were granted those ten basic amendments to the Constitution.

  80. Buran says:

    @BrockBrockman: Technically true — BUT — since stopping you from leaving involves committing a crime, they still cannot violate this right as long as you refuse to allow yourself to be searched. And the police, if summoned, cannot do so either because there’s no reasonable cause to search you and that’s where the Bill of Rights comes in. They have no proof that you’ve done something wrong.

  81. Buran says:

    @CubFan99: They can ask. And we can say no.

  82. Buran says:

    @smanek: = “We don’t want customers who know their rights because we can’t get them to do our dirty work for free.”

  83. Aladdyn says:

    @Jwissick

    your link didnt seem to goto the article but i did find this one [blogs.mercurynews.com]

  84. Mojosan says:

    Shaneal is an asshat with too much free time.

    It’s private property. You do not have a “right” to dictate to the store its policy on showing your receipt any more than you have a “right” to pay for your purchase with pixie stix.

    Instead of spending so much time on a useless jihad against showing a receipt, why don’t you use that energy doing some charitable work.

  85. spinachdip says:
  86. Jerim says:

    I think it would be good for everyone to brush up on the definition of “citizen’s arrest.” You can check here to get started: [en.wikipedia.org]

    I am not really sure where all this “no one can detain you” stuff is coming from. Any citizen who sees you commit a crime can detain you legally. There is not some blanket “no one can detain you” law. Now, the question is whether they store saw him commit a crime. That is open to debate, but there is no such law anywhere that says you can absolutely not be detained.

    Refusing to show a receipt is not a crime. Stealing is. Most companies merely ask to see a receipt as an opportunity to avoid making a mistake. The store goes out of it’s way to prevent false accusations. They didn’t detain him because he didn’t show a receipt. They detained him because they believed they witnessed him attempting to leave the building with unpaid merchandise. Before they put their foot in their mouth, they give you an opportunity to correct the situation.

    I understand the company made an apology, which was probably done merely as a public relations move.

  87. delphi_ote says:

    To all these people who keep bringing up that it’s the store checking after their own employees, doesn’t this mean that I’M doing THEM a favor? Shouldn’t they be NICE to me about it? And if I refuse, well, tough cookies. They shouldn’t DETAIN me and accuse me of committing a CRIME!

  88. spinachdip says:

    @Jerim: I don’t think anyone is actually arguing that stores can’t detain people, ever. But they have to have good reason to suspect that a crime occurred. And even with the lower threshold of evidence for citizen’s arrest, I don’t think “I see two bags of stuff but only saw one transaction” comes close to probable cause.

  89. 5h17h34d says:

    People always bring up citizen’s arrest. There is no such thing. Wikipedia’s version of US “citizen’s arrest” is laughable if you have any real law background.

  90. latemodel says:

    For comparisons sake, a Police officer cannot approach you in the parking lot a TigerDirect and ask to see the contents of YOUR shopping bag without probable cause or a warrant. Surely a rent-a-cop does not have more search powers than a sworn law enforcement officer. The stores receive most of their authority from the lack of education of the shopping public. A local store stopped a suspected teenage shoplifter with the old “sit on him and wait for the cops” trick. The kid died and the family got millions and millions and millions…and the store now has no security personnel, just cameras.

  91. Clobberella says:

    At this point, all I really want to know is WHY did you go BACK if this same sort of thing had already happened before? Surely at this point you already knew they would probably want to see your receipt and that they would probably make more of a fuss over it this time if you didn’t. Particularly if someone along the line recognized you as the guy from the week before they felt the need to call the cops on (and why exactly DID they call the cops the first time anyway?)

    Personally, while I disagree with the way the situation was ultimately handled, I am still at a loss to understand why so many people are equating a store wanting to do a receipt check to a civil rights violation. It’s NOT the same thing as a cop wanting to search your car. The security guard is not even looking in your bags, for Christ’s sake. He’s not asking to frisk you, he’s not asking you to bend over so he can make sure you didn’t shove an iPod up your ass. If you honestly think that a receipt check is going to LEAD to any of those things, you’ve got a much more active imagination than I. If you think this is a privacy issue, shouldn’t you be more concerned with the security cameras that are watching your every move? Sorry, but I don’t consider my self a “sheep” just because I don’t have a problem with occasionally waving my receipt (which is usually in my hand anyway) as I walk out the door. I might have a problem with it if it was clear they were singling me out, but in the OP’s case they were not. Again, if you really have a problem with it, you are free to not go back, especially considering what happened the week before. Sounds to me like you were just itching for something to be outraged about.

  92. astrochimp says:

    @Allura: “But otherwise, it’s private property and unfortunately, they can choose the conditions under which you enter.”

    Yes, it is private property. And they can ask you to leave, and summon the police to escort you off their property and charge you with criminal trespass.

    But their rights don’t go any further than that, least of all to some putative right to detain a person. (Seriously.)

  93. astrochimp says:

    @Jerim: “They didn’t detain him because he didn’t show a receipt. They detained him because they believed they witnessed him attempting to leave the building with unpaid merchandise.”

    Maybe you should go reread that Wikipedia article. “Belief” (and no matter how strongly you believe it) just doesn’t cut it as legitimate grounds for a citizen’s arrest.

  94. kushboy says:

    I have this view of the receipt checking: it’s a service for the customer.

    Even if the customer is caught with items not found on his receipt, he still cannot be arrested for stealing, as he was still in the store.

    Until he leaves the store, it’s not stealing. If a customer doesn’t want his receipt checked, he’s simply taking the liability of theft on himself.

  95. cryrevolution says:

    @Jerim: I know its already been stated, but lets go over it again…the only way they can lawfully detain you is if they PHYSICALLY see you take something off the shelves, put into your pocket/handbag/backpack. Its right there on the post, people. So, them just ASSUMING the extra bag = unpaid merchandise is not grounds to detain. Therefore, making him show a receipt or keeping him there is ILLEGAL no matter how you feel about him just showing the receipt. Lets not even get into rights, lets just look at it being illegal.

  96. acasto says:

    This guy sounds like your typical trouble maker with nothing better to do.

  97. spinachdip says:

    @acasto: I agree, the security guard sounds like a dick.

  98. @ColoradoShark: At this point, he’s probably taken the liberty of restricting himself from the store… on to NewEgg for him, I guess.

  99. BrockBrockman says:

    @acasto: Troublemakers with nothing better to do founded the United States, oddly enough.

    Why stand up for your rights against oppression when it’s easier just to give in to simple, easy, unjustified demands?

  100. descend says:

    Go shaneal! You are Rosa Parks, Thomas Jefferson, Malcolm X, Admiral William Adama, and Walter Sobchak all rolled into one delicious ball of store-baiting American pride!

  101. othium says:

    I have had situations like this happen to me before. Having to wait in line to buy the item and then wait in another line just to exit the store? It does seem a bit much. If I don’t have a busy schedule, I will wait. If I do, I bypass the reciept check line and exit. Only a one or two times was I ever stopped and detained. A security guard did try to detain me physically on one of them. I explained to him that I wished to leave the store and he was very rude, saying he “Had to see my reciept!” or he was going to “slam me to the ground” and search for it himself. At that point I politely let him know that I would not allow that to occur, and I that I was prepared to defend myself against this action. He sneered and asked what I could do about it? I then calmly explained that this was a state where it is legal to carry a concealed weapon with a permit. The smirk slipped off his face and I left without further incident.

    Haven’t been back to that store ever again.

  102. Hydrargyri says:

    For the folks who are concerned that this sort of receipt-checking must be fought for civil liberties etc., I do want to point out that once the real authorities were called (police officer), the proper laws did take effect. Simply put, the government was on the customer’s side in this one. So I am not too concerned about this policy of receipt-checking, as far as 1984 fears are concerned.

    Though I feel that this r-checking should not continue, because it is annoying and insulting, I do side with the corporation in one aspect. The intent of this detainment should be factored in. If the government detains someone illegally, it is a very, very large concern because of the likelihood of very bad things happening to the citizenry (1984).

    However, this is just a brick-and-mortar store. If or when an employee of a store requests a receipt from me, I wouldn’t think “he’s intent on violating my rights for the nefarious purpose of undermining civil liberties”, I’d probably think “this store has probably lost lots of money due to thefts, here’s my receipt”.

    This store probably received an email from HQ saying that they “lost a crapload of money, stop all suspicious customers”. And well, people overreacted.

  103. spinachdip says:

    @Hydrargyri: Again, the civil liberty issue isn’t the receipt checking. Stores are free to ask and I don’t think customers are being America haters for showing the receipts.

    The civil liberty issue is the illegal detention. Unless the rent-a-cop can provide evidence of theft or fraud, he has no right to stop you from leaving a private property.

  104. CubFan99 says:

    I think it’s been said much better after my original post, but I’ll restate what my intended argument was. Detaining him for not showing the receipt was clearly in the wrong, but asking to see the receipt was in no way a violation of any civil right. It’s not an illegal search or seizure of property, it’s not an invasion of privacy, it’s just a practice some stores use to minimize theft. Is it a pain in the ass? Sure. Will it go away? Probably not.

    Again, my issue with the whole situation was that it clearly could have been avoided. Show the receipt or receipts and you’re gone. Simple as that. Having every customer show their receipts isn’t going to lead to pat downs outside of the store or hover-cams shopping with me, its just going to mean that I get to that first red light 3.5 seconds later. Clearly it seems to be this stores policy to ask to see receipts upon exit. If you take offense to that practice so severely as to cause an incident previously why would you go back? You know what their practice is. Apparently you don’t agree with it but will continue to shop there, either because A) the prices are low or B) you are looking to cause trouble.

  105. Chicago7 says:

    @Mojosan:

    So, if they asked you to give them a drug test because it’s their “policy”, you would have to do it??

  106. Chicago7 says:

    @kushboy:

    Yeah, sure. But he could have something in his pants, too. Should EVERYONE have to take off their pants because someone COULD shoplift something in their pants??

  107. Schmee says:

    I said it when the story first posted, and I’ll say it again, taking 2 seconds for somone to glance at your reciept and run a highlighter across it is not some huge social crisis. Also, if what Wattle said about the earlier dispute was true then quite frankly I think it is Shaneal’s own damn fault for going back into the store when he knew store policy.

  108. spinachdip says:

    @Schmee: Yes, if you believe what Wattle says, but Shaneal wrote in an an earlier comment that in the previous encounter, the manager told him he was free to go and did not have to show his receipt.

    Now, wouldn’t a reasonable person believe that the store policy doesn’t require you to show the receipt, and that security guard would get a reminder on the rules?

    I don’t know who’s telling the truth, but I hesitate to take the side of a store that knowingly broke a law after there was an incident just a week earlier.

  109. Uriel says:

    @Mojosan:

    To summarize for you, as you don’t seem to know the difference between a law-making body, and a shitty convenient store policy:

    1. store=not a lawmaking body/don’t need to obey

    2. “store’s property”= not trespassing b/c not asked to leave/doesn’t entitle them to search, sorry =O

    3. Please save us all the aggravation of reading your “well-thought-out” remarks, and read my last post.

    4. Grow a brain.

    Love Nero

  110. crankymediaguy says:

    “The point people are trying to make is that they would rather show a receipt and avoid the potential ensuing conflict.”

    Well, if they want to pick up the soap for every Barney Fife stationed at the door of a retail entity, you’ll understand if I think they’re sheep, right?

    I’ll ask again: If a store security guard told you he was going to frisk you before you could leave the store, would you go along with that? I mean, it would be easier and faster than arguing about it, right? That’s what some people here have tried to make the discussion about: convenience.

    If you say no, you wouldn’t go along with that, then you DO have a line you won’t cross; it’s just different than mine. I prefer nipping this bullshit in the bud.

    If you say you WOULD go along with that, how ’bout we cut to the chase: just put on the armband, practice saying “Achtung!” and be done with it.

  111. techmuse says:

    The issue here is whether or not a store has the right to act as its own law enforcement agency.

    So, does that mean in the confine of their own walls they are allowed to define law?

  112. …I think that most of Shaneal’s critics would reiterate that the store’s illegal behavior would not have occurred if he had produced the receipt. Neither I nor they are condoning the store’s behavior once the situation escalated and Shaneal was detained. The point people are trying to make is that they would rather show a receipt and avoid the potential ensuing conflict…

    So you’re not condoning the store’s behavior, you’re just saying it’s Shaneal’s fault. Riiiight.

  113. silverlining says:

    @CubFan99: Two points here:

    1. If we are to believe Consumerist, the law states that “shopkeepers are only allowed to detain customers under suspicion of shoplifting if they actually see the customer hide the item on their person”–not that the shopkeeper has the right to check receipts at the door.

    2. If you are willing to give up your right to privacy, and submit to a receipt search, fine. That doesn’t mean that all other customers should be required to give up THEIR rights, too, or face store consequences if they refuse to relinquish those rights. That’s wrong.

  114. Elvisisdead says:

    There’s also the issue of policy being applied consistently. If anything is cited as “policy” my first questions are:

    1) Where is a written copy of the policy that I can review?
    2) Why am I subject to this policy?
    3) Is the policy applied uniformly and consistently to everyone? If not, why not?

    If it’s not published and not applied consistently, then there’s definitely some liability on the policymaker’s part.

  115. Voyou_Charmant says:

    Guy still sounds like a stubborn prick to me.

  116. Chrisvol says:

    @Stockholder – you should be ashamed of yourself. Regardless of whether you think Shaneal should have just showed his receipt, is making a mountain out of a molehill, or is a muckracking troublemaker–the store shouldn’t have detained him. Shaneal had the right to complain — and I for one will never do business with TigerDirect again. Shaneal should not be subjected to some kind of veracity withchunt on the rest of his life because he wouldn’t just put up with it. You have the right to try to discredit him — but you shouldn’t be proud of yourself. And one wonders why people are so often silent in the face of injustices large and small. Speak up and get smashed down, apparently. How sad.

  117. spinachdip says:

    @Stockholder: OMG! Someone on the internet accused him of something and he didn’t deny it!!! That’s like, if the security guard asks for the receipt and, like, not presenting it! GUILTY!!! TigerDirect is off the hook!!!

    Obviously, the store was BAITED into breaking the law by this crime non-denier. Poor little TigerDirect never have a choice against someone who didn’t deny taking the ACT for someone else!!

  118. Jerim says:

    @astrochimp:

    Belief is at the forefront of any action. It is also what keeps a person from being arrested for making a false claim. If I see someone crawling out the window of a house, carrying a bag and looking suspicious I am going to call police. If, when the police arrive, they discover that the person lives there and was was just carrying something out to the trash and didn’t want to go out the front door then it is my honest belief that he was committing a crime that keeps me from being arrested for a false report. I didn’t say “believe” as in “they think.” I said “believe” as in they had an honest belief in what they saw.

  119. schmo says:

    “the cop told Shaneal to not return if he wasn’t going to follow store policy.”

    This is the most distressing part of the story, IMO.

    The police have no business commenting on this in any way, and the manager definitely should not be making claims to higher authority by doing so.

  120. schmo says:

    A lot of people are getting on Shaneal because he baited the store purposefully.

    I sincerely hope that every single person who says that has a personal emergency while in a receipt-checking/person-detaining store.

    I sincerely hope that each one of you misses the birth of their first child because you ran post a security guard at Circuit City or whatever, and got illegally detained.

    Our rights are valuable, but many of you would happily see them disappear if it might save you $0.17 per year. And sadly, I think it would take something extremely drastic for many of you to realize why it is that they are so precious.

  121. kenviro says:

    The scariest part of this thread is the ubiquitous “just go along” mentality. This does not bode well for us as a (formerly) free country. Those of us who aren’t outraged aren’t paying attention. Stop being afraid and start getting mad.

  122. Chris B. says:

    The process of showing your receipt takes less than a few seconds – even with a line. I don’t see why it’s such a big deal to cooperate with their policy when it probably helps to reduce theft and keeps their prices low. If dude had to wait in line, that’s what happens when you shop at a warehouse.

    It sucks to be inconvenienced, but that’s all. It’s not a crime and you certainly don’t have to shop there. Buck up or pay full price somewhere else.

  123. sibertater says:

    I have to say that honestly it’s easier to just show them your receipt and go on about your day. They don’t check the damn thing anyway. They just use a hi-liter and mark on it. I could have Jimmy Hoffa in my bag and they wouldn’t notice.

    We shop at tree-hugger marts and carry our own bags in, when we tried this at Target we were stopped at the door and told by the security guy that it was against their policy. I rolled my eyes and told him to get a manager. Dur…yes, Target is in favor of killing the environment. The manager apologized and said the security guy was misinformed their policy was something about not letting people fill unpurchased bags with merchandise and then pay for the bag too, or some such silliness. Anyway, we stopped doing that because their bags are great for kitty litter.

  124. PreserveFreedom says:

    It amazes me at how many of you think it is ok to give up your rights in a situation like this. If you are willing to give up your time because a private citizen wants you to prove your innocense at the door, would you also be willing to be stopped by police and have your vehicle dismantled on the side of the road with no probable cause other than the suspicion that somebody may be trying to run drugs through town that day? Some of you should go spend a year or two in any other country. When you come back tell us how giving up your rights is no big deal.

  125. yahman says:

    The law doesn’t make sense !
    “By law, shopkeepers are only allowed to detain customers under suspicion of shoplifting if they actually see the customer hide the item on their person”

    when you see someone shoplifting it would be no longer a suspicion but a fact (hence it is a loose definition). Obviously this customer thinks he is big shit because he thinks that he has more rights than he should. If I was the security guard and some shit refuses to show me his receipts I would be suspicious, and I will call the police too. if he didn’t steal then he should not make a big issue out of showing his receipt, be nice to the security guard, he is a human and doing his job. if I was the security guard I will let him go because the law doesn’t allow to arrest without seeing however I will warn him that he is not to come to the store again if he is not complying with store policy, and will be arrested for trespassing if seen in the store again, then I take a picture of his face, follow him to his car and get his license number, and then call the police and report it as suspected theft. Again the law is bendable and very loose, the security guard could arrest him for trespassing (refusing to comply with store policy is trespassing because he has no right to be in the store if he is not to comply with store policies).