Adventures In Receipt Check Refusals Continue

Rich in Michigan writes that a Michigan Sam’s Club employee foiled his efforts to circumvent the receipt-checking line.

I was detained in a Sams Club receipt-checking line today. When I attempted to steer my cart around the line and out the exit door, an employee with a nametag of ‘Linda’ stepped in front of my cart and asked me to surrender my receipt. When I asked if I was being detained, she assured me that I was…

At this point, she took the receipt out of my hand, checked it (there were two items in the cart), I left the store. I’m not exactly sure if what went on was legal or ethical, but I damn sure know that it was terrible customer service.

You know, in all this receipt-checking kerfuffle we’ve mentioned that places like Sam’s Club can insert mandatory receipt-checking clauses in their contracts, but we’ve yet to see one proper, and darned if we can’t find a copy of their membership agreement online.

Scavenger hunt: provide us with a copy of a store’s, any store’s, membership contract that says that by signing it you agree to mandatory receipt checks.

PREVIOUSLY:
Circuit City Customer Arrested After Refusing To Show Receipt
TigerDirect Apologizes For Unlawfully Detaining Customer For Refusing To Show Receipt
TigerDirect Unlawfully Restrains And Verbally Abuses Customer For Not Submitting To Receipt-Showing Demands

Comments

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  1. 44 in a Row says:

    Sadly, it’s a PDF, but here’s Costco’s.

    Costco Welcome Brochure and Membership Agreement

    Page 11, Paragraph 9 (General Policies), 3rd bullet point:
    “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse.”

  2. sonichghog says:

    Nope, sorry, As a MEMBER you agreed to the inspection. It is different at a CC or BB.

  3. InThrees says:

    That doesn’t mandate that the customer accept the check, though…

  4. DjDynasty says:

    My Sam’s Club did the same thing, I invited the person to call the cops, I have a right to privacy and know my rights, when the guy asked me why I felt I was better than the other people who showed their reciepts, I said because I’m not a lemming, and I’m an attorney. He backed off really quickly as I kept walking.

  5. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @44 in a Row: I like that they “ensure the member is charged correctly.” Do they have a remote scanner and compare to the receipt? Would they actually notice if a drum of pickles was priced correctly? Why not cut the bullshit and just say that it is to see if you are stealing.

  6. sonichghog says:

    Oh Ya.

    Sams Club

    General Policies
    • Children and Guests: Our Members are welcome to bring their children and up to two guests to SAM’S CLUB. A Member must accompany children and guests – at all times. Only a Member may purchase items. Children may not be left unsupervised. Parents are responsible for their children. Members are responsible for any items opened or damaged by their guests, children or themselves.
    • Dress Code: Shoes and shirts are required.
    • Smoking: Not allowed in the Club.
    • Tobacco and Liquor: No sales to minors.
    • Receipts: To ensure that you are charged correctly for the merchandise you have selected, you will be requested to show your receipt when exiting. SAM’S CLUB reserves the right to inspect any container, backpack, briefcase, etc., upon entering or leaving the warehouse and to refuse entry to anyone at our discretion.

    SAM’S CLUB reserves the right to inspect any container, backpack, briefcase, etc., upon entering or leaving the warehouse and to refuse entry to anyone at our discretion.

  7. sonichghog says:

    @InThrees: When you sign up at SAMS club you AGREE to this check.

  8. sonichghog says:

    @DjDynasty: Really, so you post on consumerist and became a member of Sams club without reading your agreement.
    If you really are a member,and you read the agreement,then you know that you AGREED to the check when you became a member.

  9. Frostberg says:

    @SaveMeJeebus:

    I’m sure they would see if you were charged for two jars and you only purchased one. Then you would change your tune.

  10. Falconfire says:

    yep this one is the non-issue, you where breaking yoru membership at sam club by pulling this one. I am totally against receipt checking in normal stores like wallyworld and best buy, but Sams/Costco/BJs fully have the right in this regard since you signed away your 4th amendment right via the contract.

  11. Prosumerist says:

    Does anyone know if this crap applied to Bed Bath & Beyond? I always feel like starting a one-on-one with the rent-a-suit checking receipts at the exit.

  12. Designersheets says:

    The thing about sams club is unlike walmart they don’t have bags, and it’s pretty darn easy to pass the checkout, go around like your going to the deli and just leave with your 15 gallon can of baked beans ya know. At this store it just kinda makes sense. BTW you don’t have to be a member to shop there, Check the back of a walmart gift card it allows you to shop at sams but you have to pay a 10% fee on what you purchase. But i totally agree that people shouldn’t hassle you at the other stores. Not Cool you Evil Covert Security Friendly Greeter People !

  13. markwm says:

    Ok, now _this_ is the post where everyone can say, “This guy was just trying to be a douche.” and I’ll agree with them. You agreed to this procedure as part of your membership.

  14. Nelsormensch says:

    @sonichghog: That alone isn’t sufficient. If Sam’s Club had “General Policies” like this, but no membership agreement/contract, it would be illegal for them to detain you. I’m sure Circuit City, Best Buy, et al. have policies like this too.

    Note how they said the reserve the right to refuse entry, but not egress. Without a contract agreeing to receipt checks (which might not even legally justify detaining someone if it was actually challenged in court), they simply cannot detain you in the store unless they have reasonable suspicion of theft.

    I realize that Sam’s Club almost certainly has a clause like this in their membership contract. Just pointing out that “General Policies” do not trump the law, no matter what their representatives may tell you.

  15. Nelsormensch says:

    @Prosumerist: No membership agreement/contract means they have absolutely no grounds to detain you. Membership gives them more solid (although still questionable) grounds. To the best of my knowledge, BB&B is of the former.

  16. sonichghog says:

    @Nelsormensch: You are correct, they will usually refuse you entry. You will also only get a receipt if you buy something, and to buy something you need to be a member.

    Yes, the policy does not trump the law, but they are a private members only establishment. They can set there own rules, and you agree with these rules when you become a member.

    BB and CC are totally different places. Even if CC and BB decided to post a receipt policy somewhere, you never signed an agreement to it.

  17. SOhp101 says:

    Why don’t you just go to a Sam’s Club and look at the application? That’ll probably answer Consumerist’s question.

    A far more irksome situation is when I went to Costco with my sister. She had a membership card; I did not. I tried to pay for the goods (since we were sharing an apartment) and they refused to accept my credit card. We ended up talking to two different managers who backed up the worker.

    After asking for official corporate policy that states that other people weren’t allowed to pay for goods (mind you, we have the same last name and same address on our driver’s licenses), the only thing they pointed out was that a member must show his membership card on check out and that the bill can be paid by credit card (AMEX), ATM, check, or cash.

    After awhile the manager suggested that I be added as the supplementary card holder (they allow one extra card member for every membership fee) and that’s what we did, after 30 minutes of arguing. They used a bunch of excuses (Costco policy even though they did not have any proof, fraudulent charges even though my sister was present and I was willing to show ID) that held no weight but they would not budge.

    What do I do in retaliation? I return anything and everything i’m remotely unsatisfied with. I don’t mind screwing their profit margins since they decided to waste my time defending a policy that never officially existed.

    Still, they’re loads better than Sam’s Club. I will never purchase another item from their warehouses again.

  18. Karl says:

    Even if they include this language in their membership agreement, I
    doubt this means that they can actually detain you. The most they could
    do is terminate your membership and order you to leave.

  19. theystolemyname says:

    I’m the one who emailed this story in.

    “You agreed to this procedure as part of your membership.”


    “you signed away your 4th amendment right via the contract.”


    Sorry, I’m not a sams club member. Also, I don’t recall illegal search and seizure by minimum wage employees at a glorified grocery store being something you can agree to in a legal, binding contract.


    It was a little strange; at the receipt check, a soccer mom said “what’s ridiculous is you giving people a hard time, she’s only trying to do her job”.

    Is this the prevalent attitude now? Allowing people to walk all over you and violate your rights because it’s “their job”? Grow a backbone, people.

  20. sonichghog says:

    I do agree that you can not be detained, but I would imagine that they would make you return the items and turn in your membership card if you refuse to show your receipt.

  21. DjDynasty says:

    @sonichghog: I don’t pay for my membership, it’s a work provided benefit, regaurdless of their policies, no private corporation can take away the 4th amendment.

  22. alice_bunnie says:

    @theystolemyname:

    How many times must it be said that the 4th amendment only applies to the government, not to private businesses?

  23. sonichghog says:

    @theystolemyname: What part of checking a receipt on there own property is illegal. Especially when you agree to the receipt check in order to purchase anything.

    You enter the Sams Club KNOWING that your receipt will be checked, and you KNOWINGLY signed a contract saying that you agree to it.

    Whats the problem?
    BTW, I am on the other side of this arguement when it comes to BB or CC, or any other store that does this without an agreement.

  24. sonichghog says:

    @DjDynasty: It does not matter if it is free. Heck, they could of paid you to get a membership, it does not change the fact that you agreed to the membership.

  25. 44 in a Row says:

    How many times must it be said that the 4th amendment only applies to the government, not to private businesses?

    And just to clarify, the Supreme Court has said this pretty explicitly.

    United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109 (1984):

    “This Court has … consistently construed this protection as proscribing only governmental action; it is wholly inapplicable to a search or seizure, even an unreasonable one, effected by a private individual not acting as an agent of the Government or with the participation or knowledge of any governmental official.”

  26. kurometarikku says:

    In the reports that are all the rage these days of all these “incidents” I have yet to see one person come up with a compelling substantial reason not to have their receipt checked. Whinging about some esoteric perceived right just doesn’t seem like it warrants making such a hullabaloo over such a simple procedure.

  27. CMU_Bueller says:

    @DjDynasty: Of course a private corporation can’t take away a right they never gave you in the first place. Since when do you have fourth amendment rights when dealing with a company in the private sector anyways? Last I checked the constitution only applied to government entities, not Sam’s Club

  28. lychnismint says:

    @SOhp101: I don’t know why the employees couldn’t show you but in the membership agreement linked to in the first post, it states on page 11:
    Members are welcome to bring their children and up to two guests into the warehouse, however, only Costco members may purchase items.

  29. ben1711 says:

    Why all the hate towards these receipt checkers anyway…don’t people realize they discourage theft and indirectly keep prices down. For the greater good….why not spend less than 1 minute of your so precious time and show your receipt.

  30. balthisar says:

    I’m a member of Sam’s Club (they’ve got the best meats, really), and this is the only place I subject to the receipt check, even when the old fart is taking forever and line is absurdly long. Why? It’s part of the membership agreement. It’s not a forfeiture of any rights. First off, as mentioned above, it’s not the government subjecting me to the search; it’s a private party (more on that in a sec.). Second, I agreed to it, so I suffer it.

    When I go into CC or BB, there’s still no protection against illegal search or seizure, but there is every other right you have. If they forcibly take something from you or forcibly detain you without cause, then they’re wrong. They can insist on searching you, and you can insist that they don’t. There’s the stalemate. Unless you’re a criminal, you should always win, unless the store breaks the law.

  31. ptkdude says:

    @sonichghog: I think the key phrase here is “…you will be REQUESTED [emphasis mine] to show your receipt…” Sams Club can request all they want, that doesn’t mean I *have* to show it. They can also refuse to allow me back in the store if I do refuse.

  32. humphrmi says:

    @sonichghog: But as has been previously pointed out, non-members CAN buy stuff at Sams, for a 10% mark-up.

    And, I’m with the others who point out that you can’t be forced to sign away your constitutional right against unlawful search & seizure, and unlawful detention.

    Quite frankly it doesn’t matter to me anymore, because I dumped Sams club years ago when I found their prices weren’t that much better than my local Jewel or Dominick’s. And those places don’t make you show your receipt to exit.

    Here’s how I like to leave Best Buy. As I’m passing the “receipt check”, I wave my receipt somewhat non-chalantly at the exit checker and keep moving. The look on my face says “If you feel you have a reason to stop me, it better be good.” I’ve never been stopped yet.

  33. ninabi says:

    Don’t have a membership, don’t want one. I don’t care what the price is on the 72 roll pack of toilet paper, I don’t want to stand in one of those effing lines, with my Proof Of Being Honest inspection.

    Although, it could be rather amusing to chant “I’m not a thief, I’m not a thief!” to the tune of “Here Comes the Bride” at the top of my lungs while I was being detained. If everybody did that, would they change the rules? And would that rule change mandate “silence during inspection”?

  34. tcm22 says:

    Obviously the businesses that do receipt checks incur the expense of having to pay an employee to monitor customers leaving the store. I suspect it’s because it deters shoplifting. That seems to be a practical solution to a vexing problem in the retail industry.

    I fail to see why folks get so worked up about having someone check your receipt. Privacy? Bullshit. You just had it all scanned at the register. They want to make sure what’s in your cart is the same as what’s on the register. At Sams, Costco, and everywhere else, they do it to every one.

    All this high and mighty principle is misguided. Get over it, or shop elsewhere.

  35. rg says:

    If you don’t like the rules go play somewhere else you bf babbies! It’s their business and they can run it the way they want as long as they don’t break any laws. It sounds like all the children that have been coddled for so long have now grown up to be whiney…older children. Wake up kids, life isn’t always fair and it doesn’t always go your way, and when it doesn’t go your way, it’s not your right to whine and get it changed.

  36. ldavis480 says:

    Here in the state of Arizona it’s illegal for stores to require a membership to purchase alcohol. What that means is the Costco’s, Sam’s Clubs, etc, are required to allow you to purchase wine, beer (whatever they sell) without a membership.

    It would be interesting to see how this applies if I am legally permitted to make purchases of alcohol at the membership-driven warehouse stores but not required to submit to mandatory egress inspections.

    (For those that are members of the clubs, it would still be illegal for a store employee to forcibly detain you)

  37. Falconfire says:

    @alice_bunnie: um no, it is actually quite clear in the fact that it DOES apply to private industry as well, and there are is easly a hundred+ years of case law that will prove you wrong on this so you should just shut it now.

  38. Falconfire says:

    @CMU_Bueller: again courts have ruled in the past that this is not the case and you are completely wrong. Private does not mean yoru allowed to break the constitution unless you specifically sign your right away (which you are with the Sams club contract.)

    There are only two people who can remove your rights

    1) The government

    2) yourself

    Private entities have absolutely no right to take away your freedoms afforded by the constitution unless you GIVE them the right.

  39. jpp123 says:

    I was banned from Comp USA in Santa Clara for refusing to show a receipt – the funny thing was at the time I was CTO of a startup and owned the IT budget -Comp USA got none of it because one minimum wage security guard was a jerk.

  40. Falconfire says:

    @theystolemyname: Um actually in this case yoru wrong I hate to break it to you. In the US you CAN legally waver your rights via a contract. Just like there is years and reams of case law stating that you cant as a private entity deny constitutional rights, there are just as much caselaw stating the you CAN wave your rights via a contract.

  41. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Falconfire: Ah, the “I’m right so just shut up” argument. That wins every time. Feel like citing to some of those cases from the last hundred years? Cases, that is, that says that the Constitution governs the conduct of private actors?

  42. tcm22 says:

    @jpp123:
    That minimum wage security guard was likely doing exactly what the store management asked him to do in order to earn said minimum wage.

    I’d be curious to see some actual facts regarding how effective this method is to deter shoplifting. Despite the sentiments of many here, business aren’t looking for ways to piss off customers.

  43. acambras says:

    I don’t have anything to say about receipt checks.

    I just really love that Ben used the word “kerfluffle” in the post. Great word. I resolve to work it into at least one conversation tomorrow.

    That is all.

  44. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    You can also call the FBI on them for false imprisonment (after warning them that you’re being held against your will) if they detain you without a very good faith basis.

  45. Skeptic says:

    My Sam’s Club did the same thing, I invited the person to call the cops, I have a right to privacy and know my rights, when the guy asked me why I felt I was better than the other people who showed their reciepts, I said because I’m not a lemming, and I’m an attorney. He backed off really quickly as I kept walking.

    Stores do not have police powers to enforce store policies or civil law contracts.

    Stores have no power to physically force you to submit to store policy. All Sam’s club or Costco can do is ban you–the same remedy any other store has. They can’t legally detain you for not showing a receipt as it is not reasonable proof of a crime.

    To those who say that it is rude or “disrespectful” not to show your receipt, I’d say it is rude and disrespectful not to respect my legal right to say no thank you when asked to voluntarily show my receipt.

    If it is “no big deal” to show my receipt then, conversely, it should be “no big deal” for me to decline this voluntary request.

  46. Twitch says:

    1. It’s not an illegal search. You have nothing in a bag (Neither Costco nor Sams gives you bags when you purchase) if you’re merchandise is on a cart for the world to see, it is not reasonable to expect privacy.

    2. It is in their membership agreements. You sign, you agree (costco is the ONLY place I submit to this crap)

    If you try to leave any big box store with a cart full of unbagged merchandise, they can ask to see a receipt for your purchase. It’s only when you’ve got it in a bag given to you by the cashier, that you have a right to privacy.

    Any store can request to see a receipt when you leave if you have un-bagged merchandise.

  47. BigPatrick says:

    I’m still trying to understand the whole point of receipt-checking. Ok, at Sam’s and Costco, I kinda get the idea that they do want to make sure that you paid for all the unbagged stuff you’re hauling out. So chalk that one up as loss prevention.

    For all of the other stores, I don’t get it. In general, the loss prevention / receipt checker stands within eyeshot of the cash registers and generally you’re not going to walk through those lanes unless you bought something. at the same time, if I walk in and buy nothing, I walk by the guy with a wave and a smile. Now the story that I’m hearing is that the loss prevention / receipt-checker really isn’t there to make sure you paid for your stuff — he / she is there to make sure that you were properly charged for your stuff. They want to make sure that you’re not running a scam with the checkout person and getting that new laptop for 90% off.

    Ok, fair enough I suppose, but why not just have an “eye in the sky” like Las Vegas and someone watching every move? Why hassle every paying customer? And the next time I go through one of those receipt checks, I’m going to ask the guy why he is doing that. If the answer is “I want to be sure that you were charged the right price” I’m going to make a big exclamation and stand in absolute awe that a single human being has managed to memorize every UPC code and corresponding price in the store and thank him profusely for ensuring that nothing I purchased was mis-priced in the computer.

    Considering that many cities have laws about mis-pricing items (i.e. the price on the shelf does not match the computer price), it seems like having someone “verify that you were charged the right price” opens the store up to all sorts of litigation — both from the customer and from the local municipality — when something is not priced correctly.

    Clearly, since this practice seems to be expanding, it is either achieving some result — or it is simply the Loss Prevention people partaking in some Potemkin theatre like our friends at the TSA. Either that or it is simply the latest management by magazine article fad in retail.

  48. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I find it incredibly lame to stand in a long line to ring up and pay for your merchandise. And then you have to wait in another long line and wait for them to check your receipt at the door. I got tired of it and now I do all my Costco shopping 15 minutes before closing time.

  49. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    At the Evanston, IL Sam’s Club, there’s a sign hanging over the wine & liquor stating that you don’t have to be a member to buy beer, wine & liquor. I presume Illinois law prohibits that.

    Therefore, if I buy one of those items there as a non-member, I haven’t signed away any rights!
    They don’t have the right to check anything then & I’d love to see someone take this to its obvious end.
    Let them call the cops & try to have you arrested.
    Instead the receipt checker will be arrested for illegal detention if you demand that & you then have a case with the state’s attorney’s office at making it a conspiracy case when the receipt checker tells the cops he/she was only doing as ordered by the store management!

    Generally, conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is a felony.
    What a fun case that will be!

  50. MystiMel says:

    @44 in a Row: Okay…. so there’s nothing wrong with a random guy on the street demanding that he inspect my bag? Or if I’m at a friends house they have the right to pat me down and turn out my pockets if they wish because I’m on their property?

    I was under the impression that they only have the right to either tell me to leave or to call the police.

  51. enm4r says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Odd that I had to shuffle through the same arguments back and forth before I got to yours. I was going to mention Illinois and Florida. You’re right, you don’t need to be a member to buy alcohol. We bought many a keg/case there because it was the cheapest around. And you’re right, you don’t sign or imply consent to any policies by simply entering the store. I assume it’d be the same as any other store at that point.

    Florida was the same way, down there in the past and figured we’d give it shot since we can do it here in IL. It worked just fine, no membership needed. Of course the receipt checkers never know that, but I’m not sure they’d care if you brought it up.

  52. nctrnlboy says:

    Its a “price club” store. Where you have a membership. You agreed to reciept-checking when you joined up. I see no real issue here.

    At a wal-mart (or other store)…. that’s a different story.

  53. Skeptic says:

    @Twitch:

    Any store can request to see a receipt when you leave if you have un-bagged merchandise.

    …and no store has the right to physically detain you if you say no, regardless of any contract or membership agreement you may have signed. Stores do not have police powers to force you to submit to their policies.

    They can ask you to leave and rescind your membership but they can’t keep you from leaving with your stuff.

    The only caveat is that they can claim you membership card is store property and may be able to detain you for “theft” if you decline to surrender it, however, I think a judge would frown on such a detention since there is no cash value to the card.

  54. EtherealStrife says:

    @Twitch: ANY store can request. But I am free to refuse at ANY store. If I signed a membership agreement then they could void it and ban me from the store, but they cannot detain me.

  55. MotherFury says:

    Why is it such a big deal to show them your receipt? If you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing to worry about. Display that receipt with PRIDE if you’ve paid for your goods with your hard earned cash.

    Looked at differently – You show your ticket to the gate agent in the airport to get on the plane, even though you have probably showed that ticket to get in the building and to four other people before you got to the gate and have no problem with it, right?

    Damn. I cannot believe people are going to fault Wally-World for trying to save us 15 cents on roll of toilet paper by fighting crime with little old lady and men receipt checkers. God bless ‘em. At least they want the job in spite of low wages and the crap they get for doing it.

  56. asherchang says:

    What an idiot. If he needed to show his membership card to get in,
    shouldn’t he remember that Sam’s Club (curses be upon it) is not a
    regular store?

    Although in this case it would still be illegal to be detained by
    employees, the person still violated a contract that he signed, and
    could have legally had his membership revoked.

  57. CuriousO says:

    @SOhp101:

    Your a Dumb ass, just learn how to read the stuff you sign!!!!

  58. brennie says:

    TCM 22, I’m with you. Have you looked at these people checking receipts? They don’t care. The club gets what they pay for in that regard. I could have anything in there and as long as I handed over the receipt and they swiped it with their highlighter everyone is happy. As a matter of fact, if it was me, I would take great delight in doing so for someone with a new laptop in their shopping cart and a recept that listed nothing more than one can of tuna – a tip of the hat for the cojones.

  59. Buran says:

    @kurometarikku: You don’t need a “reason” to exercise your 4th Amendment Rights.

  60. Nately says:

    Find something more important to be righteous about, please.

  61. Charles Duffy says:

    @Nelsormensch: An employee at the local Costco explained it to me once — they can’t detain you if you refuse the check, but they will revoke your membership.

    To be sure, there’s no obligation to show your receipt at a regular store — but why would you agree to a membership contract if you weren’t willing to abide by its terms?

  62. Unnamed Source says:

    In a way it’s a double-edged sword: Several times at both Sam’s Club and Costco, I’ve had the receipt checker point that I had been overcharged for an item or notice that an item on the receipt wasn’t in the cart (it had been left on the original cart or was a smaller item (like an iTunes gift card) that had been left on the counter.

    While it might be invasive to some, it can certainly be beneficial as well.

  63. crnk says:

    @ldavis480: CT is the same requirement. Here is how it works
    Membership is not required. However, payment is by cash or requires membership+checks–and I’m not sure the rules they have on credit card purchases.
    In CT, the liquor store is actually a physically separate store and since checkout is at the exit/entrance, it would be very redundant to check the receipts. Plus, who could hide a case of corona and walk out without being noticed?

  64. g4lt says:

    @motherfury:

    RTFA. there was a LINE to get out. So yes it IS a big deal if I have to wait in line to leave with my newly-purchased property. Why? so some employee that needs a major shot of “hurry up, you twit” can proactively accuse me of being a thief, my only defense being a cash register receipt that may or may not have even been given to me by the thumb-fingered fool that rang up my purchase and quite probably rang it up completely wrong.

  65. chili_dog says:

    “Violating your rights”. Who really gives a rats ass if they look at your receipt as you leave.

  66. Donathius says:

    Now I’m not saying that detaining a person for not showing their receipt is right (it’s not) but I have worked at Costco (I don’t now) checking receipts at the exit door. Out of the hundreds of receipts I checked that summer I think I had 2 people come through that had an extra item they didn’t pay for. Generally what we were checking for was for duplicate items. If we saw milk on the receipt twice in a row we made sure that they had 2 packages of milk. I caught several thousand dollars worth of mistakes by the cashiers while checking receipts. When a mistake was found it was logged along with the ID number of the cashier (which was on the receipt) so that the cashier could be informed of their mistake. People were generally appreciative when we noticed mistakes like that since doubles of items at warehouse stores can easily add 10 or 20 dollars to the total.

    BTW I did have a few people just push past me and leave. I just said to myself “oh well, not my problem.”

  67. kurometarikku says:

    @Buran: Unless its a government agent checking your receipt, how does this have anything to do with your fourth ammendment rights? Like I originally said, nobody has come up with any concrete reason this is a bad thing.

  68. wkzero says:

    Apparently, none of these people have ever been in a Guitar Center. Worst job of my life, sitting at that door.

  69. TomK says:

    Ve just vant to vee ze papers. Vat do vou have to hide?

  70. DH405 says:

    @Designersheets: If a non-member wishes to shop at Sam’s Club, they must obtain a guest pass. I’m sure that this includes an agreement much like the membership agreement.

  71. DH405 says:

    @wkzero: For some reason, I never really mind it at Guitar center. I hate it at Wal-Mart, though. *shrug* Maybe it’s because the GC people are just more laid-back about it.

  72. crankymediaguy says:

    “Whinging about some esoteric perceived right just doesn’t seem like it warrants making such a hullabaloo over such a simple procedure.”

    Having to submit to a strip search would be a “simple procedure” too, wouldn’t it? Would you go along with that?

    Oh, you wouldn’t? OK, then it really isn’t about “going along with a simple procedure” is it? You just draw the line of what you will and will not put up with in a different spot than some other people.

    I’m curious; what other “perceived rights” are you willing to give up on the order of some guy in an “official” uniform?

    I’m an American citizen; I’m not SUPPOSED to take shit from people. Any store that INSISTS that I show the receipt for the stuff I paid for fifteen feet away from the minimum-wage door monkey can KISS MY ASS. I’ll find another place to spend my money that doesn’t treat me like a criminal.

  73. formergr says:

    @Falconfire: If you want your oh-so-scholarly legal arguments to be at all convincing here, you should maybe know that the word is “waive”. Not “wave”, nor “waver”. A person waives their rights.

  74. cabedrgn says:

    On one particularly combative day back in ’01 I demanded the door clerk check every single item (I had a really, really bad day) in my cart at Costco. A full cart worth around $400 and after about 15min people just decided to push right through the clerk. After that I was labeled a ‘difficult’ customer but since my account was large (I used it to help my friends church a lot so I always bought around 500-600 worth of items on each trip) they didn’t revoke my membership and allowed me to just skip receipt check from then on. I was a dick to deal with that day and fully deserved my membership revoked, it wasn’t about my rights or anything at the time, I was just being inconvenienced on a really, really bad day. What gets me is the racial profiling. We go to this walmart down the road in a largely Hispanic area and stand in line while 4 or 5 different Hispanic families get searched and we just get flagged on by (with about the same amount of stuff) without showing our receipt. I actually get more pissed about that than actually having to show my receipt.

  75. enm4r says:

    @SMSDHubbard: I don’t know about using a Walmart gift card, but to buy alcohol you don’t need to obtain any pass, and do not agree to anything in IL.

    You walk in, say “I’m hear for alcohol” to the 70 year old ID Card checker and get some dirty look, grab your stuff, and go pay. There is never an agreement signed or implicitly signed.

  76. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I didn’t sign any contract when I got my membership. I had a card given to me by my work, and when I took another job later, I asked to have my membership converted to my own name. They took my check and handed me a card. No “contract” involved. So I didn’t actually agree to any such clause. If I had been given a “contract” to sign, I would have lined out that clause. I always read contracts.

  77. dbeahn says:

    @speedwell: And apparently you don’t understand that paying for the membership is going to be seen as tacit agreement to the terms…

  78. JanetCarol says:

    Good Lord. I’ve been shopping at Sam’s club for years. They have always checked receipts. For a company that does not bag the items purchased in their store, I’m pretty sure that’s just a good idea on their part. I do not think they are profiling anyone in particular. It’s just policy. Now companies like Best Buy or Safeway, companies you do not sign a contract or pay for a membership to belong to should not be able to detain you. I don’t know. Where I disagree with this on one side, I just see a business looking out for itself on the other. And I think to keep your receipt out of your wallet/purse for 5 extra seconds isn’t a big deal.

  79. bravo369 says:

    I can’t stand these posts about receipt checking anymore. All you people are insane. My receipt gets checked so fast I don’t even have to stop my cart. If you had to wait 30 minutes in another line then I’d agree with you but again, it’s a 2 second thing. And I can’t believe people actually wanted to donate money to the pompous jackAss in the other story who wants to see circuit city and the state. There’s much more important charities out there to donate to than some righteous know-it-all who’s too important to wait 2 seconds. OK, rant over…i’m done and I hope consumerist stops wasting time on these stupid receipt stories

  80. selianth says:

    At BJ’s – from [www.bjs.com] -

    2. Purchasing, Guests, and Receipt & Inspection Procedures
    …BJ’s reserves the right to inspect any bag, backpack, briefcase or container upon entry or exit. BJ’s inspects all receipts as Members exit the Club to ensure that Members have not been overcharged or undercharged for an item and that all selections appear on the receipt.

  81. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @dbeahn: Like hell it is. Let them try it.

  82. dbeahn says:

    @speedwell: Right. And buying something from Walmart doesn’t mean they’re going to hold you to the 90 day return policy.

    Seriously, you pay for a membership, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re OK with the terms of that membership. Just because you didn’t do your homework doesn’t mean you aren’t liable and responsible.

  83. Jmarsh04 says:

    I’m assuming this wasn’t the first time this guy’s been to Sam’s Club. I’m also assuming the previous times he’s (probably without any incidents) shown his receipt at the door when they asked for it.

    I’m thinking this guy’s read all the recent tough-guy-refuses-to-show-receipt stories on the Consumerist and decided he wanted to see his name in lights. And what better place to show you, too, can be a receipt-wielding hard ass than the one place you KNOW they’re going to ask to see your receipt.

    I’m calling bullshit on this one. He’s not a victim or a hero — he’s the guy who pours olive oil in an aisle in a grocery store and pretends to slip.

  84. Why is it such a big deal to show them your receipt?

    @MotherFury: Why is it such a big deal to NOT show them the receipt?

    Really, for the umpteenth time, the big deal isn’t being asked to show the receipt, it’s being detained illegally for not showing it.

  85. unchi says:

    by not showing your receipt, sam’s employees likely have probably cause that you are stealing something. its like detaining a kid who shoplifts till the cops get there.

  86. Red_Eye says:

    @dbeahn: I’d just not feed the trolls at this point. Here is why.

    Sheeple don’t understand that purchasing something in a store in the eyes of the law is considered in 99% of all cases a contract. They don’t understand that the terms on an anything they accept, be it a silly OK screen with a bunch of terms on a touch screen credit card payment device to a 2 foot long receipt with contract terms on it can contractually BIND them to terms.

    Don’t get me wrong, at BB when I walk 2 feet from the register to the door I refuse to show my receipt unless I set off the alarm.

    However one day BB and CC will get smart. They will include a bar code at the bottom of that receipt. They will require an associate at the door to look at your receipt and scan that bar code to activate your return and warranty coverage. Any merchandise not scanned is simply marked in their system an uncovered and ta da. No more issue. If you want your Xbox covered by any warranty then you’re gonna get it scanned.

    It may not be good customer service but if they start to experience enough loss then it will happen.

    My hypothetical question is this.

    How many people have bought something at Sears or Toys-R-Us and had to take the receipt out to the pickup counter? Why is that any less offensive that showing your receipt on the way out? Is it acceptable to pocket your sears receipt and just walk into their warehouse and take your item? Why not?

  87. Black Bellamy says:

    There’s a lot of confusion in these comments about government vs. private and what rights you have and the 4th Amendment and so forth.

    First off, door bag searches are legal only if they’re voluntary. No matter what document you signed, what you agreed to, when the moment comes you have the right to say no thanks.

    Nothing in the law gives the merchant the right to detain a customer for the purpose of searching a shopping bag unless there is a reasonable suspicion of retail theft. And reasonable suspicion is not generated upon the refusal to submit to search – it has to exist beforehand.

    What this means is if you refuse the search or show receipt, and the story employee detains you (acts in such a way as to make a reasonable person feel they are not free to leave) or assaults you (makes a reasonable person feel that they will be subject to physical harm), then they are breaking the law.

    Whether the arriving officer will feel sympathetic to your cause is open to debate, and the chances the local DA will press charges is very slim unless they make you bleed or really damage your stuff, but as a civil matter you should be able to proceed and sue for damages.

  88. MotherFury says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Its a big deal not to show them the receipt because when you joined you agreed to do it. It’s a club. You joined, there’s rules, you don’t follow them, you’re out of the club and you’re also not allowed to use the secret handshake anymore.

    Has anybody actually pointed out that this receipt checking thing is more about deterring would-be shoplifters than it is about suspecting you as being a shoplifter?

    It is a show. It’s a ploy. In most cases – they’re checking receipts of people leaving at the same door people are walking in, creating a visible message to those who might entertain the thought of stealing. We’re gonna check your receipt, so don’t even think about it…

  89. Its a big deal not to show them the receipt because when you joined you agreed to do it. It’s a club.

    @MotherFury: This store is a club. In most cases it’s no bigger deal to not show it than it is to be asked.

  90. jakesprincess says:

    What kills me about Sam’s Club is they require a Social Security number to get a membership. My parents got my husband and myself one for Christmas and when we went to activate it we were told we had to provide our SS#s. When I asked why, I was told it was to make the card secure. In fact, the associate told me the card, with our picture on it, would be so secure I could use it as a form of ID at airport security. Since at that time I did travel a lot for my job (including internationally to places in the Middle East), I said flippantly, “Okay, I will try that next time I am on a flight to go to Pakistan.” The associate then backtracked pretty fast.

    What they really need it for, I am supposing, is to get you to apply for their credit card. Now we get pre-approved notices and every time we go through check-out, they tell me I am pre-approved and ask me if I just want to charge the purchase.

    I can’t wait for the membership to expire. I have no plans to renew it. My mom knows I hate Wal-Mart so I think she gave us the membership to try to get me to mend my views toward the company. So far it has not worked, and we rarely use the membership, and instead drive an extra 10 minutes to go to a Costco.

  91. dbeahn says:

    @unchi: “by not showing your receipt, sam’s employees likely have probably cause that you are stealing something. its like detaining a kid who shoplifts till the cops get there.”

    No, not showing a receipt doesn’t qualify as “probably cause”. Just like showing a receipt doesn’t mean that you don’t have something shoplifted in your jacket pocket.

    @Red_Eye: You are, of course, correct about not feeding the trolls. And about the “activate the warranty” thing too. Great idea for the stores.

    @Black Bellamy: “First off, door bag searches are legal only if they’re voluntary. No matter what document you signed, what you agreed to, when the moment comes you have the right to say no thanks.”

    Correct. And in becoming a member you’re saying you voluntarily agree to the searches and receipt check. If you don’t allow it, then you’ve violated your membership terms, they can revoke your membership and then you have to return all the items in your cart – which they’ll then check against your receipt, either the one in your hand, or the one in their system. Your post is good, and in a non-membership store it’s spot on. But this is a Sam’s *Club* we’re talking about.

  92. Guard says:

    Yup, every Sam’s Club performs this check, and as stated in the comments above, it’s in the membership agreement. While I can understand refusing receipt checking in places like Walmart, Krogers, etc, you are signing up and accepting a membership at Sam’s where this is in the agreement.

    If this (checking the receipts) was such an issue, why do the people have no issue with providing a card to the cashier with your name, Photo ID, and any other info that is on the pin-stripe (mandatory to checkout at Sam’s)? That’s more of an invasion of privacy than the receipt check by far… I personally don’t like the cashiers who call you by your first name, or even say Mr. —.

  93. dbeahn says:

    You know what? I think the next time I’m asked (in a non-membership store) to show my receipt, I’m going to ask to see that employee’s most recent pay stub. Since checking my things is they “only way” they can “be sure” I’m not stealing, then maybe seeing a pay stub with all that personal info on it is the “only way” I can “be sure” that person is really still an active employee.

    Can you imagine the looks you’d get? lol

  94. kimsama says:

    Whoa, an article that’s not about tipping and it’s at almost 100 posts? What is the world coming to? ^_^

    Can’t you just pretend to not speak English or something if you don’t want to show a receipt? I find a nice “Eigo ga hanasemasen” and a baffled expression while bustling out the door is a good technique.

    Or you can shout something like “Jimmy, NO!!!” and run out the door screaming “God no! NOOOOO!!!” Bet they wouldn’t stop you then ^_^

  95. petermv says:

    My hypothetical question is this.

    How many people have bought something at Sears or Toys-R-Us and had to take the receipt out to the pickup counter? Why is that any less offensive that showing your receipt on the way out? Is it acceptable to pocket your sears receipt and just walk into their warehouse and take your item? Why not?

    Because it is a completely different situation.

    You are not selecting the merchandise yourself. You paid for it in the store and directed to the pickup area, which does not allow public access and is far removed from the purchase point. How else would they know what you purchased?

  96. enm4r says:

    @jakesprincess: Sams Club has a 100% money back membership policy. Just cancel your membership and get the yearly fees back.

    As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be a member to buy alcohol. But they don’t take Visa/Mastercard (who the hell has Discover anyway?) and the group I was with didn’t actually have the cash to buy alcohol. So the cashier suggested we just join for the day, pay with a check, and then cancel the membership next week. It wasn’t a bad idea, and we did exactly that with zero hastle whatsoever. No reason to ride out the membership, just end it and get your money back.

  97. Or you can shout something like “Jimmy, NO!!!” and run out the door screaming “God no! NOOOOO!!!”

    @kimsama: Please, please, PLEASE let me be there when someone does that to skip the line.

  98. joeblevins says:

    To sum up all the posts. The OP is an Ass, if you are a Sam’s member you have agreed.

    If you are anywhere else, tell them to f-off.

    There will always be idiots that cry 4th Amendment, or some other Bill of Rights crap with private companies. It doesn’t apply.

  99. spinachdip says:

    @kimsama: I find that “Sorry, I don’t speak English” in non-broken English flusters the crap out of receipt checkers and on-street solicitors.

  100. spinachdip says:

    @joeblevins: “idiots that cry 4th Amendment, or some other Bill of Rights crap with private companies. It doesn’t apply.”

    Legal precedent says you’re wrong. When you sign up for a club membership, you consent to be searched, but you don’t consent to be detained. The store can call the police and revoke your membership, but it has no police powers.

  101. Indecision says:

    @Red_Eye: “However one day BB and CC will get smart. They will include a bar code at the bottom of that receipt. They will require an associate at the door to look at your receipt and scan that bar code to activate your return and warranty coverage. Any merchandise not scanned is simply marked in their system an uncovered and ta da.”

    I have an even better idea. Let’s put a barcode on each individual item. Then, an associate at the register can scan each one, and once I’ve paid for them (which legally makes them my property), they can give me a printed list of the items and transaction info. That printed list would serve as proof of purchase for return and warranty purposes.

  102. sonichghog says:

    @humphrmi: You are not signing away your consttutional rights. You are just signing that youi agree to the search.

    If you are pulled over by a cop and he asked to surch your vehicle, you are within your rights to say no.

    You can also say yes if you want to. By saying yes you agree to the search, and there is no violation of your rights.

    That is what sams club has done, when you become a member you are saying YES to the search.

  103. TexasScout says:

    I have never seen so many Waa Waa’s in one place. Show them the goddamn receipt for cripes sake. Will it kill you to help them stop “shrinkage” at their store?

    I saw a Wal Mart CLOSE in an adjoining town because of shrinkage ALONE. They couldn’t keep the stuff in the store. The public AND the employees would rob them blind.

  104. sonichghog says:

    @MystiMel: You are correct. but at a sams club, as a member you have already said OK search me.

  105. bastian363 says:

    I live in New Orleans and they do this religiously at the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas St.. The elderly receipt-checkers are backed by NOPD officers so there is no getting around the inspection. Somehow, I doubt this is completely legal.

  106. sonichghog says:

    @speedwell: Looks like your work had an agreement with the club then, looks like your office screwed up.

  107. sonichghog says:

    @humphrmi: Oh ya, about the gift card. I belive you have to have a guest membership to use the special 10% walmart card. I have not been a Sams club member for a while, so I am not sure about that.

  108. mbrutsch says:

    @theystolemyname: Also, I don’t recall illegal search and seizure by minimum wage employees at a glorified grocery store being something you can agree to in a legal, binding contract.

    Dude, are you serious? Do you read Consumerist? What about all the “mandatory binding arbitration” stories – there’s a perfect example of you agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial in a legal contract. Or, better yet, next time you buy a ticket to a concert or major sports event, read the fine print on the back of the ticket, and see what you agree to by using the ticket.

  109. NoWin says:

    Gosh people (well, some of you that need us to remind you), do you NOT read your disclosures or membership rules/policies?

    If you don’t want to stop on the way out of a membership Club (Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, whatever), then DON’T shop there. End of discussion.

    Disclaimer: BJs member and likes the store.

    OP = FUD

  110. LowerHouseMember says:

    I agree that they physical detainment of people needs to stop. If you refuse to show your receipt, the store should just say “Fine, but don’t ever come back.” Pretty simple. If you’re too fucking self-important to subject yourself to the horrors of a receipt check, then go shop online. It’s win-win; you don’t have to waive your constitutional rights for a couple seconds, and nobody else has to listen to your whining.

  111. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @theystolemyname: It was a little strange; at the receipt check, a soccer mom said “what’s ridiculous is you giving people a hard time, she’s only trying to do her job”.

    Is this the prevalent attitude now? Allowing people to walk all over you and violate your rights because it’s “their job”?

    As a matter of fact, yes, this is the prevailing attitude now. Most people are ready and willing to submit to any presumed “authority” that may cross their path. As long as they have their bread and circuses, they are more than willing to check their reasoning, individuality, personal autonomy and self-respect while corporate economy and consumer culture mold them into compliant, obedient and servile consumers.

    Sadly, there are far too many authoritarian sheep who think standing up for your rights is “being an ass”, “ridiculous” or, even worse, suspicious.

  112. enm4r says:

    @Indecision: That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Why would you want to give one (1) individual at a register this kind of authority?!

  113. Mr. Gunn says:

    The next time I go to Sam’s, I’m going to tear the receipt into little pieces in front of the cashier, and then ask if she has a trash can.

  114. Ickypoopy says:

    I often go to Costco with friends, who are members and not I. When I get to the cash register, I have never had a problem paying for things I want. I swipe my debit card at the terminal, and I type in my PIN. They allowed me to make a purchase at the store without being a member.

    I *NEVER* let them see my receipt. One day we bought nothing but one large box of diapers for my friend’s daughter.

    The door checker asked for my receipt, which I ignored and kept on walking. Just before I got to the parking lot, he ran around in front of me and blocked my path. He requested my receipt to which I declined…

    He said I have to, I said no I don’t. He tried to grab the box out of my hand. I held on tight to the box, and explained that he has no legal authority to demand to see my receipt. He continued resisting, so I got louder and louder until he ran (yes, RAN) back into the store and around the corner.

    Screw them. They have no busniess making me a part of their stupid loss prevention policies, I am not responsible if they have loss prevention issues.

  115. Ickypoopy says:

    @TexasScout:
    Showing them your receipt does not prevent “shrink” unless you are stealing something and they catch you. Honest people not showing their receipts does not prevent shrink.

  116. DeeJayQueue says:

    @TexasScout: And just exactly how is a store’s loss prevention policy my problem or responsibility?

    Ok, so the 4th amendment doesn’t protect you from Joe on the street asking to take a peek in your bag, or from Best Buy asking to check your receipt. However, you can say “NO” and that’s where hard decisions get made. After you decline the search if the employee tries to detain you or force you to submit to a bag check I would imagine it would constitute assault. Just the same as Joe on the street would be assaulting you if he tried to get your bag to check it, so would the BB goon be if he tried to stop you from leaving the store.

    The problem with not getting your receipt checked is that in a lot of places they stamp, punch or highlight your receipt in such a way that if you tried to return stuff on it after the fact and it wasn’t marked/punched/stamped then they’d refuse the return or just give you store credit.

    If I know I didn’t steal anything then I know I don’t need to show anyone my receipt on the way out. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, much less a store security/LP goon. If they want to check these things on the basis of price integrity or quantity, I’ll take my chances and if the amount is so much different I’ll bring it back and make it right. Its for the same reason that I walk right on past the door alarm when it goes off. I know I paid for whatever I bought, so I’m not going to turn around and let them root through my stuff to find whatever little magnetic tag their system forgot to deactivate.

    If you want, crumple up your receipt or tear it up as you’re walking out. Make them work for it.

    Oh, and to the OP, if you got a membership without signing a contract like everyone else, it was a loophole and you know it. It’s not like Sam’s Club just invents ways for people to get memberships without signing agreements. Your employer signed one for you and they didn’t give you the terms. They shouldn’t have let you transfer the membership into your name without at least giving you a copy of the agreement. If you’re a lawyer, then you especially know that membership only organizations have rules and contracts and that you got away without signing it. Make a stand at walmart or best buy or somewhere but Sam’s is not the place.

  117. ShadowFalls says:

    Law does not allow for them to detain you, but refusal to show the receipt as pertained to their member agreement, you legally break the contract and forfeit the remainder of said membership. Also, they can not keep you from taking your purchased items out of the store as it has become your property.

  118. Black Bellamy says:

    @dbeahn: “Your post is good, and in a non-membership store it’s spot on. But this is a Sam’s *Club* we’re talking about.”

    You can break your agreement with the store at any time. Like right at the point where the guy asks you for the receipt.

    Sam’s Club, or whatever, has plenty of options once you break your agreement. They can revoke your membership. They can forbid you from setting foot on their property ever again. They could even sue you in civil court if the contract specifies a financial obligation in case one of the parties breaks the agreement. They can do all sorts of things, but they can’t physically restrain you or block your way.

    Again, you can consent to the search all you want in the various documents you sign. But you can break that agreement at any time you want and the ONLY RECOURSE the other party has is civil.

  119. SaraAB87 says:

    There are no other stores here that check receipts anymore besides Sams Club and other places where you sign a membership agreement. Walmart just has a door checker, but they don’t do anything and they most certainly do not ask for a receipt. Target has a security guard (or a rent-a-cop) at the entrance but again they do not check receipts.

    I really don’t see the point in a Sams membership as their prices are no better than retail stores, but yet my family chooses to belong to them anyways. You can get the same prices next door in walmart save a few cents difference, if you really want to shop at walmart that is. Sams prices on things that I would buy like small electronics and video games are often MORE than the Walmart right next door, and most items that I want to buy can be found on Amazon or another online for much less with free shipping and no tax. I really wish a costco would open up in my area to give Sams some competition, because from what I hear they actually have low prices and give you good deals. Yes they are remodling our Sams Club however you can bet we are gonna pay for it with higher prices on everything.

  120. CMU_Bueller says:

    [caselaw.lp.findlaw.com]

    Any other questions about the constitution and private parties?

  121. chazz says:

    Am I mistaken here? But there is no constitutional protection against being asked by a shop owner to see your receipt before leaving the store? Plus, if you have agreed beforehand to do so it would be the polite thing to do. If you haven’t then it’s up to you. But for the life of me I don’t see where the breach of privacy is in proving you have actually purchased what you are walking out of the store with, no matter how obvious your innocence is. If you feel violated don’t shop in stores that ask and save bandwidth.

  122. Buran says:

    @kurometarikku: A private citizen can ask. You can refuse. They cannot search you because to search you is to touch you which is to commit assault — a crime. The only people who can search you without your consent are the police, who are still barred from doing so without reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. That reasonable suspicion requires you to have been observed committing shoplifting, and the store does that have that evidence.

    For this reason, you are protected under the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure.

    Therefore, it is a Constitutional rights issue.

    As for why it is a bad thing? Some people don’t like to be treated like criminals or forced to do the store’s work for it for free, or forced to be inconvenienced because the store is afraid that its own staff are stealing.

    That is enough.

  123. Buran says:

    @TexasScout: I have never seen so many people who will roll over and give up their rights in one place. Would it hurt you so much to defend the rights people DIED for?

  124. tcm22 says:

    @IRSistherootofallevil:
    Call the FBI…that’s a riot!! I’m sure they’ll send out a crack squad of hitmen to rescue you from the evil thugs of Sam’s Club.

    “Forget that Al Qaida lead! We’ve got to get over to Sam’s Club ASAP to rescue a besieged line of shoppers! Oh the humanity!!!”

  125. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @chazz: But there is no constitutional protection against being asked by a shop owner to see your receipt before leaving the store?

    That’s correct, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution (or any State laws) that forbids a shop owner from asking to see your receipt. There is also nothing in those laws that prevents you from refusing.

    However, there are laws that make it a crime for a person, such as a shop owner or door guard, to deprive someone of their freedom. In New Jersey, for example, “A person commits a disorderly persons offense if he knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty.”

    They have every right to ASK to see my receipt and the contents of my bags, and I have every right to refuse.

    Absent a reasonable belief that I am shoplifting – a belief that must be based upon probable cause – a merchant has the authority to refuse me entry, or to ask me to leave their premises. That’s it. They do not have the authority to detain me, and any attempt to do so is unlawful, and opens them up to both criminal and civil liability.

    Plus, if you have agreed beforehand to do so it would be the polite thing to do. If you haven’t then it’s up to you.

    The problem is that over the past few years, this practice has become so widespread and commonplace that many people, including door guards and LP employees, are starting to think that they actually have a RIGHT to see your receipt, and the authority to force you to produce it.

    This has led to a growing number of incidents of people being accosted, detained, verbally abused, assaulted, or forcibly restrained by undertrained or overzealous “Loss Prevention Specialists.”

    Merchants do not have police powers to enforce store policies or civil law contracts.

    But for the life of me I don’t see where the breach of privacy is in proving you have actually purchased what you are walking out of the store with, no matter how obvious your innocence is.

    Asking me to prove that I have actually purchased anything is not a breach of privacy (though any attempt to look through my bags certainly would be) It is, however, a violation of common courtesy and etiquette. I do not have to prove ownership for MY property to anyone, no matter how trivial or inconsequential such request may be.

  126. Dervish says:

    I agree with everyone who was mildly offended by the whole “checking the receipt to avoid overcharging” excuse. Around a year ago I went to Costco to pick up an SD card for a vacation I was going on. They had a pretty good deal on a 1 GB card, so I opted for that one. I took the placeholder tag off the shelf, paid, got my card, and had my receipt checked on the way out – for my single item, unbagged, held right in my hand.

    I was halfway to my car when I realized they’d given me a 2 GB card instead. I then spent another 15 minutes trying to exchange it with the product I’d actually paid for, because apparently they didn’t know how to handle someone who was being honest.

    One single item, held in clear view, and they didn’t catch it. That doesn’t inspire much confidence when I’m supposed to be relying on them to make sure I get my money’s worth.

  127. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @bastian363:
    1. So the New Orleans PD has nothing better to do than help check receipts at the door of WalMart?

    2. If that’s what they’re doing, then it becomes a federal civil rights case as it’s against federal law for any law enforcement officer to violate your civil rights, such as the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search & seizure.

    3. Try to get the US Attorney for the Southern District of LA in on this or:

    4. File a civil rights lawsuit against the NOPD.
    It’s not like they haven’t lost a lot of cases lately, it’s considered one of the most corrupt PD’s in the country.

  128. humphrmi says:

    @sonichghog: OK you can say no to the search with the cop. Can you say no to Sams club?

  129. Balisong says:

    @Buran – Is this really what people have died defending? The right to not show a receipt at a door? A little dramatic there…

    I’m sorry, but no matter how many people write in to this site with tales of receipt-showing woe, nothing anyone says will make me go “Wow, you’re right! This is such an important right to protect I must make trouble for minimum wage employees and take time out of my life to argue with them!” I mean, people are fighting for the right to get married and keep their children and we’re glorifying some guy who was told “um…yeah…detained, whatever, yeah you are.” (Truly, I would like to know what the lady’s exact words were.”

  130. nelsonj1998 says:

    Forgive me if this has been mentioned, but if they take your receipt and just highlite it without actually checking that you were charged the correct price, are they then in breach of contract?

  131. zegron says:

    Receipt checking notification from Sams Club. http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?catg=7052

  132. Mike says:

    This whole thing is not a big deal now. The first few times it happened I questioned it. I was told by the manager here in NC that it was to ensure the cashier actually charged for each item. Yes they have had cashiers let friends try to get out with many items not scanned at the register. I go once a month for select items and the savings in two months pay for my membership each year. I personally start to chat with these men and women to make their day brighter. A little niceness goes a long way. If the person third in line has tried to steal a barrel of cheese puffs, I would rather they are busted then pay an increase in cheese puff next time through. This is just me though. I am never in that much of a “hurry” to grumble about this.