Best Buy Calls You An "Asshole" For Not Showing Your Receipt

After driving all over Chicagoland with his 7 month old son looking for a DirecTV receiver, reader Bobby was called an asshole for not stopping and showing his receipt to a Best Buy employee. He’s a little ticked off, and he CC’d us on his letter to Best Buy. Let’s listen in:

We join Bobby as he drives to his third Best Buy of the day (the first one supposedly had 5 receivers in stock but the employees couldn’t find any of them and told him to drive to the second one — where the same thing happened.)

Even though it’s a pretty short drive in terms of miles, it took almost an hour due to highway traffic. Finally I got to the Bucktown store, made my purchase, and started to leave.

The security person at the door asked to see my receipt, and I told him no. (My son desperately needed a nap, and I know that while you have the right to ask for my receipt, I have the right to say no.) I kept walking, and the security person followed me out of the store. He kept asking, in more and more urgent tones, to see my receipt. I answered no a couple of times and he asked again, and then I said “you may not” and he called me an asshole. I don’t begrudge you asking customers to see their receipts. As long as you recognize that I’m under no obligation to show it, and you take no for an answer when it’s given.

I called the store a little later, and spoke to a manager who apologized, agreed that was unacceptable behavior, and said she’d have a conversation with the security guard.

But I don’t think that was enough. Best Buy repeatedly failed to do the minimum you’d expect a professional corporation to do….

I unnecessarily wasted at least two hours of my time today, and was called profane names for my trouble.

Oh receipt checkers, when will you learn…?

We’re curious, what do you think is fair compensation for being called an asshole? Or is having profanities hurled at you and your child just the price you pay for not following Best Buy’s “rules.” Tell us in the comments.

(Photo: Ian Muttoo )

Comments

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  1. EllaMcWho says:

    Any employee that swears in the hearing of customers should get reprimanded – swearing at a customer? Now that’s worth a gift certificate.

  2. Roclawzi says:

    I’d really like to know their whole process with the receipt checking. 90% of the time they just wave me through, especially when there is a non-white leaving at the same time (regardless of the race of the receipt checker). By Best Buy standards, though, this guy is employee of the month for caring enough to not only harass this guy in the parking lot, but to curse at him, too! Best Buy, the company that cares!

  3. Brain.wav says:

    I’d just want an apology. A gift card would be nice, but not needed, as it’d likely be $5 and thus I’d end up spending more anyhow.

    Also, unless you’re in a hell of a hurry or you’ve got some “private” items (not that BB sells any), I don’t see the problem with stopping for 20 seconds to let them check your bag.

  4. zigziggityzoo says:

    @EllaMcWho: Agreed.

  5. smakdphat says:

    I don’t think BB owes this guy anything beyond an apology, but it has been the right kind of apology. I think the manager needs to get the receipt checker to apologize in writing to the guy.

    It sounds like the buyer kept a level head through the whole thing and the BB employee’s behavior was very unprofessional and he needs to be held accountable for his actions, not hide behind the protection of a manager’s corporate apology.

  6. girly says:

    A plaque above the door saying that receipt check is optional, and a gift certificate.

  7. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    I’m sorry, I still don’t think showing your receipt is a big deal. It’s an extra 5 seconds out of your day, and it will always avoid hassles like this.

    No, I don’t feel like my rights are violated by showing my receipt, or I feel like I did something wrong.

    It’s better than getting all huffy over it getting blowing out of proportion.

    Granted, he shouldn’t have been sworn it, but that’s not my point.

  8. wgrune says:

    @Roclawzi:

    It’s been two years since I set foot in a Best Buy (I have my reasons) but they used to ask to check my receipt all the time. While I am white, I am also realatively young and therefore must be up to no good.

  9. Toof_75_75 says:

    I’m pretty sure if I got called an asshole I would have immediately turned back around and had a manager take care of the situation right then and there. Next, I would have said, “if seeing my receipt is so important, meet me at the return desk where I’ll be happy to show it to you, as you and the manager watch someone refund my money.”

    I’m pretty sure a $25-$50 gift card to cover lost time, gas & mileage would suffice.

  10. forgottenpassword says:

    LOL! I LOVE the “Reciept showing refuasl” stories here on consumerist. This one is awesome!

    For me, compensation for being called an asshole by a store’s employee….. fire that employee!

    I’m serious. There is NO excuse for cursing at a customer.

  11. post_break says:

    Can someone enlighten me, why is it that you have the right to decline to show them your receipt?

    I have read countless posts on this issue but I am still slow on catching up.

  12. @brainwav: Prepare to be swarmed.

  13. wgrune says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    That’s fine if you want to show your receipt, you are entitled to give up your right to unlawful search and the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing our country’s legal system was founded on. You can’t, however, expect ohers to do the same.

  14. Dobernala says:

    @post_break: Because the store does not have a right to detain you unless you have broken a law. Thus, one cannot be forced to show a receipt.

  15. @EllaMcWho: “Here’s your gift certificate…..asshole.”

    @brainwav: jeebus. You just opened Pandora’s box. Cue the storm in 3, 2, …

  16. surgesilk says:

    Asshole isn’t profane; its vulgar. God damn asshole would be profane.

  17. post_break says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, I’ll be sure to flex my right the next time I go to a store who tries to stop you at the exit.

  18. SkokieGuy says:

    Since the OP wasted time going to three stores, and seemingly had checked stock first, this should justify compensation all by itself.

    I’m thinking BB locates the product and ships to the customer, 20% discount on the product and free shipping.

    After all, it’s not very ‘green’ of BB to make a customer waste expensive gas and pollute the enviroment unnecesarily because they have a faulty inventory system.

  19. sleze69 says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: What if there is a long line to EXIT the store because of receipt checking (ergo, much longer than 5 seconds)? Is it still not a big deal?

  20. girly says:

    @post_break: The store picks the wrong part of your trip in the store to confirm you are not stealing.

    When you leave the register, you already own the item, so they can’t really say ‘show me the receipt or you can’t leave with that’ because you already own it!

    They could maybe say, ‘show me the receipt or I’ll ban you’ but that still should allow you to leave unmolested since banning you just means you have to leave the store anyway.

  21. basket548 says:

    I can’t believe that somehow the OP thinks that he is ‘owed’ something by Best Buy because an employee called him a name. That’s a major problem in consumer sentiment today – just because you got offended doesn’t mean that you should be paid for it. Recognize that there are some idiotic people out there, and Best Buy isn’t exactly paying out the nose for its employees.

  22. dako81 says:

    $100 Visa gift card so you don’t have to use it at Best Try.

  23. girly says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: No doubt it’s no big deal to show your receipt.

    But it should be equally ‘no big deal’ not to show it. Employees do not have the right to get abusive.

  24. cybercjh says:

    Why oh why do people shop at this store?!

  25. krispykrink says:

    @post_break: Uh, because there is no law requiring you to show the receipt. You’ve just come out of the line from the checkout counter and paid for the items and you’ve set no alarms off. Therefore there is no due cause to be treated as if you have broken a law.

    Personally, I make a bee line to the returns counter when I’m asked for a receipt. Last time this happened I was at the counter not more than 3 feet from the door checker. He watched an employee bring my $500 stereo receiver up to the counter. He watched me pay for the item. Then he has to actually stop and demand I show my receipt. I say No. He asks again. I bee line it to the returns and leave them with no sale.

  26. OmniZero says:

    I wish a could understand why stores want to see your receipt. They look at it without even looking in the bag. What, am I going to falsify a receipt so I can steal something? Isn’t that what those security tags are for? I wish I understood business psychology a little more.

  27. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @wgrune: You really still believe that the entirety of the justice system is “innocent until proven guilty?” I’m an optimist, but not an idealist.

    Showing your receipt is not the same as an “unlawful search” in my book. They start doing pat-downs and x-rays and I’m out.

    I wouldn’t run a store like this just for the headaches of pissed off customers. That’s worth some shrink.

  28. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    What an asshole, why not just stop for 20 seconds, throw your constitutional rights to the curb and be treated like a criminal. And you had a baby with you! Way to teach your son! He should learn at this young age that anyone whith a whiff of authorit-aaaa has the right to harass you, the sooner he learns that the better we’ll all be.

    And I bet you failed to take the other customers who sheepishly waited at the door for 2 minutes for the guard to come back so that they could have there receipts checked. Ass hole sounds just about spot on!

    /sarcasm

  29. jersy says:

    I got the same treatment at the Woodbridge store in New Jersey.

    I politely declined to show my receipt as I was in a hurry, and the security guy was already pillaging another customers private over the shoulder bag. He started screaming at me, yelled that it wasnt his “fucking problem” that I was in a hurry, and “why did I have to be such a bitch?” As I turned in disbelief he ripped the receipt out of my hand, crumpled it up and tossed it on the ground. Then his manager walked over and began yelling at me.

    Long story short, I sent my account of the incident to Best Buy corporate and all I got was put on their mailing list. Havent been in a Best Buy in over a year, nor has any of my family.

  30. dako81 says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: If you had been indoctrinated to believe being molested was alright, and you didn’t feel violated, would that make it right?

  31. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @dako81: you’re comparing this to being molested? please.

    No wonder America is so lawsuit-happy.

  32. LionelEHutz says:

    It is clearly the consumer’s fault here for not complying with the directive of the high-school drop out/rent-a-cop on a power trip.

  33. girly says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: To me showing them a receipt is doing them a favor that is optional. They don’t own the item anymore, and as far as I can see the worst they can do is kick me out the door, which is where I’m headed anyway.

  34. basket548 says:

    @brainwav:
    Just so you know that there are more of us out there, I completely agree with you. On the couple times where I really haven’t had that 20 seconds, I’ve given a polite, “I’m sorry, but I’m really in a big hurry”, a smile, and then walked away. Never had a problem like that.

    I think (and I’m totally assuming here, and this is NOT directly at the OP) that some of these pretentious a-holes who refuse to show receipt really do practically show up the system by proving that they “are entitled to NOT give up your right to unlawful search and the whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing our country’s legal system was founded on.” Which makes you look even more pretentious, and, yes, suspicious.

  35. RabbitDinner says:

    @surgesilk: I apologize for vulgarity when asked, never profanity. Crude or indecent things, yeah. But profane-my impiety is my business

  36. girly says:

    @jersy: That is insane!

  37. cwicseolfor says:

    For the uninitiated — is the “I don’t need to show you my receipt” equal in all US States? I can do this at a Best Buy, or Walmart or Costco in NY?

  38. RabbitDinner says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: I’m waiting for a pat down receipt check story. It’s only a matter of time; can’t wait to hear about the guy who presses charges for assault and sues.

  39. hegemonyhog says:

    I haven’t been to Best Buy since they comboed the receipt check policy with the godforsaken “I’m not on commission, but let me hover over you like a hawk while you idly browse DVDs” form of “customer service”.

    If Circuit City would ever get its act together, they’d put Best Buy out of business in a few years. Unfortunately, they’re even worse.

  40. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @post_break: Can someone enlighten me, why is it that you have the right to decline to show them your receipt?

    Because absent a criminal investigation, I’m under no obligation to justify or prove ownership of MY property to anyone, no matter how trivial or inconsequential their request may be.

  41. AngryEwok says:

    The rent-a-cop should be terminated.

  42. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    @cybercjh: Because people are stupid and/or lazy and/or ignorant. (There’s a difference between stupid and ignorant: An ignorant person can be taught, a stupid person actively refuses to be taught something.)

    I finally stopped going into Best Buy after I approached the register with a $40 item and said “Look, I just want to buy this and leave. I don’t want a magazine subscription, I don’t want an extended warranty, I don’t want a points card, I just want to pay for this and leave. Don’t waste your time trying to sell me something else, because if you do, I’m leaving this here and walking out.” The clerk tried to sell me the replacement plan anyway. When I asked for a manager (so I could tell them why they lost my business) she told me that the clerks are required to offer it regardless of anything else, in defiance of all logic. I’ve already refused to buy it, why are you insisting on harassing me about it? The real kicker is when the manager insisted that they lose money on the replacement plan. I asked her to stop lying to me, since if they lost money on them, they wouldn’t offer them. Sure, in one SPECIFIC case they’d lose money, but all the others that never get used are gravy and more than make up for a single loss.

    I left the item on the counter and walked out. I haven’t set foot in one since. I went across the lot and bought the item at Staples, where they allow you to just pay for the item and leave.

  43. girly says:

    @Cwicseolfor: Well costco you have to decide whether you care about violating your agreement and invalidating your membership.

    But the other stores, I don’t see why anywhere in the US you shouldn’t be able to exit a store with items you own without getting a beat down or verbal abuse.

  44. moore850 says:

    Since everyone’s insisting that no swear words get out on TV, etc. maybe jail time’s in order if you swear at a kid, since those words do *so* much damage, right?

  45. forgottenpassword says:

    And let me ask most of you out there…. do you really believe that when a manager says they will reprimand an employee …. that he really does it?

    Me, personally… I think managers probably get so many complaints that they figure most (if not all) are unwarranted….. & dismisses them & does NOT reprimand an employee. I personally want confirmation(proof) that something was done.

  46. basket548 says:

    @girly:
    No, the store picks the right time to find out if you are stealing. It’s not about whether you paid for the item that you have, it’s about finding the few people who haven’t paid for the items they have.

    If a potential thief walks into the store and sees everyone having his receipt checked on the way out, then he is much less likely to try to walk out with stolen merchandise in a BB bag. Receipts (especially those dated that day) are much harder to fake than bags.

  47. dako81 says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: Nobody said anything about a lawsuit, and I was drawing a parallel. Use your brain and think about it. Don’t expect WMU to teach you that either, I assume you’re from the Zoo…

    When you get to the point where you feel normal giving up your rights, you will loose those rights very quickly, never to be had again.

  48. timmus says:

    I have to say that I’ve stopped worrying about receipt checkers after learning that it has nothing to do with shoplifting, and is rather about cutting down on employee theft (i.e. cashiers giving friends free merchandise), and is mostly a deterrent in that regard.

  49. DashTheHand says:

    Being called an asshole by a security guard demanding to see a receipt which by now they should know to back off after the first refusal? I think the guard should be reprimanded, written up, forced to take an anger management course in order to keep his job, or fired. Throw in a few gift cards to the customer as well.

    But thats for the modern day sensitive customers in my opinion. If some security guard called me an asshole, it would have made me smile that I got the best of his anger, and I would possibly have goaded him more at that point to see if he would have gotten physical. In that case, helloooooo lawsuit!

  50. girly says:

    @basket548: I say they picked the wrong time because they no longer own the item. At that point they are merely requesting my cooperation, not requiring it to complete the transaction that is already complete.

  51. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @moore850: I know in Michigan you can get fined for swearing in public, especially in the presence of children.

    jail time could be a bit harsh.

  52. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @dako81: Kalamazoo College alum, bud. Don’t make assumptions. you make an a** out of you and me.

  53. basket548 says:

    @moore850:
    Oh no, you misunderstand. You see, the solution every time that you are sworn at is a Best Buy gift certificate. It’s just a coincedence that this happens to be a story about Best Buy.

  54. @Cwicseolfor: As I understand it, you can do it at any store that has no membership agreement. Generally Sams/Costco/BJs have a membership agreement that says that you’ll submit to a receipt check.

    Feel free to walk right past the senior citizen at walmart though. They’ve got no authority to stop you.

  55. girly says:

    Pretty much the only case that they can detain you in, as far as I know, is if they saw you committing a crime.

    Not if you don’t want to show your receipt.

  56. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @RamV10: that would be a fun argument to have with a senior citizen

  57. basket548 says:

    @girly:

    Ahh, OK, I see what you mean. You’re right, it is certainly not a part of the transaction. But at the same time, a person stealing something would have something that belongs to the store. I think that receipt-checking is a good deterrent against the second instance.

  58. JohnMc says:

    Recompense for being called an asshole? Why a years free supply of toilet paper, natch.

  59. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    I’m sorry, I still don’t think showing your receipt is a big deal. It’s an extra 5 seconds out of your day, and it will always avoid hassles like this.

    No, I don’t feel like my rights are violated by showing my receipt, or I feel like I did something wrong.

    It’s not about rights, it’s about common courtesy. Simply put, it’s rude. And the appropriate answer to a rude personal request is to ignore it, or to respond with a simple and polite “No.”

    It’s better than getting all huffy over it getting blowing out of proportion.

    I fail to see how saying “No, Thank you” is getting “huffy” or blowing anything out of proportion. If anything, it is the blueshirt at the door who almost inevitably blows things out of proportion by inappropriately escalating the situation.

    Granted, he shouldn’t have been sworn it, but that’s not my point.

    No, your point seems to be that you prefer to submit to the presumed authority of anyone who claims it over you in order to avoid the possibility of being hassled or inconvenienced. While that’s certainly your prerogative, I think it’s a shame

  60. girly says:

    @basket548: A good deterrent but an optional one. Their best bet is seeing ppl take stuff since they can detain for that.

  61. beavis88 says:

    Best Buy: proof positive that there are enough idiots in the US to keep any company in business, no matter how worthless said company might be.

  62. Bladefist says:

    I love these stories. I typically show my receipt like a sheep, because I know the receipt checkers don’t know my rights, and will end up being physical with me, or calling the police. And with my luck, the police will be equally incompetent, and probably arrest me.

    As far as what Bestbuy owes him, I’d say nothin. And why would you want a gift card? So you can go back and get checked at the door again and do it all over? Bestbuy/Sucker City are obsolete. I would just stop giving them my business, and perhaps send an email saying why.

  63. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @jersy: And that’s all you’ll ever get from them. I had a similar incident at the Woodbridge store with the door guy actually pushing me back into the store.

    His attitude changed PDQ when I called the cops. My biggest mistake was allowing the cops to talk me out of filing a complaint, because apparently the management didn’t learn a damned thing.

  64. Acd says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is about showing a receipt on the way out. The store’s policy is that someone looks at your receipt on the way out–if you don’t like the policy don’t shop at the store. What is so difficult about that?

    There is no fair compensation for being called an asshole. Some things should go in one ear and out the other. If the person at the store upset you so much then don’t ever shop there again.

  65. SadSam says:

    If all the people who don’t like showing receipts stopped shopping at the stores that have the receipt checking policy (i.e. Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, etc.) maybe they would change the policy.

  66. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @TinyBug:

    1. It’s a store. They have no common courtesy. Besides the fact that it is his job to ask. It’s not a “personal request.” Still, he should not have sworn.

    2. I meant him being “huffy” after the fact, writing up a letter and sending it to The Consumerist. Not the initial act. Because he said no, it inadvertently escalated. That clearly didn’t help his day any.

    3. It’s about just letting things go. It’s less of an inconvenience to show your receipt than get verbally abused by the worker in front of your child and following it up with a written letter to the store. What takes more time, effort, and focus of your day? Instead of enjoying his DirecTV receiver he went home and (rightfully) wrote a letter.

  67. ornj says:

    only time ive been asked for my receipt at best buy was when I bought a big ticket item. If I’m getting a game or something they don’t really care.

  68. girly says:

    You know it really peeves me that BB and the like don’t do enough to train their employees on how not to do illegal things like harass customers. How are employees still not understanding the rules?

    It seems to me they like things they way they are and want to create a culture of fear in their customers (showing the receipt is better than getting beat up by a ‘rogue’ employee).

  69. TCUBOB says:

    Here’s a question: Why don’t they just wait until you set off the siren? Isn’t that what it is for?

  70. TeeDub says:

    What gets me is that people still shop at Best Buy.

  71. Rajio says:

    Compensation? Oh, you americans. Why should there be compensation? Does it suck to be called an asshole? sure. Does it warrant compensation? NO!

    at BEST the customer gets to call the security guard an asshole back.

    Get over it.

  72. Toof_75_75 says:

    @Bladefist:
    Good point…But you could just take the gift card and place an order online and have it shipped to your house…Beware, they may send a rent-a-cop to your house to check your box and shipping slip once your product has been shipped to you!

  73. girly says:

    @Rajio: I find your solution more puzzling. Compensation would be a company’s way of apologizing and saying ‘we want you to come back’.

  74. Red_Eye says:

    Isn’t that verbal assault in some areas and a criminal matter?

  75. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @Red_Eye: Assault is such a strong word. But probably.

  76. Jackasimov says:

    @forgottenpassword: I agree. If the employee has that little self-control I’d hate to see the lawsuit that results from him trying to physically retain a suspected shoplifter. To work in retail you should at least have some level of coping skill.

  77. ViperBorg says:

    @wgrune: Thank you for putting that out there. Sadly, there seems to be too many sheep floating around today.

  78. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Bladefist:

    I typically show my receipt like a sheep, because I know the receipt checkers don’t know my rights, and will end up being physical with me, or calling the police. And with my luck, the police will be equally incompetent, and probably arrest me.

    Translation: Even though I know they have no actual authority, I submit to their claimed authority because I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t.

    When did America become such a bunch of pussies?

  79. categorically says:

    The best thing you can do is never go back. A freaking $25 gift card does nothing to break the cycle of these “big box stores” being nothing but a pimple on society.

  80. dtmoore says:

    @Bladefist: Doubt that would happen, but if you were lucky enough that it did you could sue the shit out of them :).

  81. ITDEFX says:

    It’s 5 seconds of your time… Show the paper work and go. I have no problem with this. This guy is the real a$$hole of the story as the other guy was just trying to do his job. Unless they accuse you of stealing the items you legally purchased, don’t make a scene like that because it makes you even more suspicious. Consumerist needs to stop posting stories like this and just email the person back and say “Stop being a whiny baby and deal with it yourself.”

  82. Pro-Pain says:

    @Bladefist: That was the best post in this thread. Thumbs up. I despise Best Buy. I use them as my showroom for newegg.

  83. snakeskin33 says:

    I don’t have any problem with refusing to show your receipt, provided you understand that it has nothing to do with your constitutional rights (which are against the government, and not against Best Buy), that showing your receipt is not the equivalent of submitting to molestation, and that refusing to show it doesn’t necessarily make you better than people who aren’t troubled by a store checking a receipt to ensure that when you are leaving with merchandise, you’ve paid for it.

    If you object and want to pursue this issue because it bothers you, that’s fine, but being told that not being bothered makes you a sheep who doesn’t care about your own legal rights seems unfair. I frequently comply with policies and requests that aren’t legally enforceable. Sometimes, I simply choose to do things I don’t have to do because it’s no skin off my nose and it makes life easier for other people, including people who operate businesses. In this case, it’s five seconds out of my life, and it probably does deter theft. I don’t feel oppressed by Best Buy. I don’t see a threat of it turning into a larger problem (unlike private businesses’ handling of personal data, for instance, which I consider much more worth getting upset over).

    As I’ve said, if you want to challenge this policy and explore the issue of whether or not they can legally keep you from leaving, you have that right. The law might well support a claim on your part that you’ve been falsely imprisoned or assaulted or whatever if they tackle you when you refuse. But I wish the discussion could stay away from accusations that showing my receipt demonstrates a lack of commitment to freedom.

    Obviously, calling a customer an asshole has nothing to do with any of this, is inappropriate in any circumstance, and rightly resulted in an apology.

  84. jasonkarns says:

    I’m still not convinced that it’s not the company’s right to ask for a receipt. If it’s store policy, than by choosing to shop there, you accept their policy. No one is forcing you to shop at stores with such policies. As a private business (not privately traded, but private as in owned by someone other than the government), doing business with them is an implicit agreement. Other such implicit agreements also form a contract of sorts once a business transaction is made, such as return/refund/exchange policies. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else.

  85. Jackasimov says:

    @TinyBug: “When did America become such a bunch of pussies?”

    About the same time people started calling each other names on the internet.

  86. Pro-Pain says:

    @TinyBug: It’s not about being a pussy Mr. Internet tough guy, it’s about personal respect. The receipt checker (probably) really doesn’t know your rights and it’s just not worth the verbal confrontation with someone when you’re holding an infant. Don’t be a douchebag…

  87. Cupajo says:

    @basket548: So everyone is inconvenienced so they can catch the .01% of the population who’s going to sneak out with a Britney Spears CD? Great plan you have there.

  88. baconqurlyq says:

    I usually do not show my receipt at Best Buy. I politely say no thanks and walk on by. I’ve never been hassled.

    The few times I’ve been at Costco, that’s a different story. Where 99% of the time at Best Buy the knuckledraggers watch you purchase an item, the exit at Costco is usually miles away from the checkout line, there are no grocery bags, and the traffic in and out of those places is huge. Now there is a logical place for theft prevention, so I take the extra few minutes to wait for the security person to check my receipt against my purchases and wish them a good day. Because, dang, have you ever been to a Costco? I wouldn’t want to work there. I try to be extra nice to those folks.

  89. girly says:

    @posaune: Even if it was their policy, if you disagree what can they do to you? You got it– allow you to leave!

    Not detain you (if they didn’t see you take anything), or assault you, or verbally harass you.

  90. dequeued says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    Yes, it is often less of a hassle to just show your receipt than to now show it, but that’s not the point.

    Your logic is flawed, here’s why:

    Bestbuy is in fact creating the situation that makes it inconvenient to not show your reciept.

    It’s not as if having to show your reciept is normal and best buy is just putting up with it, this was best buy’s idea, and I refuse to indulge them, even if they try to make it hard for me.

    By your logic, if a todler demands something of yours, and starts throwing a temper tantrum, I guess you should just give in and give her whatever she wants, because it is “just easier”

    Of course the crying baby will try to make it less convenient for you to not do what she wants; that doesn’t mean you should give in.

    Are you so easily manipulated that all someone has to do is lean on you slightly to get anything they want?

    On a more general note, I don’t want anyone to start defending this employee, or saying security guards shouldn’t be blamed for doing their jobs.

    I am happy to blame and take out my frustrations for stupid policies on low level security.

    First, yes, they may not make the rules, but they gleefully choose to enforce them, so they are certainly somewhat responsible.

    Second, about two thirds of them are complete douches that let their little scrap of authority go to their heads, and it’s good for society to take them down a notch or two whenever possible.

    Third, social presure always works it’s way up; if everyone resisted invasive searches and gruff security policies, eventually whoever is in charge would be forced to ease off.

  91. farker says:

    Best Buy near me doesn’t always check. Might have to do with the fact that I’m a clean cut white dude, but hopefully not.

    I hope the OP gets a serious reply from Best Buy corporate, maybe in the form of an actual letter sent in the mail, instead of some stupid form email sent to him by an automatic reply mechanism.

  92. girly says:

    Time after time after time this is happening. Best Buy corporate is grossly negligent in ensuring employees are properly trained.

  93. reed311 says:

    Many states have laws which give businesses the legal right to detain someone if they believe they may have shop lifted. Please stop spouting all the crap about trampeling the Constutition, as that is a non-issue as private businesses are under no obligation to follow the same strict-guidelines that the Government and police are.

    If someone is leaving your store and you ask for their receipt and they say “no”, that is reasonable cause to believe that they may have stolen your property. No one is so busy that they can’t talk 20 seconds to show their receipt. To suggest that you are is absurd and implies that your time is somehow worth it’s weight in gold. If someone comes on your private property and you believe they may have stolen something, are you going to just let them walk out?

    Unless you are living on Mars, then you know that these places check receipts. Don’t be surprised and “offended” when they ask you for them. And don’t be that jerk who acts like they are the most important person who ever existed.

  94. MrDo says:

    Who actually shops at stores anymore? Free shipping, no tax, interweb please.

  95. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    t’s a store. They have no common courtesy.

    Nonsense. Virtually every store I shop in treats me with courtesy. Smiles, a polite “hello”, “may I help you with anything, sir?”, “have a nice day”, etc. I understand it’s not the fault of the individual guy asking, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s rude.

    2. … it inadvertently escalated. That clearly didn’t help his day any.

    Dude, it wasn’t inadvertent at all, and it sure as hell didn’t escalate itself. It was the conscious and intentional actions of the blueshirt in response to a customer who was doing NOTHING WRONG that escalated the situation.

    3 It’s about just letting things go. It’s less of an inconvenience to show your receipt than get verbally abused by the worker in front of your child and following it up with a written letter to the store. What takes more time, effort, and focus of your day?

    Like I said, if you wish to submit to the rude personal demands of a stranger who has no actual authority in order to avoid the possibility of being inconvenienced, that’s your prerogative. I just think it’s a shame.

    Servility in the name of convenience is not a virtue.

  96. Stormslanding says:

    You are an asshole. I think its great that you didn’t even realize that the employees were jerking you around going from store to store. We used to play that game at CompUSA. There were 3 stores in about a 40 miles radius of each other. We used to pretend that we couldn’t find an item, then look it up on the computer and say “Oh, our store in blah blah has three, let me call and confirm”. We would make phony calls to our tech dept and then send the customer on his merry way laughing as they left the store. I am really suprised that the third store had what you were looking for. It must have been someone new not in on the game.

  97. Jackasimov says:

    @posaune: I agree with this. When people became able to walk out of stores with one small box worth hundreds of dollars…i think it became within the realm of the company’s right to ask for proof of purchase. Why does this idea hurt so much? It’s an inconvenience and I don’t particularly care for it as it wastes my time, but I think people need to check their egos and not take it personally. They didn’t see “you” across the room and immediately suspect “you” because “you” looked like a thief. It’s how they keep theft down. I’d suspect it works primarily because thieves know they have to pass “loss prevention” personnel on the way out. Probably saves them millions. What’s wrong with that?

  98. Bye says:

    I’d be very curious to hear the typical age of a person who feels it’s not a big deal to show a receipt and the age of a person who sees it as contributing to a general lack of privacy.

    Don’t make me shake my cane, but it seems younger folks are more apt to shrug their shoulders than question whether or not it’s right.

  99. girly says:

    @reed311: What?! I’m pretty sure most shoplifting laws indicate they have to see you in the act to detain you!

  100. acknight says:

    @Stormslanding: Last I checked, that game makes _you_ the asshole, not the customer.

  101. farker says:

    @posaune:

    [Gonna play devil's advocate here...]
    That’s all well and good, but you could make the argument that a customer wouldn’t know that receipt-checking is Best Buy’s company policy when they walk in the door.

    They then select an item, purchase it, and go to leave. At that point, they are asked to have their receipt checked, even though the receipt-checker should have just seen this individual purchase their items at the register 30 feet away.

    According to your argument, by shopping at Best Buy, the customer is implicitly accepting this receipt-checking policy, even though they had no knowledge of the policy before checking out.

  102. @TinyBug: Yeah, you’re really fighting The Man calling people names on the internet. Some people – we call them adults – realize that some battles are worth fighting and some aren’t. For a lot of us, taking five seconds to show a receipt isn’t a big hassle, nor is it an implicit renunciation of our Constitutional rights. You want to let some mouth-breather at Best Buy ruin your day? Go for it. Or you could grow up.

  103. Ein2015 says:

    There’s no compensation necessary. Make your complaint and stop shopping there. Obviously there’s a lot more wrong than just a single person calling somebody an asshole.

  104. girly says:

    @Jackasimov: I’m not one of the people who has a problem with them asking. It makes great sense for them.

    But to make you think you have to. Or make you afraid not to. Or to beat you up or harass you if you don’t. That’s wrong, and in some cases, illegal.

  105. farker says:

    @Stormslanding:

    Wow. I hope you got fired. No wonder CompUSA went out of business!

  106. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @TinyBug: Again: It’s his JOB to ask. If it’s rude, then it is a rude POLICY and not some personal demand. Lighten up.

  107. Jackasimov says:

    @TinyBug: “Virtually every store I shop in treats me with courtesy. Smiles, a polite “hello”, “may I help you with anything, sir?”, “have a nice day”, etc.” That’s because you look like Gary Oldman.

  108. Puck says:

    @TinyBug:
    Judging by the remarkable trampling of the Constitution and civil liberties, i’d say it happened circa 2001

  109. dequeued says:

    I always get so dissapointed with people reading these threads.

    Don’t any of you understand, you are citizens, and society is what you make it into!

    Every day, being outside, interacting with people, conducting trade.

    Every time you submit to a receipt check, you’re implicitly telling everyone that this kind of behavior is acceptable.

    And every time you resist, you’re giving best buy a slap on the wrist for presuming be so rude.

    Do any of you think a retailer could have gotten away with this kind of bs 30 years ago?

    The only time you ever showed identification was if you withdrawing large sums of money from a bank, or crossing an international border.

    And the anti-social forces will just keep pushing — how long until you need to show your id just to get into a store?

    And more importantly, how many of you would just go along with it?

  110. MDT says:

    So you’re and ass and you demand an apology for it? Good show.

    And don’t use you child as an excuse. Speaking as a father myself, that is pathetic. This is guy at BB just trying to do his job and rather than be an adult you have to “lawyer up” and cause a commotion.

    Realize that the guy at the door making MW doesn’t know about your daylong receiver-seeking odyssey. He’s just trying to make do. He’s a person who would appreciate your courtesy as much as you would his.

    Your agitated state isn’t his problem or his fault – it is yours. Calling you an asshole was unprofessional, but based on your comments I have no trouble believing that you were, in fact, being a bit of an asshole…

  111. crackers says:

    @basket548: Which is why, in my years of retail experience, most thieves come in with large shopping bags from OTHER stores. Then they’re free to stroll out without the receipt checker batting an eye. Door checkers are useless, and they would be better utilized patrolling the store to deter shoplifting before it happens.

  112. RageTowers says:

    I think anytime someone asks to check your receipt and you should be obligated to attempt the jedi mind trick.

    “Excuse me, but I need to check your receipt!”

    ” You don’t need to check my receipt…”

    “….I don’t need to check you- Hey wait a minute!”

    “Worth a shot!”

  113. hamsangwich says:

    @posaune:

    A store policy does not over-ride your rights in this country. I could create a policy that anyone entering my home, which is a private residence, could be shot without cause, but if I shoot someone you can bet the Police won’t care about my “policy”.

    I don’t care either way and I’ll show my receipt if there’s no line and just leave if there’s a line, but that’s my choice, not theirs. Remember once you have purchased that item it is your property and your choice whether to allow search or not.

  114. savvy999 says:

    I would have put the receipt in the kids diaper and told the guard to go find it… and then punch him out if he tried.

  115. Jackasimov says:

    @girly: “But to make you think you have to. Or make you afraid not to. Or to beat you up or harass you if you don’t. That’s wrong, and in some cases, illegal.”

    But what if you did have to? What if that was part of the rules of shopping, to prove you made a purchase? If you know the rules then you make your choice to either: play by them, don’t play by them, don’t shop there, get into confrontations, or run. I just don’t see that as far fetched at all. If I was a thief I would love this new constitutionally protected world where you can just flip the bird as you walk out with thousand dollar pieces of electronic equipment.

  116. Dansc29625 says:

    @brainwav: @post_break:It is your personal property, plain and simple. Nothing else needs to be said.

  117. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @dequeued: I like how all these analogies are brought up that have nothing to do with this situation. It’s not a toddler. It’s someone trying to do his job, which he’s told to do at a fairly low wage.

    Pursue the issue if you want, if you feel like you’re being violated, but there’s many of us who just don’t care about flashing a receipt on the way out. I’ll be spending that additional 5 seconds waiting at the traffic light anyways.

  118. girly says:

    @Jackasimov: If they took your money and gave you the item, they can’t exactly make it a rule. They can say don’t come back, but they can’t say don’t leave just because you don’t like their question.

  119. My question is, what happens to all those prospective shoplifters while the security guard is chasing an innocent guy out into the parking lot?? LETS CALL THE NOLA LOOTERS!!

  120. ortegar says:

    @TinyBug: I think you watch to many conspiracy and “stick it to The Man” movies.

  121. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @Jackasimov: I haven’t seen a movie with him that I haven’t liked.

  122. girly says:

    @Jackasimov: They simply don’t have the authority to enforce anything barring seeing you actually steal, escorting you off of their property, or banning you in the future.

    If this makes a great climate for thieves, then maybe they need to rethink how transactions are completed.

    Just because they are worried about theft doesn’t give them the right to break the law (illegal detention, assault, intimidation, etc).

  123. Bladefist says:

    For those of you high and mighty on your rights. There is a huge different here. The argument appears to be “It’s too much trouble, so I show my receipt.”

    If we lose our right to deny to show our receipt, then we will definitely stand up. That’s too much. Look, I have the right to vote, and sometimes I may not. It’s not like the government is going to say, “well these schmucks show their receipt, so we might as well take their right to not show it”

    Would never happen, congressmen haven’t been to a store in 30 years. They have no clue this happens.

  124. MMD says:

    @basket548: So defending yourself is pretentious and suspicious? Is that really what you mean to say?

  125. donopolis says:

    @posaune: Of course they have a right to ask to see a receipt. Just as the shopper has a right to refuse to stop and show them one. What they do not have the right to do is to detain the shopper without suspicion of wrong doing.

    So after I say “no thank you”, I can walk off..neither of our rights infringed upon. it’s when the overzealous workers forget that they have no right to detain that the problems start.

    D-

  126. katylostherart says:

    um, swearing at a customer would’ve gotten me fired at any customer service position i’ve worked in.

  127. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @reed311: Your whole rant is so absolutely and utterly wrong it’s painful to read.

    First of all, stores need a lot more than a “belief” that you have shoplifted in order to detain you. look up “probable cause” and “reasonable suspicion”

    Second, failure to show a receipt does not rise to that level in any jurisdiction I’m aware of. You may think it’s suspicious, but from a legal standpoint, it is not. By all means, show me even a single statute or court case wherein failure to show a receipt was considered, by itself, to give rise to Reasonable Suspicion of shoplifting.

    And most people who refuse the voluntary receipt checks do so not because they can’t take 20 seconds to do it, but because they 1) Don’t habe to and 2) don’t want to. it’s not because we’re “more important”, it’s because we see no reason to submit to the demands of someone who has no authority to make demands of us.

  128. Hate_Brian_Club_I'mNotOnlyThePresidentI'mAClient says:

    @Bobby,
    As a fellow Chicagoian, why are you shopping at Best Buy? We have the highest sales tax in the country. I order anything over $20 off of Amazon and get a better price, better customer service and avoid the whole discussion over receipts.

    When I worked at a Best Buy while attending college and most of the theft was from employees. Half a dozen people were terminated for stealing in the short time I worked there. While I have no idea what their motive is behind the receipt checking, it throws a pretty wide net – I don’t believe I ever saw or even heard of anyone being caught stealing by checking their receipt.

  129. Jackasimov says:

    @dequeued: “Every time you submit to a receipt check, you’re implicitly telling everyone that this kind of behavior is acceptable.
    And every time you resist, you’re giving best buy a slap on the wrist for presuming be so rude.”

    For heaven’s sake no, not rudeness! And inconvenience? We need to put our many feet down.

  130. girly says:

    I am shocked that there are people who think the retailer having their fears allayed (by the customer going above and beyond what is required) is more important than the retailer obeying the law and/or not intimidating customers (which should be a bare minimum for a retailer!).

  131. GrandizerGo says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: Love that you are mixing cartoons…
    South Parks “Respect my authority” and your Avatar is Boondocks…

  132. The Cooler says:

    @krispykrink: And what exactly did that accomplish?

  133. xwildebeestx says:

    @basket548: I agree with this post.

    Also, if the guy knows about Consumerist, he should know to stay away from BB.

  134. @ScubaSteveKzoo: “Showing your receipt is not the same as an “unlawful search” in my book. They start doing pat-downs and x-rays and I’m out.”

    It’s not an unlawful search. But if you refuse to show your receipt and they refuse to let you leave, that IS false imprisonment, and refusal to show a receipt is NOT adequate suspicion of shoplifting to justify them holding you.

  135. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    The door guy calls you an asshole, just take your receipt, show it to him, then walk your ass right over to the customer service desk, get a manager, get a refund, say you are never coming back, wave your refund receipt under the door guys nose as you are walking out and say “asshole sauce, bitch.”

  136. tape says:

    @SadSam: no, then 100% of their customers would show their receipts and they’d think that no one had a problem with it.

  137. @ITDEFX: “It’s 5 seconds of your time… Show the paper work and go. I have no problem with this.”

    Allow me to Godwin the thread and say … it was only 5 seconds of your time when the Nazis said “Papers, please!”

    @posaune: “I’m still not convinced that it’s not the company’s right to ask for a receipt. If it’s store policy, than by choosing to shop there, you accept their policy. No one is forcing you to shop at stores with such policies.”

    For this sort of policy, in a place of public accommodation, it must be clearly posted so you can “agree” to it when entering the store or opt not to do business there. They cannot spring these policies on you at the exit.

    @reed311: “If someone is leaving your store and you ask for their receipt and they say “no”, that is reasonable cause to believe that they may have stolen your property.”

    In most states, refusal to show your receipt or submit to having your bags searched is specifically legally NOT reasonable cause to believe that shoplifting has occurred.

  138. MeOhMy says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    It’s someone trying to do his job, which he’s told to do at a fairly low wage.

    To me this is the most confounding part of the whole thing. If someone’s giving you $7/hour to stand at the door and harangue people to see their receipts, would you really bother chasing someone into the parking lot over it??? The guys who actually take the job seriously really creep me out.

  139. dako81 says:

    @reed311: “Please stop spouting all the crap about trampeling the Constutition, as that is a non-issue as private businesses are under no obligation to follow the same strict-guidelines that the Government and police are.”

    So I can kidnap you and lock you in a cage and nothing will happen to me since I’m not the government or the police?

    Also, if I remember correctly, the police and government have immunity to anything they do, so wouldn’t it be the other way around?

    @Eyebrows McGee: Yes!

  140. kaptainkk says:

    I love these stories. Stop showing your receipt sheeple! I never show my receipt and have been chased out the store. I still don’t show it to them. Sometimes it just feels so right to be so bad!!

  141. Jackasimov says:

    @girly: I guess I see what you’re saying but I think they have rethought it and this is as good as it gets. I don’t think I need to be dragged back in to a store to prove I made a payment but at the same time I guess I want to play along to some degree and I think that throwing up my receipt for a guy (and why aren’t there more women doing this job, dammit) glance at is kind of part of it.

    What I understand is that if you go beyond the point of purchase with an unpaid for item they have the right to detain you. If they don’t have that right, they should. If, buy not showing your receipt you are admitting you have not possibly not paid for your item then that causes confusion and suspicion on the part of the guards who clearly cannot have eyes on every corner of the store at one time. I think it’s not necessary to have to make a case out of this.

    Now if it were my store I’d not let you come back on general principle. It would be hard to enforce that ban I guess on people who won’t stop for a photo or to be identified, as well as for people who refused to be denied entry into a store they feel they have a right to enter and shop at (and possibly steal from), but I’d make the best of it.

  142. tape says:

    “If someone is leaving your store and you ask for their receipt and they say “no”, that is reasonable cause to believe that they may have stolen your property.”

    @reed311: actually, no, it’s not reasonable cause. observing you physically stealing something, THAT’s reasonable cause.

  143. girly says:

    @Jackasimov: That’s not what I understand. I understand that they have to see you in the act of shoplifting to detain you.

  144. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    Again: It’s his JOB to ask. If it’s rude, then it is a rude POLICY and not some personal demand.

    Yes yes, I get it that it’s his job. And that it’s not personal. And that it’s not a rude guy, it’s a rude policy. I got that from before you even made your fist comment. So what? It’s not really all that different than if the store made the door guy say “excuse me sir, I need to look through your wallet before you leave.”

    Actually it is different, because while MY response would be the same (i.e. “No”), I suspect many of the “go along to get along” people in these threads might finally begin to get it.

    Lighten up.

    Twice now I’ve said that if you wish to submit to their demands to avoid potential inconveniences, that’s your prerogative. I choose not to. “Go along to get along” is the mantra of a submissive society.

  145. tape says:

    “But what if you did have to? What if that was part of the rules of shopping, to prove you made a purchase?”

    @Jackasimov: well, it turns out that it’s part of the “rules of shopping”.

  146. Canino says:

    I don’t understand why someone would run all over town to find a DirecTV receiver. Won’t DirecTV just ship you one if you call them?

  147. bria says:

    @tape:
    Correct, there is strict protocol to follow when you accuse or detain someone of stealing.

  148. joshthephenom says:

    Question: A few commenters mentioned that it would be OK to detain someone if the door alarm went off, is this true? I’ve had the alarm go off MANY times on me, and I can assure you that none of them were due to me stealing something. Mostly it was because the cashier forgot to swipe my product to demagnatize it.

    YO, CONSUMERIST: Can we get a comprehensive article on this issue? Maybe you could do some research and turn it into one of your features. Every time a story like this is posted there are always comments, and it seems like some people think one thing, others, another.

    It could include any of the following:
    Membership stores having it written into their agreement
    Whether it is OK to detain if the door alarm goes off
    What the SPECIFIC reasons for not having to submit to having your receipt are (talking points for us to reiterate if we find ourselves in that situation)
    Any states that have it as a law
    Employees following customers into the parking lot (I believe this is illegal in New Hampshire)
    What the over all laws are

    If we had this, then we could refer back to the article to all the new readers with questions.

    Thanks!

  149. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @TCUBOB: I agree. The alarm at least implies you might have taken something without paying for it.

  150. HogwartsAlum says:

    @krispykrink: Ha ha ha, I like that, I like it! If everyone did that, maybe it would stop!

    A month or so ago, I fired off an email to Walmart corporate telling them I would not stop for receipt checking (besides the obvious, do they not get that it BLOCKS THE EXIT???) The manager of the store I went to called me a week later and asked me what the problem was. Apparently they told her there was a problem at her store, but not what the email was about. I was shocked that they called me, because after I (politely) vented, I had forgotten all about it!

    I told her and we had a good laugh over it. Then I told her I would keep coming to her store but that I wouldn’t stop for Receipt Nazis.

  151. Jackasimov says:

    @girly: Right, but they’d have to see you take the item from somewhere and then “pass the point of purchase”…I think. This might be different if you attempt to conceal the item while still in the store. Either way, same thing I think.

  152. Coder4Life says:

    You deserve to be thrown in jail seriously. your son needed a NAP? are you kidding? show the damn reciept and keep walking seriously.

    You probably have wasted more time by not showing your reciept, writing this email to them and frustrated over the situation. I bet it was all worth it right? NOT!!!!

  153. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @joshthephenom:

    A few commenters mentioned that it would be OK to detain someone if the door alarm went off, is this true? I’ve had the alarm go off MANY times on me, and I can assure you that none of them were due to me stealing something.

    This depends on the State, and is most likely not a firmly established rule anywhere. I’ve seen at least one case (no, I haven’t the slightest idea where, when, or even the final outcome, sorry) where the alarm was considered “reasonable suspicion” by the court. I can’t imagine that it would ever rise to Probable Cause, but IANAL.

    In any case an argument can be made that it is doesn’t meet either standard, we’ve all seen those things go off hundreds of times when no theft was involved.

    Short version: I dunno

  154. ViperBorg says:

    @reed311: “If someone is leaving your store and you ask for their receipt and they say “no”, that is reasonable cause to believe that they may have stolen your property.”

    No, it’s not. You need physical proof in form of video or testimony. The words your looking for are “Probable Cause”, and that’s restricted to Police.

    If stores were to go by what you just said, there would be a hell of a lot of Illegal Detaining / Illegal Arrest lawsuits going around.

  155. girly says:

    @Jackasimov: They either have to see you take the item and pass the registers without paying, or they have to see you conceal it.

    They can’t just look at you after you went through the register or not knowing if you passed it without paying and then suspect you.

  156. dequeued says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto:

    This has nothing to do with constitutional rights or anything, and I can say I actually put my money where my mouth is, and get really offended when people ask for my id.

  157. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    But what if you did have to?

    @Jackasimov: You do have to in places like Costco and Sam’s because it’s part of the membership agreement.

    But there isn’t any such agreement in places like Best Buy. I doubt it’s even posted.

  158. AgentTuttle says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: “I’m sorry, I still don’t think showing your receipt is a big deal. It’s an extra 5 seconds out of your day, and it will always avoid hassles like this. No, I don’t feel like my rights are violated by showing my receipt, or I feel like I did something wrong.”

    I hope you get your laptop seized next time you go through customs. What would be the big deal? So what if you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s for security. Best buy should have conditioned you for it.

  159. mike says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: You and I are alike in the fact that we don’t mind getting our receipts checked. It’s minimal in terms of time and it’s better than a confrontation.

    However, I will still defend anyone’s right to refuse it. Just because I’m okay with it doesn’t mean everyone else is. That person shouldn’t be subjected to profanity or harrassment just because he is choosing not to comply with a non-deputized security personel.

    To be clear, there is no rights violation here since Best Buy is not a government entity. It’s a company. An accurate parallel would be me asking you to show your receipt before getting in your car. I’m just a regular Joe with nothing better to do than check everyone’s receipt for no reason. If you wouldn’t do it for me, you shouldn’t have to do it for Best Buy.

  160. acknight says:

    @Coder4Life: For what? Showing a receipt is not legally required to leave a store.

  161. girly says:

    @linus: You might not view it as a ‘rights’ violation but it could be a legal violation

  162. acknight says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: At least in my local Best Buy, it is posted; it’s a small gray sign at each exit. Not, you know, something you would see prior to exiting reliably.

  163. mike says:

    @TinyBug: In VA, it’s legal for a store to detain you for a short amount of time to check your bags if you set off the alarm.

    The time is defined by how long it takes for them to search your bags. If they can’t find it and the alarm continues go off, they can call the police to search you. They themselves cannot touch you.

  164. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    You do have to in places like Costco and Sam’s because it’s part of the membership agreement.

    Costco is the one place I actually do show my receipt. But even there you don’t have to. Don’t get me wrong, you should – you agreed to it when you joined – but that still doesn’t give them any more actual authority over you than any other store.

  165. WEGGLES90 says:

    @brainwav:
    It’s not about the time, it’s the principle, for me atleast.

    It’s an invasion of privacy. I’m not doing anything wrong, so why not let the cops search my house?

  166. mike says:

    @girly: It would only be a legal violation if the company had a policy requiring you to show a receipt on condition to exiting the store. Only the club stores have this, though.

    I don’t think BB or any other store can require you to show a receipt without a contract.

  167. my_imaginary_friends_bore_me says:

    If they are so concern about seeing your receipt, then why don’t they just staple it to the bag?

  168. girly says:

    @linus: I don’t mean a legal violation on the part of the customers, I mean on the part of the store (to detain you just for refusing to show a receipt would be illegal).

  169. ianmac47 says:

    I don’t hesitate to tell service people to fuck themselves when appropriate, so I only think its fair they return the favor.

  170. AgentTuttle says:

    Damn, so many of you people have no problem being treated like a criminal. This is just conditioning for the new policy of motherland security seizing your laptop for an indefinite amount of time with no probable cause. [news.cnet.com]

    Or you can go to this website and download a PDF that looks like a receipt, you hand it to the employee and it explains to them why THEY are the asshole for asking and not you for refusing. [www.glocktalk.com]

  171. basket548 says:

    @CCS:
    That’s an excellent point, and why stores (at least the BB at NYC that I shop at) also have a bag-checking policy.

    I’m not arguing with anyone’s ‘right to refuse’; I’m just showing why these policies are in place. In the long run, it reduces costs for everyone and cuts down on illegal activity.

  172. basket548 says:

    @MMD:
    I’m not going to engage in internet-tough-guyery, so, no, that’s not what I meant. I meant that people who roll out this “OMG, how dare you ask to see my receipt” attitude tend to be similar to the Prius-drivers in South Park. There’s no reason you can’t be civil by saying that you don’t have enough time, rather than a blunt “NO” and a half-walk half-jog toward the door.

  173. dequeued says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    I think my analogy was very accurate.

    So Best Buy is paying someone to act like an annoying todler and demand that you show them your receipt.

    So what?

    How would it be any different if Best Buy hired someone in a clown costume to run around the store with a megaphone shouting insults at customers?

    Also, I don’t care if the person being a jackass is doing it because they are paid to do it, or just doing it pro-bono, my reaction will be the same: Fuck off!

  174. dako81 says:

    @AgentTuttle: Thank you for your useful post.

    And why does everyone here think only the government can violate your rights, etc.?

    I might be wrong, but if someone detains you or searches you against your will, they’ve violated your rights and/or falsely imprisioned you and/or assaulted you.

  175. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @MDT: Your comment is out of line. Read the comment code; helpful suggestions are fine, blaming/trashing/name-calling is not fine.

  176. dako81 says:

    @dequeued: “How would it be any different if Best Buy hired someone in a clown costume to run around the store with a megaphone shouting insults at customers?”

    That made me lol. Oh and it’s different because that would be entertainment! HA!

  177. dequeued says:

    For those of you wondering about loss prevention, and detainment, I had an interesting experience a few months ago.

    I went to buy some headphones at best buy, on 86th street and Lexington ave in Manhattan, and the register is on the bottom floor and the security staff at the top floor near the entrance.

    Anyway, I slipped past the long security line, and the door alarm went off, but I kept walking even after they yelled at me.

    The entrance to the subway is right outside the store, so I immediately went down, and a loss prevention officer followed me to the turnstile.

    I went through, but I guess he didn’t have the fare to get on.

    At this point, he started being polite to me asking me to please just talk to him.

    So, across the turnstile, he said he was sorry I was so agitated but asked me not to return to the store if I was not going to cooperate with their policies.

    I guess that was the professional thing to do, and I almost felt guilty.

  178. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @linus:

    In VA, it’s legal for a store to detain you for a short amount of time to check your bags if you set off the alarm.

    The time is defined by how long it takes for them to search your bags.

    Actually, I took a look, and in Virginia the length of time is defined by the statute – it’s one hour exactly. As for checking your bags, I see nothing in the Virginia statutes that gives the storekeeper that authority (it may be there, I’m not a lawyer), only the authority to detain you for up to one hour until the police arrive.

    It’s also interesting that Virginia is a Probable Cause state, so I would disagree that setting off the electronic alarm is enough to justify detention – PC is a pretty high bar. But until an actual case gets to a high enough level (in other words, most likely never), it’s probably smartest to assume that the buzzer is enough for PC.

  179. mike says:

    @girly: AH…then yes, it is illegal for a store to detain you simply because you don’t show a receipt. Then it’s unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping. I like kidnapping because it sounds sexier.

    In an unrelated note, if I were to be convicted of a crime, I’d want it to be extortion. The ‘x’ makes it cool. :-) (Futurama reference)

  180. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @TinyBug: I pick my battles. This is not one of them.

  181. lordargent says:

    Anecdotal evidence and all, but the best buys around here don’t do the receipt check thing.

    Fry’s, OTOH.

  182. mike says:

    @TinyBug: Huh…I must have been looking at a older, unupdated site. Do you have a link that I could read?

  183. dweebster says:

    This is nothing. I was verbally threatened by a “Best” Buy GENERAL MANAGER who was waving his arms inches from my face because I simply opted not to show a receipt to his linebacker muscle. Bastard threatened me with violence. Luckily, the cops (that I had to call to diffuse the situation) showed up just as he was going deeply nutso, and they got him away.

    Odd thing is, the cops nearly did an anal probe on ME about 10 minutes for information, but with that bastard they were in and out in a couple minutes. When I asked the po-po about it, he said “oh, we already know him.” Apparently the cops are over there all the time on shoplifting gigs, so maybe “Best” Buy gives them discounts and such so they don’t really investigate “Best” Buy violence.

    I contacted “Best” Buy corporate and they confirmed to me that showing a receipt is up to MY discretion and that this GM was not supposed to be violently threatening people that opt out of their game. Apparently he got his hand slapped, doubt his job went away over it but he had better watch his back because the next person he pulls that on might be waiting on him in the parking lot after work…

    When you enter a “Best” Buy, you take your life in your hands. Be prepared.

  184. describe_one says:

    The thing that sucks about Best Buy more is their 15% restocking fee (regardless of the price of what you purchased). If you wanted to return what your purchase in retaliation, then you’d be stuck paying for 15% of it.

  185. Sarge1985 says:

    @Coder4Life: Have you ever gone shopping with a 7 month old child that needed a nap? I have and bought a large item and after getting my change, I placed the change and receipt in my pocket and picked up my son and the item I just paid for and made for the exit. With a squirming child and a package, there is no way I am going to try and get out my receipt just to show it. I have better things to do and one of the first is to get my child into his car seat so that I can take him home for his nap.

  186. ovalseven says:

    @baconqurlyq:

    Sure, it’s a different story with Costco. But what irritates me is the large sign that our local Costco has in front of their door. The sign explains that our receipts need to be checked only to be sure we weren’t overcharged for any items, and to be sure we didn’t forget any items on our way out.

    Right.

  187. @reed311:

    Sooooo because I exercised MY personal rights it’s a reason for “Probably Cause”?

    I’m sorry, but this argument does not hold water.

    I have to admit that if it’s more convenient I show my receipt. If it’d be a hassle like when: I already tucked it into my wallet (usually on big items), my son is getting very cranky, I am in a hurry, and the receipt check would take more than a few seconds, etc. THEN I exercise my right to decline a personal search. Whether I bought a pack of gum, or a big-screen TV.

    Also this is not effective at stopping theft. Most of the theft from these sorts of places are video games, DVDs, and other “petty” easily accessibly items. Yet the receipt checkers here always intercept the dudes with TV’s. I walked out with my purchased XBox 360 while the guy that was buying an office chair (it was in a big box) got “checked”.

    It’s honestly a useless policy that does nothing but annoy the legitimate customers, and so I will continue to exercise my rights when I choose.

  188. Joedragon says:

    Why are you buying a DirecTV receiver from BEST BUY when you can call DIRECTV and get a better deal on one?

  189. Will_ND says:

    Why not just show your receipt? It deters shoplifting and helps keep prices down. It takes 2 seconds. Are you too important, self-centered, and “it’s all about me” to show your receipt? I bet if you ran a busy retail establishment selling oft-stolen goods, you would start checking receipts. There are real consumer problems in the world — this isn’t one of them.

  190. mindshadow says:

    @reed311: Actually you’re very wrong and you should read up on actual shoplifting laws before you go posting on the Internet. Then again asking anyone on the Internet to be informed is usually asking way too much.

    In order for a store to detain you for shoplifting they must meet the requirements, which basically runs like this:

    - They have to see you pick up the item and try to steal it
    - They can NOT lose visual contact with you while in the store, as you could have put the item back during that time they didn’t see you
    - They have to try to see you try to leave the store with the item. They may not stop you until you have left the store

    If those criteria are not met a shoplifting case would get thrown out of court. If they detain you without meeting those criteria chances are that you could file suit against them for a variety of reasons. False detainment, since a store has no right to detain you unless they meet those criteria or witness you committing another crime, and they can only hold you while wiating for the police. If the person at the door gets physical (e.g. grabs your arm, pushes you back into the store), then they’re looking at assault & battery. At this point you could probably also justify physically disabling them in the name of self defense (don’t shoot or stab anyone), though I would advise against it since you get into some mucky areas of the law at this point. If a police officer actually arrested you for refusing to show your receipt you could hold the city on false arrest, since arresting people when they didn’t break the law tends to be frowned upon by the judicial system.

    Of course this doesn’t stop these things from happening, but it does give you some recourse if it does happen.

    /holds up his Internet lawyer degree.. thanks Consumerist!

  191. mattman0726 says:

    @posaune: You hit it right on the head! If you don’t like the policies and procedures of a particular business, then don’t do business with them. No one is putting a gun to your head to shop at Best Buy, Circuit City or Walmart.

    Also, to the OP, having your receipt checked is not that big of a deal. Sure, he shouldn’t have called you an asshole, but I’ve been called much worse. In the essence of full disclosure, I do work part-time for Best Buy in the Greater Boston area. At the end of my shift I have to turn out my pants pockets and have my jacket patted down by LP or management before I can leave as well as have my receipt checked for any purchase I make, whether it’s for a pack of gum or anything else.

  192. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    I pick my battles. This is not one of them.

    Fair enough. But I find it interesting that you consider this a “battle” that’s not worth fighting. What’s the battle? Where’s the fight?

    I never really understand why people in these discussions always seem to think that the refusers are a bunch of puff-chested self important assholes shouting out insults at the poor guy just doing his job, or spittle flecked Ron Paul lunatics screaming about Constitutional rights to the little old lady with the blue smock.

    They ask to see my receipt. I say “No, thank you” and walk out. The end.

    Sometimes they continue yelling “Sir! Sir!” behind me. Again, this is no battle, I just ignore them. Again, no hassle, no confrontation, no problem, no battle, no inconvenience, no stress.

    Only twice in almost a decade of doing this has there been anything remotely close to a problem, and only one of those two times would even be anything one would consider a hassle. And even THAT was less than thirty seconds before the under trained and overly belligerent blueshirt got out of my way and let me leave. Without checking a damned thing.

    Actually, that particular encounter did become a “battle” – but that was entirely at my discretion. Because frankly, when some blueshirt thinks he can literally lay hands on me and shove me around, then I do become kind of vindictive. And no, this is not some internet tough guy thing – I simply let the cops handle it.

    So really, when you give in, you’re not really avoiding a problem, you’re avoiding a very small chance that there might possible be some problem. And the more people who give in, and the longer they do it for, the more likely it becomes that those blueshirts start to think that they not only have the right to ask to see your receipt, but the authority to make you produce it. And that’s when it starts to be a real problem.

  193. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:
  194. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @linus: Of course, it may be that mine is the older one – i dind’t really search very hard

  195. spikespeigel says:

    Easiest way to avoid the receipt check? If you have a small bag, just swing it between the door sensors before walking through it. Every time I do that, security just nods at me and that’s the end of that. Sure, I’m pretty much telling them I’m not a crook, but what the hell. It’s better than being called an a-hole for not showing a receipt.

  196. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @spikespeigel:

    Easiest way to avoid the receipt check? If you have a small bag, just swing it between the door sensors before walking through it.

    Actually, there’s an easier way – just smile and say “No, thank you”

  197. Kirk Douglas says:

    I still fail to see the big deal over the showing of receipts. Costco has been doing it for years and people seem to be more than willing to wait in line for them to check over your purchases and receipt.

  198. Will_ND says:

    Have the people who rant at receipt checking ever had real problems in their lives? Wait until you get older and wiser and realize how much harm lawyers and wanna-be lawyers have done to our society. Simply show your receipt and save your strength for a legitimate battle. Trust me, you’ll know the true battle when it arrives one day.

  199. OmicroN says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: Today it’s stopping you for your receipt .. this is to get the Sheeple used to being stopped at the door. (“Papers, please!”)

    So, only when you’re given a pat down and/or metal detector wanding will you speak up and take action against having your papers checked?

    Sorry . . . no receipt checks, no pat downs, no metal detectors, no x-rays. If you want to accuse me of stealing, you go right ahead. Remember, there is civil liability with false accusation. There is false arrest, which also carries civil liability. It should be left at that.

  200. Xerloq says:

    At least the OP wasn’t tackled, detained, and beaten like at Wal-Mart. You know what momma says, “sticks and stones…”

  201. girly says:

    @Will_ND: I don’t consider it being ‘puffed up’ to want to exit a store without being assaulted or detained because I didn’t comply with a voluntary request.

    If you ask me, being a criminal illegal detainer is much worse than being an ‘uppity’ customer.

  202. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @spikespeigel: Why/how does that work? Aren’t they supposed to ask to see it before you get to the door?

    And if they don’t care as long as you’re not setting off the alarm then why are asking to see the receipt in the first place?

  203. mike says:

    @TinyBug: Just checked VA’s web site and it matches up. The key here is “pending arrival of a law-enforcement officer.” If they aren’t calling the cops, you don’t have to wait. You can always verify by calling the police yourself and saying that you’re being illegally detained.

  204. intellivised says:

    I hate this receipt stuff. I don’t go into Best Buy anymore because of this. Guitar Center, the one big box store I still go to, does the whole “CAN I STAMP YOUR RECEIPT PLEASE?” which I’ve fallen for every time – mostly because they hire the most mind bendingly hot rocker women to check.

    My new mission in life is to get out the door with my $5 set of strings without that whole runaround. I can understand the whole “please check your case at the door/can we see your guitar case?” because it’s surprisingly easy to walk out of a store with a $2K guitar… but yeah, this receipt business has gotta go.

    Plus every Best Buy I’ve been through has had some broseph checking receipts.

  205. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Will_ND:

    Simply show your receipt and save your strength for a legitimate battle. Trust me, you’ll know the true battle when it arrives one day.

    I’m sorry that my unwillingness to submit to the demands of someone who has no authority over me doesn’t qualify as “important enough” for you. Tell me, how are you coming along with that cure for cancer?

  206. kchenx says:

    As much as I love The Consumerist, I have to admit I’m a little tired of these receipt checking stories. It’s the same thing over and over again, and this time no one got tasered so it’s a lil less interesting to me. Yes the security guard was a jerk, yes Best Buy needs to educate their employees better about not forcing the receipt checking thing, yes it may not be that much of a hassle to show your receipt for some people, etc etc.

    What I simply do is walk right past them and if someone chases me down while I’m walking to my car, then that’s when I show my receipt. If they’re that insistent on seeing it then so be it. As long as they aren’t touching or tasering me, they can check all they want while I’m loading up my car.

  207. sean98125 says:

    Solution for Best Buy or Walmart: send the receipt to a printer at the door. The customer picks up their receipt from the person at the exit, who checks it against what the customer is carrying out.

  208. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @intellivised:

    My new mission in life is to get out the door with my $5 set of strings without that whole runaround

    Try this: When they say “CAN I STAMP YOUR RECEIPT PLEASE?” just smile, say “No, thank you”, and keep walking.

  209. smirky says:

    On a similar note, when I was at Disney in FL this past May I noticed a fingertip scanner on the entry turnstiles. They didn’t seem to be any type of requirement for entry but it appalled me to see how many people just blindly stuck their thumbs on the pad. No question what-so-ever.

  210. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @sean98125: Solution for Best Buy or Walmart: send the receipt to a printer at the door. The customer picks up their receipt from the person at the exit, who checks it against what the customer is carrying out.

    Haha. Good idea. But there would still be those who would simply say “No thanks, I don’t need that receipt” and walk out without it.

  211. mockidol says:

    Well, I’m a Best Buy employee for the ever so hated Geek Squad. While I would ask to be slapped if I ever did half the crap some other GS employees have done, that have been reported here, give this security guard a break.

    He is paid minumum wage with little to no training. In fact, the apologetic manager was probably the one who told him to check every receipt “no matter what”. I’ve seen security guards get fired for backing down on these sort of things. Basically, blame the big guys, not the little ones.

    Also, these stores have a way to check stock that may say they have 5 of something but the system sucks and normally says there is 8 of something when in fact it just hasn’t pushed updates in days.

    My suggesstion, contact corporate Best Buy people to complain about polices because problems like this arise from poorley paid people just doing what they’re told to prevent losing their job.

  212. Will_ND says:

    So many on this board seem obsessed with with legalese and following the letter of the law. Did you drive above the speed limit to and from the store? Did you roll through any stop signs? Did you run any red lights? Did you litter a cigarette butt out your window? Did you text while driving or hold the cell phone to your head in a handsfree state?

    Were you talking on your cell during the purchase transaction and while exiting the store? Of course, this isn’t illegal, simply rude. Maybe this is why you don’t want to be interrupted by the loss-prevention dept.

    Consider mellowing-out and picking your battles more wisely.

  213. girly says:

    @Will_ND: call me crazy I’m just obsessed with not being harassed based on a perfectly reasonable choice I make

  214. girly says:

    @mockidol: I do totally and absolutely fault Best Buy as a corporation for overlooking an obvious problem and for continuing to allow any employees to think that harassing customers and/or breaking the law is the right thing to do.

  215. valthun says:

    @Rey: I am 34 and I typically don’t care and will show the receipt if asked. However if there is a line of people waiting to show their receipts like sheep i will just walk out of the store. I have never been stopped for doing so.

    I honestly don’t understand the arguments people get into over this, its not like there is personal information on the receipt and they mostly just check to see that you have one, and maybe just count the total number of items in the bag and indicated on the receipt.

  216. sjkang says:

    I normally just walk out. But, when I WANT to be an asshole I wave my receipt at them or I just show them the back of the receipt, and walk out before the say anything. I did technically “show” them the receipt.

  217. mockidol says:

    @girly:

    Good. But be known, the empoyees tend to hate doing is as well. I hate to say it but, “We all have to pay the rent.”

    I myself won’t shop at CC becuase of a similiar event that happenned to be. It’s just penny counting folks up top threatening our jobs that get us little guys to do this crap.

    “allow any employees to think that harassing customers and/or breaking the law is the right thing to do.”

    Fact is, the above quote is placing blame unfairly. Most only find it “right” in the respect that they have to do it to keep their job. They don’t allow it, they force it.

    Screw the man and all of that…

  218. mockidol says:

    @mockidol:
    …and I tped like 5 words incorretly.
    Lame.
    Forgive the typos please.

  219. girly says:

    @mockidol: I do think that some employees genuinely think they are doing the right thing by detaining/harassing ppl and BB, Walmart, etc, have no problem letting them thing it’s what they should do and that they have a right to do it.

    Maybe more do it because they are intimidated by BB and that’s just as bad on corporate’s part.

  220. jamesdenver says:

    “Even though it’s a pretty short drive in terms of miles, it took almost an hour due to highway traffic. Finally I got to the Bucktown store, made my purchase, and started to leave.”

    WTF – how is this relevant?

  221. EyeHeartPie says:

    @Will_ND: +1

    Picking battles wisely is a lost art. Now, people either roll over at the first sign of authority, or fight everything (warranted or not). I don’t battle a minimum wage drone over doing his job, even if I don’t agree with his job. I complain to managers sometimes if the Best Buy loss prevention (LP) guy is particularly abusive or gung-ho, but the poor LP guy shouldn’t be punished because I disagree with the store’s policies. However, if they try to detain me because I don’t want to show my receipt, I would fight that to the Supreme Court.

    I usually just smile pleasantly, say “Have a nice day/night”, and keep walking. About 80% of the time, I am not asked to show my receipt. The other 20% of the time (tenacious LP employees), I innocently ask them if they think I stole what I am carrying (in a Best Buy plastic bag). The LP guy usually looks embarrassed and says no, and I keep walking. The few times this has failed, I show my receipt, because doing any more is senseless in such a battle, and more a waste of my time since arguing/fighting any more will have no effect on Best Buy policies.

  222. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @kchenx: If you’re tired of the editorial choices of the Consumerist — as I already posted in this thread — email the editor. Read the comment code, do not whine about it in comments.

  223. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Consider mellowing-out and picking your battles more wisely.
    @Will_ND: The OP sounded pretty mellow to me.

    Why does it have to be a battle in the first place? The employees should be told to let it go when the customer doesn’t want to show the receipt.

  224. krispykrink says:

    @TinyBug: I had an incident like that at a Wal Mart 3 years ago. The Wal Mart employee learned fast that it’s not a good idea to put hands on someone without permission. Back then I was still a reserve with the PD. He won a shiny new pair of handcuffs and getting thrown to the ground and a trip to jail for assault charges on a peace officer.

  225. dale3h says:

    @Cwicseolfor: You cannot do this at Costco, it says in your member agreement that you are required to show receipt at the door. At Walmart, go for it. It’s your US Constitutional right to never show receipt unless signed in a contract (ie, Costco and Sam’s).

  226. mockidol says:

    @girly:

    Fair enough. There are some overzealous people who just blindly follow “corporate law” thinking it is right but I can say first hand that I’ve yelled at Best Buy Loss Prevention people and made them let “people go.”

    There will always be stupid people. This guard may have been one of them but I’m just saying give him the benefit of the doubt and take the anger out on corporate Best Buy.

    I’m just afraid for this guy, who I’ve never met. He may now lose a job because he followed orders and the company may “make him eligable for a reward zone card” to save its own face.

    And everyone stop bashing geek squad. They’re trying. They recently replaced every store owned computer in the country to prevent viewing of customer’s files. Obviously it’s easy to get around but they’re trying. Time to go proudly put on my clip-on and work with some great folks you all could be proud of.

  227. Will_ND says:

    Forget the legal stuff for a sec. How about showing your receipt as an act of courtesy, cooperation, and respect. A big part of life is compromise. You simply can’t do everything your way. Being belligerent and ornery when dealing with others doesn’t make you tough — it justs makes you belligerent and ornery. Is is really so painful to be nice?

    Societal norms and rules of behavior are not all written in the law. Do you ever hold the door for someone? Do you shovel the snow on your neighbor’s sidewalk? Since you don’t legally have to be polite, are the lawyers and wanna-be lawyers on this board ever polite?

    Best Buy wants more than anything to make money. They want you to return and return and buy and buy. Shoplifting is such a problem that Best Buy and other retailers have decided that it’s worth the risk of perceived harassment to check receipts at the door. Simply capitalism and society at work.

  228. 2719 says:

    But he is an asshole. People willing to create problems over stuff like this are assholes. Companies like BB should put a written notice on their front door saying they have the right to check your receipt and if you refuse they can ass rape you.

    Apology is all he should get at best. people like him do this hoping they will get free stuff…

  229. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Rey: Late 20s.

    I’ll show it if I set off the alarm. This only happens in a grocery store I go to if you buy something like steak or an item from the pharmacy ( and half the time they just wave me on anyway ).

    Otherwise I’d just keep walking but to be honest it’s never come up in the city I live in now. Part of that may be that I don’t shop in a lot of different stores.

  230. kaptainkk says:

    @dale3h: For the love of god, can someone post where it states in your Costco/Sam’s member agreement that you have to show your receipt. I have heard this countless times but can’t believe it would say that. I want to read it for myself. I do not carry either one of those cards.

  231. ringo00 says:

    @Jackasimov: At stores that are so equipped, the inventory control alarm not going off when you exit through the front door is proof enough of purchase. At most Best Buys, the entrance and exits are situated in such a way that you have to at least pass through the check out area to leave the store. I have yet to see any store that sells high ticket merchandise without an ICS in place at the exit. If the alarm goes off, then I will gladly show my receipt as proof of purchase. If not, then leave me alone.

  232. RabbitDinner says:

    @linus: If you punch the person, and run away BEFORE the police arrive but after they have been called, is it then unlawful flight to avoid arrest, etc?

  233. girly says:

    @Will_ND: That’s fine but I wouldn’t want to be held in my neighbor’s driveway until I offered to shovel it or harassed if I didn’t happen to hold a door open.

    If you want to hold customers to etiquette obligations how about holding the corporation to its legal obligations?

    Why should the optional stuff be mandatory and the mandatory stuff be optional?

  234. Will_ND says:

    As an honest person and non-shoplifter, I do feel a twinge of insult at having to show my receipt to prove the contrary. I have enough self-control to suppress that emotion, keep my ego in check, simply show my receipt, and go home and enjoy my purchase.

  235. kJeff says:

    the one thing I wonder about all of these receipt checking stories is: What the hell is everyone doing in the stores to raise the eyebrows of security?

    I’ve shopped regularly at Best Buy for years and years and I’ve never once been asked to show a receipt. Including the time that I bought a 46″ LCD… What shady actions are you doing that’s making security question you?

    and associated “being asked to see a receipt” with “being detained” is a tad bit over-dramatic. When I read these stories I always assume the customer flies off the handle when being asked and starts yelling, which makes the store call the cops, but then the customer conveniently leaves their tantrum out of the recollection they send to The Consumerist. Customers are assholes, I’m glad someone is willing to say it.

  236. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    How about showing your receipt as an act of courtesy, cooperation, and respect.

    @Will_ND: Saying ‘No’ is not rude or disrespectful.

  237. rennyn says:

    Wow, Bobby sure comes off like a whiney douche here.

    Their policy is to check receipts at times to help keep theft and losses down. Their prices aren’t the best, but you can bet they’d be higher if they just let people walk out with merchandise randomly.

  238. girly says:

    @Will_ND: I can see where ego might be involved with some shoppers, but I don’t see how not showing your receipt and hoping to leave without being harassed is automatically an ego issue.

  239. girly says:

    @kJeff: I’ve been asked plenty of times and I’m not a menacing looking person at all. I don’t think I ‘asked for it’ in any way, and I’m not rude.

  240. Will_ND says:

    @girly: Congrats — you have found a logical hole in my argument.

  241. Raiders757 says:

    If his “son desperately needed a nap’, maybe he shouldn’t have been in the store in the first place.

    The guy was just trying to do his job, and this person was being an asshole, or so it seems by his own words. Does that give the BB employee the right to call him one? Well yes, at the expense of his job. If he wanted to keep his job, no, he should have not have called a customer an asshole. Should the BB employee be fired? Probably so.

    Most people who shop at BB more than one time know they might get asked for their receipt. In knowing this, they should keep it handy, as to not slow themselves down on the way out.

    Both parties involved in this situation should have handled themselves better. The consumer was being an ass, and the employee was out of line by calling him an asshole. Even if he was correct in his assumption.

  242. girly says:

    @rennyn: But their policy should not be to harass customers if they don’t want to do the company a favor.

    If the OP had complained about being asked, that *might* be construed as whiny, but being called a name just for buying something and leaving is ridiculous.

  243. girly says:

    @Will_ND: Do I have to show a receipt for my prize on the way out? ;)

  244. starbreiz says:

    brainwav:
    It’s about exercising your rights. If no one exercises their rights, we may lose our rights.

  245. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @kaptainkk:

    For the love of god, can someone post where it states in your Costco/Sam’s member agreement that you have to show your receipt.

    [www.costco.com]

    p.29 General Policies:
    ” … all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse”

    p.28 Membership Cards and Fees:
    “Memberships may be terminated at Costco’s discretion.”

  246. mockidol says:

    @rennyn:

    Policy is to check every single item not in a sealed plastic clear Best Buy bag, those special bags are used in certain areas of the store, gps/ digital imaging for example. If they didn’t bother to check for that c.d. you bought and walked out with in a blue bag then they technically aready broke the rules to make it easier on them and you.

    And if this guy did call the customer an asshole he should be fired. One thing to do your job, another to insult a good, paying customer.

  247. trmpt99 says:

    @reed311:
    The key here is that they must believe you have shoplifted. If they have no reason to believe you have shoplifted, then they shouldn’t ask. Are you walking out with an item from some other direction than the checkout? Ask for a receipt. Are you walking out with an item with no bag? Maybe ask for a receipt. Are you walking away from the registers, with an item in the store bag? There is no need to ask for a receipt.

  248. mockidol says:

    @kJeff:

    With large T.V.s the employees go over the headsets and annouce it was purchased so that the people at the door are aware and ready to help you lift it into the car if neessary. Although, my Best Buy just 3 days ago had 4 46″ T.V.s make it out the door stolen. That’s why they are jerks sometimes.

  249. sean77 says:

    @dequeued: and every time you refuse to show your receipt and threaten to call the cops, you’re telling the world that it’s ok to be a dick.

  250. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’ve shopped regularly at Best Buy for years and years and I’ve never once been asked to show a receipt.

    @kJeff: They probably just aren’t checking receipts in that store. I haven’t been in a Best Buy in forever but they didn’t check anyone’s receipt last time I was there.

  251. Will_ND says:

    @sean77: You just nailed it.

  252. Triterion says:

    At least they didn’t tear open his bag of sugar like at Wal-Mart! Actually I think the guy was an asshole for just saying “No. No. No you may not!” He could have said “I dont have to do I?” if he wanted to make a point. Mega-asshole.

  253. girly says:

    @sean77: If not wanting to be illegally detained is being a d*** then what is illegally detaining someone?

    You really need to focus your ire on the corporation allowing illegal enforcements, not the customers.

  254. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Can someone please explain to me how saying ‘No’ to something that’s entirely voluntary is rude?

  255. cincosays says:

    Most people seem to be missing the point here and concentrating on the reciept-checking. The way I see it, Best Buy failed this customer three different times. He went to two different stores, both of which had the product in stock but couldn’t locate it, and neither of those stores gave him anything but advice to go to another store? That’s insane. Both stores should have given him a 20% off coupon and/or offered to ship him the product for free. No wonder he didn’t want to participate in their stupid reciept dance at the third store. In any case, swearing at a customer is unacceptable and that employee should have been formally written up.

  256. dweebster says:

    @jersy: Sounds like my experience at a California “Best” Buy store wasn’t unique in the slightest. Nor the milquetoast response from Corporate.

    Where this company gets off violently threatening and physically abusing people and their property is beyond me, don’t know what business school preaches that as a way to win over people.

    Hopefully this latest economic downturn will finally wipe these “Best” Buy “assholes” into the toilet of failed corporate history where they are heading fast.

  257. goodywitch says:

    OT: sorta. The receipt checkers I’ve seen at BB and other stores usually choose to skip me.

  258. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Will_ND:

    Forget the legal stuff for a sec. How about showing your receipt as an act of courtesy, cooperation, and respect.

    Refusing to acquiesce to a rude personal demand from a stranger is neither discourteous nor disrespectful.

    Being belligerent and ornery when dealing with others doesn’t make you tough — it justs makes you belligerent and ornery. Is is really so painful to be nice?

    I fail to see how saying “No, thank you” with a smile on your face is belligerent or ornery. In my experience belligerence at a receipt check comes from the blueshirt who doesn’t like people flouting his “authority”

  259. P_Smith says:

    @post_break: Can someone enlighten me, why is it that you have the right to decline to show them your receipt? I have read countless posts on this issue but I am still slow on catching up.

    Obviously the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is one you’re not familiar with. Or maybe you’re just slow, as you said yourself.

    If stores want to stop theft, call the police instead of harassing and insulting customers. Better yet, build a wall to force everyone to go through the cashiers to get to the exits. It would be a one-time cost equal to the annual salary of the inept employee who insulted the customer.

  260. mockidol says:

    Umm. People in blue shirts don’t ever check door receipts at a Best Buy. They have yellow shirts to let you know that they have a differnt job.

    And if they did punch them in the face.

  261. debegray says:

    @Stormslanding: Wow, it’s such a huge surprise that CompUSA is no longer in business, with quality employees like you.

  262. dweebster says:

    @kchenx: What do you do when they YELL, start touching you, threaten to “get you later,” etc? Stalking me to my car would possibly turn violent very quick, as I’ve had a GM threaten me with physical harm for opting out of showing a receipt, and now I always take precautions to protect myself when shopping at a “Best” Buy.

    Wonder if “Best” Buy pulls this receipt check nonsense in their Texas stores – if they do it with the gusto they pull in other states then they probably have a lot of employee turnover (in the grave…).

    All these comments favoring “Best” Buy’s right to INSIST on a right to something they simply do not have and get a large percentage of compliance is EXACTLY why things escalate to this point. It’s the same as dealing with a woman who says “NO” repeatedly – your physical blocking, yelling at her, threatening violence on her, etc. does NOT change the fact that “NO MEANS *NO*.”

    “Best” Buy has to IMMEDIATELY TERMINATE any of their employees that don’t adhere to this. Otherwise they are basically sponsors of terrorism.

  263. Jon Mason says:

    We can argue about whether showing your receipt or not is the right thing to do forever, and I admit that I do it even though I know its probably an infringement on my rights.

    HOWEVER,

    People who say that asking for the receipt is “accusing me of theft” are freaking ridiculous. Is making you sign your credit card slip accusing you of theft? Is scanning your item to make sure you are charged the correct price accusing you of theft? No – they are all just measures the stores take to a) verify your identity and b) verify that you are paying the right amount for the items you have. How is then just doing a double-check that your items match your receipt amount to “accusing you of theft”. Answer: It isn’t.

  264. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @rennyn: Bye bye, troll.

  265. dweebster says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Agreed. Anything more escalates the situation and can lead to violence. NO MEANS NO.

    If you have real evidence a theft has occurred, feel free to detain and present your evidence. Otherwise I am walking to my car with my property and will take steps to protect myself from any attempted violence on “Best” Buy’s part.

  266. @basket548: “I’m not arguing with anyone’s ‘right to refuse’; I’m just showing why these policies are in place. In the long run, it reduces costs for everyone and cuts down on illegal activity.”

    @Will_ND: “Why not just show your receipt? It deters shoplifting and helps keep prices down.”

    No. It. Does. Not. Most “shrinkage” comes from employees, and receipt checking doesn’t stop shoplifters, who put things in their POCKETS or under their sweatshirts or in bags from other stores. Receipt-checking is a useless waste of time and manpower that annoys customers and does NOTHING to stop shrinkage.

  267. VeeKaChu says:

    For all the “Receipt-Check Apologists” who have no problem with doing free loss-prevention work for the various retailers I ask, why do you allow a private citizen to search you on demand (keeping in mind that the courts have ruled that “corporations” are, for legal purposes, “citizens”)?

    If a stranger on the street asked to look at your personal belongings- which the products you’ve purchased become the moment the store accepts payment- would you allow them to? Can just anyone search you on demand?

    Stores have exactly two “rights” over their clientele- they can refuse to sell you a thing, and they can ask you to leave the premises. Beyond that, they cannot make any demands or stipulations that you are legally enjoined to accept or accede to. They can “reserve” whatever rights they want (e.g., signs proclaiming “We reserve the right to inspect bags/packages etc”), but we don’t have to allow it by any stretch of logic.

    If it’s no big deal to you, that’s fine, work for them for free, because that’s what you’re doing…

  268. @Will_ND: “Simply show your receipt and save your strength for a legitimate battle. Trust me, you’ll know the true battle when it arrives one day.”

    I’m pretty sure violations of privacy and the very real dangers posed by security theater ARE legitimate battles.

  269. dweebster says:

    @rennyn: Yup, the hell with your personal space or rights – if you think it’s eventually saving you 37cents then toss away every shred of dignity and let them dig through your belongings.

    I’m sure that some Germans got great deals on former ghetto property too, but some people find it abhorrent to trade “saving money” in exchange for sacrificing rights more precious.

  270. fjordtjie says:

    if i were him, i’d be less mad at the receipt checker and more mad at the 2 stores that said they had the receivers and ultimately wasted his and his baby’s time. so while the manager apologized for the rudeness of the guy doing his job, it seems the 2 stores that lied about their stock is being overlooked.

    i doubt he’s really expecting compensation instead of a more sincere apology.

  271. @Will_ND: “How about showing your receipt as an act of courtesy, cooperation, and respect.”

    Why, exactly, should I be courteous, cooperative, and respectful to a corporation that treats me like a criminal ON EVERY OCCASION, no matter what actions I perform or do not perform?

    Apparently your demands for courtesy only go one way — for the little guy to bend over for corporate America. (Where’s your condemnation for the employee calling the customer “asshole”? COMPLETELY unacceptable.) Why aren’t the corporations respecting ME? You seem to have bought into their one-way relationship model where THEY dictate everything and you sit down, shut up, and like it.

    And I am always nice at stores. I’ve worked retail.

  272. SteveZim1017 says:

    Good Lord, I am soo tired of this demanding gift certificates crap. Ohh… you got called a bad name… Fine, yea you absolutely deserve an apology, probably even a nice written one, But why does every little thing suddenly require some sort of monitary reward?

    I hate people that demand a random gift card or discount for every little thing. I dont even understand how that equates in your mind? “I was offended, I deserve money”

    poor babies…

  273. jglessner says:

    Ok, let’s clarify a couple things:

    I worked store security for WalMart in my youth (plainclothes), and was responsible for training the employees to conform to the WalMart rules for stopping suspected shoplifters. Here are those simple rules:
    Do not stop anyone unless you or another employee observed the suspect conceal the item, and KEPT eyes on them up to the point where they have passed the last register on their way out the door.

    This policy is designed to protect WalMart because they have been successfully sued several times for detaining people that knew they had been spotted, got out of the employee’s view, and ditched the item before leaving the store.

    I’m sure most other large retail stores have similar policies (I know Kmart did in the 90′s as I was good friends with their store security here).

    Now then, I generally don’t have an issue with showing my receipt as it has prevented me from getting double charged a couple times, and even prevented me from leaving without an item I had paid for on several occasions. However, there are times when I am late, and lines are long that I just don’t have the time.

    That said, if someone called me an asshole, I would make the time to very publicly embarrass them, and demand a manager so I could embarrass them as well, and do it loudly enough for everyone in the front of the store to hear me (I have a good command voice).

    This kind of behavior is just flat unacceptable. I do not see that the victim should require compensation, but as a manager, were I to face such an accusation, I would definitely offer it because I know the most important thing about customer service: on average a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about their experience with your establishment. An unsatisfied person will tell an average of 19 people about their dissatisfaction with your establishment (this figure is from the late 90′s so I’m sure the internet makes that 19 into like 1900).

    How many people just read this article and now have ill will towards BB?

    Would it be worth a couple hundred dollars for BB to get him to update this post saying he got $200 in gift cards and a flowery apology from an Exec at BB? Financially speaking without question.

    Personally I have never had a store employee lay hands on me (I’m 6’5″ and pretty broad in the shoulder, so that may have something to do with it), but I would not hesitate to wreck someone’s shit if they did. Physical assault is something I will not abide when the store is on sketchy legal grounds at best.

  274. ivanthemute says:

    @Cwicseolfor: BestBuy, Walmart, yes. Costco, no. In your membership agreement, you acknowledge and allow Costco to search your person and packages upon exit of the store. Usually, it’s just checking the reciept or unbagged merchandise, but sometimes (at least in my experience) they will check a bookbag or oversized purse for security.

  275. Will_ND says:

    I sincerely apologize for making a false assumption. Best Buy is not in business to make money. They are in business solely for the purpose of sadistic harassment. Now that I know their true mission I say scream like hell when they dare ask for a receipt.

  276. Canino says:

    So if you think people should just acquiesce and show their receipts because it’s nice or whatever, do you think they should allow the minimum wage employee to dig through women’s purses? How about your child’s diaper bag and stroller? How about your little girl’s My Little Pony backpack? After all, you could have stuck something in there, right? How much are you willing to allow?

    If you’re not willing to allow a full search, why are you willing to allow anything?

  277. Will_ND says:

    Doesn’t this issue really belong on whinerist.com? How does a receipt check financially harm you? It may actually save you money in the long run. If you feel emotionally scarred by a receipt check then you need help.

  278. Will_ND says:

    @Canino: You accept this intrusive body and belongings search at the airport, so what’s so bad about a simple receipt check at the store?

  279. Marshfield says:

    Y’know what we need? Something like this we can print and hand to the receipt checker as we walk out of the store.

  280. basket548 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    Yes. It. Does.

    Receipt checking provides a deterrent to those who would otherwise walk out the front door with a item that a) is not stolen by employees and b) does not fit in their pockets.

    Is it a good and cost-effective deterrent? That can be argued. Is it a deterrent? Undoubtably.

  281. basket548 says:

    @VeeKaChu:

    For all the “Receipt-Check Apologists” who have no problem with doing free loss-prevention work for the various retailers I ask, why do you allow a private citizen to search you on demand (keeping in mind that the courts have ruled that “corporations” are, for legal purposes, “citizens”)?

    If a stranger on the street asked to look at your personal belongings- which the products you’ve purchased become the moment the store accepts payment- would you allow them to? Can just anyone search you on demand?”

    Completely different. Shouldn’t even have to be spelled out. If you walk out of private property with something that may or may not be your property (and of which said private property owner owns several of), then a check to ensure that it is yours does not seem to be an unreasonable request. (Note my choice of words: request, not requirement.)

  282. Will_ND says:

    @basket548: Good point. Stores have to combat theft in many different ways. Receipt checking is just one. Best Buy is certainly business-smart (compare them to Circuit City.)

  283. girly says:

    @Will_ND:At least being overly sensitive is not a crime!

    Receipt checking done right, hey, what can you do–you just comply or say no.

    Receipt checking done wrong, not allowing someone to say no by threat or physical intervention is wrong and should not be tolerated by any corporation that claims to value its customers

  284. girly says:

    @Will_ND: Simple. The airport check is BEFORE you get on the plane. If they kick you out for refusing, you don’t get to fly.

    If it was as you were leaving the airport, I’m sure a lot of people would skip it because they wouldn’t care about getting kicked out if they are leaving anyway.

  285. Bourque77 says:

    @Rey: Im 23 and hardly ever show mine. Why? because i hardly carry cash and keep the receipt in my wallet with my debit/credit card. Especially if its a self checkout I went through. I checked myself out and checked my receipt for the store while i was at it.

  286. sean77 says:

    @girly: if you refuse the airport check you get detained. They don’t kick you out, they hold you.

  287. Canino says:

    @Will_ND: Pretty simple – at the airport the transaction has not been completed until I arrive at my destination and have all my luggage. At the store the transaction has been completed and everything I’m carrying is mine. Besides the obvious fact that the TSA is a government agency and there is no government agency checking receipts at Best Buy. Yet.

  288. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Marshfield: That is be awesome!

    @Will_ND: How do you know Canino’s even been on a plane before.

    Either way, a store is not an airplane: Best Buy isn’t going to be flying in the air. No one’s going to die if the receipt checker misses something.
    Just because people submit to a search in one situation doesn’t make a search in a different situation appropriate.

  289. girly says:

    @sean77: okay. haven’t tried. but still a ‘transaction not complete’ case

  290. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I meant to delete “be” in there. Also, yeah, the question should have a question mark.

    My bad.

  291. Will_ND says:

    You guys are making a long complicated lawyerly type argument over a simple matter of respect and courtesy. You’re probably the types who can always find something wrong with your latte at Starbucks so you can get a freebie.

  292. girly says:

    @Will_ND: Actually, I think it’s the people who want to hurt and/or detain you for not showing a receipt (relatively rare but still happens too much) that are making things complicated

  293. girly says:

    You get asked for a receipt. You show it, or you don’t and you exit the store either way without being bothered.

    Doesn’t sound complicated to me.

  294. Zeke_D says:

    It is the responsibility of the policy maker to prove that that policy is conveyed and accepted. When you sign your warehouse club agreement, in that agreement is the conveyance of the receipt-check policy, and your signing the agreement demonstrates your acceptance of that policy. A store’s return policy is usually posted somewhere in a conspicuous place, and usually in verbiage on the receipt. That is why you don’t see stories about a consumer that is in violation of a return policy. Best Buy has no signage on the exterior of their building detailing any receipt-check policy; therefore any receipt-check policy is unenforceable.
    I have no problem showing my receipt at a Best Buy if I am picking up a large-ticket item that is being delivered, or waiting at the security counter… My receipt shows proper ownership, and the loss prevention associate knows who to release my property. I also have no problem showing my receipt if a security alarm goes off… The loss prevention associate has reasonable cause to verify my purchase. I will not show my receipt or allow my person or personal property to be searched for any other reason.
    I have served in the US Navy, and fought to protect and uphold the personal freedoms that so many people give away. People are giving away their personal liberties WHOLESALE. The receipt-check is just another example of people relinquishing their personal liberties. Anyone familiar with Occam’s Razor, or has even a rudimentary understanding of the history of our own country, and the history of other countries that must understand that any freedom that is relinquished in the name of convenience, will undoubtedly give up that freedom and others to come. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: “He who sacrifices freedom for convience deserves neither.” To quote Sir William Blackstone: “It is better to let ten guilty men go free than to incarcerate one innocent man”

  295. lloose says:

    Some people go out of their way to be jerks just to flex their right to. If you dont like BB’s policies, then shop somewhere else. Taking 10 seconds to show the security guard your receipt (something that is COMMON practice at all BB stores) would have saved him the trouble of the guard lashing out like that. Some people try to provoke this kind of thing and this customer sounds like one of them.

  296. girly says:

    @lloose: If merely buying something and walking out of the store provokes security then BB has a major customer service problem on its hands.

  297. drjayphd says:

    It’s times like these that I feel we could all use a brief refresher, so here’s a public service announcement.

    With guitars.


    + Watch video

  298. PurpleMonkey says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo:

    I usually agree with most of the commenter’s here, and I know I’m in the minority but I don’t see the big deal with showing your receipt. It’s like 10 seconds, I don’t feel like I’m giving up my rights, and I don’t feel abused.

    From reading the comments, it seems like many people decide to not show it in order to “stick it to the man,” so that they can feel like they beat the system and maybe write to the consumerist about it. Overall though, I agree with girly, it’s no big deal to not show your receipt, but it should be equally no big deal to decide not to show it. You aren’t giving up your rights if you show it, but you shouldn’t be treated disparagingly if you decide not to. If receipt checkers didn’t make such a big deal out of it, then this would be a non issue.

  299. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @Will_ND: Wow, you not only crossed the line, you sprinted over it. Bye bye.

  300. jackal676 says:

    Dude, I never show my receipt. The second anyone even starts to say “Can I see y–” I immediately taser them. I won’t give up my rights, man.

  301. Puck says:

    Raise your hand if you thought that this thread would really hit 300 comments.

  302. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Puck: Hahaha! Be honest, did you make sure that would be the 300th comment?

  303. severn123 says:

    Yeah I agree that why not show your receipt, but my big problem is about how the guy who wrote the letter whines about how he unnecessarily wasted 2 hours of his time. I really don’t get that. It doesn’t much seem like it’s Best Buy’s fault it took the guy an hour to get there and home, and as he had a receipt he obviously made a purchase. What is unnecessary about the time he spent to buy something or to drive to the store.

    Now if BB told them they had something in stock and would hold it for him and didn’t, yeah unnecessary waste of time. It just seems like he’s whining about everything he can.

  304. Puck says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    No, it was just fate. I posted it when we were at 297. It was meant to be.

  305. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    I hate the guy at the door. I hate having to have a product unlocked so I can buy it (aside from a car purchase). I hate the entire “cattle-chute” sales checkout process. I hate teh self-checkout with the “Please place item on scanner!” phrase ovcer and over. And I hate the alarm going off because the clerk failed to demag the security sensor.

    Therefore, I shop online.

  306. BigFoot_Pete says:

    I am still confused, after the Consumerist has posted about this very issue for so long, and Best Buy does seem to respond to criticism on this blog, that they wouldn’t do away with this receipt checking policy all together.

    Then again, it’s a corporate giant, and the gears of change grind painfully slowly as a rule.

  307. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @lloose:

    Some people go out of their way to be jerks just to flex their right to

    Some people seem to think that asserting your rights is “being a jerk”.

    . If you dont like BB’s policies, then shop somewhere else.

    I like my way better – I’ll shop at any store I please. If they have a policy I don’t like, I’ll simply ignore it. If they have a problem with this, they are welcome to ask me to leave. It’s worked remarkably well so far. As for Best Buy in particular, I haven’t shopped there in years.

    Taking 10 seconds to show the security guard your receipt (something that is COMMON practice at all BB stores) would have saved him the trouble of the guard lashing out like that.

    The security guard following the law, the company policy, and/or having a bit of common courtesy would have also saved him that trouble. but you seem to just want to make it his fault.

    Some people try to provoke this kind of thing and this customer sounds like one of them.

    And you seem like the kind of person that thinks refusing to answer a cops questions is automatically suspicious and thus is grounds for search or arrest. And I used just as much information forming this opinion as you did forming yours about the OP. How about that.

  308. firstxv says:

    @cybercjh: Thank you…this is The Heart of the Matter.

  309. coren says:

    At one of the BB’s I shop at (save it, I know how bad they are, blah blah blah, and I don’t care – I don’t have issues with how I get treated, and I’m not writing in to Consumerist to complain), there’s a checkstand in plain view of one of the exits (it’s a mall Best Buy). The checker can see you checking out, and frequently will not bother with your receipt as long as you don’t beep (or if you beeped when you came in). This store has the highest theft in our district – and it’s largely because of this.

    1) Buy item near exit where you don’t get checked
    2) Leave without getting checked
    3) Hand off item to friend, stick bag in pocket
    4) Return through different entrance, grab item, stick in bag
    5) Gladly present receipt as you leave through the exit you just came in with, beeping is ignored (or your item is run through the debeeper)
    6) Return item to another BB location

    I personally wouldn’t do that (it’s theft), but I know someone who has. He built a computer, sans case, with “free parts”.

    More on topic, dude got an apology – what else does he need? He’s not “entitled” to anything else

  310. coren says:

    Another thing is – it’s fine to say they have no right to check your receipt and whatever. Of course, it’s these stores policies, and most stores have another one. They can deny service to anyone…

  311. Plankton420 says:

    Here’s a question I’m not sure anyone has asked yet:

    In all the time that these “receipt checkers” have been used in stores like Best Buy, Costco, etc., have they actually done what they were designed to do, which I can only assume is cut down on theft?

    Is receipt checking worth the bother, or is it just another corporate plan to combat theft that is only succeeding in annoying customers?

  312. basket548 says:

    @Plankton420:
    I’d assume that they had, otherwise they would likely be gone by now. As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that they work more as a deterrent, rather than an actual apprehension of a thief. Hence, the effect is not immediately evident to the honest consumer (who NEVER sees anyone get caught) but is to the 15-year-old who is planning on taking out a CD in a BB bag.

  313. EyeHeartPie says:

    @TinyBug:

    I like my way better – I’ll shop at any store I please. If they have a policy I don’t like, I’ll simply ignore it.

    Have fun with that.

    “What do you mean I can’t return this item? I only bought it six months ago!”
    “Sir, it’s our policy to not accept returns after 30 days.”
    “Bull@#&*!!! I’m gonna ignore that policy and leave this here while I remove the amount of money I paid for it from your register.”
    BZZZZZZTTT!!! <–taser

  314. girly says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Actually in the case we are talking about it’d be more like

    “I would like to return this item”
    “Okay, here’s your money”
    “Thanks”
    “Can you give us your name and phone number”
    “No”
    BZZZZZZZT taser

  315. SaramaDunnuck says:

    Called an Asshole? That’s nothing.
    I had the security guard at the best buy on 23rd and 6th in NYC threaten to
    “run me down.”
    I went in one Sunday afternoon in January on my way to work, so I wasn’t in
    a particularly good mood to have to go into the office on a sunday. Stopped
    by the best buy to pick up a set of headphones waited in line to pay and
    then went to walk out the door and decided to forgo the line to have my
    receipt squiggled with a highlighter and walked out the door.
    The security guard said “SIR! I need to see your receipt!”
    Me: “It’s cool man I paid for it”
    SG: “Sir I need to see your receipt!”
    me: walks away ignoring him
    SG comes out side after me
    “SIR! SIR! DON’T MAKE ME RUN YOU DOWN!”
    I just kept walking, which is what you SHOULD do in these situations. Never
    get into an argument with them or even acknowledge them after you say “No”
    once. Just walk away and ignore them.
    Doing anything more is childish and just sets you up for situations where
    you get called names and then expect to get compensated when you get in a
    verbal argument with another person when in fact you are being an asshole.

  316. EyeHeartPie says:

    @girly:
    I agree that in the receipt checker case, your example would be more apt than mine. However, I was portraying an extreme example of ignoring a store’s policies, as TinyBug says he does. It was meant as a comical jab at TinyBug.

  317. Expanding Buttocks says:

    A company is only as good as their employees.. enough said.

  318. SinisterMatt says:

    @ITDEFX:

    I think that that is why employees escalate these things. It’s not that they are trying to lord their perceived authority by trying to force you to comply. They think that if you don’t stop for a receipt check, you are likely guilty of shoplifting or something. Thus, in their mind they are justified in trying to stop you.

    If stores instructed their people to not try and detain customers who refuse to show their receipt (because people have the right to refuse), these types of stories would vanish quickly.

    Cheers!

  319. spikespeigel says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I’m not sure how your Best Buy is laid out, but the ones I go to, the registers lead directly to the exit and in between the entrance and exit is the security booth. So I usually reach the door before security has a chance to ask for my receipt.

  320. spikespeigel says:

    @TinyBug: I would, but I don’t want to get defenestrated, being a minority and all. I try to pick my battles is all.

  321. The guard is an ass, and to be honest do you really need to check a receipt for something that someone bought about 30 feet away?
    Always at best buy there are 3 employees standing there and non of them can see if you are stealing or not?
    On top of that, I feel that if the casher forgot to scan something, then your company as a whole should take the hit, and let the customer go. I’m not saying that just because one day I hope that myself will go in purchase something, and have the cashier forget to scan something, but it’s fair and just in my open ended decision.
    Oh, and a gift card of course.

  322. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    I think this should basically be the policy. Don’t have to show a receipt, but they’re allowed to call you an asshole. Problem solved from both ends.

  323. RabbitDinner says:

    He should get a lawyer, who’ll represent him for a contingency fee. $40 million for harassment, assault, verbal abuse, emotional distress, and endangering a child. The BB employee should also have to register as a sex offender for using the vulgar word “asshole” around a small child.

    Man, he doesn’t deserve compensation, but does this guy deserve to have a job? At least move him to stocking shit in the store. I’ve had friends fired from customer service jobs for less than shouting that a customer is an “asshole.”

  324. dragonfire81 says:

    Here’s what I am curious about.

    If run a large store, why can’t I put a POLICY in place that EVERY receipt must be checked upon exit from the store and if you don’t want to show your receipt, we’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

    One commenter said there’s no law that says you have to show your receipt. While true, there are plenty of non-law company POLICIES that govern business with any institution you spend money with.

    Does company not have a RIGHT to implement a policy that ALL receipts must be checked?

    Here’s another thing I don’t get. What information is on there that so important as to not be seen anyway? Most of the card number is obscured by asterisks and your name and address usually aren’t on there. Typically they show the stores address and phone number, the date and time, items bought and their costs, sub total, after tax total and method of payment. This all information the store HAS ON FILE when you made the purchase.

    In other words, information on the receipt is already known by at least one store employee, what’s the big deal if another knows (like I said, there is nothing on there that would pose a threat regardless of who knows it).

    The receipt checker isn’t going to care what you bought, he just wants to make sure your bags and receipt match, that’s his job.

    Is it not better in most instances to just show the darn sheet of paper rather than start an argument with someone that’s really not worth your trouble?

  325. ludwigk says:

    @Jackasimov: I fail to see how this “saves millions”.

    First, it is only designed to thwart two types of theft:

    1) Softbagging – a coordinated effort between a cashier and an accomplice customer. The ‘customer’ buys several items, which the cashier purposefully rings up incorrectly. For instance, the customer buys two iPods and a snickers bar, and the cashier rings them up as 3 snickers bars. This only works if the receipt checker actually looks at the merchandise being purchased.

    2) Shoplifting involving retail bags – Customer comes into the store with a bag, places several items within it, then walks out as if he has just purchased them.

    When those small boxes end up in a jacket pocket, or a backpack, receipt checking does nothing.

  326. SinisterMatt says:

    @sean98125:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how that is going to help. People will still refuse to check there and keep right on walking, leading on occasion to confrontations. Of course, the only way that this could be reasonably implemented is if you still required a receipt for returns or exchanges or whatever.

    I generally just show the receipt, when they ask (which I’ve noticed is rarely if ever at our local Wal-Mart). It’s a matter of picking your battles, not about being sheeple, or about feeling that my constitutional rights are being violated. Believe me, if I thought they were being violated, I would fight for them.

    Cheers!

  327. glycolized says:

    @dako81: If you are “drawing a parallel” between showing your receipt and being sexually molested, you are off your rocker.

    I do not agree with these receipt checking policies, but conflating that to molestation is just asinine, and an insult to those that have been victims of a felonious injustice such as molestation.

  328. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:
  329. ludwigk says:

    @lloose: I never show my receipt at bestbuy, and I’ve never been asked to show it.

    Even when I purchased a product from the customer service counter (Guitar Hero pre order, which is handled as an exchange), and was walking out of the store with product in hand, and hadn’t come from the cashier area, I wasn’t even prompted to show one.

    My girlfriend, who hates when I’m mean to retail employees, was saying “Just show them your receipt if they ask.” And, I was planning to, since I was walking off the floor with product under my arm. No-one even asked me what was going on.

  330. EyeHeartPie says:

    @RabbitDinner: Right. Because that is exactly what this country needs. More frivolous lawsuits so that the entire country will become like California (this product contains chemicals known to cause cancer in the state of California; Caution: Hot Coffee is hot; Caution: Sticking your hand in a machine designed to crush cars may cause loss of limb; Caution: Looking at the sun may cause blindness, etc…). And even more people labeled as sex offenders. Then, as more and more people are labeled, the term becomes meaningless. That guy kidnapped and raped little children, that one took harmless photos of his 6-month old child taking a bath, and that one said the word “asshole” near a child, but they get the same label. Nice.

    Sorry, but the abundance of frivolous lawsuits and the people crying for everyone who looks at a child to be labeled a sex offender are 2 of my biggest legal pet peeves, and you managed to put both in one paragraph.

  331. RabbitDinner says:

    @EyeHeartPie: I think you need to get your sarcasm detector looked at (it’s a useful invention)

  332. APFPilot says:

    @dragonfire81: Once I have paid for it it is MY property. What if I don’t want it refunded?

  333. EyeHeartPie says:

    @RabbitDinner: Sorry :p Totally ignored your second paragraph. Like I said, you hit 2 of my biggest legal pet peeves in the first paragraph so I immediately began typing in indignation, completely ignoring the second paragraph, which would have made your sarcasm much clearer. The sad thing, and the reason my sarcasm detector was off, was that I have talked with people who have that same attitude you portrayed in the first paragraph. Again, sorry. I’ll get my detector in to a shop to get checked first thing tomorrow.

  334. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @dragonfire81:

    If run a large store, why can’t I put a POLICY in place that EVERY receipt must be checked upon exit from the store and if you don’t want to show your receipt, we’ll be happy to refund your purchase.

    You can put any policy you want into place, but it doesn’t mean there is any legally binding effect on me. Once I pay for that item, it becomes MY PROPERTY. You can have any policy you like, but you have no legal authority to stop me from leaving your store with my property.

    Does company not have a RIGHT to implement a policy that ALL receipts must be checked?

    A store has exactly two “rights” when it comes to their authority over me. They may refuse to do business with me, and they may ask me to leave their property. Absent clear and convincing evidence of a crime, THAT’S IT.

    Since Option #1 is no longer viable once I’ve paid for the merchandise, they have exactly one choice left. If I refuse to show my receipt, they may ask me to leave. I have no problem with that.

  335. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Not sure what happened to my overly long response, dammit, gotta preview. Short version: It was funny, but you know damn well what I meant.

    now I see my later comments are all messy as well – time for a drink and some dinner.

    Peace all

  336. EyeHeartPie says:

    @TinyBug: Not that I have seen this, but what if there were fine print on the receipt that said “by purchasing this item, you are agreeing to have your receipt checked at the door”?

  337. RabbitDinner says:

    @EyeHeartPie: I agree with diluting the meaning of “sex offender.” It should be reserved only for the true sex offenders who kidnap and molest children, not the jackass who moons another person in public where children happen to be watching. I

  338. RabbitDinner says:

    @RabbitDinner: Ack accidentally hit enter. The jackass mooner should still be cited for indecent exposure, but sex offender? Come on

  339. scoopjones says:

    I guess I’ll play the devil’s advocate (pro-Best Buy) here, but I’ve never understood this debate over whether or not to show your receipt. Shoplifting’s a real problem in these places, and checking is a necessary evil as far as I’m concerned. As long as they don’t bother me when I just go in to browse, I really don’t see the problem.

  340. Edge231 says:

    Many posters here keep claiming stores have no right to stop you and ask for a receipt. Can you provide us with state or federal laws that clearly state this?

    A store is private property and they can set policies as they wish as long as they do not violate laws. You as a consumer have the right to not entertain stores who’s polices you disagree with.

    Since the store is a private property and it sells merchandise, which it owns until a consumer buys it..they have the right to make sure when you walk out the store, you did indeed buy the merchandise and are not stealing from them.

    Now the OP was indeed as ass for not showing his receipt, but the checker should not have called him that. He should have instead called the police for possible theft of property. The police could have then dealt with the OP.

  341. EyeHeartPie says:

    Another thing I jsut thought of: how come you never hear of people who shop at Fry’s getting this bent out of shape about receipt checking? Every Fry’s I have been to has a well-dressed employee stationed at the exit with a pink or green highlighter who asks to see your receipt, checks it against what you have (box or in a Fry’s bag), marks the receipt, and hands the receipt back to you. Why all the hate towards Best Buy receipt checkers, and not towards Fry’s receipt checkers? I see no differences, and yet you always hear about people complaining about Best Buy or Wal-Mart, never Fry’s.

  342. Edge231 says:

    @TinyBug: If you don’t show your receipt, you think the stores should give you benefit of the doubt that you bought the product just because you feel you are an honest citizen?

    Oh pluzeee. Stores do have the right to stop you have make sure you did indeed purchase the product. It’s their property until you can prove you paid for it.

    Or maybe the stores can hire physics or people that see thru bags to make sure people have receipts, right?

  343. RabbitDinner says:

    @Edge231: There are very specific guidelines regarding catching a shoplifter in the act which, if not buried somewhere in the 300+ posts, is somewhere in the approximately 500,000 stories regarding receipt checks that Consumerist has covered. The short of it is a business’s right to protect it’s property does not extend to infringing the rights of the customers, including compulsory checks on paid merchandise that is legally your property, cajoling or any form of harassment or fear mongering or detainment.

  344. RabbitDinner says:

    @Edge231: No, it’s your property once you’ve paid for it. You are doing nothing more than perpetuating an argument that has been thoroughly debated on this thread, and dozens of other times with similar stories.

  345. cyberdog says:

    Okay this whole receipt thing is whacky. Me I’m 41. I have gone to best buy in the past and made some purchases and left without showing my receipt. I have watched the security person by the doors while checking out and they appear to check huge bags and large boxes on the way out.

    It’s funny how they can watch you check out and purchase these items and then ask you for a receipt on the way out the door. I remember going to Sam’s Club many years ago and had a cart stacked high with groceries that I paid for. I tried to leave and the door person demanded my receipt. I refused and walked out the door. They demanded I showed the receipt.

    But here’s two sides to the coin and the main reason it bothers me. If I had a large bag or cart with 20 plus items in bags and they want to see my receipt, I think for them to correctly do their job, they would have to go thru all the bags or cart and compare every item on the receipt. Make sure I’m not stealing anything. I don’t have time for this BS.

    The other side of the coin on this is I have seen people come in the store or get bags while in the store and walk around and put items in the bag go thru a busy checkout line and walk out the door.

    Most of the time I object to having to show a receipt when asked. I’m a former police officer and if I had to come to BB or Wally World because someone didn’t show a receipt. I would probably laugh. But then again, on the other side of the coin I would also ask to see the receipt to make sure you did make a legitimate purchase.

  346. exlawyer says:

    Best Buy owes this guy nothing because truth is a defense to slander. The shopper was being an asshole.

  347. CapitalC says:

    I think it’s safe to leave the “it’s not that hard to show a receipt” crowd vs. the “I have the right not to show my receipt” crowd argument out of this because it happens EVERY time this issue comes up on Consumerist.

    The issue at hand here is the fact the security guard called the guy an asshole. That’s not acceptable at any store except for maybe an S&M store and you asked them to.

  348. wellfleet says:

    Full disclosure: I work at Best Buy.

    1. Employee should be put on a final warning for not only swearing at a customer, but also for following a customer out of the store and for creating an embarrassing situation in front of other customers;

    2. GM should call and offer a personal apology, as well as special accommodations for the customer if the customer would give us a second chance;

    3. Our LP checks receipts on any computer being wheeled out (as those are never rung up at the front lanes) and any television or large appliance (also not rung up on the front lanes). The reason is mainly due to prevent you leaving the store with the wrong item. It has happened many times that the wrong model computers/large TV/appliance was grabbed and the customer almost left with the wrong item, i.e. a red LG washer instead of a white, or a 650 series LCD instead of a 750.

    I understand that you don’t want to show your receipt but you must understand why we sometimes ask for it.

  349. girly says:

    @dragonfire81: They can have polices up and down and sideways, but good luck to stores implementing the more invasive ones without breaking the law. (illegal detention, threats, harassment, etc)

  350. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Edge231:

    If you don’t show your receipt, you think the stores should give you benefit of the doubt that you bought the product just because you feel you are an honest citizen?

    Yes. Don’t you? Ever heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”?
    “probable cause”?
    “Reasonable suspicion”?
    “It’s my property and I don’t have to prove a goddamn thing to you”?

    Unless they have clear, articulable evidence that I was shoplifting, they not only should, but MUST presume that I haven’t stolen anything.

    @Edge231:

    Stores do have the right to stop you have make sure you did indeed purchase the product. It’s their property until you can prove you paid for it.

    Not only is this complete and utter horseshit, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve read in this comment thread. Once they have accepted my tender the it becomes my property. Period. If you think there is some legal authority that supports the idiotic notion that “it’s not yours until you show proof”, by all means give us a link. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and STFU.

    Absent a legitimate suspicion of criminal activity (based upon Probable Cause) I am under no obligation to provide proof of ownership of my property to anyone.

  351. girly says:

    @TinyBug: I think you’re unnecessarily harsh, but I do agree that the ‘owned by store until proven otherwise’ doesn’t make any sense.

    Why can’t it be ‘I own it until proven otherwise’, like the law actually says?

  352. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Edge231:

    Since the store is a private property and it sells merchandise, which it owns until a consumer buys it..

    Yes… yes.. you’re getting it, they own it until I buy it. Once I buy it I own it.

    they have the right to make sure when you walk out the store, you did indeed buy the merchandise and are not stealing from them.

    Aww, and it really did seem like you were getting it there for a second. But we have some lovely parting gifts for you on your way out. Absent a criminal investigation, i am under no obligation to justify ownership of my property to anyone.

  353. FrankenPC says:

    I would fire on the spot any employee who used profanity toward a customer for ANY reason.

    Call me old fashioned, but cussing is inexcusable.

  354. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @girly:

    I think you’re unnecessarily harsh,

    Yes, you may be right – it is easy to become short tempered when you see the same uttelry wrong “facts” being presented over and over and over in thses discussions.

    So, to Edge, my apologies. You’re utterly and completely wrong, but I was out of line. Like I said – it’s time for a drink and some dinner

  355. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @spikespeigel: Ah, OK.

    @CapitalC: Verily you speak the truth. This of course takes us back to, “Do we believe the manager will do something about the employee’s behavior?”

    Ummm…maybe?

  356. girly says:

    @TinyBug: Be sure to relax. ;)

    You know I think what’s funny about all this is that there are people arguing the case for incidents of supposedly ‘rogue’ employees going to lengths that even the corporations themselves wouldn’t support outright. Trying to find an ‘airtight’ way for corporations to check receipts.

  357. dragonfire81 says:

    Ok so the item becomes YOUR property once I have your cash (if I am the one running the store).

    Many stores have policies that apply after the sale is made (for example a return policy) so why could I not have a “receipts required policy” that applies after a sale?

    And aside from that, my original question was: What is the BIG DEAL with showing your receipt to someone?

  358. girly says:

    @dragonfire81: You could have that policy, but how would you legally enforce it if people refuse? Maybe things like banning from future shopping, ejecting people from the store, but you couldn’t make them stay in the store until they complied.

    There’s no big deal with showing the receipt. The big deal would be if there’s some kind of threat hanging over you if you don’t. They shouldn’t treat you badly if you just decide not to, or worse yet harm you.

  359. The LP guy was not following policy, as explained by wellfleet. But I’m not sure what the appropriate “compensation” for rude treatment by an out of line employee is. An apology sounds fine with me.

    The letter is good in general, but if Bobby wants compensation beyond that it helps to make a specific request. Otherwise, all Best Buy can do is stab in the dark at guessing what he means by saying “But I don’t think that was enough. Best Buy repeatedly failed to do the minimum you’d expect a professional corporation to do….”

    Does he want a gift card? Discount? Refund? Apology? Notice that the employee has been fired? Hug? Call from Brad Anderson? Week of free day care? Cubs game in Best Buy’s luxury box (with open bar)?

    Regardless, I’m sure Best Buy will do something. Whether or not it’s “the minimum you’d expect a professional corporation to do” is a tossup.

    (Maybe the request was edited out to make for more colorful discussion, in which case this comment is moot.)

  360. @Puck: Raise your hand if you thought that this thread would really hit 300 comments.

    I’m actually surprised. I just got here, but I would have guessed rapid growth to somewhere around 150, and then a trickle over the night to end around 250.

    Nope, pretty soon you’ll have to ask who thought it’d get to 400.

  361. girly says:

    somehow this is what I think of when I think of everyone deciding to show their receipts because it’s ‘no big deal’

    In The Know: Kim Jong-Il’s Approval Rating Plummets to 120%

  362. snakeskin33 says:

    Can we just disagree about whether it is or isn’t too much trouble to show a receipt at Best Buy without the lecture about how it’s tantamount to bowing down to brutal dictators? I really think that’s not too much to ask.

  363. girly says:

    @snakeskin33: I didn’t really mean it that way. I just mean it’s a ‘choice’ that’s not a ‘choice’ if you can’t say no.

    And if it’s a ‘choice’ but you should only say yes it doesn’t make much sense.

  364. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @exlawyer: Yeesh, how many times do I have to warn people for the same thing in the same thread?! Don’t call the victim names, read the comment code, and for what’s more, read the comments above you. Nobody likes one-off commenters who post to a 300+ comment thread with an identical comment to something on the first page.

  365. @snakeskin33: No. We also need to compare it to child molestation, kidnapping, Hitler, “your papers, please”, the constitution, the law, what makes me happy, and anything else in the internet argument toy chest.

  366. snakeskin33 says:

    Of course it’s a choice. Of course I can say no. I choose to say yes, because I genuinely, truly don’t mind. If you do mind, YOU CAN SAY NO. It’s a real, true, honest choice. My opinion is that it’s a perfectly fair practice and one I’m happy to cooperate with. I didn’t say you should only say yes. I, personally, me, I do indeed believe that it’s “no big deal.” I find it unnecessarily combative for that to mean I get compared to people who submit to dictators. Why can’t it just be a point of disagreement? Why does anyone have to be in the pocket of Kim Jong Il?

  367. RabbitDinner says:

    Having read the threads accompanying the scores of other receipt check stories, I feel that the comments are truly carbon copies of each other. Some of them, the debate actually gets somewhere (e.g.-the CPA shoving the Wal-Mart receipt checker, the guy who got arrested for refusing to show his receipt, being detained, and threatened), but in those threads, there is an actual issue tangent to the concept of receipt-checking. The receipt checking debate has surpassed beating a dead horse, we have flogged it, we are absolutely desecrating the corpse

  368. ThyGuy says:

    You guys might as well stop trying to convince the, “OMG, I R asked 2 show RECEIPT?! WTFBBQ!!!1!!oneoneone” because they won’t chance their minds, just like we won’t.

    Most of them are just whiners from the hippy age that are going into a midlife crisis and need to find a way to feel important through any means possible.

    OMFG! People are disagreeing on the Internets! Who knew?!

  369. Jesse in Japan says:

    If I’d bought something inexpensive and didn’t really need the receipt, I would just crinkle it up into a wad and toss it at the guy. Whatever they do after that is probably grounds for a lawsuit.

  370. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    @Cwicseolfor:
    “I can do this at a Best Buy, or Walmart or Costco in NY?”

    Costco and Sams Club may be a different matter as you joined a “club” and agreed to the rules.

  371. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    @Edge231:
    Stores can set what ever policies they want – but they shouldn’t be double secret probation policies or kept deep in an unlit basement inside a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign saying Beware Of The Leopard.

    If it’s policy it should be clearly displayed, not in fine print, at the entrance and/or checkouts.

  372. Judge_Smails says:

    This isn’t a receipt story, but it is a Best Buy one:

    I received a new Visa card in the mail as my old one was expiring. I stuck it in my wallet and forgot about it for a week or so.

    I purchased something at Best Buy, and had just signed the credit card slip (this was when they were still paper) when the cashier turned my card over to check the signature. Of course, I had forgotten to sign the card when I stuck it in my wallet.

    She says she can’t approve the sale unless the signatures match. So I turn the card over, sign the back of it, and she then picks up the card and the credit slip AND COMPARES THE SIGNATURES!!! And I don’t mean just a quick glance, she was really comparing them!

    I had just signed both items in front of her, and she still compares the signatures!

    Of course she approved the sale and I left just shaking my head….

  373. girly says:

    @snakeskin33: You took that way too hard. I didn’t intend that as a personal slight. It’s just something that vaguely reminds me of this, no parallels to dictators intended.

  374. GoBobbyGo says:

    Hi. I’m the OP. Sorry it took me so long to weigh in. Just a few things.

    I can be an asshole. You can be an asshole. Anybody can be an asshole. I don’t think I was actually being an asshole in this situation. I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t get all huffy. I just said “no” to the first request, “no” to the second, “no” to the third, and “you may not” to the fourth. Probably I should have said “no, thank you” instead of just “no”. But you can say “no” in a confrontational way and in a non-confrontational way, and this was the non-confrontational way.

    Being called names is not usually fun, but I’m not claiming that it irreparably harmed me or anything. I never threatened to sue them. I just wrote up an email to tell them what happened and asked them to make it up to me.

    All the people who are comparing receipt checkers to Nazi’s, child molesters, etc, I’m not there with you. As I said in my original email, I think it’s fine if they ask for it, as long as they’re prepared to take “no” for an answer. This guy didn’t like it – he followed me a few steps out the door toward the parking lot, and that was that. It wasn’t like he was threatening me. And, no, I wasn’t about to escalate any situation into anything worse, not with my baby right there. But if I’ve got a receipt somewhere in the bottom of my pocket, a bag in one arm, a baby in the other, and the baby’s starting to get really agitated, it IS a hassle to produce the receipt. And I guarantee it will take more than 20 seconds. If I don’t have to do it, I’m not going to.

    To be honest, I agree that this isn’t something to get upset over. I’m not upset, I just know that I’ve been wronged and I think it’s reasonable to ask for something to make up for it.

    As for both why I was shopping at BB at all, and why I wasted 2 hours of my day on this, it’s an incremental thing. My DVR broke, and it’s out of warranty, and DirecTV tells me I’ll have a new one much faster, and $20 cheaper, if I go to the store and pick one up. The only store that sells them is BB. It’s a ten minute drive. I call ahead of time to make sure they have it. No problem. Seems to me like the prudent thing to do here is to go to the store. It’s pretty annoying that they don’t actually have it. But there’s a store that’s 20 minutes further away that does. Well, I’ve wasted some time, but I’m already out of the house (which is the big thing about taking the baby out), and do I want to spend another half-hour or wait a couple more days to be able to watch tv? Off to the next store I go. The guys there were really nice, it wasn’t their fault the first place told me they had the thing when they didn’t, and they spent a bunch of time tracking a receiver down for me. Again, Bucktown’s a little further away, but its not like I can have the time I’ve already wasted back. It’s spend another hour or so or wait a couple days. So I check the baby, he seems fine, he’s well-fed and happy, so I go to the other store.

    The whole excursion took me 3 hours. If I had been told the truth originally, that the Bucktown store was the closest one to me with the receiver in stock, I would have gone straight there and back, and it would have taken an hour. That’s why I said they wasted 2 hours of my time. Ben or whoever just edited that part out, because my email was pretty long.

  375. waldo617211 says:

    I would like to see some info from these stores that play ” you’re a thief unless you prove otherwise”, to see how much theft it actually prevents. I seemed to recall a study somewhere that over 90% of all inventory loss was committed by staff. If that is true, then they are pissing off a lot of people for very little payback. One of these days, they’re going to do this to the wrong person ( like a lawyer? ) & the payout will exceed many years of ” public ” shoplifting losses!

  376. @GoBobbyGo: I just know that I’ve been wronged and I think it’s reasonable to ask for something to make up for it.

    There’s no question that you have been wronged. Do you mind answering what you think is fair compensation?

    @waldo617211: I seemed to recall a study somewhere that over 90% of all inventory loss was committed by staff. If that is true, then they are pissing off a lot of people for very little payback.

    I used to work as cashier at Best Buy. In my experience, most people don’t care and show their receipt when asked. I didn’t know there was any issue until I started reading The Consumerist.

    “You’re a thief unless you prove otherwise” is not exactly the store’s reasoning. Receipt checking is intended to address at least three things:

    * The “sweetheart” cashier, where someone walk through the line with a PS3 and the cashier only rings up the game (this is, of course, one type of employee theft)

    * (more common) catch cashier or salesperson mistakes and hold the employee responsible. Example: you paid for a red washer and the stock guy pulled down a white one (see wellfleet, above). This one can work out in your favor, since how can you return something if it doesn’t match your receipt?

    * (not applicable to Best Buy) Verifying that the customer properly rung up everything using the self-checkout. Example: Guy Switches Price Tag On Walmart Plasma TV, Tries To Buy It For $4.88.

    These all seem like fair reasons to me—and I don’t know what alternative there is—so I don’t hold it against any store for asking.

  377. 5h17h34d says:

    Ahh, fond memories of me stiff-arming a receipt checker at CompUSA 8 years ago.

    Good times.

    He ended up on the ground after trying to grab me. Wish I was still in that good of shape. :(

  378. pvaras says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo

    Scuba, I agree with you. I am a regular at my local Best Buy. Sometimes I have been asked for my receipt, sometimes I have been waived off. I don’t see the big deal with showing my receipt.

    People can’t have it both ways. Retail theft costs companies millions a year. So, instead of raising prices, they check receipts. It’s similar to homeland security. People demand to be kept safe, and yet we refuse to spend an extra five minutes in a security line.

    Don’t get pissed at BB; get pissed at the assholes that steal from Best Buy and raise prices for us all.

    As for the associate who called him a name, that was obviously wrong and he should be reprimanded.

  379. CountryBoy says:

    The percentage of blathering ‘Sheep’ posting on this forum is amazing. I never expected hooved animals to be computer literate.

  380. narayan1121 says:

    To clear this up for all of those that seem to not understand most stores’ receipt-checking policy, it isn’t because they think you’re stealing it. It’s because (at Best Buy anyway), not all products are purchased at the registers by the front door, and sometimes multiple people can handle the product before it gets to the customer. Because of this, they check the receipt to make sure the customer gets the item that they paid for. Businesses are allowed to maintain the integrity of their inventory. If you hate having your receipt checked so much, just say you’d rather be rung out at the cash registers up front: most Best Buy’s don’t check receipts processed up there unless its a big-ticket item. I hate having my receipt checked too (every time I’m in Wal-Mart I pray they ask me for my receipt so I can refuse), but at Best Buy I think they’re reasons are a little more legitimate.

  381. Limekiller says:

    Its never occurred to me to not show my receipt if asked. Then again the only place that does that near me is a Sam’s Club. At Best Buy they only ask if the dinger goes off when you walk through. If that happens and they don’t notice, I go back anyway.

  382. headhot says:

    @reed311:
    Stores have a right to detain you if the suspect you are shop lifting, but its my understanding that they must have very solid grounds for doing so, other wise they are opening them selves up to a lawsuit or even criminal prosecution. Not showing a receipt does not raise to the level. I think they have to witness some one take something off the shelves, pass through check out with out paying, and leaving the store, all with out losing sight of the person.

  383. narq says:

    Beyond an apology I think that being forced to work the rest of his life at Best Buy is fitting punishment.

  384. uclajd says:

    Reed311 says, “If someone is leaving your store and you ask for their receipt and they say “no”, that is reasonable cause to believe that they may have stolen your property.”

    And he couldn’t be more wrong. As a former plain clothes loss prevention agent – and a current lawyer and law professor – trust me when I say that refusla to show your receipt (assuming you did lawfully purchase the merchandise in question) is *not* probable cause to detain someone. A store that detains someone solely on this basis is looking for a lawsuit, one it will lose. False imprisonment, battery, defamation, etc. Any decent company trains its agents in the law, and not showing your receipt doesn’t even come close to probable cause to detain.

  385. Scatter says:

    I agree that the security guard was unprofessional but I have a problem with people who think that they DESERVE FREE STUFF just because they were inconvenienced or offended. I’m sorry OP but we’ve only heard your side of the story and usually the people who complain conveniently leave certain details out of their stories. At most you deserve an apology since you really didn’t suffer any hardship.

  386. rruff says:

    @krispykrink: There doesn’t need to be a law requiring it. You are on their private property, and they expect that you will abide by their polcies.

    Is there a law that says you can’t bring your own soda and snacks into a movie theater? I highly doubt it, yet many movie theaters enfore such a policy, as is well within their rights as you are being allowed to enter their private property.

  387. scamps says:

    @MrDo: I have one even better – it’s called living near New Hampshire. No tax, AND no waiting for shipping.

  388. thelushie says:

    @EyeHeartPie: If the person is perceived as an equal, then there will be no question. “Well-dressed” and my guess, also well spoken, polished. Not in a uniform. It is harder to look down on someone as a “minimum wage drone” or whatever when they look and sound like you.

    I pick and chose my battles. And, honestly, I have some very serious battles to fight so showing my receipt at the door is nothing. If this is the biggest battle you have to fight, rock on.

    And, guys, when you call someone a “minimum wage drone” or “high school drop out” or whatever the “in” insult is this week, you bring down your arguement. I personally don’t listen to you because when you insult someone who has an honest job, you sound like you are trying to be some self-righteous snob and I picture you at the public library computer waiting for your welfare check.

    As for this case. Yes, calling him an asshole was uncalled for. He got an apology and that is all that he should get. What does he want? A public lashing? For him to be able to look down his nose on the receipt checker while he is “forced” to apologize. Yeah whatever.

  389. mmmsoap says:

    @posaune: When it’s store policy in written form (for example, at Costco, where you get a membership agreement ahead of time) you’re spot on. However, unless there’s a giant sign in front of BestBuy that says “all merchandise subject to search and review after transactions are completed” so you can make an informed decision before shopping, it’s uninforcable. They can’t argue “if you don’t like our policy, shop elsewhere” if you don’t know the policy in the first place.

  390. bigoaks22 says:

    Conversation leading up to incident:

    [Cashier] – “Hello sir, are you ready to check out?”
    [Customer] – “Yes, just this DirectTV receiver is all today.”
    [Cashier] – “What’s your phone number?”
    [Customer] – “No thanks, you don’t need my phone number.”
    [Cashier] – “Would you like to join our Best Buy Rewards program for $10.00 ?
    [Customer] – “No, thanks.”
    [Cashier] – “Are you sure? It’s only…”
    [Customer] – “No, just the receiver.”

    [Security Guard] – “May I see your receipt?”

    Like all of his previous responses during the Worst Buy checkout process, Bobby was used to saying “No.”

    I applaud his rejection of useless questions.

  391. A-Consumer-Advocate says:

    After spending over an hour reading all of these comments, I feel like I must comment. There has been extensive debate which has a fair amount of accurate information and a fair amount of clearly incorrect information. Here are three clear facts listed briefly.

    FACT: Absent a membership agreement or another form of affirmative consent, the store has no legal authority to demand to see your receipt. They may ask, you may refuse.

    FACT: Your refusal carries with it no risk of legal liability or legal consequences. It is, without question, not tantamount to probable cause. They cannot have you arrested for refusing to show your receipt.

    FACT: Once you have paid for something, whether a stereo at Best Buy or an ice cream cone from a vendor on the street, it is yours. You do not have to prove this to anyone by any means, including showing them their receipt. If they are so convinced you have stolen something from them, they can detain you in most states until the police arrive. However, if it turns out that you didn’t steal anything, you will have grounds for a civil lawsuit against them, and they may face criminal charges along the lines of kidnapping.

    (This is not intended to be legal advice. If you have a specific legal question, you should consult your lawyer.)
    . . .

    I have my own opinions about the entire receipt checking routine, but I will save it for another comment as I don’t want to confuse my opinion with clear facts.

  392. prodevel says:

    I say divert the ‘resources’ of the receipt checkers by putting on regular clothing and have them target the actual thieves, not the 95+% of people that do not shoplift.

    Specially Best Buy – it would take 1 person standing where they do to make sure anyone leaving w/a bag comes from the checkout lines.

    Awfully smug and cocky executive mgmt. are making these types of decisions…

  393. supesguy says:

    To everyone that says: “I don’t see what the big deal is about showing a receipt on the way out.”

    Just because YOU DON’T MIND doesn’t mean EVERYONE else wants to stop (on their way from the register) and waste their time submitting to a completely meaningless song and dance that does nothing to prevent theft. The fat slobs at the door (and yes, they usually are fat slobs) should be watching their CCTVs rather than looking at receipts of customers coming directly from the store’s one open register.

    Get it? Not everyone thinks like you. Hard to believe isn’t it?

  394. Meathamper says:

    @EllaMcWho: You want a gift certificate from Best Buy? Those cashiers would look at the thing and say it wouldn’t be valid.

  395. Alright, here’s my spin on it, take it or leave it:

    Our local Best Buy has NEVER checked a receipt that I have seen, although we do have a guy who gets paid to sit by the door and greet.

    To those of you who say it is “their policy,” I can only say that it must not be policy at every store, because no one I know has ever been stopped at our store for a receipt check. ALSO, it seems to me that if it is a policy, it should be clearly posted or stated somewhere, so that customers know what to expect. That’s what Costco does. Its in their agreement when you sign up for a card.

    Finally, I don’t suppose it would bother me if they did ask occasionally, as long as it isn’t every time. I can see them wanting to stop crime and “protect their merchandise” as much as any other store, but I can also see (based on what I’ve read here and on other sites in the past) that they CAN and DO lose customers over it. I would probably take offense if it was done EVERY time if it weren’t a posted policy, because in the end it does waste time. Regardless of how valuable that time may be or not, I only have so much time to live before I die, and I’d like to spend as little as possible waiting in lines so I can be checked for shoplifting or whatever. I have never stolen an item in my life and don’t intend to start anytime soon.

    And our irritated customer has EVERY RIGHT to be bothered about being cursed at. Where I live cursing in the presence of a minor is a misdemeanor violation, and whether it occurs in the presence of a police officer or not, if a witness will sign the ticket, the offender will be issued a $108 fine. THINK TWICE ABOUT YOUR LANGUAGE. I see people griping that that language “isn’t all that bad or harmful” or whatever, but parents have the right to choose what their children are exposed to, thats why we have a rating system for movies and TV, and thats why cursing in front of children is illegal in so many jurisdictions. Whether he gets a gift card or not (I don’t care one way or the other) he MOST CERTAINLY deserves a PROPER apology from best buy and the employee. There are better ways to handle that situation, and the store needs to realize that. Good customer service is the ticket to repeat customers and a good customer base.

  396. Con Seannery says:

    I didn’t have the time to read all 388 comments, and I know odds are this will never be seen, but while you have no obligation to show your receipt, they have no obligation to let you shop there.

  397. oldscud says:

    Somehow I doubt the OP was called an asshole because he “politely” declined to show his receipt. Yes, he deserves an apology but the possibility exists he deserves to give one as well.

  398. RabbitDinner says:

    @supesguy: I disagree with it, but I usually only bother to walk through when there’s a line for the receipt checker (esp at The Home Depot, grr). I already waited in line to pay for it, fuck you, I’m not waiting to prove that what’s mine is mine. “But everyone else is!” “So?”

  399. RabbitDinner says:

    Thankfully I don’t live in a jurisdiction where it’s illegal to curse in front of a minor. A toddler? Ok that’s low. But someone like a 12 year old? Please. When my sister was 12 I heard her and her friends drop the f bomb all the time. I don’t mind the government trying to protect children, but I don’t support state-sponsored sheltering. If you want to raise your child to be a bumbling. socially awkward person fine, but I had heard almost every curse imaginable by the time I was 6 and I turned out fine.

  400. RabbitDinner says:

    @RabbitDinner: and no, I’m not “white trash” or any of that, in case anyone wants to start.

  401. Puck says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    Raise your hand if you thought that this thread would really hit 400 comments.

  402. Grive says:

    @supesguy: Works both ways, man.

    Also point that out to the monkeys who claim that by accepting to show your receipt, you’re giving up your personal freedoms and thus according to the great Franklin, do not deserve them.

  403. EyeHeartPie says:

    I guess it comes down to personal views and preference. Some people see receipt checkers as akin to an illegal search and a shot on personal rights, while others see it as no big deal. I myself see it as a battle not worth fighting. I would be the first to fight if someone was actually being illegally searched.

    I just find it funny/odd/sad that of all the slights against personal rights and civil liberties visible in the US today, this is the battle that many people are choosing to fight. Illegal wiretapping? Who cares. Receipt checkers? OH NO, WE MUST FIGHT THIS INJUSTICE!!

  404. EyeHeartPie says:

    Oh, and also:

    400!!!

  405. RabbitDinner says:

    400!

  406. RabbitDinner says:

    @RabbitDinner: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  407. EyeHeartPie says:

    Crap…I really thought it was 400. And it was, according to the comment count.

  408. EyeHeartPie says:

    @RabbitDinner: Maybe you can get it if it gets to 500 :p

  409. AMetamorphosis says:

    @Stormslanding:

    I think you defined yourself in the first sentence.

    To intentionally send customers on a wild goose chase for an item is mean and wrong.
    This is why BB & CC have such poor reputations.
    If I was your manager, you would be fired.

  410. darkryd says:

    “We’re curious, what do you think is fair compensation for being called an asshole? “

    Compensation? Seriously, there’s no compensation needed beyond an apology. It was an ill-played choice by the guard, but deal with it and stop whining.

    If you get called an asshole by someone, just suck it up, accept that the person who called you an asshole is one themself, and then make a note never to do business at that store again. Plain and simple.

  411. RabbitDinner says:

    @darkryd: You’re fighting a lost cause. The people who think that this guy deserves compensation are the same that think that every minor civil claim is a multimillion dollar lawsuit and the plaintiff can retire happily in the Caribbean.

  412. chartrule says:

    the O/P should just boycott with his wallet by not shopping there in the future

  413. GoBobbyGo says:

    @RabbitDinner: Just to be clear. I’m asking for compensation because, twice, they told me that store X had what I was looking for, and I went there and they didn’t. Two hours wasted, I think, is grounds for compensation. The name-calling was really just the icing on the cake.

  414. SinA says:

    I understand checking for receipts when people walk toward the doors from the middle of the store, not checking the receipts of people that just came from the checkout lane. It’s the register clerk’s responsibility to make sure that the customer doesn’t slip stuff past them, and then those tensiony nylon lune divider things can shoot them right out the door unmolested. If they go back in the store with their bag walk around before heading out, go ahead and check the bag.

    As for being an asshole:
    1. I’d love to be called an asshole at a store like that. I don’t care if I was in a hury, that’s something you can have a fun talk with the manager about.
    2. We can discuss the merits of receipt checking, but the customer might really be an asshole.
    3. I might be an asshole, too.

  415. RabbitDinner says:

    @GoBobbyGo: OK and I am not attacking you but simply calling out the B.S. I have seen

  416. RabbitDinner says:

    @GoBobbyGo: But unless they have some sort of “rain check” policy good luck with that.

  417. Upsilon says:

    Please. There are many worse things you could have been called than “asshole.”
    Now, if he called you a bitch in front of your son, you have a right to be angry.

    ~Y

  418. Puck says:

    At this point in this thread, I expect to see someone putting power rankings on all of the possible insults that could have been directed to you so that we can see where “asshole” truly lands.

    My money is that it doesn’t crack the top 10.

  419. supesguy says:

    @Grive: You’re right, it should go both ways. I agree that militant refusers should not be criticizing people for submitting to the check.

    My previous post is directed at those saying “Get over it” and let them check.

    If they don’t mind having their receipts checked, I say: Go for it.

    The difference is that I’m not asking anyone to change their behavior or telling them that their reaction is wrong. That needs to go both ways.

  420. GoBobbyGo says:

    @RabbitDinner: “But unless they have some sort of “rain check” policy good luck with that.”

    Well, exactly. If they don’t have black-letter policies that say they will do something, and they SHOULD do it anyway, other means of convincing them to do it are necessary. Thus the email to them, the post on consumerist and the 400-some comments.

  421. RabbitDinner says:

    @GoBobbyGo: All I’m saying is that what you want and what you get may (and likely will) be different things. And of the 400+ comments, a handful related to your specific situation. The rest was everyone’s favorite debate-the receipt check controversy redux

  422. Big Believer here in picking-and-choosing your battles, but this one, I CHOOSE. Not because I’m an individual rights fanatic, but because I HATE LINES.

    If I’m in one of these stores, the chances are pretty good that I’m running errands and anxious to get on to the next store. That’s just me. I’ve just waited in line at the checkout . . . I’m certainly not going to wait in line at the door, too. No way. No how. Especially so that some employee can confirm that I’m not a criminal.

    My response: “Not today. Thanks.”
    .

  423. Craig says:

    Sounds like the security guard simply voiced the opinion of most of the other customers leaving the store who could care less about showing their receipt.

  424. greggsemen says:

    @reed311 Refusing to submit to a receipt check is not grounds for detainment, and to take it a step beyond, only about 4 states allow you to detain someone for setting off the security alarms. I suggest you google “merchants statute” and your state’s name.

    In order for the store to detain you against your will they must have a reasonable belief that you store, and be able to articulate the actions that led them to detain you.

    For example: “I think this guy stole something, he looks like a thief and he wouldn’t let us check his receipt even after we asked 3 times!”

    this wouldn’t generally be grounds for detainment, and the merchant statute doesn’t usually protect businesses from lawsuits based on such careless Loss Prevention. You have to have a solid reason, beyond a reasonable doubt in your own mind, to detain someone for a BRIEF investigation.

    With the frequency of honest people refusing to subject themselves to being treated like criminals and walking out without showing a receipt, it would be hard to justify detaining each one. People should not be criminalized for acting lawfully, just because some jerk in a yellow shirt thinks he’s above the law.

    I suppose that’s how we’re being conditioned these days, sacrifice your rights and self respect for “security reasons”.

    I would only like to add that if the same had happened to me, and it has, I would immediate turn around and offer to show them my receipt at the returns counter. As a customer, I’m not obligated to stop being an asshole, but as an employee, and thereby a representative of your employer, YOU have the obligation of protecting your employers image. Now the security goon looks like the asshole, moreso than the hurried customer.

  425. technopimp says:

    If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been called an asshole in Best Buy (or Circuit City, or even Wal-mart for that matter), I’d have a shitload of nickels. My favorite was when I was in Wal-mart and they rang up an item for more than the price sticker stated, and when I questioned it the clerk called her manager right in front of me, saying how an “asshole customer” was trying to get her to lower the price on something.

  426. Roto13 says:

    This guy IS an asshole.

  427. ldavis480 says:

    Repeat after me:

    DO. NOT. SHOP. AT. BEST. BUY. EVER.

    Man, it’s one thing that there’s a lot of sheep out there buying from brass buy, but what amazes me is how many consumerist regulars are always popping in here complaining about how they were mistreated there.

    I’m not doing blame the consumer here, I’m just saying it reminds me of a saying: The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

    It defies logic.

  428. atrusredtalon says:

    Really I think that they should only ask for a receipt if 1. You don’t have the item in a bag, such as a TV or home stereo or something or 2. The alarm goes off when you pass through the door when something like a CD or DVD and the anti theft sticker doesn’t get deactivated at the register correctly. Then I don’t have a problem with showing the receipt and really I don’t think anyone else should.

  429. Drew5764 says:

    @Stormslanding: And a fine job you did at CompUSA. Maybe that’s why they’re so successful.
    /sarcasm

  430. SudhiraMacer says:

    In the olden days (1980′s and earlier) the security person would have been fired for speaking to a customer in such a rude manner.

    Now, we just tolerate bad behavior. Gee, we’re such an advanced society–no wonder we’re in such an economic mess.

  431. hurc says:

    i found this happened to me and was detained
    i contacted futureshop ceo todd empey he is the best complaint department
    his telephone number is 604 763 7853 i think this is his cell phone as he does answer after hours