Giant Supermarket Wants To See Your Receipt After You Get In Your Car

Big box retailers checking receipts is old news. How about getting the suspected shoplifter treatment at a supermarket instead? Even better, how would you like having a security guard knock on your car window, and tell you that you’re on private property when you tell him you don’t have to show anything?

Tonight after work I went to a Giant grocery store in northern VA to pick up the items needed to bake for Christmas. Armed with my shopping list, I quickly made my way through the store and found a self checkout lane without a line. A very nice women came up to assist, I told her I had my own reusable bags and would not need help. I used to be a Giant cashier in college and can scan and bag items faster and better then the people they have now. The old owners used to put us through a lot of training, doesn’t seem like they do that anymore.

I paid for and bagged my items, with the exception of an 8 pack of Gatorade which had a handle and didn’t need to be bagged. On the way toward the door, I stopped at Customer Service to purchase 2 AMEX gift cards (gift cards bad, I know, long story). During the 10 minutes I was waiting at Customer Service I got hot and took off my jacket. Eventually helped by a very nice gentlemen, I paid for the gift cards and went to leave.

The Customer Service area was busy. We had to enter at the end near the door, opposite way you would go through a checkout line, and the aisle that could have been used to turn around and leave was blocked by equipment. Therefore, I had to go around the Customer Service area which takes you partially back into the store. Behind the Customer Service desk I stopped to put my jacket back on, right in front of a security guard who could see me come around the corner and walk out the door.

Outside the store, I walked to my car, put the groceries in the trunk (along with the receipt), talked to someone for a second, returned the cart and then got in my car to leave. As I was pulling out of the parking space, the security guard knocked on my car window. He said his manager wanted him to check my receipt. Confused beyond belief, but too tired and with too much to do I said no. I told him that the items were paid for, they were already in my car, they were my property and I did not have to show it to him. He said the parking lot was private property, implying that even though MY items were inside MY car they had to right to see them. That a security guard would think they had to right to see anything in my car, truly angered me. Mixed with the insult of being accused of shop lifting, when he asked why I wouldn’t show the receipt I told him, “I just want to get the f*** home.” I told him about the woman who saw me at the checkout, he immediately seemed flustered and confused. So, I said I was leaving. I think he took down my license plate number as I was leaving, but wasn’t really paying any more attention to him.

In summary:

  1. Used my own bags, which saves them money.
  2. Used the self checkout, which saves them money.
  3. After paying for over $50 worth of groceries (apparently some of which I stole), I stood around for 10 minutes at Customer Service to make a purchase of over $200.
  4. Paid both times with my credit card, so they have my information.
  5. Had no choice but to leave by going around behind the Customer Service desk, partly into the store, because THEIR equipment was blocking the other way out.
  6. Casually walked out, not rushed.
  7. Security guard wanted to see my receipt, as I was pulling out of the parking space.
    • He took so long to come out that, he would have missed most people.
    • He tried to tell me that he had to right to see my receipt even though it was in my car.
    • Think he took down my license plate as I slowly drove off, not speeding or trying to “get away.”
  8. If I’m stealing, I’m just the worst thief on the planet.
    • Just in case, double checked the receipt when I got home, everything was correct.

Moral of the story, Giant thinks reusable bags + purchase at Customer Service counter = shoplifting.

I may be banned from that store now, which is their right. Either way Giant has just lost the business of a lifelong customer and former employee.

Comments

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  1. echovictorecho says:

    1. You could have taken two minutes to show the dude your receipt.
    2. The guy didn’t “accuse you of shoplifting,” he just wanted to see a piece of paper. Many stores check *all* receipts.
    3. Try not to cuss at people in authority unless you absolutely have to. Trust me, I know how much fun it is, but it’s usually not worth it.

    • taking_this_easy says:

      1) if the line for receipt checking is long, do i still have to wait to prove i paid for these groceries?
      2) many stores do, but they can’t force you to show it
      exceptions are costco, BJ, Sam’s club where your membership conditions says you have to or your membership is revoked
      3) true :)

      • Starsmore says:

        If the line is long at someplace where I’m not contractually obligated to show my receipt (Best Buy, Fry’s, etc), I’m not going to stand in line and wait if the guy checking receipts is slow. I just cruise on through, and treat the receipt checker like they just asked if I wanted to sign something. “Nope, don’t need any.”

        Haven’t gotten banned from anywhere yet.

        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          If it’s a small purchase and the receipt’s just going to get tossed anyway, I just hand it to the checker and walk away with him still holding it. I think it confuses them enough to not bother me.

          • rihan says:

            And this is one of the things I find most annoying about customers at grocery stores. If you aren’t going to keep the receipt then take it with you and throw it in one of the many garbage cans you are sure to come across on your way out. Cashiers do not appreciate having to constantly throw away garbage for people simply because said customer is too lazy to walk 2 extra steps to the can.

            • katstermonster says:

              Reading is fun! The poster to which you replied was not talking about leaving a receipt behind at the register for giggles, or because he or she didn’t feel like holding onto it. He or she was talking very specifically about receipt-checking, and how he or she deals with it: by leaving the receipt with the individual who — get this — wanted to see it in the first place. I am not legally obligated to show a receipt upon exiting any store at which it is not contractually required, so yes, if an employee is going to interrupt my shopping experience and try to force me to show a receipt, I’d say that they at that point deserve the inconvenience of having to dispose of my receipt.

            • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

              I never said that I leave my receipt with the cashier. I always take it with me and either keep it, or throw it away myself, unless the receipt checker at the door asks for it.

    • mrsam says:

      The rent-a-cop in question was in no position of “authority” over anyone.

    • RogerTheAlien says:

      Okay, so what about the fact that to physically walk to the OP’s car AFTER he/she’d left the store caused the guard to potentially miss legitimate shoplifters. And, if there wasn’t some implicit accusation, why the walk to the OP’s car in the first place? I think you miss the point of the story.

      Or you work for Giant. Way to blame the OP.

    • 5seconds says:

      1) The reciept was in the trunk. You want the OP to shut off the car, get out, pop the trunk, and dig around for a reciept? Since the guy owns everything the guard wants to see, why should he? If the guard insisted that he open his glovebox, should he? What about turning out his pockets? Give me a break.

      2) The implication of showing a reciept is that you are doing something wrong. Unless you agree to that before you shop there, like Costco etc, there is no reason to if you don’t feel like it.

      3) Legally, the guard is not a person of authority.

    • Shaggy says:

      1. S/he could’ve have, but didn’t. The law says that you don’t have to, so why should you if you don’t want to?
      2. I’m sure that the security guard knock on ALL their customer’s car windows. And if they don’t, then why knock? Because they suspected the original poster of shoplifting.
      3. The local “rent-a-cop” is not an authority figure.

    • Judah says:

      1.) No. He’s got the car started, and is on his way. He’s tired and wasting gas.
      2.) Then they should have checked receipts inside if they wanted to check. Heck, if helped the guy load up his car I bet he’d have been please to show the receipt for that service.
      3.) The guy deserved it, he wasn’t polite and was incompetent the way the situation went down.

    • echovictorecho says:

      TL;DR version: I’m just saying the guy could have saved himself a headache.

      Of course s/he didn’t have to, but in the time it took to argue with the guy, he could have just done as he asked. Now he’s worried about having his plates checked. I’m not saying it’s not annoying or weird, merely that it would have been the path of least resistance.

      In this situation I would have just showed the stupid receipt, and if you’re that butt-hurt about being “accused of stealing” – *then* take it up with a store manager. Not trying to Blame the OP, just saying the situation could have been handled better.

      As for the semantics of “in authority” – point taken. It just seemed unnecessary.

      • Bill610 says:

        I wouldn’t “worry” too much about having plates run. In many/most states, the implementation of the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act would make it illegal to run the plates: there is no suspicion of a crime, there’s no grounds for a lawsuit, or any other reason that would make a tag check legitimate (and no, not showing a receipt is NOT grounds for suspicion of theft). If the tag were run, there’s still nothing that the store or the police can do. If contacted by the store or the police as a result of the tag being run, I would raise quite a fuss about the violation of my privacy and likely violation of the law they committed in acquiring my personal information from my tag.

        • LastError says:

          Not true. In my state, the state tag office will happily provide the MVR for any license tag, for the sum of 50 cents. Give them a tag number and a buck and they give you back enough change for a can of pop and the full report on who owns the vehicle, home address, lien holders if any, insurance company, and all sorts of other stuff.

          See a hottie in traffic? No time to catch up and trade phone numbers? No problem. Note the plate. Take your fifty cents and the plate number down to the tag office and now you know where the hottie lives and maybe who they bank with. All you need to stalk them, call them up pretending to be the bank, and more.

          • katstermonster says:

            Actually what Bill610 said IS true, because he noted that this is the case in “many/most” states. Never say never, my friend.

      • Difdi says:

        According the the OP, the receipt for the food was in the trunks, one would assume in one of the bags. How is it not a hassle to repark the car, get out, open the trunk, search through all the bags for the one that has the receipt in it, and show it to someone who has no authority whatsoever to demand that you do so?

        This assumes that the guard would not then demand the OP empty out all the bags, the prove that the receipt matches their contents. The incident was never a matter of simply digging a receipt out of a pocket at showing it.

        Outside of that store, that guard has authority in only one specific case: If he has proof (not mere suspicion) that the OP is indeed a thief. And if the guard had such proof, he would not need to ask to see a receipt in the first place.

      • msbask says:

        I know it’s been said already but, as a woman, there’s no way I would have even opened my window all the way for this guy… much less gotten out of the car and showed my receipt.

        For me, this isn’t a ‘show your receipt issue’, it’s a safety issue.

    • The_Red_Monkey says:

      !) They were already in the car. Fark off at that point.
      2) If you ask to see my reciept you are accusing me of stealing. Do cops walk around and just pat people down? Its basically the same thing.
      3) A Security Guard is not a “Person of Authority” no matter how bad they want to be one.

    • katstermonster says:

      *facepalm* Stores can ask as many people as they want to to show a receipt, but they have NO legal right to require it unless it is part of the membership agreement (i.e. Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco, etc.). If they are serious enough to check my receipt because they think I’m a shoplifter, they can go ahead and call the cops. Make my day.

    • DD_838 says:

      Like others have said, a store security guard is not a person of authority. It also doesn’t matter if he was in his car or the store. A person legally doesn’t have to show anyone their receipt anywhere at anytime.

    • Trick says:

      A security guard is not a person of authority and has no more right to demand inspection of personal property than you do. For all this woman knows this is some creep trying to get her out of her car to rob her.

      The OP did the *RIGHT* thing by not getting out of the car and telling the wanna Barney Fife to go F*ck himself.

      • kujospam says:

        Just be careful, usually they are not real cops. But my Giant Eagle does use real cops at times. And even though a real cop is on guard duty, they are still a real cop. Hense Real.

        • Rachacha says:

          And if they are real police officers on or off duty and are acting as a police officer, they should show their badge and allow you to inspect it. There would also be the case of probable cause. Lets say for example that the OP showed the security guard the receipt for the gift cards (as there was a transaction at the self checkout, and a seperate transaction at the service desk). What would hav the security guard done then? The SG made a request, and the OP complied, he did not see what he was looking for (a receipt for food), so now does he go the next step and accuse the OP of shoplifting?

        • Smashville says:

          Still can’t search your car without a warrant.

      • strongbow says:

        Exactly, re: the “creep” comment. If I was alone in my car at night, especially if I was a woman, there is no way I would get out and rummage around for a receipt just because some dude was tapping on my window. Am I absolutely sure he’s a legit security guard? For all I know he’s gonna rob me or jack the car or worse. At that point I just say sorry, wave him off, and be on my way, probably getting ready to dial 911 as I go. If he wants to take down my plate number and send the cops after me, that’s his business.

        Anyone saying, just take the time to get out, pop the trunk, turn your back, and dig for the receipt, isn’t thinking about the situation realistically with all the potentially dangerous outcomes if this “security guard” isn’t on the up and up. Feeling threatened in this situation is not warrantless paranoia, but is unfortunately a necessary means of self-preservation in a lot of places. In fact, I believe Consumerist just ran an article about protecting oneself from parking lot thieves, especially at this time of year.

        • uber_mensch says:

          I whole-heartedly agree. In my town a knock on my car window at night in a parking lot would be met with a .45 knocking back at you.

        • crackers says:

          Yes, yes, yes. Safety is the first thing that popped into my mind, too. One of my neighbors growing up was a little off his rocker, and after he was expelled from high school, he wound up in a series of security guard positions. One of his jobs placed him at the parking garage for the restaurant where I worked late nights, and I had to get someone to walk me to my car because he would wait to escort me himself, all the while talking about how I “grew up so pretty” and that we should “get reacquainted.” Shudder.

          He has since been arrested multiple times for impersonating an officer (complete with flashing lights on his dashboard! Oh yes!). Not saying that all security guards are power-tripping creeps, by any means, but just throwing it out there that they’re not automatically good people.

    • Shadowfax says:

      OK, echovictorecho. . From now on, I want to see every receipt from every purchase you make too. Remember. 1) You can take two minutes to show me that receipt, and 2) I’m not accusing you of shoplifting either.

      So how you wanna work this? Flash the receipt at a webcam, or send copies to my PO box?

      Point being, yes, the OP could have taken 2 minutes to show the dude their receipt. *But it is not required, and is perfectly legal to refuse.*

      The OP refused. At that point, the security guard could have taken two minutes to go back in the store and start pretending to guard the merchandise again. But instead he decided to press the issue. The fault here lies with the security guard. I’d have done the same thing, minus the swearing.

    • damageddude says:

      Bleep that. Once the bags and myself are in my car I’m not getting out, digging through my drunk and bags to find the recipt. If there’s an issue with the cashier missing something, like the case of seltzer at the bottom of my cart, stop me at the door (I tell the cashier when they start scanning that there is something at the bottom — I don’t always remember to check if they scanned the item). Once I made the purchase, the goods are mine to do with as I please — not the store’s.

      And, if I was really upset, I would march back into the store with my club card, show the manager how much money I spend each week, take his name and tell corporate that he is personally responsible for about $9,000 a year now going to one of their competitors.

      • Yentaleh says:

        I would do the same thing, and then contact an attorney for defamation of character.

        At Zellers the other day I was asked to show my receipt. I gave them the riot act and told them that no I was not going to show it and that if they continued to harrass customers I would have an attorney look into laws of search and seizure. Today when I went to pick up some toilet paper, (from the very same Zellers) I wasn’t asked to show my receipt. In fact when they saw me rolling out of the store they quickly stepped aside and didn’t say anything. The OP had the right to stand his/her ground. Good for them!

        • Esquire99 says:

          A little bit overly-litigious, aren’t we

          • magstheaxe says:

            How about Zeller’s being a bit overly-willing to imply that he was shoplifting?

          • Smashville says:

            It is America.

            • RandomZero says:

              Not yet, it isn’t. Zellers is Canadian.That said, our privacy laws tend to be stronger and broader than America’s in a few places, and I believe this is one of them. Precedent says that a cop doing a bag check is clearly illegal, and while the Charter has historically been used only to judge the actions of the Crown, the text itself doesn’t distinguish between a cop and a security guard doing it to you. (Insert appropriate disclaimer of legal certifications here.)

              • RandomZero says:

                …and I stand corrected. Section 32 does limit the application. That said, the courts tend to frown on John Q. Public deciding that he has greater powers than the police do.

    • bigd738778 says:

      I can cuss at anyone I wish to in my car so don’t tell someone else they can’t. Just because your offended by language doesn’t mean other people are. Giant had no legal way to stop anyone in their vehicle, being private property or not. Infact knowing how retail operates and with the legal system, the security guard and the company could get themselves in alot of trouble if he, being the security guard, would have tried to stop the person from leaving while the person was in their car. There is a fine line between lawfully stopping someone and kidnapping. That is why so many retailers tell their employees to not try and detain a suspected shoplifter.

    • NinjaMarion says:

      I normally think this way about the stories on here about people nearly getting in fistfights over showing receipts on the way out, but in this case, I fully agree with the OP. He was already out of the store, in his car, and had his stuff loaded up. If you want to check receipts, have someone at the exit to check them. Don’t send out security squads to search cars.

      If it were just a quick show of the receipt, it might still be understandable. But that’s useless without comparing to the items purchased, meaning he’d have then let the security guard rifle through his trunk looking to make sure the stuff in the bags matched the receipt. Not only is that a hassle, but what’s to say the dude didn’t have porn, sex toys, or anything else that’s completely his business and in his trunk but that would be embarrassing for a security guard to see just doing a receipt check?

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Wow what a little sheep you are. Should you be elsewhere, baying with your flock? I love when I hear “people of authority” said. It makes me giggle. I was a security guard when I was 19. If I came knocking on your window would you have taken me serious? No, hah. Police may have authority, but I have something even better. Civil rights and liberties, granted to me by the U.S. constitution, in addition to state and federal laws. Furthermore, being raised by a lawyer has taught me not to yield to yammering, loud fools on a power trip. So run along now fluffy, it’s time for another shearing.

      • SabreDC says:

        I’m on your side, but people who call others “sheep” simply because they have a different opinion on something are pathetic.

        • LuzioFantazmic says:

          I concur, Sir.

          • greggen says:

            It not the different opinion, its trying to claim that there is no problem with “others” complying with abusive policies…

            • MrWilly says:

              You know, I used to think “sheeple” was a clever word that was an exceptionally accurate description for certain people. Unfortunately, I don’t wish to be lumped in with the kind of people that tend to say “sheeple”, so I can’t really use that word :(

              That said, way to go OP! I’d have done the same thing.

              • floraposte says:

                To me, the problem is that those who use “sheeple” are following a group tendency just as much as anybody else–they’re just missing that fact. So there’s an unintentional humorous irony.

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          Baaaaaa.

      • RPHP says:

        I certainly am on the side of the OP in this case but their rights here are not based on the constitution. All the constitution prevents is the government from taking action. This was a private security guard who was taking the action.
        That being said the security guard has no authority to ask to see proof of ownership in a case like this unless they have a reasonable suspicion of shoplifting (which does not seem to be the case here). That is a tort though not something found in the Constitution.

    • Haplo9000 says:

      1. Not while I am sitting in my car with the gear in reverse I won’t.

      2. The guy came out to the parking lot, stopped the poster who was in a moving vehicle, and said that the manager wanted the receipt checked…what, you think they wanted to make sure he wasn’t the lucky 1 millionth customer and thus forgot his prize??

      3. I will cuss whomever I want in my vehicle, and anyway, some store loss prevention peon in a parking lot does not even come CLOSE to “people in authority”. Police are people in authority. The military are people in authority. The mayor is a person in authority. Some guy and his assistant manager at a grocery store can absolutely bite me if they try and pull this stunt.

      Also, as a bonus:

      4. You know for a fact that if this had happened to YOU you would have been pissed off and probably writing Consumerist to complain, so drop the “blame the OP” routine, hmmm?

    • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

      While I am normally a “just show your receipt and be done with it” type of person, these people I would should a nice birdy, and drive off.

      Just sayin’.

    • parnote says:

      What a sheeple!!! If you want to give up your rights — which are just as valid on “private property” as on “public property” — don’t expect the rest of us to join you. Once you purchase an item, that item is YOURS. And there is nothing that says I have to prove that ownership, once I’ve legitimately paid for it and made it mine.

      Whenever I’m asked to show my receipt when I’m walking out of Wal-Mart (one of the worse of the offenders), I just keep walking and tell them they can see my receipt just as soon as they can produce the receipt for the shoes/pants/shirt/underwear they are wearing, to prove their ownership. They usually just stand there, dumbfounded.

    • The Marionette says:

      The person could have taken two minutes to show him the receipt, but chose not to, it’s their right. Unless the store has a policy like sam’s club where they can ask for your receipt, then you don’t have to.

      If the guy wasn’t accusing the person of shoplifting, then why would they go all the way to their car to ask to see the receipt? If someone that works at an establishment such as walmart, Giant, etc has a suspicion of someone shoplifting that is the only reason why they ask for it, i really can’t see any other reason why. MAYBE if the person forgot something at the register and they just wanted to double check the receipt first and then say “Ma’am/sir you forgot your (insert item)” which even then if they know who left the item (seeing as they followed them all the way to their car) then they should just tell them they left the item(s).

      As far as trying to not cuss out people of “authority”, they can’t do anything about it unless you’re doing it in a way that could be considered assault, but from the way the op said it “I just want to get the f*** home.” wouldn’t be considered verbal assault. Now if they said something like “F*** you, I want to get home” then there would probably be an assault charge.

      In short the person did nothing wrong. It was just another case of a rod up a flashlight security guard’s ass and they wanted to make themselves have more worth than they are.

    • kmw2 says:

      A security guard? is _not_ a “person in authority”.

    • justsomeotherguy says:

      This is the comment of someone ready to give up freedom for security. Should they have tazerd this person when they didnt comply?

      Wanna see my receipt? That means I will be returning everything I just purchased. Asking me for it is the same as calling me a theif.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Next time someone asks me to see my receipt, I’ll let them know that I’ll be showing customer service as I return everything I just purchased becasue they are blowholes.

    • phillipe says:

      [mode=Gestapo]
      Papers, please
      [/mode]

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      So it’s okay if I paw through your belongings in your car then? This isn’t two minutes to show your receipt at the door, this is being accosted by a self-important rent-a-cop while in your own private property– property which a real officer would need a warrant to search, by the way.

      Let’s look at a hypothetical, shall we?

      I go to a grocery store and buy a few items. They are out of one or two items I need so I stop at another store on the way home to buy those. As I am leaving, I am confronted by a security guard who demands to see the receipt for the items I just bought. I think, like you, that it’ll only take two minutes, and I have nothing to hide, right? So I open the trunk and show him, and he sees the other items I bought at a different store, and, since they are not on the receipt from his, he accuses me of shoplifting them, and attempts to detain me. That will only end badly for everyone involved.

      If the proper answer to a police officer asking to rifle through your belongings is always “I do not consent to a search at this time, officer,” even if you really do not have anything to hide, why then should I allow a fellow citizen to do the same? Further, how do I even know he is a legitimate employee of the store? Security Guard uniforms are not hard to come by. For all I know, he could be intending to rob me.

      Once I am in my car, I am not showing anything to anybody, unless that anybody is an officer with a warrant.

    • harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

      1. She has no obligation to do so.
      2. Demanding to see the receipt is accusing someone of shoplifting.
      3. A security guard is NOT a person in fucking authority.

      You fail.

    • kenposan says:

      you are beyond full of fail. the rent a cop waits until she is PULLING OUT OF THE PARKING SPACE before he does anything? That’s bs.

      Checking receipts is fine (sorta), IF you are still in the store. Once the stuff is outside, you are now accusing me of shoplifting. Call the cops or leave me alone.

    • faultolerant says:

      Sorry…….WRONG ANSWER!

      1. She COULD HAVE shown her receipt, but was under no obligation (legal or moral) to do so – your opinion to the contrary notwithstanding;

      2. If some nimrod approaches my car demanding something from me he *just* might get to see what the underside of a Cadillac looks like, no matter if he’s ‘accusing’ me of something or not;

      -and finally-

      3. If you tell me I “must” do something, and you’re totally without recognized authority to do so, you *will* likely get cussed at. If you don’t like it, then MYOB!

      Of course, that’s just my opinion……and that of a lot of others, too!

    • JF says:

      Cool, come over to my house and when you park on my property I’ll make a point to go through all of your stuff to make sure you didn’t steal anything from my house.

      Fail.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Phase 1: If a guard asks you at the exit to show your receipt, just show it – it only takes 30 seconds!

      Phase 2: If a guard comes out and stops your vehicle, just open your trunk and show the contents and the receipt, it only takes 2 minutes!

      Phase 3: If a guard shows up at your home to check for stolen merchandise, just let him in and show him your kitchen and all recent receipts, it only takes 15 minutes!

  2. RogerTheAlien says:

    Having lived in NoVA for longer than I really care to remember, I can honestly say I’ve never had a good experience at Giant. Whether it’s ridiculously long lines at manned checkouts – of 15+ counters, only three are open. Or, alternately, of five self-checkout lanes, only two of them are open. THAT I cannot comprehend – if they’re broken, fix them you asshats! If they’re NOT broken, then Giant is just worthless as a store. I’m a Safeway or Harris Teeter guy all the way.

    Although, Giant does hire disabled persons to bag groceries and collect carts, which is something somewhat redeeming to an otherwise defunct company.

    • kalaratri says:

      I’m in NoVa too and Giant is by FAR the nastiest grocery store in my area. In 5 miles I’ve got two Blooms, a Safeway, a Shoppers and an Aldi. If I go 5 more, I have a brand new, massive Wegmans. All the other stores (minus the Shoppers, I’ve never been in a nice Shoppers) are clean, well stocked and have friendly staff and the Giant has just made no effort to improve the store or their customer service.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Funny; the Shoppers in my area of NoVA is actually pretty nice–it was a complete mess when we first moved here, but over the past year they’ve been remodeling and it’s actually starting to look respectable. The next-nearest grocery store is a Giant, and it’s fairly tolerable as a store.

    • smileboot says:

      Wegmans > * in NoVA. Cheapest and highest quality store brand BY FAR. They also have a large selection of fancy products if you have money to burn.

      • pittstonjoma says:

        I absolutely LOVE Wegman’s. I wish it was closer to me.

      • Sneeje says:

        While I mostly agree with you, I think you’ll find that most products are actually more expensive (and not just the fancy ones). I did my MBA final project on their strategies–their business plan is based on keeping the basics (like milk) cheaper so that you’ll come in for those and then getting you on everything else. You’ll notice those basics items are in the front of the store. You’ll also notice, they have far fewer “shoppers club” deals than either giant or safeway (didn’t compare shoppers).

        • smileboot says:

          Yeah basic like meat, eggs, bread. If you want cheap brand name goods goto Walmart. Since most Wegmans brands are superior to Giant brands and often cheaper. so Wegmans >* still holds true. If you actually trying to shop cheap you should never buy name brands when possible any way. Since most studies use brand goods to do comparisons (since they are of exact same quality) they are usually inaccurate for which place is cheaper than the other.

          Plus everyone already knows Wegmans makes their money from the prepared food and fancy stuff any way. Shop smart and its always cheaper (avoid that tempting Asian bar).

    • Etoiles says:

      Heh… Giant is the only good store we have. Wegman’s is too far away (~30 mins from where we are in Arlington), Whole Foods is too expensive and too pretentious, and our local Safeway has literally sold us rotten fruit, expired meat, etc. too many times to count and is always out of stock on almost everything, plus has higher prices. The Giant in VA Square is definitely our go-to stop.

    • SabreDC says:

      I’m in NoVA too and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience at Giant. I have two within 2 miles and the other alternatives are Safeway and Shopper’s, both of which are far dirtier and problematic than either Giant. The only problem I have with Giant is that they have nice fancy credit card machines at each register but they still print out a credit slip for you to sign rather than using the tablet on the card reader.

    • pittstonjoma says:

      I work at a grocery store and it seems they never fix the self checkouts right. They always end up broken again.

  3. Ilovegnomes says:

    I’m not trying to justify their actions but in some cases, it doesn’t hurt to check. I use to shop at Lucky’s. Most of the checkers at my local store are chatty and almost always put your receipt in one of your bags so that you can be on your way. Well one day, I checked out, used the pin pad to enter my account information, kept chatting, put my card away and then the checker thanked me for shopping there. Then she started pulling someone else’s items across the scanner. So I went out to the car, loaded my groceries and was about to leave when security came running out. He asked to see my receipt. I looked through my bags and couldn’t find it. Turns out that my checker hadn’t cleared the transaction and printed a receipt before thanking me and sending me on my way. It wasn’t my intention to leave the store without paying and I would have felt bad had I done that. We were 50/50 at fault (being chatty and distracted) but I was so irritated by the manner in which I was treated by security that after I paid again, I never returned either. Just like checkers need proper training, so do security guards!

    • morlo says:

      You are improperly trained. If I left the store without receiving a receipt blood would start pouring from my nose.

  4. rpm773 says:

    I shop at Giant in PA, and have never been asked to show a receipt. The store has one of those magnetic doohickeys at the door to keep me and my behavior in line.

    • madanthony says:

      Oddly enough, the Giants in PA and the Giants in MD/VA, while both owned by Royal Ahold, basically operate as separate divisions – separate offices, seperate distribution centers, different logos, different websites, ect.

      • rpm773 says:

        Huh, that’s interesting. I knew they were working off of different distribution centers (Carlisle, PA and Jessup MD), but I didn’t know the split was that formal.

      • jeffeulogy says:

        i work for c&s wholesale grocers and we service all of the giant and martin’s stores. the customer owned DC’s might be separate but the bulk of their product comes out of our warehouse in harrisburg, pa.

    • SugarMag says:

      I’m in MD (falls under the Giant-Landover umbrella I believe) my mother has been going to Giant weekly for 35+ years. I’ve been going weekly for over 10 years (usually) and sporadically before that. Never been asked for a receipt. I’ve been to many Giants in MD and DC and haven’t been asked.

      I’m not bragging I’ve been to many Giants for many years LOL. It sort of sounded that way.

    • RiverLee says:

      PA and DC Giants are different chains. DC Giant was bougt out by a foreign conglomerate years ago and they started tanking after that. Now, they are saddled with suburban stores that are too small and too old to compete with Teeter and Wegman’s..

  5. sealclubster says:

    The receipt was in his trunk. It was an inconvenience and it was by then, legally his goods since he paid for them. But that’s not the point. The fact is that he did not have to show his receipt to the “security guard” who has no legal authority over him. Patrons should not automatically be treated as thieves. Establishments should implement a better security system before a consumer gets to the check-out line. We shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced because an establishment chooses not to put money into an electronic monitering system of goods if they’re so concerned with theft rather than assuming all who come into their place of business will rob them.

  6. Colonel Jack O'neill says:

    I usually defend the stores that want to check receipts, and really wouldn’t mind it, but not in this case.
    Once you leave out the front doors, you shouldn’t need to show any receipt, unless they had explicit evidence that you stole something.

    • AlphaLackey says:

      The thing is, the exact same reasoning that justifies the stance in your post justifies the stance of people who don’t want to give their receipts not more than 5 seconds before in your timeline.

      Personally, I will show receipts any time I am asked, and they word it as a request. If they’d “like to please see my receipt”, I’ll show them. If they word it as an ill-conceived demand based on flawed and imaginary authority, and say that they “need to see my receipt”, I say no, walk past, and inform them I have my lawyer on speed dial.

    • Difdi says:

      If they had sufficient evidence to stop you (shopkeeper’s privilege), they wouldn’t need to see your receipt at all.

  7. DovS says:

    I totally agree with everyone who says you should just show your receipt. It only takes a minute and so what if there’s no law saying you have to show your receipt or that’s it’s a violation of your constitutional rights? Big whoop!

    It’s like at the store where I work. My job is to stop each customer as they are leaving and punch them in the nose. There’s always some joker that’s all “but I don’t want to be punched in the nose. Waa waa waa.” Seriously? The last ten people all got punched in the nose so why not just go along with it? We’re not asking you to like it. It’s just store policy. You might have a DVD player hidden in there. I swear, people are just so “entitled” these days. It’s not even like it used to be when we always punched customers in the crotch. A little punch in the nose is really such a minor inconvenience.

    • LBD "Nytetrayn" says:

      I think your argument might have broken down somewhere between paragraphs one and two…

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      Where do I apply for that job??

    • Trick says:

      Screw you and thinking that you can punch anyone in the nose. By law I do not have to waste my time waiting for you to punch me in the nose. I come by people like you all the time. They demand I let them punch me in the nose and I just keep walking. I know my rights.

      I had one guy follow me out to the car screaming about how he didn’t get to punch me in the nose. He was make a big scene and some other wannabe nose puncher ran up to me and stop me so I could be punched in the nose.

      I hate nose punching jerks like you.

    • magstheaxe says:

      If the poster had been stopped at the door, that might be worth arguing. But as has been pointed out upthread, the poster was in his car. Receipt -checking don’t mean squat unless you can compare the items on the receipt to the items in the bags. That means…

      (1) the poster would have had to get all of the purchased items out of the car for inspect. That would take a hell of a lot longer than 1 minute.

      (2) In essence, the security guard was insisting that he had the right to do a search-and-seizure of the items in poster’s car. Which is bullsh^t, because–thanks to the 4th Amendment of the Constitution–even the police don’t have that right except under certain specific circumstances. So…yeah, the security guard was attempting to violate the poster’s constitutional rights.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        Lemme guess: you had to stop hitting people in the crotch about the time Wil Wheaton patented his special cockhole punch?

  8. DAK says:

    I’d be curious to know exactly where this Giant is. I live in No. VA, and the only Giant I’ve ever seen with a security guard is right near my house. I’m sure it’s not the same one, but…

  9. veronykah says:

    I don’t get the point of the receipt checker.
    In my experience, they don’t actually check to see if you have all the things on the receipt. They glance at you and run a line down it.
    NO ONE is checking entire shopping carts when people leave Costco…

    • wickedpixel says:

      at Costco they basically look for any big-ticket items and that any items on that bottom shelf under the cart were paid for (which are often overlooked by cashiers).

    • osiris73 says:

      Our Sam’s Club has definitely stepped up checking receipts the last year. Not only looking like they count, but actually moving items around and checking for them on the receipt. The line at the door has gotten substantially longer.

    • FaustianSlip says:

      I’m visiting relatives for the holidays and forgot to bring a hairbrush, so I ran over to Wal-Mart tonight to get one. The place is mobbed, I track down the hair aisle and grab a brush, check out and head for the door. I pass one guy checking receipts who doesn’t stop me, and then a second guy goes, “Oh, did you get your receipt marked?”

      I suspect that as he was verifying that I had purchased my six-dollar hairbrush, ten Xbox games wandered out the door. Honestly, dude, priorities?

  10. dohtem says:

    How much does this rent-a-cop get paid to pretend he is Rambo?

  11. CompyPaq says:

    The OP did exhibit suspicious behavior:
    1) The reusable bags and the loose gaterade
    2) Going back into the store with the reusable bags before leaving.
    Not to say that the OP was in the wrong, but I can at least see why the manager wanted the security guard to check.

    • dohtem says:

      That is *not* suspicious behavior.

      That is not even unusual.

    • BoC says:

      Really? Reusable bags and loose items count as suspicious behavior? What makes reusable bags worse than the store plastic bags? And if I buy just one or two items at a grocery store I don’t use bags as they are not necessary; does that count as suspicious? (I refuse to use a bag for any single item.)

      Point 2 was because the store blocked off one of their own exits, therefore also not suspicious.

    • Geekmom says:

      wait.. loose drinks are suspicious behavior? The baggers themselves try to avoid bagging my drinks and get huffy when I ask them to bag them. It’s SOP to have loose drinks.

    • kmw2 says:

      Reusable bags are not nearly suspicious behavior. Grocery stores have been pushing them for years, most places you get five cents a bag for reuse, and every other customer gets them. Most people don’t bag large packages of drinks, and she had to go back into the store because of their setup. This is only suspicious behavior if you are hopelessly paranoid.

  12. Hoss says:

    She certainly could have handled this better. The manager asked the person at the door to check the receipt. Did she expect the person at the door to refuse because she was outside? In many cases the customer service desk is before the checkout lines. If she re-entered the shopping area and left with personal packages, it seems normal that the door person should have asked to check a receipt (at the door).

    I would not be surprised if the door person was reprimanded or fired for not checking the receipt before she left. Explaining things in a nice tone or possibly taking up her argument with the manager would have been better. Swearing at a person doing his job after he mentioned that the manager asked him to do something is really poor judgment.

    • floraposte says:

      There was no “person at the door.” The person requesting to see the receipt wasn’t even in the store–he had walked into the parking lot next to the OP’s running car. It’s not the OP’s job to ensure that person’s continued employment by complying with idiotic manager requests–would you also argue that a customer should feel obliged to sign up for credit cards and donate to store-pushed charities because managers put quotas on those and your refusal of the credit card would contribute to the cashier’s losing her job?

    • Trick says:

      I wish my job description revolved around running up to some lady at night in a parking lot, knocking on her car window and demanding that she roll down her window or exit her vehicle for a proper inspection of her goods…

    • levelone says:

      Try actually reading the article.

      1. She never left the store, she stopped by guest service on the way out.

      2. She didn’t re-enter the shopping area – most guest service areas are behind the checkouts. While there is often purchasable merchandise in the vicinity of this area, it is NOT the main salesfloor.

      3. She was already IN her car, backing out of the parking space when the random security guard tapped on her window.

      You’re saying she should have:

      1. put the car in park
      2. turned it off
      3. gotten out
      4. opened her trunk
      5. dug around in the trunk looking for two different receipts – with her back turned to this man whom she had no proof was actually employed by the store, no less
      6. let him search through all of her bagged and unbagged merchandise, as well as the other contents of her trunk just to make sure she didn’t steal anything.

      The guard has no legal authority over her in the first place. Second, once these items are purchased, they are her property and she cannot be compelled by a private security guard to prove she paid for them. They are also IN her car, which she cannot be compelled by a private security guard to allow him to search – even police would require a search warrant or probable cause to search. Third, she was in her car, leaving the parking lot – that is not the time to make sure she isn’t stealing. She waiting in line at guest service for 10 MINUTES. You don’t think that store security could have checked with her at all during that time? If this idiot security guard and his equally stupid manager get fired or reprimanded over this one incident, in which they failed to perform more appropriately, then good. They had ample opportunity to stop her had she actually been shoplifting, but they failed. They should probably get fired anyway, for costing the store her business for the rest of her life.

  13. KlausKinsky says:

    Even if the Rent-a-cop was an “authority figure” or the police– searching the OPs trunk under these circumstances wouldn’t be legal– which is why the rent-a-cop is doing it instead.

  14. TBGBoodler says:

    It’s no coincidence that their parent company is called Royal Ahold.

  15. savdavid says:

    Echovictorecho, you have to be kidding. The customer spent $250.00, was tired and had stolen nothing! Now the customer is supposed to get out of the car, find the receipt and wait God knows who long for him to “check it”? How do you know it would have only been “2 minutes”? Idiot.

    • echovictorecho says:

      I think it would have been easier to show the receipt and be done with it. This doesn’t make me an idiot.

      Also, why does the price of goods purchased make a difference? Would you feel different if the OP had bought a pack of gum?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        If you would have shut off your car, gotten out, opened the trunk, dug around looking for a receipt for items you paid for just to prove to a Police Academy drop-out that you did indeed pay for them, then yes, you are, in fact, an idiot. I’m pretty sure that the English language has no alternate description for that type of behavior. “Buffoon,” perhaps. Or maybe even “moron,” but that might be insulting to actual morons.

        • Difdi says:

          Buffoon is fairly apt. Moron is not quite right, but common usage would extend it to cover this. Adding to your existing reasons, allowing a search is self-incrimination if you are a thief, or even if you’re not: What if you had something else that was illegal in the trunk, whether you were aware it was illegal or not?

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          Forgot the part about “and potentially opening yourself up to being the victim of a crime, most likely violent.” Of course, that really makes you more prey, than an idiot, but, you know, same difference really.

      • magstheaxe says:

        Actually, I’d be even MORE furious if I were stopped over something small like a pack a gum.

        Again, go back and read the article. It would not have taken a minute, due to the location of the items, and the security guard didn’t have the right to look in her car in the first place.

      • floraposte says:

        It’s certainly your prerogative to do so when you’re in the situation. But I don’t see how saying “Hell, no” and driving away is more difficult than stopping, parking the car again, opening the trunk, looking through it, finding the receipt, waiting for the security guard to look at the receipt (what was the weather, I wonder? Be particularly fun if it was snowing and cold), and then getting back in your car and driving away. That’s part of the annoyance–this is a situation wherein it was actually rather a task to show the receipt, as opposed to the ease of just continuing to leave.

  16. DD_838 says:

    I suggest that you hold onto your receipt for a month or two just in case they did get your plate and try to summons you to court. And if they do and you get them laughed out of the magistrates office then sue em!!!

  17. kingoftheroad40 says:

    I made a decision if i get treated like this lady I would call the police make the police watch them check everything in my bags and when I am cleared by the police i would go in the store with the police an demand a full refund for everything i just purchased the write the Consumerist the story and tell the G.M. to look for the story and or tell them to expect my Lawyer contacting them

    • SabreDC says:

      If you call the police for something so stupid (instead of saying no and leaving), I hope you get cited for wasting their time. Who cares if the security guard came to the side of your vehicle? Unless he is obstructing you from leaving, you can simply drive away. And if he was obstructing, your car has a forward and a reverse… use the opposite one and then drive away.

      Pro-receipt-checkers need to settle down with the “just show it, it takes two minutes” and anti-receipt-checkers need to settle down with the “I’m calling the police because you’re wrong”. Simply say “no” and leave.

    • clickable says:

      That’s what I would do. Actually, I would tell the “security guard” (if that’s what he was; did OP actually ever get to verify that this was the security guard and not just a common criminal?) that no way was I going to open the trunk and fetch the receipt for him, but if he wanted to call the police and they wanted to arrive on the scene and they had a warrant, why, I’d be most pleased to cooperate with law enforcement. Just have them call me within three minutes on my cellphone to tell me that I should wait at that location.

  18. Sarcastikate says:

    Sorry, but I have to agree with those who say that yeah, you may have been offended, but as long as he asked politely, wouldn’t it have been quicker to show him the receipt rather than carry on an unpleasant conversation that took a lot longer and may or may not lead to further problems? We have to chose our battles wisely.

    • Geekmom says:

      You didn’t really read the article did you?
      The receipt was in a bag in the trunk. How is it quick and easy to turn off your car, pop the truck, get out in the cold and dig through the various grocery bags in the dark to find a receipt he had no right to ask for in the first place?

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        Also running the risk of getting attacked by someone only posing as a security guard to lure you into a position of vulnerability. Then it becomes a safety issue. But, by all means, if you want to step outside at the bidding of someone in a uniform, please do so. I’ll be the first to nominate you for a Darwin Award if they find you in a landfill somewhere.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          Sorry, Geekmom, that Darwin comment was not directed at you.

    • Pinkbox says:

      Uhm, no thanks.

      I’m a petite girl, and there is no way in hell I’d get out of my car for a “security guard” wanting to check my receipt.

  19. Geekybiker says:

    Yah, I think I would be leaving and calling the cops if they tried to stop me.

  20. Altdotweb says:

    The sketchy part is that it was self checkout.

    You can’t be 100% sure that what is in your bag is also on the receipt, expecially with that big of a ticket. It would be an embarassing thing if the guard actially found an item that wasn not on the paper.

    While I don’t like the privacy implications of compulsory checks, I do have a choice to shop at a particular retailer and I will make my statement by shopping there or not shopping there.

    Once you pass thru the doors, it’s a different story.

    It might be easier and faster to just show the the receipt, but that makes it easier for them to harass the next shopper in the parking lot.

    Something missing from the story is if the store in in a dedicated parking lot or a lot shared by other stores.

    • Rachacha says:

      It was only $50 in groceries that were processed at the self checkout, the remaining $200 was at the Customer Service desk. $50 in groceries is usually only 3-4 bags worth (unless you are only purchasing Raman noodles)

  21. Rhyss says:

    You could always call the (real) cops and say there was some guy knocking on your car window demanding you get out and show him your groceries. . . creepy.

    /s/

  22. BoredOOMM says:

    Good news, one less person to wait for at Giant.

  23. Moosenogger says:

    Normally I don’t have a problem with people asking to see a receipt (if you didn’t steal anything, what’s the problem? Most receipt checkers only give it a passing glance, anyway). However, when you’ve left the store and spent a few minutes outside and have actually gotten into your car, there is no reason for anyone to come up and ask for your receipt. What the hell was the security guard doing while the OP was packing up her car and talking to someone outside? Picking his nose?

    If it was such a huge deal that her receipt be checked, he should have gone out there immediately and caught her before she got to her car. Or, you know, checked her receipt at the door (since she friggin’ passed him on her way out).

    • Cyberxion says:

      “Most receipt checkers only give it a passing glance, anyway”

      Which is why I don’t bother to show it to them. That passing glance suggests that it serves no practical purpose, and I’m not going to jump through hoops for no good reason. Even if it only takes thirty seconds to show it to ‘em and be on my way, that’s thirty seconds of my time spent doing something that doesn’t appear to have been done for any real reason, and I’m not cool with that.

      If I knew that it was more than just window dressing, I might not be so bothered by it, but I have no clue why they bother to go through the motions.

  24. thebt1 says:

    It’s a good thing for Giant that the guard didn’t block you in or otherwise force you to come with him. From my understanding, a store that forces a customer to wait to show them their receipt without actual suspicion of shoplifting is liable for false imprisonment and can easily be sued. While shopkeepers privilege exists which allows a store to keep a customer for a quick investigation, there must be actual reason to believe the customer stole something, which doesn’t seem like it existed here. I’m not a lawyer but anyone who finds themselves in a situation of being detained by a store employee might want to think about contacting one.

  25. Rachacha says:

    Northern Virginia…Simple Solution, shop at Wegmans where the employees actually care about their customers. It is well worth driving past 5 Giants to get to a Wegmans

  26. PaulGo says:

    Most of the time Giant goes out of their way to be courteous to their customers. I am really surprised by this. I would send what you just wrote to the Giant management.

  27. Bohemian says:

    Grocery stores have security guards?

  28. Sarge says:

    To the “Just let him check your receipt crowd:” Some of you really need to take a reading comprehension class. The OP stated that she had placed the receipt in one of the bags that she placed in her trunk and was backing out to go home. For her to have shown the receipt, she would have had to re-park and shut off the car, get out, open the trunk and find the receipt. Sorry, I ‘m with her here.

    To the OP, I would find a different store to shop at and I would make sure the store manager know why.

  29. eggroll703 says:

    Giant used to be a very good grocery store. When Royal Ahold purchased them everything went downhill very fast. They are planning on buying Ukrops which is unfortunate, they are a pretty good chain. I actually work at Giant, but i shop at Harris Teeter or Wegmans.

  30. stang99 says:

    Somehow I get the feeling there is more to this story than just her side.

  31. heynow123 says:

    I jsut finished my first semester of torts. A store has every right to do what this guard did up until the point the person is a “reasonable distance” from the store..often being outside of the parking lot. In fact, with reasonable suspicion as to shop lifting, they have the right to haul that person’s ass right back into the store office and investigate whether or not they had shoplifted..again all within the scope of reasonableness

  32. mariospants says:

    By the time you’re in your car driving away, if you’ve stolen anything, you’re guilty of theft. At this time, it’s up to store security to have proof that you have stolen something. Whether it’s due to a (store employee) witness or via video camera, without any evidence of theft, there’s absolutely nothing this security guard can do outside of calling the cops and trying to convince you to remain on the property. If the OP had some extra time on her hands and wanted to teach them a lesson, she should have insisted the security guard call the police.

    I mean, seriously – outside of reviewing the video surveillance tapes and determining that there was theft caught on camera – there’s absolutely no sense in asking for a receipt. This lady could have had a trunk full of groceries from another store or from a previous trip. Sherlock Holmes here could never assume any items in the trunk were stolen from his store.

  33. mariospants says:

    By the time you’re in your car driving away, if you’ve stolen anything, you’re guilty of theft. At this time, it’s up to store security to have proof that you have stolen something. Whether it’s due to a (store employee) witness or via video camera, without any evidence of theft, there’s absolutely nothing this security guard can do outside of calling the cops and trying to convince you to remain on the property. If the OP had some extra time on her hands and wanted to teach them a lesson, she should have insisted the security guard call the police.

    I mean, seriously – outside of reviewing the video surveillance tapes and determining that there was theft caught on camera – there’s absolutely no sense in asking for a receipt. This lady could have had a trunk full of groceries from another store or from a previous trip. Sherlock Holmes here could never assume any items in the trunk were stolen from his store.

  34. dg says:

    You did the right thing – tell him to go F himself and drive off. If he gets in the way of your car, tell him he has 5 seconds to move or you’re going to call the Police. If he tries any funny business to pull you from the car, run his ass over and drive to the Police. Tell them you feared for your life and did what you had to in order to leave the scene. Say nothing else besides “I feared for my life”.

    Everyone, every time, everywhere, needs to tell anyone asking to see their receipt “NO”. If they have problems with shrinkage, or employee theft – that’s their business. Not my problem. You offered an item for sale, I accepted your offer, you received valuable consideration for the offer, now the item is mine. I’m leaving with it. Good bye.

  35. Cyberxion says:

    You know, I often lament the fact that my intelligence can only be described as “average’ at best (and that’s being generous…), but then I read posts like yours and I’m relieved to find that for as dumb as I may well be, there are people even dumber still. People who are just so amazingly stupid that they make me look like a genius by comparison.

    All kidding aside (and I really was kidding. Stop taking things so seriously…), I really am just absolutely dumbfounded by how far off the mark your response managed to be. My jokes, they are not true, but my bemusement is completely genuine.

    I mean, how the heck do you fail so completely to get the point? I guess not having read the article before posting to it might explain it, but if that’s really the explanation for how totally you managed to miss the point of the story, then why would you bother to throw together a response to it in the first place? Heck, I don’t respond to an article if there’s even a small chance that I may have misunderstood it, but you’re apparently so awesome that you don’t even have to have read an article. You can apparently post a comment heedless of whether or not it’s going to end up being completely irrelevant. And what’s more, potential misunderstandings aren’t even a factor for you, because you can’t rightly misunderstand something that you never bothered to read in the first place. You’ve gotta be some sort of superhero.

    This story isn’t another one of those “Screw [Insert store name here] for expecting me to do something that has absolutely no real purpose other than to allow the store in question to pretend like they’ve got effective loss-prevention measures in place” type of stories like you apparently assumed that it was after you read the headline. You don’t get to tell the OP that being a complacent little sheep would have moved things along more smoothly this time, because there’s no reason why the store should have sent a security guard out to her car to shake her down for a receipt in the first place, and fewer reasons still why she ought to have complied with the security guard’s request.

    These are all things discussed in the article. You know, the bit of text that tends to elaborate on the headline? Now, you very well may be some sort of superhuman being that doesn’t have to RTFA before posting a comment to it like the rest of us have to, but I’m willing to bet that nobody would give you too much grief for it if you went ahead and read it anyway. You know, just to humor the rest of us.

  36. Mary13134 says:

    I bet I would return everything I had bought and told them what they could kiss and I never would step foot in that store again.

  37. Mary13134 says:

    In the case of the law. He had no legal right to ask anything once you walked out the door. They have to stop a shoplifter BEFORE he exits the store.

    • drizzt380 says:

      He can ask them pretty much anything(thats not some form of harassment). Its a request that does not have to be allowed. He cannot demand anything however.

  38. Dracoster says:

    What’s with the holier than thou attitude of the custommer?

    • magstheaxe says:

      What’s with the Gestapo-attitude of the security guard? “I’d like to do an illegal search on your car, please. Merry Christmas!”

  39. discounteggroll says:

    obviously buying those gift cards generated the bad karma which was offset by being harassed. Case closed

    Good job not giving in though. Who cares that he wrote down your license plate #? If you are in fact banned from that store, just give their corporate # or your local news station/paper a call and I am sure you will make out on top

  40. Caveat says:

    I completely agree that stores have the moral right to ask for a receipt in the store or upon exit. Beyond that it becomes a security issue for the customer and I say NO WAY. How does the store know that the guard is a an employee of the store? What if he is just some wacko walking around and trying to get in people’s car for whatever reason? What if he goes through the car, gets the registration with address, etc.? What if he decides to plant evidence in the car?
    Searches like that should ONLY be done in front of security cameras nearby and in front of witnesses. In some states you are not even required to pull over for police if you slow down and feel unsafe. You can drive to a police station. I would have offered to drive to such a police station and he could have followed if his suspicions had merit.

    • dandadan says:

      They do not have a moral right to check anything once you pay for it. Transaction completed. They can request what they want. They can accuse you of theft, but they have to prove it or they have assaulted you and if they hold you against your will, they have kidnapped you. Stand up for your rights and stop letting these retailers bully you

      • floraposte says:

        There’s no codified agreement on what a “moral right” is, though, so there’s not much point in making that the issue. There aren’t many legal restraints on anybody’s right to ask you much of anything; however, people’s right to ask in no way implies your obligation to comply.

  41. dandadan says:

    Actually, the practice of checking customer receipts is not legal. Simply refuse to show a receipt. If a security guard attempts to physically restrain you [assault] and restrain you [kidnapping] for simply going to a store, making a purchase and paying for it, you have a civil and criminal case.

    Try it sometime. Simply ignore the request to show a receipt. Most stores have been advised by their legal departments not to attempt to stop lawful paying customers from leaving the store after making a purchase.

    Good gawd quit being such sheeple. You don’t have to stand for this intrusive, illegal behavior. If you allow it, stores will continue the practice. Currently I am working with attorneys in several states organizing class action lawsuits against the biggest offender, Costco and to a lesser extent Walmart.

    Stores protect themselves with RFID tags, store detectives, cameras, inventory tags, mirrors, cameras and more. Rather than going after the consumers, they should take a look a little closer to home, statistically, employees steal more, by a significant ratio, than customers.

    Do as I do, simply ignore the request. If someone from that store touches you, immediately call the police and file charges against the employee and the store. Believe me the employees are sheeple too and do nothing. It is BS to have to wait in line to leave after waiting in line to pay, especially when you are herded in ques straight out the door.

    Stand up for your rights. And sue the crap out of the stores that practice this inept intrusive unlawful behavior. If you steal something, you deserve to be caught and punished. You do not deserve to be penalized because establishments are unable to control their inventory or theft.

    Just my thoughts on this

  42. RandomHookup says:

    All I wanted for Christmas was a contentious “show your receipt” post. Thanks, Consumerist (and Santa Claus).

  43. Fred E. says:

    All the security guard would get from me is a polite “No.”

    The only place I am ever asked to show a receipt is the Kmart near where I live. I always just shake my head and smile and say, “No no no” shaking my finger in a nice way and the guard grins back.

    If I am ever seriously stopped by a security guard in a situation like this I will refuse to allow them to search me or take me to a back room or look at my receipt or identification. If they seriously suspect that I have stolen something and can articulate why they think that then I will be willing to wait for the police to come. I’m not going to play games with my rights and freedom with a rent-a-cop.

  44. mdgolom says:

    Perhaps they have a right while you’re leaving the store, but once the bags are in your car, I would have a problem. What happens if you have a couple of six packs of soda you bought elsewhere, and the person who stops you demands to see the receipt for those which you don’t have? From what I’ve read here, warehouse clubs have the right because it’s part of the membership. Other starts don’t allow receipt checking unless they suspect you of stealing. When the people at Walmart stop me, I always tell them sure, but not until the store manager is present. When they ask why, I tell them if they’re going to waste my time, I’m going to waste the store manager’s as well.

  45. levelone says:

    Please read the entire article before posting.

    There are already several posts admonishing the OP for irrelevant things which are addressed quite clearly in the post or which outright didn’t happen. If you’re going to denounce, it would great if you could stick to what actually took place rather than just blather at the mouth like an uninformed jackanape.

  46. tbone13 says:

    is there nay validity to the security guard saying that the lot is private property?

    if i was this person, i would have been caught off guard by this.

    • floraposte says:

      That means the owner of the lot has the right to tell you to leave. It doesn’t mean that those on that lot for the purpose of doing business have no rights at all.

  47. axiomatic says:

    Best solution:
    State that you will only have this conversation right next to the stores front door. As new customers come in/out they will hear how you are being treated.

    Court of public opinion always wins against retail.

    This receipt checking sillyness is getting out of hand. Someday, either an employee or a customer is going to get hurt and it’s likely to ruin one of these overzealous companies.

    Retail companies, this is why you have a finance category called “shrinkage.” USE IT.

  48. Chuck Deuce says:

    @echovictorecho: You’ve got quite a thread going here, but here’s my $0.0001 worth to add to it.

    1) I might have to show my receipt at Checkpoint Charlie when I exit Costco or Sam’s Club, but I’ll be damned if some Observe N’ Report Rent-A-Cop is gonna try and do a bag check once the contents are in MY CAR! Call the cops…detain me…and I’ll sue for unlawful detention. Unless, that is, I’m actually guilty of shoplifting.

    2) Yes, the Rent-A-Cop is implying that the person did do an unlawful act. Is it corporate security’s policy to bag check once the the items have left the store and put in cars once the person has left the building? I think not. Having been in grocery and retail, both in sales and asset protection, we DID NOT go out of the store unless we actually witnessed an act of shoplifting in the store.

    3) People in “Authority” don’t include $7/hour rent-a-cops on a drunk-with-power trip. There’s no real POWER in their hands. Any attempt to detain when there’s no crime committed can be a lost job and a lawsuit. So…I’m gonna call a jerkoff a jerkoff….just don’t taze me, bro.

  49. ctyankee says:

    At least he didn’t pull a Gary Coleman and jump on the hood of your car

  50. MoodyTurtle says:

    Next time spray the guy with Mace…and then call the police and tell them he scared you.

  51. Bix says:

    It was a safety issue regardless of the sex of the OP. Trying like hell to leave was 100% the right thing to do, regardless of your feelings about the in-store receipt checks.

  52. riku256 says:

    If the security guard greet me with a smile and ask to see my receipt INSIDE the store I would be more than glad to show him.

    However if he yelled at me or chase me out of the store, then I am going to exercise my 100% legal right by telling him to back off or feel free to call cops.

    I think he should write/call the corporate office and let them know the inappropriate action of that store has caused them to lose not only one customer, but also many other customers who read this story.