In the comments to our most recent receipt check story, I noticed a reader argued that as long as the store wasn’t willing to reimburse him for his time, he wasn’t willing to give it to them. It makes sense; nothing in the marketplace is free, right? Why shouldn’t consumers be compensated for bag searches and receipt checks?
Another reader, Adam, suggested a similar idea in his email to us this morning. In fact, he thinks maybe the exiting-the-store moment could be a chance to make a little extra cash.
After reading about overly-zealous receipt checking clerks over the years and the subsequent hullabaloo that can ensue, I think I’ve come up with an option. I’ve yet to implement it but it consists of a quid-pro-quo proposition. If I were to receive something in exchange for allowing them to see my receipt after purchase, I might allow their intrusion. I have been thinking of what sort of offer might sway me; 20% off coupon for my next purchase (?). Maybe cash would work, say $10. I foresee an exchange like this:
Store Employee: Sir, may I see your receipt?
ME: In exchange for what?
S.E.: What do you mean?
ME: You obviously think I’m a thief so, in exchange for me proving my innocence (which I’m not required to do), I think you should compensate me. I will let you see my receipt for ten dollars. Deal?
My thinking is that, should security (public or private) get involved, I can at least say that I’m perfectly willing to cooperate with the request. I just don’t like being treated like a thief. I honestly don’t know what response I’d get but I would sure like to hear what everyone else thinks. I would also like to add that a calm response to some of these threats might go a long way. Something to the effect of, “Should you choose to detain me without probable cause, you not only open the store to liability, but yourself personally. Are you sure you want to proceed?”