Receipt Checker Avoidance Tactic: Confuse Them With Extreme Politeness

Reader Matt wants to share his technique for waltzing past the Walmart receipt checkers with a minimum of hassle. The secret? Be super nice, but don’t stop walking.

Matt says:

As a long time reader of the Consumerist, I have seen a lot of posts about the annoyances of Walmart greeters insisting on checking receipts. I have detested this practice as well, and Consumerist articles are what started me on my road to refusing to show receipts. I have learned a few tips from experience that I thought I’d pass on.

First, is that your significant other probably won’t be pleased. My wife always pretends she doesn’t know me whenever I refuse to show my receipt. She thinks it’s kind of funny, but she won’t back me up ever. She just keeps walking as if I were a stranger.

Second, and most important, is to be polite. I’ve found that being confrontational or refusing on almost any grounds turns it into a messy experience. I’ve found that what works best is when someone asks to see my receipt, I just smile cheerfully and say “No Thanks”, and keep walking. A majority of the time the greeter will just get a befuddled expression on their face as they try to figure out what to do. After all, they haven’t been trained to handle this situation, and because you aren’t really confronting them or doing anything to get their hackles up, they aren’t very likely to really stop you. Besides, how can you stop someone and be rude to them when they just smiled at you and were polite?

The other thing is to just keep on walking. Don’t try to avoid the greeter, don’t speed up, don’t slow down. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do if the greeter hadn’t been there. If you don’t do anything to trigger basic responses in them, then the confusion over your courteous refusal will have you out the door before they know what to do about it. After all, confrontation doesn’t accomplish anything and the wasted time of a confrontation defeats the purpose of not showing your receipt in the first place.

I’ve found that it is far more satisfying to be super polite when refusing to show a receipt. Once you start to be at all rude, the greeters will become far more confrontational and things can spiral out of hand. The only time I have ever had a confrontation was one of the first times I ever refused to show my receipt. I hadn’t learned any of these tricks, and it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience, even though I did win out and didn’t show my receipt.

What do you think of Matt’s method?