The Police Have Apparently Deputized This Sam's Club Receipt Checker

Julie calculates that her family has spent at least $2.4 million at Sam’s Club over the last decade, buying supplies for their restaurants. That relationship is now over, she tells Consumerist, because someone at the store called the police on her father for having an expired registration. He left the store with two tickets and a healthy dose of humiliation. He’s concluded that Sam’s Club no longer needs his business.

My family owns restaurants, and we’ve been in the business for more than 20 years. We use a combination of food vendors that come and go, but we’ve always used Sam’s Club to buy massive quantities of the basics, like milk, butter, meat, and cream. We buy about $20,000 worth of product from the Sam’s Club in [redacted] every month. If you calculate that, it comes at least 2.4 million dollars worth of food and supplies that we’ve purchased from Sam’s Club over the last ten years. So, we’d be valued customers…right?

This week, my father went to Sam’s to buy restaurant supplies, as well as a mattress set. After shopping, he parked his car up front so the helpers could load up the food, and he went off to pay for the mattresses. As he went back in, the receipt checker told my father that the tags on his car had expired. Weird that the checker noticed, but helpful. When my father got to the register, someone up front called over the intercom to tell my father to move his car, as it was in a fire lane. This lane is where everyone, and I do mean everyone, loads up their cars. As he was getting out of line to move it, an employee who recognizing my father as a long-time customer told my father to stay in line while he ran over to explain about the car. My father, who is on a first-name basis with lots of employees, stayed in line and payed.

When my father got outside, there was a police car pulling up behind his car. The officer got out of his car, and without even looking at the tags on my father’s vehicle, declared that the tags were expired and gave my father two tickets. Several Sam’s Club employees stood around, laughing and pointing at my father, who was confusedly arguing with the cop and the Sam’s Club assistant manager. The assistant manager, who would only identify himself as “[redacted]” yelled at my father, repeatedly saying that this was not his fault. However, after the manager left, another employee came up to my father to tell him that someone who worked at the door had called the cops on him for his tags.

My father emigrated from Greece about 45 years ago, but he still has problems expressing himself in English when he is upset, so I called both the corporate office and the manager of our local Sam’s Club for him. I’ve gotten nothing but the run-around for two days. One manager calls another manager who calls a marketing director trying to see how long they can take until I give up. This situation really is a shame because my father genuinely loves going to Sam’s Club, and is now too embarrassed to go back after being “treated like a dog” (his words). Looks like we’ll be shopping at Restaurant Depot from now on.