How To Let Best Buy Know How You Feel About Its Receipt Checking Policy

Waiting until you’re leaving the store with a purchase to defy Best Buy’s receipt-checking policy makes for entertaining stories, but a more effective long-term solution is to go to the source and let your voice be heard.

Best Buy’s IdeaX suggestions page — seemingly the latest incarnation of the old “Idea Box” — is a way to complain in a focused way that Best Buy might hear. Reader Mike is calling for a Consumerist commenter campaign to flood IdeaX with suggestions that the company rethink its doorman policy. Users can vote up ideas they agree with, increasing the likelihood they’ll catch the eyes of decision makers.

What do you think is the best way to get a corporation to change an unpopular policy?

(Thanks, Mike!)

Previously: Cop Threatens To Arrest Guy For Refusing To Show Receipt At Best Buy

Comments

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    I know I will get blasted for this but I do not see anything wrong with a company making sure that the products leaving the store have actually been purchased.

    If you walk into a store knowing how they operate and decide to purchase a product there, you are agreeing to their methods. If you do not agree to their methods, go to Amazon.com.

    • MMD says:

      I agree with your point to a limited extent – policies like this are part of why I will never again set foot in a Best Buy.

      But Best Buy does not have the legal right to detain or harass people who refuse to show their receipt. I support any effort that combats this policy – whether it’s through this suggestion box idea or through active protests made by those who are subjected to receipt checks. I’ll be visiting their suggestion box site to do my part.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s a great idea in theory, except it violates your 4th amendment to illegal search and siezures.

      Company policy does not override the Constitution, even under the guise of good intentions.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        Then it should be taken up with your local AG.

        If local authorities support, or at the very least do not correct these issues, then the local authorities are saying it is fine. That is where the fight should take place.

        Causing a scene in a store so you can:

        1. Be the center of attention

        2. Create some self-fulfilling story you can post on the web

        3. Be unwilling to compromise when you know damn well they are not trying to harass you.

        …is just ridiculous.

        To expand on number 3, if you think a company wants to put forth an image of harassing customers for the sake of doing so, you do not understand how customer based businesses work.

        These places that do these checks do a lot to make sure that it is gone about in a very polite and expedient way so they can not only make sure your experience is positive but to also make sure that people are not stealing.

        • MMD says:

          If drawing attention to an illegal policy ends that policy, then the protester you find so annoying is doing you and everyone else a favor.

          You’re welcome.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            You are not doing me a favor. I think I made it pretty clear I do not have a problem with this. You can keep your snark to yourself.

            • MMD says:

              I’ll hold the snark if you if you will. But I think it’s a fair point that rights sometimes need to be actively defended, and those who do not take an active part in their defense benefit from the work of others.

              Buckus, thank you, you clarified my point. They can *ask* for a receipt, but they can not legally compel me to show it. And they most certainly can not detain me if I refuse.

          • Buckus says:

            It’s not an illegal policy. However, detaining you and taking your property away if you don’t comply…that is the illegal part.

      • obits3 says:

        Loias, This does not violate the 4th amendment (unless a cop is involved).

        What is does do is violate your property rights. Once you have “paid” for the item, it is your item (even without proof of title like a receipt, per the UCC). One must also pay attention to state and local laws that may overide, but in general this is a UCC/don’t mess with my stuff issue.

        Please be careful when calling upon the 4th amendment as improper use makes our case look unfounded.

        • SpamDel says:

          It violates your Fourth Amendment right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects. Search and seizure is only one of the rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment, and nothing in the amendment or Constitution says it applies only to the government.

          • minjche says:

            I’d argue that the title and the preamble pretty much limit the United States constitution to defining what constitutes the United States.

            IANAL so please exercise your favorite grain of salt.

            • SpamDel says:

              Campaign finance reform is a recent and excellent point to the contrary. A corporations right to contribute to political campaigns is considered a First Amendment right. Clearly the constitution does not apply only to individuals.

              • minjche says:

                I don’t actually see a connection there. The idea that a corporation is not restricted by any government policy from campaign contributions is indeed a perfect example of the First Amendment not being violated, because the relationship between the actor (a private entity) and the enforcer (federal/state government) is that which is specifically described within the constitution.

                What is being discussed here though, has the actor/private entity filled by an individual and the would-be enforcer filled by another private entity, the store.

                • SpamDel says:

                  Sorry, too many thoughts, I didn’t put them all in the one above.

                  My point was that the Preamble states “We the People” are setting up the rules by which we’ll all be governed (not simply the relationship between the people and the government), and that corporations are granted the rights of individuals.

                  SCOTUS has shown that private businesses cannot restrict 1A rights of individuals in some cases. That’s the trouble with constitutional law – no one really knows until it’s tested. I assert that receipt checks would fail under the 4A if so challenged.

                  My argument for 4A protection goes to the greater point that some commenters believe consumers have no legal rights with relation to private businesses, which isn’t true, and that the only option is to “vote with your feet/wallet.”

                  The 4A provides more protection than simple ‘unreasonable search and seizure.’

                  The Constitution is the frame for all the laws in the United States. Any privacy law, property law, campaign reform law, libel/slander law, et cetera is derived from, and must pass muster with that document.

                  • minjche says:

                    Your last paragraph supports my point, IMO.

                    “The Constitution is the frame for all the laws in the United States. Any privacy law, property law, campaign reform law, libel/slander law, et cetera is derived from, and must pass muster with that document.”

                    Laws, being created out of an action of a government, must follow that government’s constitution. A store policy (whether it’s corporate or single-store in nature) is not a law, but a manifestation of the autonomy given to a private business. That’s not to say the store could have any policy (like “all employees must lick the ceiling at least twice daily”), and true they must maintain themselves within the laws of their locale.

                    Still though, I would have a hard time seeing that 4A applies here and wouldn’t also apply to being searched when you enter amusement parks or sports stadiums.

                    I like your point, though, that the reach of the constitution has to be tested to be truly established.

                    • SpamDel says:

                      First, thank you for the civil discussion.

                      I also appreciate how your point supports mine. The Constitution directly (or indirectly, if you prefer *see below) governs the actions of every entity in the United States. The document does not expressly exclude companies. As demonstrated in some of SCOTUS 1A opinions I shared yesterday, private companies were prohibited from restricting 1A rights. The Constitution directly governed the actions of private companies and individuals on it’s own, and has been shown by states to apply in various other similar situations. Therefore it cannot be said that the Constitution does not directly apply to interactions among individuals (or companies) because it actually has.

                      *Laws cannot be said to be separate from the Constitution as their force and authority are derived therefrom – hence property rights being contained in the penumbra of the 4A – and why laws can be said to be unconstitutional. Many laws exist which govern interactions of private businesses and individuals – all of which have force derived from the Constitution.

                      Finally, the 4A issue is further muddied as LP employees may be granted partial investigative/police authority (thus bearing the burden of Probable Cause and being a private business) and that many retail centers are quasi-public places (meaning the public is not generally denied access).

                      I realize that I’m picking at nits here: such is the stuff of Constitutional issues. Ultimately, as a living document, the Constitution can adapt to the modern situation, and be applied through the wisdom (hopefully) of the judiciary. As we agree, it just hasn’t been tested yet.

                      Again, thank you for the civil debate. It’s good to be able to trade ideas and stretch the mental muscles.

          • Decubitus says:

            Perhaps I should have been more clear: Simply asking to see your receipt is not a Fourth Amendment violation; it is merely a request. Because the receipt is given to you as a record of your transaction, it is your property and you have no obligation to let the receipt checker or anyone else see it. There is no violation here, only conversation.

            If a store demands to see your receipt, and prevents you or your property from leaving until you comply, that is false imprisonment and/or robbery. If they threaten you with force or physically restrain you from leaving, you are looking at assault. None of this equates to a Fourth Amendment violation.

            As you point out, the Fourth Amendment states, “and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation”. To whom would Warrants be issued? By what authority could a Best Buy employee take an Oath or affirmation as to probable cause to support a warrant? Do you see why this amendment applies to agents of the government, and not private employees?

            As an aside, I would be very surprised if anyone could produce a written policy from Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. that says customers are to be physically detained until they show their receipts. I’m not surprised that employees at the door and even store managers sometimes think they are supposed to do that (otherwise what’s the point in asking, right?) but a written policy directing employees to illegally detain customers without even reasonable suspicion is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

            • SpamDel says:

              My point is that a mandatory/compulsory receipt-check would violate the 4A because the 4A guarantees your right to be secure in person, house, papers and effects. Part of property rights exist in the penumbras of the 4A; that is they are partially derived from the principles of the 4A.

              I generally agree with your response, but have to disagree because the constitutionality has not been tested. Yes the police are issued warrants, but security personnel so have the right to detain shoplifting suspects in some jurisdictions. (Kansas comes to mind… I can find a reference if you need). The 4A still states that the right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects, but does not preclude private businesses.

              The Supreme Court has said in a few referenced cases (above or below, I forget which post it’s in) that individuals have First Amendment rights with regards to private businesses regulating speech. The Constitution does act between individual entities.

      • Gramin says:

        I would tell you to RTFA but I think RTFC is more appropriate in this case. By the way, the C stands for Constitution.

        No part of our Constitution prohibits a private company from searching a private citizen. Our Constitution is a framework for the relationship between the federal government and the states and citizens. It lists restrictions on government, not private entities.

        So please, stop quoting the Constitution.

        • SpamDel says:

          It’s sad that you perpetuate that misconception. The Constitution is set to govern the interactions of everyone in the U.S.. Your civil liberties don’t end when you walk into a private building.

          For example Best Buy can not extend it’s ‘policy’ of receipt checking to following you to your house and search your home to find your receipt any more than a security firm could force you to quarter their agents, or a mall could kick you out because it has a policy against wearing yarmulkes in public. You cannot be enslaved by a corporation. A private entity cannot prevent you from voting or charge you an entrance fee if they host a polling location.

          The Fourth Amendment states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

          Nothing in that language says “applies only to the government” nor does the entire text of the constitution.

          So first, you have a right to be secure in your person. That is the first right guaranteed to you.

          You also have a right to be secure in your “houses, papers, and effects” meaning generally your personal property. Those are the second, third and fourth rights guaranteed to you.

          Then, you have a right against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

          None of those rights can be violated except on probable cause.

          A Best Buy employee cannot physically touch you, take your receipt or inspect your property. They cannot go to your car and look through the trunk. The question is whether or not the searches are “unreasonable.” As long as they’re voluntary, I have no problem. As soon as it’s mandatory, it’s unreasonable, because Best Buy has no reason to believe that I have stolen anything. Not all shoppers shoplift, therefore there is no need for them to search every shoplifter. Loss prevention experts teach how to recognize strange behavior to determine who may be a shoplifter.

          If they believe they have a shoplifter, they must be able to demonstrate probable cause and involve the police.

          To establish a solid base for probable cause, and prevent false arrest claims, there are six universally accepted steps that a merchant should be follow before detaining someone suspected of shoplifting:

          They must see the shoplifter approach their merchandise
          They must see the shoplifter select their merchandise
          They must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away or convert their merchandise
          They must maintain continuous observation of the shoplifter
          They must see the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
          They must approach the shoplifter outside of the store

          http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html
          http://www.expertlaw.com/library/security/shoplifting.html
          http://www.crimedoctor.com/loss_prevention_3.htm
          http://www.crimedoctor.com/shoplifting3.htm

          • Gramin says:

            You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution.

            The First Amendment guarantees my right to free speech yet my employer and schols can easily limit that right. The Second Amendment gives me the right to bear arms, but again, stores can prevent armed citizens from entering. The Fourth Amendment protects me against unreasonable search and seizure but several venues require a search before entering.

            Throughout the Constitution, it describes the relationship between the federal government and the states and citizens. The Tenth Amendment states that “[the] powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            Your crime doctor links have no mention of the United States Constitution. Moreover, regarding arrests, it specifically mentions that states have their own laws regarding citizen’s arrest.

            This is not a misconception; it is fact.

            • SpamDel says:

              To the contrary, my friend, i have a greater understanding of the constitution than you know. I believe we simply disagree. Additionally, you have cited only your opinion of the Constitution, and not what it actually says.

              The areas in which private businesses and schools may restrict the rights for freedom of speech or the right to bear arms are very narrowly defined, and not always upheld, especially when SCOTUS or other State SCs get involved. That the matters have come before SCOTUS implies that businesses are subject to the Constitution unless a narrow exception is made by SCOTUS.

              Cases in point:
              Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins (1908) SCOTUS
              Marsh v. Alabama (1946) SCOTUS
              Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza (1968) SCOTUS

              If a business tried to violate one of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights I mentioned (slavery, sufferage, poll tax, etc.), it certainly would come before the court as the 1A and 2A cases have because the Constitution governs everyone – corporations and all.

            • madog says:

              Going through some old articles, so I know this comment won’t ever get seen, but I had to respond.

              The only reason an employer or a school gets to limit free speech and the like is because you agreed to a contract when you CHOSE to send your kid to school or work for that particular employer.

              Similar to how people sign Non Disclosure Agreements all of the time. You, through sound mind and body, willfully signed a contract restricting your own freedom of speech.

              You may not sign something specific as such when attending school (although at mine parents and kids had to sign the handbook), but you’re made aware of all of the rules beforehand. If you don’t like the rules, you can chose to leave.

              This is exactly the reason why they can legally check your reciept at Costco or Sam’s club because they require mempership and yearly fees. You sign a contract with them giving up that right.

              A place like Best Buy has every right to ASK to see your reciept, but at the same time you have every right to DECLINE and walk away. You signed nothing with them allowing them to search your personal belongings.

              If they posted a sign on the door, it doesn’t matter. I can’t post a sign on my door forcing people to get naked when they walk into my store.

      • Decubitus says:

        For the love of God, please stop bringing the Fourth Amendment up during receipt checking discussions. Receipt checking has nothing whatsoever to do with Fourth Amendment protections. The Fourth Amendment is to protect you from your government, not from a private business. Best Buy, or any retailer, has the right to ask to see your receipt. You have the the right to say, “No, thank you.”. That is all.

        • Gramin says:

          Hehe… I like your post. See below :)

        • SpamDel says:

          Yes it does. It’s what establishes the voluntary nature of the checks that you allude to by recognizing consumers have the right to say “no, thank you” to the procedure because you have a right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects. Once you say those words, the retailer has to make a decision on whether or not they want to have you arrested and can demonstrate probable cause. If they’re wrong or cannot demonstrate probable cause they face charges of false arrest. It is a Fourth Amendment issue.

          The Fourth Amendment guarantees your right to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects (your self, home, identity and property) before the guaranteed right to unreasonable search and seizure. One of the requirements to revoke those rights is probable cause. The moment a retailer decides they want to have you arrested, it’s a 4A issue.

          See below.

    • KarbonKopy says:

      Totally agree, I show my receipt every time I leave a store that normally asks you to. I have no issue as I have purchased everything in my bag/cart.

      • MMD says:

        And that’s why this policy continues.

      • MMD says:

        And that’s why this policy continues.

      • Gramin says:

        I think the vast majority of consumers agree with you (myself included). For most of us, it doesn’t bother us the slightest to quickly show our receipt to the person standing at the exit door. It takes no more than 5 seconds.

        • Humward says:

          If it takes no more than 5 seconds, I have no objection. I only object when it requires me to stand in line — I won’t do that, and (because there’s no real legal argument that by purchasing an item I’ve entered into a contract that requires me to present my receipt for inspection) I don’t have to.

          So if it’s quick, I don’t mind pitching in — I’m doing them a favor, but it’s no skin off my nose. But wait while the guard processes a row of people in order to get out? No thanks.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      So now all stores must have a sign of some sort listing ALL of their policies. It must be outside the entrance, so you can read it before going in. And it must be in less ‘lawyer-eze’, and more in plain language, or the crowd outside trying to figure it out will get quite large.

      OR – you can just leave and tell the random employee (whoever is put on door duty just then) who wants to examine your documents to piss off.

    • Rose says:

      Okay, but what does that have to do with telling the store what makes you unhappy? I mean, I’m sure that the store would rather know what they’re doing wrong than to have you go to Amazon.

    • sqlrob says:

      That would be the job of the cashier.

    • Skellbasher says:

      It is not the responsibility of the consumer to assist the retailer in loss prevention. Period.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        You are correct. That is why you have options when it comes to where you buy things.

        • SixOfOne says:

          That is not always the case for some people.

          Onus is on the retailer to prove guilt, not for the customer to prove innocence.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            Apparently that is not the case. As I said, if you do not agree with how a business conducts itself, go elsewhere. If you cannot go elsewhere, either deal with the discomfort, or if laws are being broken, report them to the authorities. Until that time, by shopping at that store, you are agreeing to their rules.

            • Kryndar says:

              Except rules can not supersede the law. I will admit that the store may have the right to ban you, I am not sure on this, but they are not allowed to search your property or detain you without your concent.

              • MutantMonkey says:

                What property of yours are they searching? They are not opening boxes or packaging. All they are looking at is a receipt and a bag or cart. Two of which they give you but no law dictates at which point those items are 100% yours. My take is that they are not 100% yours until you leave the company property which means that them searching through THEIR bag and looking at THEIR receipt is perfectly in line with the law.

                • SpamDel says:

                  Once you have paid and you receive the merchandise it’s your property.

                  BTW, “your take” is not the law.

                  • MutantMonkey says:

                    Neither is yours. What law states what you just said?

                    • SpamDel says:

                      Since you made the assertion, it’s your burden to prove to show what law supports “your take”

                      It’s the legal definition of a transaction, part of contract law. The receipt is your property – it’s your record that demonstrates the transaction that took place. It describes that you exchanged X payment/service for Y merchandise at such a date and time.

                      On that note, if the store wants to “check the receipt,” they have their own record they can check.

                    • MutantMonkey says:

                      I need you to follow me very carefully here. At no point did I say that the bag or receipt are not yours or going to be yours.

                      You need to re-read what I wrote very carefully and if you want, try to respond again in a way that actually applies to what I said, OK?

                      “What property of yours are they searching? They are not opening boxes or packaging. All they are looking at is a receipt and a bag or cart. Two of which they give you but no law dictates at which point those items are 100% yours. My take is that they are not 100% yours until you leave the company property which means that them searching through THEIR bag and looking at THEIR receipt is perfectly in line with the law.”

                    • minjche says:

                      I have never seen someone so desperate to not admit that they’re wrong. I appreciate the entertainment, thank you.

                    • MutantMonkey says:

                      So you have a hard time with a question I ask and you devolve yourself to immature comments? I am simply asking a question. It is really unfortunate that you are letting it get to you like this.

                    • minjche says:

                      Alright we’ll do it your way. Here’s a question for you:

                      Would you explain how these sentences, quoted from just one of your comments (with more examples abound) are not being just as condescending as you’re accusing of me?
                      -“I need you to follow me very carefully here.”
                      -“You need to re-read what I wrote very carefully and if you want, try to respond again in a way that actually applies to what I said, OK?”

                      Practice what you preach.

                    • SpamDel says:

                      S
                      k
                      i
                      n
                      n
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                      e
                      s
                      t

                      c
                      o
                      m
                      m
                      e
                      n
                      t

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                      !

                    • minjche says:

                      ^That is a win if I ever saw one.

                      Of course, there’s a chance this comment will end up in the eighth dimension.

                    • SpamDel says:

                      Widescreen,baby!

                    • MMD says:

                      We’re really off-roading now!

                    • SpamDel says:

                      i’m_going_to_hit_the_scroll_bar_if_I_really_strrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeettttcchhhhh——>

                    • spindle789 says:

                      nice try!

                    • MMD says:

                      You keep demanding citations but provide none of your own.

                      Prove that the bag and all contents within it are not mine once the financial transaction is complete. I’ll wait.

                    • spindle789 says:

                      so what you are saying is that if I go to a store, pay for a huge TV and drop dead before I leave the store with it, it is not the property of my heirs or estate?

                      yeah, ok.

                  • MutantMonkey says:

                    Also, I was not talking about the merchandise purchased. I specifically referred to the cart, bag and the receipt, none of which you purchase.

                • Kryndar says:

                  Well, for one I never use a cart at a best buy or anyplace like that. I don’t think the ones I’ve been to have actually had a cart. Also most places where I live now charge five cents per bag and so therefor you are purchasing it and everything I would be exiting the store with is my property. As well I would think you would be hard pressed to find others who consider the bag and receipt to be the property of the store and if they are then the casheirs should not say “Here’s your bag and your receipt.” The employees of the store themselves are calling those two items yours.

                  • MutantMonkey says:

                    You did not read what I wrote carefully enough.

                    • Kryndar says:

                      I don’t see how I didn’t. I was simply saying that I don’t think most people would agree with you that the bag and receipt are the stores until you exit and that the way that cashiers talk implies that they are yours not the store’s. In the end I was simply saying that I beleive your take on the ownership of the bag and receipt is wrong and that I think most would agree with me. If I did miss something else you said could you please oint it out.

                • Shadowfax says:

                  Your take is wrong. The bag was given to you as a gift. It became your property as soon as you accepted it.

                • bravohotel01 says:

                  Let’s assume (as if we just drank some rubbing alcohol) that your assertion is correct: the store owns the bag and receipt until you physically exit the store.

                  Fine.

                  >”All they are looking at is a receipt and a bag or cart.”

                  NO. They actually open the bag and look in it. They examine the goods that are in the “store’s” bag. By doing that, they are searching the customer’s property.

                  Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera. Memo bis punitor delicatum!
                  You lose! Good day, sir!

    • Zen says:

      I will agree that I have consented to their methods if you will agree that I can withdraw that consent at any time, including during the time between purchasing my goods and exiting the store.

      • regis-s says:

        You can certainly withdraw your consent between the time you purchase an item and the time you reach the exit. Simply turn around, go to customer service and ask for a refund. Seems simple enough.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      MutantMonkey is 100% correct. If you don’t want to have your receipt checked, don’t shop in the store. Go somewhere else. You know their policy and and you can a)conform with it b)don’t conform with it and go elsewhere. Simple. But I guess some posters here would rather get into a stupid confrontation with a minimum wage receipt checker and make a big deal over absolutely nothing.

      • Gramin says:

        +1. Agreed. It’s not worth my time nor my dignity. And I consider myself a nice guy so I’d rather not be an asshole for something that isn’t an unreasonable request.

      • Kevin411 says:

        I have no problem with it as long as the policy is CLEARLY POSTED AT THE ENTRANCE or I’ve signed an agreement. I only shop at stores that I know check receipts otherwise when it’s necessary, just on principle (voting with my money). I do think some folks take it too far, though I see the point about your purchases being your own personal property.

        However, many places won’t let you walk in with backpacks and other packages or will hold them for you until you leave. I don’t see this as much different…it’s like they’re holding your newly purchased items until you leave, just like your backpack. If you don’t like either of these policies (and I don’t) then don’t shop there (I don’t). However, I my biggest point is that they do not post this clearly as a policy at the entrance, and I’m surprised that this middle ground does not have more support here. Some will still object…fine…but it seems like a reasonable compromise to me.

        A question for the other IANAL’s on here…If a store has a policy of inspecting some/all packages and receipts as they leave the store, and it was clearly posted at the entrance with an opportunity to leave immediately without a search, would it still be technically illegal for them to follow through on the policy? I believe courts would rule this as reasonable, unlike the examples thrown out by others such as a body cavity search and/or taking a blood sample, which a court would call unreasonable.

        • bluline says:

          Signs don’t mean squat. If they posted a sign that said women had to bare their breasts before leaving the store, you think they could enforce that?

          Doesn’t matter what a sign says. Signs don’t trump the law, and once I pay for something, it’s legally mine and I don’t have to prove it to anyone. If they want to accuse me of shoplifting, fine, go ahead. But they’d better be damn sure they’ve got it right because if they don’t, I’ll be seeing them in court.

    • Southern says:

      And no offense to you intended, MutantMonkey, but I have no problem with stores adding the TSA X-Ray Scanners to their system, and making all customers step through “just to make sure you didn’t steal anything”. I have nothing to hide, so why not?

      Oh, and they’re also free to search my car before leaving the parking lot, also to make sure I didn’t steal anything. (One store has actually already tried this, so don’t think I’m just being facetious).

      The more rights you allow them to take from you, the more they’ll want to take. (Think of the old adage, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”)

      • MutantMonkey says:

        Your extremes do not help you.

        For flyers, there are no other realistic options to getting from point A to B. You cannot use an industry where there is no competition in a singular aspect like security.

        That type of security would never hold because competition would understand several important things, like you can’t hide a PS3 in your underwear so there is no point in said security measure.

        If you are going to try and compare flying to shopping, you have failed before you even get a chance to make an argument.

        • bravohotel01 says:

          Oh dear.

          I’m sorry to tell you, but you got that one wrong.

          By simply chartering an airplane, one can avoid the entire TSA grope & radiate circus. Chartered flights do not involve any security at all.

    • _UsUrPeR_ says:

      I live in Michigan, in the Metro Detroit area, and I am blessed to have a Microcenter less than 20 minutes away from my home. Coincidentally, it’s almost directly across the street from a Best Buy. I am really not quite sure how BB remains in business with a far superior store so close by. I can’t even remember the last time I have set foot in a BB.

    • Suburban Idiot says:

      I haven’t shopped at Best Buy in years, but when I did shop there, the receipt checking was sporadic. You never knew when you went in whether they were going to check your receipt or not. So, it wasn’t something that you would necessarily think to avoid by going to that store.

      I’ve mentioned Wal-Mart in previous posts. People routinely complain about Wal-Mart receipt checkers, but I’m almost never stopped to have my receipt checked at Wal-Mart (this week marked the 2nd time out of hundreds of visits).

      So, until I’m being asked for the receipt, I don’t know that I’m going to be asked for my receipt…. except at Fry’s.

    • Smiley Massacre says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Visit to Best Buy/Wal Mart/etc:

      *browse store*
      *find product*
      *pay for product*
      *leaving store*
      Employee: “May I look at your receipt?”
      Me: “Here you go.”
      *checks receipt*
      *checks bag*
      Employee: “There you go!”
      Me: “Thanks! Have a good one!” *walking out store*

      How long to take them to check receipt and bag? 5 seconds. This happens to me every single time I go to any store that needs to check receipts, if at all. It may be longer for others, but I have never had an experience where it took “forever” to wait to have my receipt checked.

      I understand people have issues about freedom and rights when it comes to this, but all you are doing is showing a receipt. If it takes 10 seconds because of someone else in front of you, fine. I’m not saying that you need to show your receipt, but would you rather show and go or go and get stopped by someone where it will take longer than that 5 or 10 seconds, only to stand there and try to make a point that nobody cares about but you.

      If it’s that important to you, then by all means do it. I’ll be that guy behind you who had his receipt checked and will be walking past you without any issue or care.

      • minjche says:

        I’m very happy for you that having your receipt checked does not bother you. What you have to understand, though, is that it does bother other people, and that many folks who frequent this website are among that opinion.

        Also, in reference to how you presented the possibility for someone to “go and get stopped by someone where it will take longer than that 5 or 10 seconds”:

        I’m not going to claim to be an expert on the laws associated with this situation, but my understanding is that the store can not legally detain you without actual evidence that you were shoplifting (such as a security tape), and even so they need the police present to actually detain you.

        So then, really, if you haven’t actually stolen anything, you can presumably just keep walking out of the store no matter what the receipt checker says, and there would be absolutely zero delay. SInce your primary concern seems to be the amount of time it takes, it wouldn’t then make sense for you to preach the virtues of a 5-10 second wait when your wait could always be zero.

        • SpamDel says:

          Stores can detain you for a reasonable amount of time if they suspect you of shoplifting. The troubles there are the definition of “detain” and “reasonable” and if they can demonstrate probable cause, otherwise they risk a false arrest charge.

          Unless you have a contract requiring you show it, receipt checks are voluntary, but as soon as the customer says “no” that should be the end of the check.

          IANAL, but these guys are (though it’s not ‘legal advice’): http://www.crimedoctor.com/shoplifting3.htm

          • minjche says:

            Thanks for clearing that up.

            My own (anecdotal of course) experience in retail at a CVS would back that up, too. My store manager told me that even if I literally watched someone shoplift that all she wanted me to do was to tell her. She basically explained that unless she herself witnessed it and knew it was happening under the watch of a security camera that it wasn’t worth the risk of falsely accusing someone.

            Plus as long as they’re in the store (prior to checkout), they can always claim “I was going to pay for it” thus dismissing any shoplifting claim.

            • SpamDel says:

              Yup. I worked in retail and LP for a while. The rules under which we could actually detain someone were very slim.

    • SpamDel says:

      If a store thinks I’ve shoplifted, they can have me arrested. If they’re wrong, they face false arrest charges.

      Their policy does not trump the law, and patronizing a business does not imply I agree with their ‘methods’ especially when they’re inconsistently enforced and unknowable beforehand.

      That said, I have never had a problem with receipt checkers. They ask “may I see your receipt?” I smile and say “No, thank you” as I walk out the door.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        What law? All they are looking at is a receipt and a bag or cart. Two of which they give you but no law dictates at which point those items are 100% yours. My take is that they are not 100% yours until you leave the company property which means that them searching through THEIR bag and looking at THEIR receipt is perfectly in line with the law.

        They are not searching your personal property like your body, purse, strollers, etc. They also are not opening products you purchased. So again, what law are they breaking?

        • minjche says:

          Your take on when you take 100% possession seems biased towards the point you’re trying to support.

          My take (like you I have nothing but gut feeling to back it up) is that the purchase becomes your property at the “point of sale”, the register. I’m basing that off of how purchases actually happen.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            But I am not talking about the products you actually bought. I am talking about the items you did not buy, but were handed to you or items used to carry products out of the store.

          • MutantMonkey says:

            But I am not talking about the products you actually bought. I am talking about the items you did not buy, but were handed to you or items used to carry products out of the store.

            • minjche says:

              The fact that you’re trying to make a point about who owns the shopping bag and receipt shows this isn’t a worthwhile discussion because you are a lunatic.

              • MutantMonkey says:

                It’s called nuance, not lunacy. Debate revolves around nuance. I simply asked a question that would clearly be brought up if this were to go into a legal battle.

                • bassbeast says:

                  Hey look, I didn’t know “nuances” were made of straw.

                  No, debate is made up of “cogency.”

                  • minjche says:

                    I see what you did there (with “straw”) and I liked it a lot. Made a point I wasn’t able to make!

                • MMD says:

                  What if I bring my own eco-friendly shopping bag? What if I purchase a small item, decline their bag, and put it in my purse?

                  The means of carriage of my personal goods (whether I brought them in the store with me or am carrying newly purchased goods out of the store) is irrelevant.

            • ccooney says:

              you’re suggesting that the bag and receipt aren’t yours to dispose of as you please? That’s a new one. Why would it not be part of the transaction?

        • obits3 says:

          “What law?”

          In general, The Uniform Commercial Code, Common Law, State Laws, etc…

          “All they are looking at is a receipt and a bag or cart. Two of which they give you but no law dictates at which point those items are 100% yours.”

          The bag and the receipt are your property, so your math is wrong. They can play hardball and take the cart, but they must give you a reasonable time period to get your stuff off the property.

          “THEIR bag and looking at THEIR receipt.”

          You are wrong. The bag and the receipt belong to you, not them.

          “They are not searching your personal property like your body, purse, strollers, etc.”

          Personal property does NOT mean property on your person.

          Personal = movable.

          “So again, what law are they breaking?”

          In general, they could be doing the following:

          false imprisonment
          assault
          battery
          robbery

          The more you know!

          • MutantMonkey says:

            You cant just spout a bunch of random stuff and assume you have proved anything.

            Quote me some legal reference that indicates at what point the bag and receipt are LEGALLY your property at which point the store would actually be breaking a law.

            The more you know!

            • obits3 says:

              Sorry for not quoting:

              “Unless otherwise explicitly agreed title passes to the buyer at the time and place at which the seller completes his performance with reference to the physical delivery of the goods, despite any reservation of a security interest and even though a document of title is to be delivered at a different time or place; and in particular and despite any reservation of a security interest by the bill of lading.”

              U.C.C. Article 2-401 (2)

              This is the general law. Once you have the goods and the store has your money the deal is done. Even if your receipt burst into flames and became ashes, you own the goods. The document of title/receipt is “extra” like icing on a cake. It is nice to have, but not needed.

              • MutantMonkey says:

                THEY ARE NOT SEARCHING YOUR GOODS!!! They are searching the bag your goods are in. I made this very clear to you already. Please keep up.

                • Shadowfax says:

                  So you’re saying that if I carry the goods out without using a bag, they can’t search it?

                  You’re saying that the bag is the property of the store?

                  You’re saying I’m guilty of theft when I take the bag out of the store?

                  Don’t bother answering, I already know you’re full of crap.

                  Here’s a hint for you: Gifts are still legal transfers of property. If I give you a gift and you accept it, then the gift is yours, not mine. I can’t legally tell you want to do with it, unless we agreed to it before I transferred the gift.

                  The bag is a gift. The store gave it to me. It is therefore mine. My property. They can’t search my property, as you seem to have already admitted.

                • theduckay says:

                  you own the bag that the goods are in when you purchase the goods. End of story. Do you understand this? or do we have to use all caps with a million exclamation points to better get that point across.

                  Give it up already. If you’re of the opinion that you should just give into showing your receipt because you don’t mind it, then fine. But stop questioning legality because you’re clearly wrong and misinformed.

                • MMD says:

                  Then what are they looking for when they look in the bag?

                  I’m sorry, but you can’t argue that they’re not searching the goods in that bag. Goods that have been paid for. “Your take” that those goods are somehow still the store’s property is illogical.

            • Southern says:

              MutantMonkey, that’s CONTRACT law.

              The store creates a contract that you will pay “X” amount for a product. When you do, you have completed the contract, and the store now has no way to force you to do anything with that property, because that contract/sale has been concluded. They would have to take you to a court to negate the sale at this point, if they had whatever reason to do so.

              It would be like you hiring a company to build you a pool. If you pay them all up front, and they run off with the money, there’s nothing that the police can do – you have to take the company to court, and sue them for breech of contract.

              So the point of when the property is “yours” is when the store accepts your money, and the “contract” is complete. They have no further rights regarding the item(s)/property.

            • Shadowfax says:

              But it’s OK for you to spout random stuff (that’s wrong) like “My take is” (the law doesn’t care what YOUR take is) and “no law dictates at which point those items are 100% yours” (except, you know, contract law.

              It’s a shame those pesky facts get in the way of you being right, isn’t it.

            • MMD says:

              http://www.thelegality.com/2008/03/12/stop-that-paying-customer-the-legality-of-compulsory-receipt-checking/

              I draw your attention to the last sentence: “It seems implausible that store agents could honestly claim they need to check every receipt on the grounds that they have a reasonable belief that every one of their customers is a thief.”

            • David Ciani says:

              I would say when money exchanges hands is when the ownership transfers. One might also argue that the ownership transfers when the purchaser takes delivery. In a retail context both of these occur at the cash register.

        • SpamDel says:

          Contract Law specifies. The receipt is *MY* record of the transaction. It absolutely belongs to me.

          . The store says “may I see ****YOUR**** receipt.” They have their own.

          Also, I’ve provided numerous citations throughout this post, and you have yet to provide one. Google it. LEARN DAMMIT!

        • TheSDBrat says:

          They become yours when the purchase contract is completed, ie product is presented, a value is agreed upon, customer surrenders value (money, credit card, etc) and then, the contract is complete. The product is now 100% mine to do with as i please…

        • coren says:

          If it’s their receipt and bag, why did they give them to me and allow me to keep them after I left the store? Did I just steal their property?

          Moreover, in some cities you pay a bag charge for bags – if I’m paying the charge, it’s my bag. So now your (incorrect) assertion that the store owns the bag goes out the window. For that matter, many times I just put items in my backpack after I’ve paid for them (and I own them). That is my backpack – do you assert they can randomly search it?

    • David Ciani says:

      There are other ways to make sure that the merchandise that leaves the store has been paid for. Many stores keep the small, expensive, high risk items behind the counter or in a cage and you have to pay for them before they will actually give them to you. Razor blades at my local Safeway come to mind…

      (But then again, Fry’s does both: they have the expensive stuff in the cage AND check your receipt on the way out, but that is the only store that the “Make sure the cashier rung you up right” story actually has any weight since their cashiers are morons)

    • Hoss says:

      Right on. The people jumping on this are the same one’s applauding Arizona’s decision to ask anyone with dark hair for papers. This has NOTHING to do with rights

      • minjche says:

        I don’t hold that opinion (or any opinion really) about Arizona or their policy.

        So your blanket statement has at least one exception.

      • MMD says:

        No, this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with rights! It’s not like anyone’s discussing whether the 4th amendment is relevant or debating the finer points of contract law or anything or debating the retailer’s rights here…

        Oh, wait…

        I’d address your inane assertion that there’s not a raging debate over human rights and immigration going on in Arizona if you weren’t such an obvious troll.

      • coren says:

        Uh, I hate Arizona’s law and i hate receipt checkers.

    • mowz says:

      I’m just here for the comments.

      *opens pizza box . . .

    • rambo76098 says:

      So by walking into Best Buy I give them my consent to violate the law? By that logic they could make a store policy that all customers will be murdered if they don’t make a purchase before leaving the store and they could never be charged for it.

      • JennQPublic says:

        How exactly are they violating the law? There’s nothing illegal about asking to see your receipt. If they try to physically restrain you from leaving, that’s illegal. Having a policy that involves ASKING to see proof you paid for your items is not against any law I know of.

        I don’t like this ‘policy’, but it’s not really a violation of my civil rights.

        • SolidSquid says:

          preventing you from leaving unless you let them search your bag to compare it to your receipt is illegal, which is what this complaint is about (not just looking at the receipt). Bag searches can only be done by police officers, and even then I think they need probable cause. Shop security doesn’t have that authority and isn’t allowed to detain you for not letting them do it.

          • MrEvil says:

            Shopkeepers’ privilege doesn’t even apply in these situations. That privilege is only available to a shopkeeper if they have reasonable suspicion that an individual might be shoplifting. Suspecting everyone doesn’t fall under that definition.

      • Griking says:

        Did you really compare receipt checking to murder?

        Really?

    • dg says:

      Technically you are correct. However, how far can they go to ensure that the products leaving the store have actually been purchased? You went through the register, the item is in a bag; where’d you get the bag from? Do they have guards by the cash registers? Did any of them see you snatch and grab something, toss it into the bag and walk out? 99% of the time those assholes looked at you going through the ONE register that was open and watched you pay.

      So they know you paid – what they’re trying to do is to ensure that THEIR employee isn’t ripping them off by allow you to skate with underrings, or no-rings in your bag. And I’m sorry, but because they can’t trust their employees, I refuse to waste MY time assisting them for zero compensation on their bullshit problem.

      I’m not showing anything when I leave. Detain me, and I guarantee I will sue everyone involved.

      The first time that WorstBuy pulled this shit was the LAST time I went into that store and spent any money there. That was DECADES ago – since then, I’ve purchased lots of electronics and appliances – WorstBuy got NONE of the business. They got NONE of the business from my family or friends either because I make a habit of telling everyone I know that WorstBuy isn’t to be trusted and why.

      Just stop shopping at those shitholes. They’ll figure it out soon enough, or they’ll follow the other blue-shirted dimwits (CrockBuster) into the black hole of “treat-your-customers-like-shit”

    • Griking says:

      I agree with you. Its not like everyone here doesn’t know that they check receipts at the door so don’t get surprised and offended when they do it to you. Get off your high horses and show your receipt or shop somewhere else.

  2. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Stop shopping and go to their competition…and then tell the Consumerist

  3. ubermex says:

    You have to make an account to share ideas. That’s dumb.

    • regis-s says:

      Didn’t you have to create an account to post here? I’m pretty sure I have to sign in before I can comment on The Consumerist.

      • theduckay says:

        Because creating an account for some website that you will only visit once is very much the same as creating one to post on a frequently visited blog.

  4. sendmoney2me says:

    I agree. if you don’t like the procedure then don’t shop there. it’s their store and it’s the way that they wish to do business. if you choose to not follow their procedures then just shop elsewhere and vote with your money

    • Blackadar says:

      Again, their wishes to do business a certain way doesn’t preempt the Constitution of the United States.

      FYI, I do vote with my money and don’t shop at BB.

      • obits3 says:

        Just to be clear, this is only a constitutional issue if the government (i.e. cops) try to take your stuff. Most times, this is just a UCC/common law issue.

      • Gramin says:

        For the umpteenth time, the Constitution of the United States of America DOES NOT apply in this situation. It is a framework for the relationship between the federal government and the states and citizens; it does not regulate interactions between private entities and citizens.

        This is why Company ABC can prohibit you to bring guns into its store while the US Constitution permits you to own them. It’s why a school can prevent its students from wearing inappropriate clothing.

        • Derek Balling says:

          But it doesn’t give the shopkeeper the right to SEARCH you for guns. At the end of the day, the retailer’s sole options are “allow you in the store” or “deny you access to the store”. Anything outside of those, including demanding your receipt, taking the property you’ve paid for back from you until you produce a receipt, searching bags, etc., etc., is all completely illegal without you having actively agreed to such in advance.

          • Gramin says:

            Um… actually, a company can search you for guns if they so choose. (See inner city schools, professional sports complexes, etc.) While requesting a receipt post-purchase may be illegal (I can’t find any case law on it), it does not violate any of your constitutional rights. My issue here is not with whether or not Best Buy can ask for your receipt; rather, my issue is the complete lack of understanding of our Constitution. It does not apply in this situation.

            • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

              You are correct that receipt checkers are not violating the Fourth Amendment, but detaining you or touching you or your property against your will is usually kidnapping, false arrest, and/or assault, and that’s what receipt checkers most often commit.

              Notice that stadiums and arenas search people as a condition of admission to the venue. You are required to voluntarily submit to that screening if you want to enter. You are free to refuse and leave at any time; this is occasionally not the case with the poorly trained retail workers who are tasked with checking receipts.

            • ccooney says:

              Stadiums can make it a condition for entry, and schools are not private entities. Best buy can’t search you or detain you unless they have cause (and it needs to be fairly well documented) to believe you shoplifted.

            • SpamDel says:

              You haven’t provided any references to anything outside your opinion.

        • SpamDel says:

          I see your “does not” and raise you a “does, too.”

    • jesirose says:

      Yeah, if you don’t like it, don’t fly!

      Wait, what?

    • Derek Balling says:

      Once they’ve sold you the product, it’s YOURS. They’ve got no right to insist upon a receipt.

      As the owner of physical location, they can – if you choose not to play their petty little games – simply Trespass you so that you are no longer permitted on-site… but they won’t, because you come there to spend money, and they lovvve them some money.

    • MMD says:

      Yes, it’s their store. They may request receipts, but they do *not* have the legal right to *require* receipts.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So, has reader Mike made the idea on IdeaX? Is there a link?

  6. tweeder82o says:

    i actually just emailed them 2 days ago, i emailed walmart as well. no responses

    • TheSDBrat says:

      hmm…we think along the same lines, except i wrote to Michael Duke, the CEO of Walmart, as well as two other members of the Board of Directors, and copied in the manager of the Walmart where i was temporarily detained….

  7. travelinlibrarian says:

    The idea is already in the system if you want to vote: Get rid of receipt checkers or provide notice.
    http://bestbuyideax.com/ideas/11007

  8. homehome says:

    If you don’t like the procedure, stop shopping there. Simple. But you know people enjoy complaining and arguing more than anything so they’ll keep going and keep complaining.

    Then claim their smart because they make someone else’s job harder. No you’re an idiot because you keep shopping at a store that you don’t agree with.

    • sqlrob says:

      And the stores are smart because they make their customer’s job harder? Logic fail.

      • homehome says:

        It would be a fail if most customers cared, which they don’t. So your point failed. And if you don’t believe me, go to your nearest BB and watch the door and see how many ppl even give a damn about receipt checking.

    • MMD says:

      And when those who protest actually win this battle, they make *your* life easier because you won’t be harassed for a receipt.

      You’re welcome.

    • Bativac says:

      Gotta say, I agree. I don’t like Best Buy’s policies so I just don’t shop there unless they are having a sale on, say, giant TVs. Then I’m getting a great deal (and they’re losing money by not selling me Monster Cables or the Best Buy protection racket).

      If people don’t like it and quit going, the business will either fail or the policy will change. MMD seems to be equating protesting this with some kind of Rosa Parks-style sacrifice. Eliminating this policy will not affect me one way or the other because… I just don’t shop there.

      • c!tizen says:

        …just like Rosa Parks didn’t affect me, because I’m white and I don’t take the bus? Things like this tend to affect policy across the board, not just at one store, but chains. Just like Rosa Parks affected the way African Americans were treated in all placed, not just the bus. If people simply stop shopping there without telling them why then nothing ever gets fixed, now does it?

        Lets say everyone that has a problem with receipt checking just stops shopping at Best Buy per your suggestion. Best Buy eventually closes and thousands of people are out of work because no one spoke up about what the problem was. That seems to make a huge problem out of seemingly small one and, in the end, is counter productive.

        If it bothers you that people stick up for their consumer rights, as well as their constitutional rights, because this is a violation of your constitutional rights… no matter how small or petty you believe it to be, perhaps you shouldn’t be reading a consumer blog… amirite?

    • whatsfair says:

      true. I am Not Shopping At Best Buy stores – and Walmart – and Target.

      But it seems like they are Breaking the law – by treating people who paid for an item – like a criminal without any proof of a crime.

      but then again – most of our civil rights are gone now anyway. sigh.

  9. J-Sap says:

    http://www.bestbuycars.com

    This is the survey system that Best Buy uses to directly find out how a customers shopping experience is. Managers read these as well as there superiors and the rating they get (1-10) affects store policy. A lot of negatives in a certain category could spark change at a store.

  10. Azzizzi says:

    It’s a non-issue to me. It’s not like they’re shaking you down when you’re trying to leave. They look at your receipt and let you go.

    • deejmer says:

      Can I look through your car to see if you have any marijuana, prostitutes or kidnapped children in it? If not, no big deal and I’ll just let you go. Its a ‘non-issue’ really. Oh wait, no its not, its the 4th amendment and many people enjoy their bill of rights.

      • Gramin says:

        OMFG!!! Walmart, Best Buy, etc. ARE NOT violating your Fourth Amendment rights. The Constitution DOES NOT apply to the relationship between citizens and companies. It is a framework for the relationship between the federal government and the states and citizens. Why don’t people get this? Have you never taken a US government class??? Stop quoting a document that carries no weight in this argument.

        This practice may be illegal, but under no circumstances is it a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

        • SpamDel says:

          OM DoubleFG!

          The laws that make these searches illegal hang on the OMFG Constitution! The constitution DOES govern the interactions of individuals!

        • MrEvil says:

          A Shopkeepers’ rights begin and ends with the right to refuse service and detain someone that they suspect of shoplifting until the police arrive; unless they have a clear notice on the front door that says that personal effects are subject to search upon entering and exiting. I haven’t been in a Best Buy yet that had such a notice on the front door (and if they do it’s not in a conspicuous place). Neither does Wal-Mart or even Fry’s. Sam’s and Costco have such a stipulation in their membership agreement.

    • Hoss says:

      Agreed. The only problem I have is when they only ask “certain” individuals (which at Walmart has a lot to do with skin tone)

  11. c!tizen says:

    I say take it a step further, show your receipt, but only after having the employee show you their driver’s license or another photo ID, then a pay stub to prove they work there. Then have a manager verify that the employee is actually supposed to be working that day, but of course only after having the manager show you a picture ID and proof that they work there as well.

    If me walking out of the store after coming from the cash register with a Best Buy bag in my hand and not setting off the alarm isn’t enough for them to believe I purchased something, then them standing at the door in a Best Buy shirt and a nifty head set isn’t enough for me to believe they actually work there. Thats my shopping policy, and if they don’t like it then they shouldn’t have allowed me to shop at their store.

    • mac-phisto says:

      that’s not a bad idea. how about this?

      “i’ll sell you the right to see my receipt for $19.99. i can optimize this experience for you by smiling & not objecting to your request for only $9.99 more. oh & would you like to add a protection plan that guarantees the receipt is legitimate for an additional $4.99?

      that’ll be $34.97. please have your receipt ready at the door…”

  12. marc6065 says:

    If you are not stealing and have nothing to hide, whats the problem. Stores have a right to protect their property, if not prices go up for everyone. Also most people do not undertand that it is not their God given right that a store has to sell you anything in the first place. Yes, they are in the business to make money but they also have the right to refuse service to anyone and ask them to leave the store. The store , especially big box store have most of the power in this stituation, sure they want your business but they also have hundreds more people to sell to , you on the other hand , if you want what they have at the price they have , have to follow their rules…

    • MMD says:

      Except that store rules can not violate established law.

      If a store has the kind of global right to pick and choose customers as you argue, what’s to prevent a store from deciding not to sell to African Americans? Women? Brunettes? Would a store ever get away with that? No. Nor should it get away with enforcing receipt check policies which are clearly and unequivocally illegal.

    • Vermont2US says:

      The problem is quite simple: by demanding to see my receipt and/or comparing it to my bagged purchase, they are ASSUMING I AM GUILTY of theft, and won’t let me leave the store UNTIL I’VE PROVEN MY INNOCENCE. This is just plain wrong. Once I’ve paid for the items, they are MINE and demanding to see the receipt or the bagged items is a violation of my privacy. If I set off the alarm when I leave the store, at least then they have some VALID REASON TO STOP ME, but just assuming I’m guilty without any reason, burns my ass.

    • obits3 says:

      “If you are not stealing and have nothing to hide, whats the problem.”

      Let’s play name the logical fallacy =)

      Any guesses?

    • SixOfOne says:

      “Stores have a right to protect their property” If you’ve paid for what’s in your bag, it’s not their property, it’s yours. And no one should be standing between you and the exit after paying. If you haven’t paid, there’s no reciept, so point is moot.

    • daemonaquila says:

      No, we don’t. Only sheeple do that.

      We have the choice to put them out of business, and we also have the choice to shop there in a pinch but make their lives hell. The latter can be great fun.

    • bluline says:

      Stores absolutely have a right to protect their property, but after you’ve gone through the register and paid for it, it’s not their property anymore and they have no additional rights to it.

    • shanelee24 says:

      Oh, you shouldnt have said that love.

  13. Press1forDialTone says:

    Perhaps serious vandalism with a note attached?
    (just kidding ‘of course’) Best Buy is that soft turd you
    accidentally stepped in but haven’t looked at or smelled
    yet.

  14. geekpoet says:

    They have no legal right to detain you or demand to inspect your private property (which it is once you’ve paid for it even if you haven’t left the store). You have every right to refuse.

    They can refuse you entrance to their premises unless you voluntarily agree to let them search you or do a bag check, but they can not refuse to let you leave. Unless they have reasonable suspicion you’ve committed a crime they can’t harass you. Even if they think you’ve stolen something, they can’t forcibly detain you, they can call the police.

    That said, their policy is part of why I don’t shop there, or any store this is enforced. I’ll submit voluntarily once to avoid the drama, but I don’t return.

    • Derek Balling says:

      “even in they think you’ve stolen something they can’t detain you”

      That’s NOT entirely true. As someone who’s been a rent-a-cop before, specifically in the realm of loss-prevention, the rule was usually “IF you’ve seen them take the product, and they’ve never left your sight, and they’ve walked past the cashiers without paying and have reached the threshold of the exit, you are permitted to detain them as a citizen’s arrest until a LEO can be summoned to the scene.”

      But if lose sight of them at any point, the assumption HAD to be “they ditched the product while they were out of your sight, and no longer have it”. Unless of course you saw them still holding it when you found them again. :-)

    • Commenter24 says:

      Shopkeepers’ privilege generally allows a store to detain you if you’re reasonably suspected of shoplifting.

      • Kryndar says:

        Resonably suspected is the key phrase there, simply denying any sort of arbitrary search does not constitute resonable suspicion. But yes, this is why I would have no problem showing them my purchases if the alarm went off.

      • Kryndar says:

        Errr I apologize reading some of your other posts I now think you were just correcting a false assertion rather than defending receipt checking. So… ya sorry about my other post there.

      • MMD says:

        http://www.thelegality.com/2008/03/12/stop-that-paying-customer-the-legality-of-compulsory-receipt-checking/

        I draw your attention to the last sentence: “It seems implausible that store agents could honestly claim they need to check every receipt on the grounds that they have a reasonable belief that every one of their customers is a thief.”

        So, you’re right if there’s evidence of shoplifting, but this does not give the store carte blanche to check every receipt.

        • Commenter24 says:

          I agree. See the comments below. I was trying to correct the assertion that one can NEVER be stopped even if they are truly suspected of shoplifting, not to state that failure to show a receipt gives rise to such suspicion. On the contrary, I believe that failure to show a receipt, absent any other evidence, is wholly insufficient to establish the requisite reasonable suspicion to detain.

  15. Skellbasher says:

    Multiple courts have ruled that retailers may not inspect merchandise after a customer has purchased it, nor require a customer to provide a receipt as a condition of exiting the store UNLESS it is a membership only club and these terms are in the contract.

    It doesn’t mean a damn thing that ‘it’s not that big a deal’. The courts say they can’t do it, that means that consumers shouldn’t have to deal with it.

    • Vermont2US says:

      Just curious: can you give any links to such court decisions? (I agree that they shouldn’t have the right to demand to see the receipt, but I’d like to see these court decisions you claim have knowledge of.)

    • osiris73 says:

      Can you cite the cases for this please?

    • Gramin says:

      Can you provide the docket information?

    • Commenter24 says:

      Another request that you provide citations to back up your assertions. I doubt some of these cases exist because I can’t see a court saying that it’s OK to detain a person shopping at a members-only club who won’t show a receipt (and showing such receipt is a condition of membership). Prove me wrong.

      • Skellbasher says:

        The members only club still cannot detain you, but they can cancel your membership if you don’t agree to abide by their terms.

        This topic has come up hundreds of times on this website, with citations to courts upholding existing laws that I’ve referenced. I’ll spend the time digging them up today since you guys are demanding proof.

        • Commenter24 says:

          What you just said and what you said above are entirely different. Above you implied that courts have upheld a members-only store’s right to condition exit (i.e., refuse exit to anyone who doesn’t satisfy the condition) upon showing a receipt. In simpler terms, you are asserting that a members-only club CAN detain you if you don’t show your receipt. What you just said is accurate; the members-only club could cancel your membership (as you’ve violated the terms of the membership agreement) and theoretically could sue you (absent a contract provision that says cancellation is the sole remedy, which is arguably enforceable). If what you just said is what you meant to say above, you need to work on your writing.

    • Gramin says:

      I’m going to lobby once more for some of this case law that you speak of. I don’t think Walmart or Best Buy, having lost a court battle over this, would disobey a court’s order. Furthermore, if any of your so called multiple courts were either a federal appellate court or SCOTUS, Walmart and Best Buy would have ended this practice as soon as that decision was issued.

      I find it highly unlikely that you have case law to support your ridiculous accusation. It’s one thing to state that this practice is illegal; it’s completely different and entirely more absurd to state that multiple courts have ruled on this when, in fact, that is false.

      • Skellbasher says:

        I said at 11:52am that such cases have been cited here before, and that I would take the time to look them up.

        However, if you’re going to be such a prick about it, then you can look it up for yourself. I know what I’ve read here, and I know that I’ve clicked on links to legal rulings that backed up existing statutes.

        • Gramin says:

          I’ve tried to look it up and have found nothing. I’m quite the Googler but all my attempts to find actual case law have failed. I’m finding several other blogs with people bitching about this but nothing that cites an actual case where a court ruled that such a policy was illegal and forced a store to cease all such practices.

          Please help me Enlightened One. You’re my only hope.

          • Commenter24 says:

            Google isn’t all that great for finding cases. You’ll come across a few here and there, but you really need access to Lexis or Westlaw, both of which are super, super expensive. Google Scholar has a decent set of Federal caselaw, but this will virtually all be state-level and thus even harder to find without access to a real legal research site. What is needed is a law student with an unlimited Lexis/Westlaw account.

          • samonela says:

            IT’S A TRAP!! OUR RECEIPT CHECKERS CAN’T REPEL DEFIANCE OF THAT MAGNITUDE!!

      • Commenter24 says:

        You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the impact of court decisions. Let’s see if I can correct at least part of it.

        If Best Buy/WalMart, etc. had lost a lawsuit brought by a customer for false imprisonment stemming from a receipt check, that wouldn’t necessarily legally prohibit them from doing it again in the future. The court decision itself would only serve as precedent for later lawsuits, and the weight such a decision carries would vary depending on the court it was issued in, and the court later suits were brought in.

        The only time that Best Buy/Walmart, Etc. would be “violating a court order” by contiuning receipt checks after losing a lawsuit would be if the court had issued an injunction of some sort explicitly prohibiting Best Buy/Walmart from checking receipts at the door.

        Otherwise, if the only thing that resulted was an opinion/judgment, Best Buy/Walmart is just being dumb by continuing a practice that they’ve been successfully sued for in the past and are now likely to lose future suits regarding.

        Further, as I said above, the weight of any regular “decision” on later suits varies by jurisdiction. Even at the Federal Appellate level an opinion issued, lets say, in the 9th Circuit isn’t binding on the courts of the other circuits, though it’s typically strongly considered.

        • Gramin says:

          I have a sound understanding of the courts. I’m operating under the assumption that, per Skellbasher’s original comment, he has knowledge of court cases in which the judge ruled that retailers cannot require customers to show a receipt prior to exiting the store.

          Fortunately for me, I have unlimited LexisNexis access (thanks to grad school). And I took your suggestion to search that database. My results: nothing. I am now fairly certain that Skellbash was talking out his ass.

          • jason in boston says:

            I did the same thing. I also used a few other law databases and came up dry. I would love to back up what the OP said, but there seems to be nothing easily found.

          • Commenter24 says:

            I primarily took issue with the, “Disobey a court’s order” portion of your comment. A decision saying what Walmart, etc. did was a violation of the law doesn’t mean that the court is Ordering Walmart to stop doing it. That would require an injunction.

  16. MamaBug says:

    Just on-subject here:
    if you haven’t signed a membership contract a la costco/sam’s club, than the only way i will show my receipt is if A) I’ve made the sensor thing go off – something needs to be deactivated or b) I’m toting some huge, high-priced unbagged item.
    in those instances and those instances ONLY am I okay with just letting them skim my receipt (but not actually do anything, really, so what’s the point) and let me go.
    The few times that they have tried to stop me when everything’s in bags and I don’t set off sensors I just glide on by politely, usually talking to the 1 year old of mine sitting in the cart.

    This IdeaX is a good idea to (on a larger scale) show BBY why one doesn’t agree with the policy. Their set-up with the policy is crazy – you must go through the check-out, where their yellow shirts are in full view of you, and then they ask for a receipt? why not just watch the check-out?

    • outlulz says:

      That depends on the store. At my local Best Buy the people at the door won’t stop people they know came from front check out area. They’ll only stop customers who bought merchandise from other parts of the store.

  17. teke367 says:

    Does the receipt checking happen so much? I’ve been asked maybe three times in my life.

    Once, I had to make an exchange at Best Buy, and the help desk was in the middle of the store, so the guy at the door didn’t see me coming from the registers, that I was fine with because I don’t think that it was unreasonable (it helped they I was politely asked).

    Another time at Best Buy when I bought a TV, and I don’t know if that even counts, because while I was paying, the guy brings the TV from the back, so I had to show the receipt to claim the set.

    And once in WalMart last Black Friday. There was a line to leave the store, that is when it bothers me, when it becomes a chore to leave a place. I just held out my receipt in the air as I walked past through another door, no problems, and eventually I noticed just about everybody else followed.

    I live in NJ, not a bad part of the state, but definitely not the nicest part either. I’m averaging one receipt check every 10 years. The three I mentioned above are spread out over 5 years, really, how common is this?

  18. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Great idea, but it looks like people are making more topics on the site instead of voting on one that might get to best buy’s attention.

  19. jason in boston says:

    Just show your papers, citizens. Those objects that you have already paid for and provided receipt are not your property until you leave the store. You citizens are responsible for shrink, not internal theft.

  20. minjche says:

    I would love to see someone buy a big-ticket item like a TV and have their receipt requested at the door. Then the situation would escalate to a manager being called in, and the customer finally saying “Ok have it your way, I’ll let the folks at Customer Service check my receipt while I return this TV.”

    I’d never do this, but like I said, it’d be fun to hear about.

    • MattAlbie says:

      If you buy a big ticket item, they’re supposed to check your receipt 100% of the time for a few reasons.

      Number one, I’ve seen geniuses come in with an old, crappy DVD, get one of those little “Return” stickers, walk right back to Home Theater, slap it on a big TV and try to walk out. So its to help prevent things like that.

      Number two, I’ve also seen people pay for one type of TV and then be given another and nobody notices. So the receipt check also helps make sure you’re actually getting what you paid for, as the model number of the whatever is on the receipt as well as on the box.

      • minjche says:

        I can see where you’re coming from but I disagree on both points.

        #1 still runs into the idea that it’s not my responsibility (as the consumer) to help secure the store. Granted, the store may claim that such loss prevention policies will “keep prices low” but even the smallest bit of cynacism says that no savings from loss prevention would end up being passed to the customer. I’ve never stolen anything and will never steal anything, so I don’t feel I should be subjected to the same treatment as someone trying your return sticker technique.

        #2 is a nice service of the store, but on its own it’s weak to justify checking receipts. Once again it’s not my job to do the warehouse dude’s checking, BUT I will say that I personally would check the product I’m being given before leaving the store. I don’t think that makes me any more responsible of a consumer than any other guy, but I would do it anyway for my own benefit.

        • MattAlbie says:

          Oh no no, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you that you have to or should care. I’m just telling you why the AP guys are told to do that.

          • minjche says:

            Yeah after I commented I saw you used to work Best Buy LP in another comment.

            Thanks for your insight!

      • minjche says:

        Actually, having thought this over, I have to thank you for a great thing to say when my receipt is asked for.

        “No thanks, I know I bought the correct stuff.”

        Nah I’m not that much of a dick, I just say “No thanks” and leave it at that.

  21. exkon says:

    I’m just wondering…is there a reason no one complains when Costco does it?

    • deejmer says:

      Yes, because as a Costco (or Sams, etc) shopper, you are a ‘member’ and EXPLICITLY signed an agreement where you consent to this.

      I have not signed this at Best Buy, WalMart, etc

      • Straspey says:

        So what about this hypothetical…

        As you walk into Best Buy (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) there is a big sign, prominently displayed with BIG LETTERING which says…

        “The management reserves the right, based on its discretion, to inspect the receipt and/or contents of the bags of any and all customers as they exit the premises. HAVING READ THIS PROVISION, YOUR DECISION TO PROCEED INTO THE STORE AND PURCHASE ANY ITEM(S) SHALL BE DEEMED AS YOUR TACIT AND FULL CONSENT AND AGREEMENT TO THIS STIPULATION.

        I believe this would stand up as a legal – especially since it’s a private business.

        Think about it – You pay $12.00 for the right to sit in a movie theater and watch the movie, yet the theater clearly makes a point of telling you that you are prohibited from bringing in any outside food or beverages of your own, and must purchase those items from their concession stands.

        I believe if they discover that you actually have brought your own food into the store (aka your own personal property) they can ask you to leave the theater, although they may have to refund your admission.

        The point is, we agree to these restrictive stipulations all the time with many provide businesses. Here in NY City, it’s against the law to bring a camera or recording device into an auditorium like Carnegie Hall during a show – and if you are caught with such a device, they WILL take it away from you and remove the content, as well as call the police and you will be arrested.

        People steal and shoplift all the time – and the fact is YOU end up paying the higher price to offset the store’s loss.

        • TerpBE says:

          Walmart has the right to ask you to leave the store if you don’t follow their policies, just like the movie theater. However, they do not have the right to detain you for not complying, no matter how big of a sign they put up.

          • Straspey says:

            That’s true.

            However, the warnings which are printed in the program booklets of most major concert venues here in NY City clearly state, in part,”…Violaters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

            Meaning – the can and will detain you; they can and will confiscate your camera/cell phone/etc; they can and will call the police to have you arrested; and the can and will ban you from ever setting foot onto their property ever again – just like bars do every weekend to patrons who get drunk and act disorderly.

            • obits3 says:

              “They can and will detain you” – only if the laws/shopkeeper’s privilege allow it.
              “they can and will confiscate your camera/cell phone/etc.” – No they can’t. That is stealing.
              “they can and will call the police to have you arrested” – Not if you own the stuff.
              “they can and will ban you from ever setting foot onto their property ever again” – This is correct.

              • Straspey says:

                If you are caught in Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, a Broadway Theater, or any other similar private commercial venue taking photographs and/or making an unauthorized recording of the event, here’s what will happen.

                You will be removed from your seat by an usher, with the assistance of in-house security. You will be detained by security until a policeman arrives – which will happen in less than two minutes because typically, cops are assigned to those venues to ensure everyone’s safety.

                You will be asked to turn over your recording device, at which point the photos/recordings you have made (stolen) will be erased from your device and, most likely, they will return it to you – although they may simply just confiscate the SD card or other storage device inside the unit.

                By taking using your recording device inside the venue, you have essentially broken the law, and have used your camera/cell phone/etc. to commit a criminal act, so for the moment, your rights to your property will be limited.

                Normally, at this point they will eject you and tell you never to return (and some places take your photo for future reference). You can refuse to have your photo taken at that point, but the venue can also choose to press charges and then your photo will be taken down at the precinct for a mug shot.

                Different locales have different methods of handling this.

                New York City does not mess around in these cases and you can be sure it will not be like arguing with the manager at Wal-Mart.

                • minjche says:

                  I can see how this may actually happen, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be legal, and your citation of “This is what happens in NYC” doesn’t prove much to me.

                  Could you provide any other citations? Or could someone familiar with the laws involved comment on this?

    • minjche says:

      To be a member of Costco, you have to agree to have your receipt checked.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      Because people agree to it in the membership contract with Costco.

    • eddieck says:

      Yes, there is. Costco, as well as other membership clubs like Sam’s, require in their membership contracts that you submit to a receipt check.

  22. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I just don’t shop there. I actually don’t mind showing my receipt, but I don’t like the stories of them harassing their customers who don’t want to do so. Also, the pressure for warranties and other upsells make me crazy.

  23. KCDebi says:

    People still shop at Best Buy? Wow, that’s amazing!

  24. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    I just posted my comment, encouraging them to concentrate Loss Prevention where it hits them the hardest – ON THEIR OWN STAFF.

    Vote me up!

    http://www.bestbuyideax.com/ideas/11093

  25. spazztastic says:

    Best Buy, unlike Walmart, selects you at random for a check, or when you’re leaving the store with a big-ticket item, or you’ve paid at a remote register. I shop there frequently (a little too frequently) and have only been checked a handful of times outside of my TV iPod purchases.

  26. Sitbacknwatch says:

    I get a kick out of every time consumerist posts that picture for a best buy article. That’s my old manager (the old guy, actually pretty nice guy), assistant manager (guy in the back on his phone, thats what he did basically the whole time he was at the store, play on his phone) and the pcho supervisor on the right who was later fired for what i believe was stealing. Good times! Great memories!

  27. MattAlbie says:

    I worked loss prevention at Best Buy for over two years (or “asset protection”, its its now called), and we’re specifically told during training that if someone doesn’t want to show you their receipt, there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Though, when I transferred to Baltimore, we were also told specifically to tackle shoplifters, so I guess it varies on the store.

  28. Sitbacknwatch says:

    I get a kick out of every time consumerist posts that picture for a best buy article. That’s my old manager (the old guy, actually pretty nice guy), assistant manager (guy in the back on his phone, thats what he did basically the whole time he was at the store, play on his phone) and the pcho supervisor on the right who was later fired for what i believe was stealing. Good times! Great memories!

  29. iFightBanks says:

    An idea for the hive mind:

    Clearly, lots of people hate these policies. Equally clearly, barging past the receipt-checkers and/or writing comments on online forums is not having the desired impact of reducing the usage of these policies at various retailers and I strongly doubt the idea suggested in this article would have any impact at all, because complaints are too easy to ignore.

    Instead, what if, when approached by a receipt-checker, a consumer were to politely ask for a clarification of the policy, e.g. “Am I to understand that any time I purchase something here I will be detained and forced to show proof that I did so before I am allowed to leave?” and then, (assuming the receipt-checker confirms that as the policy), were to walk straight back to the customer service counter, request a manager, and then return everything he or she just purchased, pinpointing the policy as the reason for the return?

    As I understand it, returns are bad for business, and if a sufficient number of people feel strongly enough about receipt-checking policies to return the merchandise they just purchased rather than submit to a receipt check, might it shift things enough to have it make fiscal sense for these retailers to abolish these policies once and for all?

  30. mike says:

    I view receipt checking the same way I view gun ownership:
    If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one. But don’t infringe on the right of someone else to own one.

    I *USUALLY* comply with receipt checkers. Most are there to do a job, that’s it. But customers should have the right to say no. And this right should be posted right behind the receipt checker.

  31. ConsumerDollars says:

    A long time ago, in High School I worked at Best Buy when they expanded into my region, worked in Loss Prevention, it’s a joke some of the people that work there make a big deal out of checking. I never ran into anyone who refused. But I also had people coming from the back of the store (large TV’s, Sound systems, etc. Note: Where they have their own registers) to the front of the store asked for the receipt and they said it’s in their car. They never come back. So $2000 loss saved!

    I never show my receipt unless I’m at a membership club. It’s theater, and some people think they are really police when they work there, and I find that laughable, since I was once the 18 year old that used to do it. You have no authority. Personally I don’t have a problem with the policies, but it’s still a joke.

  32. TooManyHobbies says:

    I think everyone should eat their receipt in front of the cashier. That makes it pretty hard for them to check it at the door. Yum!

  33. Chaluapman says:

    As far as I know, the best buy in my area doesn’t even check receipts.

  34. MrTreoZ says:

    Any losses by theft are covered by excessive markups on HDMI cables, Surge Protectors, and accessories & add-ons in general. I’m kidding, but only a little.

    I just show my receipt on the rare occasion it’s simply more convenient to grab something at BB than online or ANYWHERE else.

    I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t buy cables a monoprice. But, as they say, there’s one born every minute – that’s an old term that needs upgrading. Version 2 should be more like ‘thousands born every second’.

  35. framitz says:

    I don’t mind showing my receipt, but I do mind the other BS at BB and have not set foot in one in over 6 months.

  36. msbask says:

    You are absolutely right…….sort of.

    It is not a “God given right that a store has to sell you anything in the first place”. The problem with your logic is that everyone else here is talking about what happens AFTER the store has exercised it’s choice to sell me something.

    If they don’t want to sell me something because I won’t cowtow to their assinine demands, that’s fine. Once they have agreed to sell me something, and I’ve paid for it, it’s mine and their “God given right” to tell me what to do with it has already ended because they don’t own it anymore.

  37. somedaysomehow says:

    I don’t necessarily know that they need to stop checking receipts at these stores (I like lower prices), but they DO need to make sure their employees are trained well enough to know customers don’t HAVE to submit to it.

  38. StrangeEmily says:

    You can’t give these people a safe way to express their rights! Whats wrong with you!?!

    If these people don’t take their aggression out on these receipt checkers, which they fully intended to do in the first place, from the moment they got out of bed in the morning.. I mean COME ON, they step through the doors of the retail establishment knowing full well that their receipt is going to be checked on their way out of the building, so you can prove motive.
    I’m sure you’ve seen them on your way in, their hands wrapped so tightly around the handlebars of the buggy that their knuckles have turned white.

    If these mentally unstable people don’t have receipt checkers to pick on, then they will start to push their “rights” onto someone else instead, be it the mailman for touching their mail or packages, all the way down to the cashier at the register who has to scan the bar-code on their items because it is their property. Even worse, us personally could get into trouble for looking at their shopping cart when all we are trying to do is walk out of the door away from them.

    These people will join the Christmas Creep movement because they have nothing else to do, maybe they will resort to damaging Christmas Displays that are deemed “Too early”.

    Think about it, we’ve had receipt checkers that have ended up in the hospital due to these people, if they can’t put a receipt checker in hospital, we will be next! We are not safe!

  39. GameHen says:

    This receipt checking policy at Best Buy makes absolutely no sense to me.

    The last time I was in there (granted it’s been several years), the receipt checker was within sight of the cashiers. If they see me coming from the registers, I have obviously paid for something and therefore have a receipt for the item in the bag that they gave me. Also, how would I get the bag unless they gave it to me? Checking my receipt tells them nothing new and they aren’t giving me the TSA pat down for hidden items under my clothes.

    Now, if I was just browsing and bought nothing, I’m going to walk out the door without a receipt. So again, nothing to even ask for.

    The only time a loss prevention person at the door makes sense is if they have those alarm systems and they want someone there to catch someone actually stealing. When the alarm goes off, that is really the only time in which a receipt check makes any sense at all.

  40. You-Me-Us says:

    I voice my opinion on this policy every time I go elsewhere to purchase something I might have bought at Best Buy. If they went under I would miss them about as much as I miss Circuit City. Oh yeah, that reminds me… I voiced my opinion on the way Circuit City was run every time I went elsewhere to purchase something I might have bought from them. See? My idea works!

  41. sweetgreenthing says:

    Voted and commented. I think both methods of raising hell are valid, and I’ll keep using both until something changes.

  42. Talisker says:

    My solution is easy. I never get asked for a receipt when the box arrives at my door from Newegg.

  43. HoJu says:

    If they’d just put a sign up at the entrance saying that they’ll search your bags upon leaving then this would not be an issue. If you don’t like it, you had the chance to turn around and walk out before going in.

  44. Invader Zim says:

    Seems stupid to me. They put the cash register 5 feet from the door. Watch you buy your item take two steps and then want to see the receipt. Stupid. The mere fact that they know I have a receipt says “waste of time”. written all over it. Its like, “oh I just saw you buy that and get that neato receipt, because your such a swell customer we thought that we would make sure that we werent hallucinating, and that you didnt use a Jedi Mind trick to make us think we saw, what we know, we probably didnt really see”.

  45. jake.valentine says:

    This receipt checking crap bugs the shit out of me. What kind of business treats their customers as assumed thieves? I stopped shopping at Fry’s years ago because of this and once my local Best Buy starts this policy, I will no longer shop there either. They are begging us to shop online more!

  46. daemonaquila says:

    Boycott them. Lots of stores sell the same crap at the same prices, without the hassle. Send their execs letters about why you’re shopping elsewhere, with nice photos of your loot attached. If you do have to go into the store in a pinch, take umbrage when their receipt checkers step in, refuse, leave, joyfully deck one if he actually puts hands on you, and call the cops to report a case of false arrest.

    Play hard.

  47. brit2380 says:

    Why are Walmart and Best Buy the only retail companies checking customers reciepts??? If they spent more time on actual security (surveilance, non-uniformed security personnel) then they would get better customer reviews and catch actual thieves. Walmart and Best Buy must be losing more money with this reciept checking system. With all the complaints, charges of harassment, etc.

  48. lidor7 says:

    Unpopular policy? Maybe to the most vocal 1%. The rest of us will be on our merry way.

  49. Arctic Snowbot says:

    The only time I’ve ever dealt with this is when my item or items don’t get demagnetized. Although the few times an actual buddy has been doing the receipt checking, I’ve stopped to talk and let him look so it seems as if he’s doing his job instead of chatting about a tv or game we are both interested in.

  50. asok says:

    A bit off topic but Costco has a similar policy. However, I have on multiple occasions been asked if I had got certain items to make sure I did not forget anything (like movie tickets). Though one time I did get “caught” with a case of beer the cashier forget to scan.

  51. RayanneGraff says:

    I’m not one of those rabid anti-checker people, but I don’t see why Best Buy would check anyone’s receipt unless they were trying to carry stuff out from a non-register area of the store. The damn cashiers are right by the door, the receipt checker can WATCH you buy your stuff, with no real need to verify anything. Unless they’re having problems with cashiers pulling shenannies, like slipping their friends free stuff. But I understand why they’d wanna see a receipt from someone wheeling out a TV or trying to walk out with a bag of stuff from the back of the store.

  52. sopmodm14 says:

    it can’t be the consumers’ rights that are violated if other “guests” are coming in with the intent to steal

    thats why as a true customer, i always point out shady actions…that way, i won’t be subjected to receipt checks or higher prices

  53. stevied says:

    You know there are better ways….

    ONE checkout point. Everybody must go through the checkout point and then immediately exit the store.

    Or

    The old Service Merchandise formula of checking out and then receiving the goods.

    • stevied says:

      Or do what we do in our store….

      Everybody has to drive around to the warehouse to pickup their stuff. You better have your receipt ready or we don’t know which pile of junk to give you.

  54. Bye says:

    I’d happily share my ideas with Best Buy if I didn’t have to create an account.

    Until then, I’ll continue not shopping there.

    Thanks for the better deals, Costco and Amazon!

  55. Woodside Park Bob says:

    Because their price was $60 lower than I could find anywhere else, I recently bought a cell phone at a local Best Buy after getting them to match their own web site’s price– the shelf price was higher than their Internet price. Anyway, the phone packaging had an alarm around it, which could only be removed by the receipt checker at the exit. That seems like a reasonable way to enforce the receipt check policy and reducing employee theft too.

  56. endless says:

    you guys are going to have to shop a lot more at best buy to make them care….

    receipt checking saves them quite a bit of money i have a sneaking feeling.

  57. Corinthos says:

    My best buy never checks the receipt at the door. They do have a guy at the door. I walk past and the sensor goes off and he just waves me on through.

  58. bellabell says:

    Put the cash registers at the exit doors. When you check out you leave. End of trouble….

  59. lumberg says:

    WAAAAHHH WAHHHH BOOO HOOOO I HAD TO SPEND TWO SECONDS SHOWING A PIECE OF PAPER TO A COMPANY MY RIGHTS HAVE VANISHED MY LIFE IS OVER BETTER KICK SOME OLD GREETERS ASS DURING MY TEMPER TANTRUM BECAUSE ITS OBVIOUSLY THE GREETERS POLICY AND THEREFORE THE GREETER SHOULD TAKE THE FORCE OF MY CHILDISH ABUSE WAAAAHHH

    Ahh, I feel better.

  60. adamwade says:

    1) When I leave a store, I hold the receipt visibly in my hand. 9 times out of 10 they don’t check it as I smile and walk by. In fact, I shop at both BBuy and Wal-mart frequently and have not been asked in ages because of this.

    2) The check is stupid, however, because even when they do check it they don’t seem to be looking at anything. The last few times I was checked (and again, it’s been awhile, since I use the “smile as you walk by” method) they didn’t even look at the bags, just glanced at the ticket. Security theater at it’s best.

    3) The problem for me is when they aren’t at the door to check, you walk out, and then they think they have the right to follow you out to the parking lot. This happened to me at Wal-mart about five years ago. Hot, miserable day – and I bought an A/C. I was virtually the only one in the store, was checked out, and walked out. There was no one even near the door. Next thing I know, I’m almost to my car and someone comes yelling after me for my receipt.

    I refused. By the time the man got to me, I was lifting the item into my vehicle. I had the receipt in my hand, actually. But I was not about to let some guy who wasn’t doing his job (he was probably off flirting with someone at the customer service desk instead of at his post) run after me in a parking lot yelling at me. The guy was a complete idiot and did not understand when I told him, “You cannot confront me in a parking lot and demand anything”. After explaining this twice I laughed at him and said I was leaving, “G’head, call the cops.”

    Normally I’ll play their little game of security theater, but once I’m out of your store, if you think I’ve shoplifted an appliance, tough nuggies. I refuse to be harassed in a parking lot because the employees weren’t doing their job.

  61. ReVeLaTeD says:

    Talk about overboard.

    I rarely shop at Best Buy but in the times I have, I have only had my receipt checked for one purchase – a 52″ Sharp Quattron LED LCD. And then only so the guy could sign out the purchase. Every other recent time, they’ve just waved me on through even if I’ve offered to have the receipt checked.

    The store location matters. The one I go to is in an upper middle class area that has such low crime that we don’t even have a local police station. I used to go to another one that is in white trash central and I would get flagged all the time.