Who Is Responsible When A Shopper Loses Items He Just Bought?

In all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, we’re surprised we don’t hear more about shoppers accidentally losing a bag of items they just purchased. But when that happens, is the store responsible for the shopper’s forgetfulness?

This is the question Consumerist reader J. puts to us all in the following letter:

I am a retail manager and I had an incident the other day where a man called saying he needed to speak with my supervisor. I am the store manager here and my immediate supervisor — a district manager — does not work on site with me.

Wanting to to fix the issue myself (knowing how busy DMs can be during the holidays) I asked if I could help him. He said he had purchased some items on black Friday and that he had put the bag down somewhere in the store and forgotten them. He also said he had been calling us repeatedly trying get this resolved since black Friday and no one had returned his calls.

I run a very small crew and after questioning all of my employees, I don’t feel that this happened at my location. None of them knew anything about it. I passed his info to my DM who called him the following day.

Come to find out it was not my location, and being that the items had been bought and paid for, then he lost them on his own accord, we didn’t feel we were responsible for replacing them.

He then took his complaint all the way up to the CEO of the company and was awarded the value of the items in a gift card, which I had to give him since he swore it was my store, though none of the employees he named as people he spoke to work at my location.

The problem I have with this is that he lost the product. It wasn’t that we didn’t give it to him, he was handed his items and then he lost them. Should we have replaced them? I don’t believe so. At what point does “the customer’s always right” not apply?

J. tells us the total retail value of the items for which he had to reimburse the shopper was $130, in case that makes a difference in what you think about this situation.

Regardless, have your say on the matter in the following poll:

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    Sorry. Corporate went WAY above and beyond, but nobody owed him a thing.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Agreed. I was considering the option “Only if the customer can prove the store did something wrong” but what the hell could the store have done wrong? Unless the manager personally instructed a floor clerk to steal the bagful of items and restock them, which is absurd, I can’t even concoct a situation where the store could be responsible.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Another customer finds the bag and turns it into the store. Instead of holding the merchandise or contacting the customer, the store returns the items to inventory or doesn’t respond when the customer calls to ask about a lost bag.

        • longfeltwant says:

          Okay, and in your scenario these items are in a store-brand bag, with their receipt? That scenario is not impossible, but it is absurd. It’s not believable.

          • Psychicsword says:

            Even if the receipt isn’t in the bad(lets just say it was in a bag), most stores have security camera and could easily see that it was left by someone and they should put it in a lost and found area. If they wanted to go above and beyond they could look up the customer’s name using their transaction records(assuming they used a credit card) and try to track him down.

            This is one of the very few cases where I would feel like the store was responsible for the lost item.

            • JohnDeere says:

              bacon and ice cream wont go in lost and found.

            • Delphinia says:

              Larger stores tend to have security cameras, but most smaller ones don’t. None of the ones I ever worked at did, and people trying to pull some sort of scam were an almost everyday occurrence. Considering he didn’t even buy the items at this store, I don’t see how it’s the employees’ fault at all.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Pulease….Haven’t you ever seen a customer return a lost item to a store (or an employee find an unclaimed bag of merchandise)? And it’s very common when the bag hasn’t even left that store yet. Even if the receipt isn’t on or in the bag, the store would hold the merchandise until a customer came looking for it…at least for a reasonable period.

            Happens all the time.

      • JennQPublic says:

        I left a six-pack of beer sitting at the self-bagging area of my grocery store, but didn’t realize it/ ask about it until I was back in over a month later. Turns out, the store keeps a log of all items left at the registers, and if you come back and say “I forgot X,” they will replace it.

        Unfortunately for me, they only keep the list for a month, so I was out of luck. Still, they told me if I brought the receipt in, they would replace it. I didn’t have it, but it was impressive customer service, nonetheless. Especially considering it was 100% my fault.

    • Charmander says:

      True, they went above and beyond, but it is good they did what they did. $130 is not a lot of money to the store, but it is worth many times that amount in good will.

      • consumeristjohnny says:

        Not really. This is the kind of guy who is a scammer. He plays the system for his stupidity. I wouldn’t want him in my store ever.

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        The store caved to a scammer who identified the wrong store. No way to tell if he lost them inside or outside the supposed store – but of he says it happened in the store then he has chance at a refund.

        Last week If left some items in my cart at Sams and drove away. My fault. Not Sams.

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

          A couple months ago, I spotted a DVD in a cart at Costco … (I turned it in to the greeter) … never hurts to ask at customer service, “Hi, I left blank-blank-and-blank in my cart by mistake, did anyone turn that stuff in?” Perishables might not be good anymore, but they might be able to do something for you.

      • Jawaka says:

        Its unlikely that it will be looked upon as good will since the customer obviously felt entitled to the refund.

    • Difdi says:

      Exactly. Unless a store employee did something like scooping up a momentarily-set-down bag and re-shelving the customer’s property, the store is not to blame. Even if an employee did that, then that store is to blame, not a different store across town.

    • kc2idf says:

      No, you’re not sorry, and shouldn’t be, because you are correct.

      It can be good public and customer relations to help out, but it is the customer who screwed this one up.

      Don’t get me wrong: if I were the customer, I would attempt to recover my property in the hopes that the store was willing to do me this courtesy. I have done this once before and had no problem recovering my property, but would not have held it against the store had I not been able to do so.

      It needs to be treated the same manner as if you had dropped something in the store that you had not bought there. It’s your property; you need to be responsible for it. If the store can reunite you with it, great; if not, it’s unfortunate, but you need to accept it and move on.

  2. jsweitz says:

    The best argument about this is the same about showing a receipt to get out the door. You have paid for the items, so they are yours. They are your responsibility if they are lost, and you do not need to prove to the store that you own them.

    • Tim says:

      So if a story checks your receipts a the door, should you be able to hold them liable if you forget your stuff at the store?

      • Tim says:

        Store*

        • jsweitz says:

          No, you shouldn’t have to show your receipt at the door unless you’re at Sams or somewhere that you sign an agreement further than the agreement you make when you hand over payment.

          On second thought, the general consensus on Consumerist over the years is that its pure BS that stores check receipts to make sure you get what you paid for. Maybe there really is more to it than loss prevention.

          • Stilor says:

            It is not. Receipt checker in our local Costco once pointed out to me that there were two sets of printer cartridges in the receipt, but only one in the cart – cashier mistakenly scanned it twice and I didn’t notice. So, I guess it may serve both purposes at the same time.

            Whether every store trains receipt checkers to honestly remind shoppers of the missing items, I don’t know.

            • FredKlein says:

              I find it hard to believe that, in the 3 or 4 seconds it takes for the checker to glance at your receipt, and into your cart/bag, that they have counted the items in/on each, and compared the totals. That’d require a near-photographic memory.

              So, the ‘the checker can find mistakes’ thing it totally not believable.

              • greggorthechamp says:

                I had it happen at a Fry’s once. I was buying a speaker, and they charged me for a more expensive one. He saved me $60.

                • dangermike says:

                  I had it happen, too, at a CostCo. I don’t even remember what it was, but do remember the checker spotting that an item was missing from the cart. The way they can check things like this so quickly is that they compare the number of items in the cart to the number of items on the receipt. Double entries jump out very quickly simply skimming down the list. Not to mention that they are typically well-practiced, performing several dozen of these checks every hour of their workday.

              • maxhobbs says:

                The people at our Sam’s club do count every single item, they are very thorough.

      • Jawaka says:

        So you’re suggesting that you’d just hand your bag to the receipt checker at the door and then just walk out without it?

    • Roe says:

      Whatever happened to their signs that read “Not responsible for lost or stolen items”. That person owned those items and was responsible for them. End of story in my opinion.

      • Difdi says:

        Those signs have no legal force. The person who is to blame for the problem is the one responsible, whether there are signs up for or against the responsibility or not.

        • kujospam says:

          Should be legal, That way when I steal from them, I can say you are acting responsible and are breaking a contract. J/K

  3. Greg Ohio says:

    In all likelihood, misplaced purchases end up right back on your shelves. Save the receipt, if it was in the bag. Issue a refund to their credit card, if they used one. You’re not out anything, and you’ll earn customer loyalty.

    If this case, the customer was at another location, but still with your company. Take care of your customers, and don’t blame them for the wrong store getting stuck with he bill.

    • whiterussian says:

      The problem is that the gift card probably counted against the individual store’s sales. This cuts into the manager’s bonus/compensation and makes it harder to meet sales goals.

      • RandomHookup says:

        I certainly hope $130 bucks isn’t all that’s standing between the manager and a bonus.

        • caradrake says:

          But why should that store be out the $130? There’s no proof that the customer left the items at that store (and evidence points that it was NOT at that store), let alone that chain, or even that it happened at all.

          Just because it is only $130 does not mean that the store should lose the money.

          If I was a customer who lost that much money, I’d be at the establishment, in person, that same day (or the next day). I wouldn’t be calling every day until I got a response. To me, it seems like the event was made up in hopes of getting free money or stuff.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Because sometimes a business just accepts that they might get taken advantage of in exchange for perhaps keeping a good customer happy.

          • regis-s says:

            I agree as far as the store being dinged. If head office wants to play Santa Claus it should be taken out of their budget. That might cause them to have second thoughts about being so generous.

        • Delphinia says:

          That’s actually more likely than you think. More than once, my company jacked up our December plan so high we were barely meeting it. It came down to the wire, and by the time the post-Christmas returns were done, we fell short by merely hundreds of dollars. Figuring in all the unpaid overtime I was forced to work, I wound up making a little more than half of minimum wage for the month.

    • whiterussian says:

      The problem is that the gift card probably counted against the individual store’s sales. This cuts into the manager’s bonus/compensation and makes it harder to meet sales goals.

    • sirwired says:

      Depending on the items, misplaced purchases are just as likely to be stolen. If they are in a shopping bag, (with a receipt, no less) anybody could take them and be entirely in the clear by LP if they get stopped on the way out.

      An honest store employee would probably stick them in Lost and Found; just putting them back on the shelf messes up inventory.

    • BStu78 says:

      You really don’t know what you are talking about if you don’t think it matters which store gets billed for the gift card. That’s just not how retail stores are run and frankly that’s not hard to figure out from the OP’s frustration about being dinged after it was determined it wasn’t at his location.

    • Bunnies Attack! says:

      Actually, reading the letter above it seems to me that he was out Black Friday shopping *somewhere* and left his purchases in their store. So he’s claiming that he was out shopping and left some other store’s merchandise in his store and it went missing so no, it wouldn’t have gone back on the shelves.

    • whylime says:

      I disagree. There’s nothing in the story that even suggests that the lost merchandise may have found it’s way back onto the store’s shelves. If the customer placed his bag down somewhere and forgot about it, I’m thinking there’s a high chance that another shopper may have found it and kept it.

      The only way the store would be responsible is if an employee had found the bag with a receipt as proof that it had been paid for. In that case, they should have kept the item as they would any other lost and found item.

      I’m not saying that stores should never refund lost merchandise. The goodwill generated from the store being generous may well be worth the cost of the lost items. However, I don’t think the store was under an obligation to do so, nor should they be expected to refund items lost once the customer has completed the transaction. That is going above and beyond.

    • Scorps1 says:

      moron

    • Delphinia says:

      If the bag was placed somewhere in the store and an employee didn’t find it, I guarantee another shopper either kept what was in there or returned it for money/store credit.

  4. Clyde Barrow says:

    is the store responsible for the shopper’s forgetfulness?

    A BIG FAT NO!

    The “entitlement” thinking in this country has gone too far.

    • RogerX says:

      Exactly. At what point did we go from “teaching a man to fish” and men standing on every corner yelling “I want a fish! I DESERVE a fish! Give me a fish RIGHT NOW!”

      • zerogspacecow says:

        You may or may not be looking at history through rose colored glasses. I don’t think it was quite as virtuous as you’re thinking it is. Remember bread lines during the great depression? Sure, it’s not quite as nice as going to a grocery with food stamps, but it’s still the same principle.

        I doubt people are really that much more “entitled” now than in the past. It’s just proportionate with our modern standards of living, and our modern abundances of food, money, etc.

  5. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    This has happened to me at the grocery store once year since the start of adulthood. The clerk bagging forgets to hand something to me and off I go without it. I get home and think “where is the sugary cereal with more sugar per serving than a twinkie”…

    It is frustrating that the other store didn’t look for the customer. Although the shopper is a grump, the other store could have looked and confirmed the missing items as officially gone. The end.

    By treating the shopper poorly, the shopper got angy. Fairly or not. There’s the issue to be improved on. Ding bat can leave his stuff, just make him feel better about it.

    • Starrion says:

      If the bagger does not put something in the carriage, then that is the store’s issue.

      If the customer was carrying around a bag of stuff he had bought, set them down and forgot them, then that is his problem.

      • BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

        I need to agree with you, but alas I tend to take responsibility for things I purchase like my groceries. It’s my fault as much as the store’s fault. I know, I know… un-American of me not to blame others for my own absent-mindedness.

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Ok, I agree that if the store had been responsible it was their responsibility to look for the customer but there is nothing in this story to indicate that. First of all, it was the wrong store that he was blaming and second of all, the customer stated that he put the bag down and walked away from it – on black friday which means there were a ton of other people around. Anyone could have picked it up – there is nothing in here that says that the original store knew anything about it.

      • BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

        I see your thought, but I am thinking like a retail manager with a customer service focus. The customer is in the wrong, but the answer isn’t “Not our issue, not our store”. The answer is “I’ll look for you sir and let you know if we find anything.” Instead, company employees ignored his calls, which is poor customer service on a company. If the OP checked, found nothing, he could have told him, as a company representive, “I am sorry but I checked with my employees and we could not find it, are you sure it was at this location? We haven’t found anything.” Instead, the customer was ignored by the company and customer got mad. The OP could have saved it at one point, but it went further off the tracks.

        I don’t think the take home of the story is “I left my crap.” I think it should be read as “I left my crap and your company couldn’t care less.”

        • oloranya says:

          Except from the sound of it this guy claims to have talked to people at this store who don’t exist – which just screams ‘scammer’ to me, having worked retail for several years.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          If he was calling that manager’s store repeatedly, he’s a moron because it was the wrong store. Who forgets the store location they went to on a particular day? If he was calling the manager’s store repeatedly and they ignored him, he was probably a little belligerant (and it looks like from this that he might have been).

          • BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

            I am not thinking the consumer is a Boy Scout. A company needs to know there will be difficult customers and have a method of dealing with them. Ignoring them is not the way to go. If I was ignored, it would raise my ire.

            So the guy lost his bag of items because of any manner of theories, if the company was initially prompt and responsive to him, it wouldn’t be a story. If he was really a scammer and he was treated kindly, the OP would have the knowledge the customer was off and could tell that to the DM/Loss Prevention etc. Instead, it’s a convoluted story of wrong store, lost bag, repeated phone calls, etc. Regardless of the end game, it’s not crazy to expect someone to make a glance at lost and found on your behalf. Company employees instead ignored his calls.

            Again, I don’t think the take home is “I lost my crap”, I think it is “I lost my crap and your customer service sucks.”

        • Delphinia says:

          The customer said that he had been calling and no one was returning his calls. That doesn’t mean it actually happened, especially since none of the names he gave were people who actually worked there. Either he doesn’t know which way is up and which store location he called (or even which company), or he’s lying. After two decades in retail, I can tell you that either situation is equally likely.

  6. El_Fez says:

    If it was the stores fault – someone forgets to put your eggs in the bag, they hand your McLunch to someone else at the drive through – then yes. They should hook you up. Otherwise, dude, it’s no different than if you put down your jacket or wallet and left it behind.

    • Martha Gail says:

      I don’t know how many times a customer set their purse down in my store or left it in the cart and walked away and then expected me to reimburse her for her time and the value of the items in the purse when it was stolen. Same thing for people setting their phones down and walking off. If you set it down and someone stole it, don’t come crying to me!

    • psm321 says:

      If you put down your jacket or wallet and left it behind, wouldn’t you be a bit miffed if the store didn’t return your calls about it for days, even though they have no obligation to do so?

  7. The Porkchop Express says:

    I think that if you can show that the store did something wrong, while I can’t imagine what it would be, it COULD be the store’s fault. Even then, if you put it down and walk away it really is your fault and I could see the store offering a gift card to be nice but they shouldn’t have to.

    Damn, I guess I should have voted for never the store’s fault.

    • BStu78 says:

      There is the scenario where you hand over an item for check out, are charged and pay for said item, but the cashier never puts it into your bag. Then, the store would be legitimately at fault. I’m sure that’s happened to many of us at grocery stores. I might even allow for some liability if an item is returned to the store’s lost and found and then fraudulently removed, either to be restocked or outright stolen. That’d generally be tough to prove, but maybe you called the store right away and then assured you that it was in lost-and-found but then some other employee took it or restocked it. While the shopper would be responsible for losing it, the store would have failed in its duty once they recovered the lost item.

      These are narrow exceptions, though. Nothing in the case described is anything like that. They took possession of the items and then lost them and has no proof of this or that the store took possession of his list items. I get why the shopper was upset, but he should have been upset at himself.

    • Don't Bother says:

      I part-time at Target, and there is a way they can prove a “guest” is in the wrong, or if in fact that cashier or team member was wrong. They review the tape. I’ve seen this happen many times where I costumer calls in about such-and-such a game. “You didn’t put it in the bag!!” They look back through the security tapes to see that, yes we did. You just lost it. At that point the store washes their hands of it. If the cashier forgot the item, then they get a gift card in the value of the item they purchased.

  8. Bardiel says:

    So anyone can blame a store and swear up and down they left a expensive item in that store and get the money if they complain enough? That sounds like some one scamming a company to give them anything they can get with their grubby hands. The store owes the customer nothing as it was bought and they left it. If some one picked it up and walked off with it then so be it. Not the company’s place to replace to refund the value of that item. Tisk Tisk Tisk sounds like a holiday scam to me.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I left my rolex here and now it’s missing.

      I’m sure there is a more expensive item that I could have used, but that is the only one I can think of.

      • TheWillow says:

        Lamborghini

        • prismatist says:

          Yeah, me too! I left my Lamborghini just sitting there in the aisle of JC Penney. It’s the store’s fault because I was distracted by all the advertisements. That store owes me a new Lambo. And it better be a good one!

    • jenniferrose76 says:

      I completely agree. He left something in an entirely different store-they didn’t forget to hand it to him, or forget to bag it, he left it behind. And did I mention it wasn’t at that store? The fact that he A-seemed so uncertain of where he shopped, and who he called, and B-“set his bag down and forgot it” implies to me that he is either a huge scammer or an idiot. Either way, he didn’t deserve any reward, yet he got one.
      I really hate seeing so many examples lately of people being stupid and shady, and getting a payout for it.

  9. flinx says:

    They didn’t owe it to him at all…but there is a school of thought that says $130 (in retail gift-card dollars) is way, way cheaper than having all the human-hours it would take to just deal with him.

    Now if everyone did this, the equation would change. But I see it all the time. It’s cheaper just to pay a few folks off and send them on their way than spend intangibles dealing with them.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      That is one line of thinking. The other is that you really don’t want customers like this guy anyway, so who cares if he vows never to spend money with you ever again. You probably just saved yourself a headache a year down the road.

      When I worked in an appliance repair shop, we had customers who would call for a tech when they had the temperature on their freezer set at zero and it would momentarily go up to 1. After the third or fourth service call out there where we couldn’t file a warranty claim because nothing was wrong (and they certainly weren’t going to pay), the manager often told them to call the manufacturer and to kick rocks about thier “problem”. Very satisfying for someone who had deal with thier nonsense on the phone.

    • Jillia says:

      I get what you’re saying, and that’s likely the reasoning, but what pisses me off is that so many times we read stories here on the Consumerist about situations where the company/store is clearly at fault, screwing over the consumer, and they still won’t take fault and fork over the measly $X it would cost to keep good consumer relationships. Yet assblood over here is clearly either a moron or a scammer and gets rewarded for it. Ahhhh, such is life….

  10. SharkBreath says:

    You buy it, it is yours, and your responsibility.

    I found a very nice Norelco razor in a shopping cart last week at Wally World. Still in the cart, in the car corral in the parking lot. The razor now lives in my bathroom

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Could you please rotate it about 15 degrees clockwise? The embedded camera is having trouble getting your entire toilet area in view. Thanks!

    • sirwired says:

      Wouldn’t perhaps the store’s Lost and Found have been a better home?

    • misterfweem says:

      THIEF! BAGGINS! We hates it, FOREVER!

    • tinyninja says:

      Same thing happened to me at a grocery store. The lady next to me pointed out an abandoned cart in the parking lot that had a case of soda on the bottom rack. She didn’t drink soda so she didn’t want it. We waited a few minutes to see whether or not someone was going to claim it and then I took it home for the BF.

      • Not Given says:

        I was loading a cartful of purchases into my car, back, passenger side, driver’s side when a Walmart employee took my cart with things still in it back to the store. I yelled for him to stop but it was windy so he probably didn’t hear me, or give a shit.

  11. nknight says:

    I’d say the store has an obligation *if* one of their employees found the bag and had reason to believe the items had been paid for. There are laws about lost property which may be applicable, and even if not, they should document what was found in case a customer does call.

    If someone else picked up the bag and walked out, then no, I don’t think they have any particular obligation, though it’d be nice if they could check any security footage.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Bingo. The store certainly should be responsible if anyone turned the bag in. Holding it for a while and tracking down the buyer (if possible) certainly is the least they could do.

      Grocery stores are well known for replacing items that don’t seem to get home with the customers, though I’ll admit I scored a 12 pack of soda last night left in a cart in the far reaches of the parking lot. I couldn’t even figure out which of the stores it came from, but it wasn’t like someone just left it a minute ago.

  12. Cat says:

    #needsbadconsumertag

  13. gamabunta says:

    No. Once you pay it’s your property. This is the same right that affords you the choice of saying no to receipt checkers.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  14. TsuKata says:

    In that case, I don’t think he was owed anything.

    I had a situation once where I had purchased a mascara as part of a larger purchase at Target, and it was the last item on the conveyor in my purchase. Some distraction occurred at the checkout register with the child of another shopper and both the clerk and I were distracted. I paid, walked out of the store to my car, and then looked in my bags for the mascara because I planned to use it in the car. I couldn’t find the mascara. I figured it probably ended up in the next shopper’s bag (as best as I could recall, it went into a small bag of its own during bagging) or that I had left it at the register. I rushed back in to check, but the clerk couldn’t find it and didn’t recall for sure. She called a supervisor over who ended up refunding me for it. I appreciated the refund, but I never asked for it or expected it. But, that’s a case where it’s at least questionable whether it was the clerk’s error or my error.

    Taking your purchases back into the store is a questionable act already, even on Black Friday. Doing so, setting them down, and then forgetting them…that’s your fault. You can ask about them showing up in Lost & Found or whether an employee happened to re-shelve items that were bagged up, but that’s about all you can hope for.

  15. Dallas_shopper says:

    This almost happened to me the other day. It was the end of a busy day of running errands and I was frazzled and tired anyway, and hungry. I bought a bag of groceries, paid for it, then strutted off to the parking lot, leaving my bag at the register. I realized I didn’t have the bag with me when I put my cart back with the other carts at the front of the store. The cashier who checked me out wasn’t at the lane I’d used so I wandered around for a little bit trying to find an employee who wasn’t busy. The cashier who checked me out eventually found me and handed me my bag. I apologized and thanked him profusely.

    It’s easy enough to forget something you just bought, sure. But would I have held Whole Foods responsible if I’d made it home without my stuff? Nope. Not even for a second. I’m an adult, and me being tired frazzled and hungry doesn’t obligate them to hold my hand, babysit me, or protect me from my own absent-mindedness.

    • RandomHookup says:

      If you left it at the register, then Whole Foods better have held onto it. It was your fault, but it’s not like someone else else should be able to grab the bag and walk out. That’s different than if you left the bag on the ground next to your car or forgot in your shopping cart.

    • kalaratri says:

      I did this a few times in the first few months after having my kiddo. I’m used to stores like Wegmans that put the bags in the cart for you, but our local store just leaves them on the counter. Thankfully the cashiers were waiting for me when I went back in after realizing the cart was empty.

  16. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    I would always make good with the customer. For me to debate a customer over a dozen spring annuals isn’t worth it. I just buy them two flats and drop them at their door.

    Hell, we even gave a lady $3000 for a new lawn even though a neutral laboratory found we had not caused any damage.

    I was told it would cost more to win in small claims (once legal gets involved) than the settlement would be.

    • Rachacha says:

      But if this customer walked into a BestBuy, purchased an iPad for example, and called 2 weeks later claiming to have left it in the store after re-entering the store to shop some more, I don’t see how the store is at fault, or at least the burden is on the consumer to prove the store was somehow at fault.

      In your situation, your customer said that you were negligent and damaged their lawn, you apparently did your due diligence and hired an independent laboratory to say you were not at fault, but the client decided to take you to court. Your client would have the burden of proving that you damaged his lawn, and you likely would have won with your independent testing data, but by the time you account for lawyer fees etc, it is cheaper to pay money to make the problem go away.

      In the OP’s story, had management opted not to pay off this customer, it likely could have ended up in court, but again, the burden would lie with the consumer.

      I read stories all the time how corporations settled class action lawsuits and people thinking it is an admission of guilt, it isn’t, it simply means that the company looked at its options, and decided it would be cheaper to pay $1M rather than going through a lengthy trial, driving the stock price down, and distracting the management team for several months or years.

  17. Darury says:

    I actually have been known to forget purchases at the store as I’m leaving. However, rather than expecting the store to just reimburse me, I typically return to the same location as soon as I realize I’m missing an item (last time it was a broom) and ask at customer service. If they have the item there, I’m in luck. If not, it’s my own fault for leaving without it.

  18. jp7570-1 says:

    If a customers loses items in a store that he already bought, then he/she is responsible for their actions. If the store has a lost & found, then that’s about all the store is responsible for.

    People learn to take responsibility for their own actions (or in this case forgetfulness).

  19. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Once you’ve bought something and the bag is in your hands, if you set it down and forget it or misplace it, it’s on you. Not the store’s fault you’re irresponsible.

  20. Atherton says:

    Ugh. The attitude of “Something bad happened to me, therefore someone else must pay” is disgusting.

  21. SmokeyBacon says:

    If the customer is handed all his purchases and then, as the story states, he puts his bag down and forgets it, it is sure as hell not the stores fault. It is the idiot who put his bag downs fault, and my guess is that the items were not put back after being found by an employee but were instead stolen by someone just waiting for this kind of thing to happen on black friday. If you ask me the CEO owes that store and it’s manager an apology for causing them to loose that $130 in their profits.

  22. merkidemis says:

    I am getting some extra cash taking pictures of kids with Santa at the mall. The photo packages we sell are not exactly cheap (cheapest is $21 for 2 5x7s and a $10 card to Shutterfly.com), but of course costs us next to nothing to physically produce a print. (Price pays for the set, Santa himself, our wages, etc)

    So, a mom came by looking frantic saying that the pictures fell from her stroller and were lost, could we print some more? Of course I said sure, though I couldn’t give her another Shutterfly card. (My thought here was to prevent any potential fraud, but I could give prints of the cherished memory, which were hopefully more important to her anyway.) Easily solved as we really didn’t lose any merchandise (hell, the printers waste a bunch of paper when they start a new roll) and we got some good will for the season and probably a repeat customer next year.

    Next day, apparently our district manager found out about it and there was a huge note in the front of our logbook: “NO MORE COMPS FOR LOST PICTURES.”

    *sigh*

    I could understand if it was someone losing a toy or some jeans or a plasma TV, but I can’t see myself telling someone they are out of luck for losing some photos that cost us maybe $0.50 to print.

  23. Jacquilynne says:

    I’ve been known to leave shit I just bought in stores — usually grocery, but sometimes clothing — by accident. My usual reaction is to run back ASAP and say “I left my “X” here — did anyone happen to find it?”

    Most of the time, that results in them saying “Yes, your bag is over at the customer service desk” or “We put it in the back in case you came back” and I get my stuff back. On two occasions it has resulted in a general employee poll with the end result that no one has seen it and another customer must have taken it (not necessarily deliberately, more in a it was mixed with their stuff way). In those instances, the stores have offered to replace the items for me. And I hugely, greatly appreciated that.

    Because they were not, in any way, obligated to do that for me.

    Had they not offered to replace the items, I would have said, “Okay, thanks for checking” and bought them again. Because, really, not obligated to do that for me.

  24. brinks says:

    I don’t mind erring on the side of the customer when there’s some doubt whose fault it is. In this case, though, the store was not at fault and they owed him nothing. It’s either an incredibly nice gesture in the spirit of the holidays, or that guy’s a huge pain in the ass who they wanted to wash their hands of.

    I hate rewarding bad behavior.

  25. Sparkstalker says:

    Once paid for and the merchandise is handed over, it’s the purchaser’s item and thus their responsibility. The only exceptions to this are if the bag holding the item tears, causing the item to break, or if the item gets damaged or lost somehow while the receipt checker is in possession of the item.

    In this case, though, it was the purchaser’s sole fault. He put the items down and left them…it was certainly nice of corporate to bend over for him, but I wouldn’t blame them if they told them to go screw…

  26. Cat says:

    Walmart’s “Bag-go-round” has resulted in me leaving bags behind a few times, and I’ve gone back within a half hour or less to find them in CS, or still at the checkout. I have no expectation they will still be there, or that I will be “reimbursed” for me forgetting.

    However, that damned bag go round and the cashier swinging it around make this an all to common occurrence.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I give the ‘bag go round’ a spin before leaving, even when I’m using my own bags, just to make sure….because I’ve had the same issue in the past. I understand that the bag-go-round might make the cashier’s life easier, but I HATE those things!

  27. conquestofbread says:

    I think if the customer put it down and forgot it it’s their own fault.

    The only exception would be if they called shortly after and an employee said they found it and would reserve it for them, but when the customer shows up, it’s nowhere to be found.

    I once left some sunglasses at a check out, called the store an hour later and they had them, and then showed up the next day and they were gone. :(

    I didn’t ask for anything, but if they had offered a gift card to apologize for the fact that they were definitely stolen from the service desk, it would’ve been appreciated.

  28. Bionic Data Drop says:

    Well, if the possesion of the items changes hands at the point of checkout (and all receipt check freedom fighters say it does), I would say it is the consumer’s responisibility to make sure they have all of their belongings.

  29. Cantras says:

    The McDonalds I worked at when McCafe was coming out got a customer complaint about their cappuccino — All foam or something I don’t remember. Bitched that we needed to teach our employees how to make the drinks properly. Got a card or two for a free McCafe coffee.

    1) The drinks were made by machine, the only human interaction involved was pressing the buttons for what drink to make (and stirring in flavor, if applicable).

    2) We did not yet have the special McCafe machine. We didn’t get it for a month or more past when we got the complaint.

  30. nikalseyn says:

    The problem is that con artists know that if you get up to guys like the CEO, they will give you something just to get rid of you. For a large company, $130 is no big deal. For a small hardware, you would get what you deserved—nothing, as $130 IS a big deal. The guy was a conman and the company got taken.

  31. Outrun1986 says:

    I am wondering what happens if you purchase items at a store and get mugged by someone in the parking lot on the way to your car and they steal the items. Is this the store’s responsibility because it happened in their parking lot?

    • RandomHookup says:

      No, though a store hoping not to get sued may do something as a goodwill gesture. It’s like you dropping your lunch after going through the cafeteria line … they don’t owe you a thing, but it’s good form to replace it.

    • Firethorn says:

      This sounds semi-close to my story from last year, though I didn’t get mugged. I got ‘pickpocketed’.

      Picture this: Black Friday, buying a number of items. One of which was $300 power tool set(quality and multiple tools), which was placed at the bottom of the cart. The box was bigger than a 24 pack of sodas and almost as heavy. Get to my truck, no box. Locked other purchases back up, went searching, item never found. Was even the last one. Best guess? Somebody stole it. They didn’t even have operational cameras.

      My final recourse? Made police report, reported to chain, made claim on insurance my credit card provides(as I used it for the purchase). Took 3 months, but was paid. Thanks Discover!

  32. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Wait, is there any financial record that he purchased anything from this (or any) store? And even if he did, is there any proof (security footage?) that he actually left his purchase in the store. And even then, how do we know what was in the bag? Maybe he took out the stuff he bought and left a half-eaten turkey sandwich and a pair of used sneakers in the bag. Way too many variables here, not the least of which is the fact that he was responsible for his stuff, not the store.

    If it was me this clown would have gotten exactly nothing. Sounds like a scam to me.

    • Arctic Snowbot says:

      I would have asked for proof, and if he couldn’t provide it I would have informed him we would check security footage.

  33. Coffee says:

    We complain all the time about receipt checkers because once a transaction is complete, the merchandise belongs to the customer, and barring probably it’s none of the merchant’s business what’s in these bags. That cuts both ways – once the transaction is complete, the merchant has no responsibility for the product (barring returns). The end…we can’t have it both ways.

  34. kataisa says:

    It’s quite possible the man was robbed in plain sight. Someone simply strolled by as the man was distracted putting his wallet away and took the bag of items he just bought

    I run a very small crew and after questioning all of my employees, I don’t feel that this happened at my location. None of them knew anything about it.

    I’m pretty sure the store can check it’s receipts from that day and time to see if the items the man had bought match up with the store’s records. They could also check the store’s surveillance videotape.

  35. phoblog says:

    I have to give Target some credit on this subject. Twice in the last 18 months or so, we’ve walked off and left a bag in the bagging area and both times, they resolved the issue and replaced or credited us for the item. (One bag, it turns out, was lifted by someone else – they actually reviewed the store cameras.)

    • sixsnowflakes says:

      The stores should have some responsibility for items in the bagging area. Walmart obviously doesn’t agree judging by the number of times I’ve had to ask for bags of items hidden on the backside of their carousels. If something on your receipt doesn’t make the short trip to your car, the store should replace it. Otherwise, it’s like the stores reshelving the items placed in the donate bins at the exits.

  36. cparker says:
  37. RogerX says:

    At what point did we go from “teaching a man to fish” to men standing on every corner yelling “I want a fish! I *deserve* a fish! Give me a fish RIGHT NOW!”

  38. rawrali says:

    I’ve lost personal items in stores before (mostly sunglasses which I set down as I was trying on clothes), and although I was disappointed that they were not found, I would never blame it on the store. Ultimately, those products were his responsibility once they were paid for. Having said that, I think when you’re talking about something relatively small (which is not the case in the above story), there should be a little bit of leeway in order to foster goodwill.

    Examples-

    When a kid’s scoop of ice cream falls off his cone a minute after it’s been handed to him – I’ve generally seen businesses give another scoop for free (although I would at least offer to pay if it was my kid)

    My friend was handed a cup of soda by a worker at a movie theatre. The worker had filled it too full and there was soda on the outside of the cup, causing it to slip out of my friend’s hand as she was leaving the concession area. The theatre refused to give her another drink, even though it happened right in front of them.

    • corkdork says:

      Weird; when I worked for Regal (admittedly, over 10 years ago), the policy on sodas was pretty liberal (after all, a large soda cost us about 5¬¢ to pour), so if someone dropped their soda, or even asked really nicely for a refill, we’d just give it to them. Same for popcorn.

  39. dush says:

    If they found out it was your location what was the reason for making your store reimburse?

  40. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Sorry. It’s the customer’s responsibility to make sure they leave the store with the items they paid for. Period. Yes, we all get distracted or might miss something, and hopefully our fellow humans are honest & return things to lost and found or turn them over to a manager, who is also honest, but failing that, oh well. No one seems to want to take any responsibility for anything these days.

  41. corkdork says:

    The wine/liquor store I work for had a woman call up DEMANDING a refund for a bottle of Svedka… that she brought home, and dropped on the tile floor as she “was pouring a couple martinis”. Not in our building, not in our parking lot, at her home (and, obviously, drinking the product).

    Yeah, we’re customer-friendly, but there’s a limit. That was it.

    /CS,B

  42. final_atom says:

    once you pay for it, it is your responsibility. kudos for the company. i can see this abuse very easily.

  43. DanKelley98 says:

    It became your property once you bought it. The customer is SOL.

  44. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Nope. Once you bought it, you’re responsible for it.

    The deli I used to work at in CA had a lost and found box because people were always leaving sunglasses, etc. We would hang onto them for quite a while before throwing them away. Once someone left this really cool pair of Liz Claiborne sunglasses–green frames, big movie star style– and they sat in the box for a couple of months. No one ever came for them so I asked my boss if I could have them. I wore them for two years before I sat on them and they broke. :( I loved those glasses.

    (I lose or break them all the time; that’s why I don’t spend big bucks on sunglasses.)

  45. jimstoic says:

    If I left anything of value in a store–my coat, my glasses, other purchases–I wouldn’t EXPECT the store to replace the items, but it would speak well of the store if they did. Not to do so is to implicitly acknowledge that your store is an unsafe place where people take things that don’t belong to them.

  46. ja says:

    That once happened to me at the world’s former leading retailer. I purchased several containers of a product and went to the customer service desk for an unrelated matter. There my purchase was taken from me and put back on the shelf, and I knew it was mine from the water damage on one of the packages. I had to deal with an assistant manager who looked like Hitler with a wide butt and acted like Dwight from The Office, and he would not give back my purchase or look at the security video. In essense, the store shoplifted from me.

  47. aja175 says:

    We’ve all done it… We’ve all walked out of the grocery store without an item or a bag and gone back in. It’s great when the store manager just replaces the items, but they’re not obligated to do so. A small effort like replacing that $4 item you left at the checkout goes a long way towards keeping that customer.
    It’s a courtesy, not an expectation. +1 for the stores that do it.

  48. Dinhilion says:

    As I front line customer service rep I have given gift cards for product that was left behind, even if it was never found. Our system actually has a built in method of tracking these people to make sure they are not taking advantage of us. This way, everybody wins.

  49. psm321 says:

    It would’ve been nice if whichever store it was had returned his calls quickly and then maybe they could have found the misplaced items for him. No they don’t have a legal obligation to do that, but it would be good customer service.

  50. mackjaz says:

    In legal terms, if you hold someone’s property and deny them access to it, you may be required to “buy” it from them. Perhaps that’s what corporate thought here? Pretty far-fetched at best.

  51. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    I had a DM who did this all the time…I nicknamed him – to his face – “cave”. Cuz he always caved in to the customer demands no matter how redonkulous.

  52. prismatist says:

    A lot of credit cards have 90 day purchase protection that would cover this exact situation. It’s basically stupid insurance, and it’s free. If the customer was aware of the options available to him, that would have worked for him.

  53. RayanneGraff says:

    I had a friend once who worked at Toys R Us. A guy bought one of those plastic toddler playhouses and just tossed it in the back of his truck without tying it down or securing it in any way. He then left & got on the highway where a big gust of wind combined with his speed cause it to promptly blow away & get destroyed. The idiot went back to the store & actually had the gall to demand another one. They laughed in his face, telling him that once he paid for it, its his responsibility, not theirs, which was what the store in question here should have done to the jerk in the article.

    The American attitude of entitlement has grown WAY out of control.

  54. GirlCat says:

    Speaking as a forgetful dumbass, I don’t ever expect other people to make up for my dumbassery. I think corporate probably did the expedient thing keeping this person happy, given the power of social media, but ethically, they had no obligation to do so.

  55. MyTQuinn says:

    Aside from a stated retail value of the items, there’s no mention of any evidence that the “shopper” ever purchased any items, much less lost them. And even if the shopper’s claim is true, the store si under no obligation to replace items purchased and subsequently lost by the customer.

  56. merc78 says:

    Like usual many people don’t like to take responsibility for there own mistakes or actions. Another reasons we have so many frivolous lawsuits in this country.

  57. ianmac47 says:

    Who bagged the items? If the cashier was responsible for the bagging, the store is not only responsible but from the stand point of “will this customer ever come back,” there better be something worth the aggravation.

  58. Arctic Snowbot says:

    Right before thanksgiving, I was bagging groceries while my wife paid. I left a bag behind with about $15 worth of goods. When we noticed about an hour later, my wife drove back to the store and asked about the bag. No one had reported it, but they replaced the groceries anyway. I thought that was more than was needed because I expected the next shopper to speak up and say “hey, someone left their groceries” and the bag would be placed at the customer service desk. That wasn’t the case. I was fine with re-buying the groceries if they didn’t have the bag as it was MY mistake. Either way, I’m impressed with that store because I have heard great things about them, by never experienced them myself. It’s a regional chain in the PNW, and they have the best beer selection out of any store in Spokane.

  59. DataShade says:

    “The customer is always right” stops at matters of taste – if you want a suit cut like that one, but in orange and chartreuse paisley, well, the customer is always right. If you say that a $10 coupon combines with a 10% off coupon to be 100% off because 10*10 = 100 and “the customer is always right,” then you’re a blight on society and I don’t want to be in the checkout line behind you.

  60. msky says:

    Dont really understand what the problem is? He was forgetful and lost something on his own accord. noone took anything from him. He didnt give it to the bag checker and it vanished. another moron trying to blame someone else for his stupidity. when the store refunded him the value, they set a president for all other stores to follow suit. Now everyone will expect this. Not good for anyone, really.

  61. ReaperRob says:

    This smells like a scam to me, the company I work for had someone try to pull this scam on several of our local stores. Their story kept changing every time they talked to a manager so no one ever got away with anything.

  62. legolex says:

    A strange incident happened to me at Target a few months back, I was being rung out and at the end of my transaction I paid and waited for my boyfriend to check out who was behind me. I was using a reusable shopping back and for some reason I just happened to look through it at my items and noticed one of my items (some hair product I believe) was not in the bag.

    I paid for it and it was on my receipt but it just disappeared. It was incredibly strange and I brought it to the cashier’s attention to see if she dropped it or if it fell out on the other side of the register where I couldn’t see it, but no, it was just totally gone. I had to ask the cashier if I could go get another one, she was really unhelpful. She just let me go get one and that was it. I don’t know what in the world happened there, if there’s a blackhole by that register or if she decided to pocket the product but now I always check my bags before leaving Target.

  63. energynotsaved says:

    When I worked at Wallyworld, merchandise was sometimes left in the bagging area. If I could catch the shopper, I would. If not, SOP was to take the items to customer service and fill out the forgotten bag form. If the customer called or went to customer service and asked, s/he would be given the products or store credit.

    That seems to me to be the limit of the store obligation.

  64. Legit Crypt says:

    The store when above and beyond unnecessarily. Chalk it up to a life lesson – “Don’t leave things in the store after you’ve bought them.” It’s a mistake this person would only make once.

    If only we had J. Walter Weatherman to teach this guy a lesson…

  65. simonvii says:

    I’ve wondered this about the following scenario: What if you buy something, then immediately after purchasing it another shopper runs into you and you drop the bag, breaking what you just bought. Technically, you already bought it, so the store’s not at fault and potentially has no responsibility to replace the items. But would you expect them to? For whatever reason, I probably would.

    Yet conversely, if you walk past a shelf, knock something off and it breaks, you probably don’t expect the store to charge you for it. I probably wouldn’t.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      In this situation since another customer was at fault, ideally the other customer who ran into you should reimburse you for the broken item. But yes I agree most of us would expect the store to refund you, including me. This had nothing to do with the store, and the store cannot control the action of customers, the incident was an accident that just so happened to happen in the store.. Now you may be able to return the merchandise the next day as broken depending on the stores return policy and the type of merchandise and if you have the receipt.

  66. Videorr says:

    I am a school teacher, and this is like making the school responsible if a student loses his lunch money on the playground. Should the school be liable for the $? No. Should the student accept responsibility for not keeping track of their own lunch $? Yes. The store did nothing wrong, it wasn’t even the right store, and the manager was BULLIED into giving this guy free stuff. That is just wrong.

  67. Dave on bass says:

    Customer’s fault, the store went way beyond, etc.

    But what would make it simply poetic would be if one of the lost items were an as-seen-on-TV Showtime Rotisserie.

    Set it and forget it!

  68. thrashanddestroy says:

    Yes, hello. I’d like to speak with your Sales Manager. Oh, you are? Well I was in your dealership last week and purchased a 2011 Ford Mustang. Oddly enough, I can’t find it. I know I bought it, but I seem to have misplaced it. I’d like it replaced, please and thank you.

    Sorry, that’s not how things work. I’d love to find out what company “J.” works for because I’d patron the hell out of it. Only his particular location, though, seeing as how he appears to be the only one with his head on straight.

    There’s a difference between keeping the customer happy and caving to ridiculous requests.

  69. cybrczch says:

    “I set my child down and now she’s gone. YOU OWE ME ANOTHER CHILD!!!”

  70. Outrun1986 says:

    I have a ridiculous paranoia about being robbed when I am walking to and from the car when I am shopping, or perhaps not so ridiculous depending on how you look at it. I have heard stories on several forums about people being robbed for small electronics, something I buy frequently from retail stores. I now buy from Amazon or Newegg since it gets delivered to my door and if it doesn’t make it then they are responsible for getting it to me or giving me a refund. I also usually get a better price than a store.

    The paranoia also has to do with how a few stores are set up here, there is one store in particular that is next to a seedy hotel and you have to walk on the side of it to get to the front door, the only parking is in the back of the store. There is no other entrance. It just seems pretty easy for someone to be hiding back there ready to grab expensive purchases from someone.

    You definitely have to watch your purse here though, because snatchings are common, I never shop alone though, and 99% of the time the shoppers that are targeted are alone.

  71. maxhobbs says:

    I never used to leave packages in stores, then I took an arrow to the knee.

  72. Cyfun says:

    By the same reason that stores can’t search your shopping bags after you pay for an item: BY LAW, once you pay for a purchase, it is your property and you don’t have to prove you own it.

    If you were just leaving a cash register after paying and someone grabbed your bag and ran, they would be stealing from YOU and not the store. However, in that case, the store might feel sympathy for you and replace your purchase cause it happened in front of everyone. But if you bought something, then lost it somewhere, and have no way to prove that it was in this store, where in the store, or even IF YOU’D BOUGHT ANYTHING TO BEGIN WITH, the store has no obligation to help you.

    Think of it this way. Doesn’t matter when you bought something. Could have been just now, or years ago. If I were in a store, set my hat down somewhere, wandered around the store, and couldn’t find it again, I wouldn’t demand that the store replace my hat.

    Having said that, props to the company for putting customer service first, even if it wasn’t really deserved.

  73. kcvaliant says:

    Hell no the store, especially yours should of had to reimburse him other then goodwill.

    He was already caught lying about locations.

    More then likely he was a scammer. Anything other then cash would have a tracable method. If he could trace it, the ustomer would know he is blaming the wrong location.

    The manager should of gave the ceo more information instead of what the customer was.

    Unless the ceo did it for goodwill and hoping the customer spends the money instore himself. Personally, I am betting he sells the giftcard for cash.

  74. kcvaliant says:

    Hell no the store, especially yours should of had to reimburse him other then goodwill.

    He was already caught lying about locations.

    More then likely he was a scammer. Anything other then cash would have a tracable method. If he could trace it, the ustomer would know he is blaming the wrong location.

    The manager should of gave the ceo more information instead of what the customer was.

    Unless the ceo did it for goodwill and hoping the customer spends the money instore himself. Personally, I am betting he sells the giftcard for cash.

  75. aleck says:

    Restaurant responsible for bird pooping in your food…
    Store responsible for stuff a dumb ass lost somewhere after buying it…

    Are we serious? What is next? Store responsible for washing somebody’s pants because he crapped them while shopping at the store?

  76. cheezfri says:

    I accidentally left one bag at Walmart when leaving the checkout. I got home and realized I was missing several items. I drove back, told a cashier, we all looked around for it, couldn’t find it. I showed the manager my receipt and told her what was missing. About $100 worth of stuff. She told me to just go get the items and take them home. I don’t know if that’s store policy or what, but she really made my day, and it sure provides good will.

  77. BewareofZealots says:

    My wife has done this about 4 times at Wally World. The cashiers bag your items on that little carousel then expect you to put them in the cart, then the cashiers get busy talking to customers or coworkers and forget to turn the carousel. Then, no one notices until the shopper is gone.

  78. Harry Manback says:

    Do you want to be right and lose future business or write it off as the cost of doing business and ensure that you keep the customer happy? Why is this so hard to understand?

    It’s like most things in life, it’s not always best to be right. This is in reference to interactions with:
    1) Significant other
    2) Boss
    3) Customer
    4) Wait staff
    5) Police officers
    6) Jurors

    Yes, you might technically be correct in your stance, but it could cause you to:
    1) Break up
    2) Get fired
    3) Lose the customer for life
    4) Have your food abused
    5) Be fined for all the little things most cops let go, or be harassed within the powers granted by law
    6) Lose any sympathy you may have had, thereby sealing your own fate of a convinction (when guilty of course, but maybe on that thin edge between guilty by the letter of the law and guilty by the spirit of the law).

    So no, it’s not the store’s responsibility to pay for the items, but are you willing to risk what it takes to be right?