TigerDirect Unlawfully Restrains And Verbally Abuses Customer For Not Submitting To Receipt-Showing Demands

UPDATE: TigerDirect Apologizes For Unlawfully Detaining Customer For Refusing To Show Receipt

I was visiting a Tigerdirect (Large Electronic Retail Store) in Naperville, IL today (8/23/07)(8/22/07). All was going well until after I had paid for my merchandise and tried to leave.

A security guard demanded that I show him my receipt, which I respectfully declined with a “No Thanks” and continued walking out the door. At that point the Guard physically placed himself between me and the door and said “I can’t let you leave until you show me your receipt.” I attempted to walk around him, explaining I didn’t have to show him anything, and he continued to block my path and called several other employees to block my retreat.

I understand the “Shopkeeper’s Privilege”, but under no possible interpretation of the law would refusing a voluntary receipt check constitute grounds for reasonable suspicion of shoplifting. At this point, I warned them that I was being unlawfully restrained, and unless they immediately allowed me to leave, I would call the police and press criminal charges for unlawful restraint, and also file a civil suit for false imprisonment (fortunately, I knew my rights).

None of them budged, and the store manager began verbally abusing and slandering me…

He called me a thief, and said he would have me arrested for “attempted shoplifting”. Both the manager and security guard said it was corporate policy to detain customers unless they submitted to a receipt check.

At this point, I pull out my cell phone, call 911, and inform the operator I’m being illegally detained and not allowed to leave the store. The operator said an officer was on the way and would be there in a few minutes. In the meantime, the manager continued screaming at me, telling me I was banned from the store (fine by me, I’ve spent easily over $10,000 in the last few years at Tigerdirect and planned to take my business elsewhere if this was the kind of treatment I could expect) and so on.

Fortunately, an officer arrived within 5 minutes. The manager and security guard began to tell the officer I was trying to steal something. After they were done I calmly explained the situation to the officer. The officer agreed that they couldn’t hold me unless they had seen me shoplifting, which they obviously had not. I then asked the officer to arrest the security guard for unlawful restraint, which she refused to do; she instead suggested I talk the the state’s attorney if I wanted to press charges (which I plan to do). I got the security guard’s name, and the officer’s name and badge number. I then left, and was again verbally informed me I was banned from returning. As I was leaving, the security guard continued to taunt me, and dared me to press charges.

As soon as I got home (approximately 4 hours later, I had errands to run), I called the company the security guard was from (Securitas), explained the situation, and asked if their corporate policy was to forcibly detain customers who refuse to show their receipt. I was escalated three times, until a “supervisor” there said he didn’t feel comfortable answering the question, but he would have his boss call me back shortly. I waited 2 hours, with no more response. I called back again, and after reaching the same supervisor asked why my call hadn’t been returned. He informed me that they had my contact information, and if they had anything to say to me they would call. I demanded to speak to his boss, and was told that the boss was busy now, but would call me within an hour. Again, after 4 hours, no call.

Nowhere in any of this did anyone apologize to me or tell me they were mistaken. I probably would have been satisfied with an apology and a guarantee that the security staff would be properly retrained at any point after I left. But, after the shoddy treatment I received, even after they realized they had made a mistake, I want to fight this thing to the end.

How do you recommend I go about contacting the State’s Attorney? I understand that the prosecutor has some discretion on filing charges, and that they have many other cases on the table. There is no dispute of the facts, there were security cameras everywhere, and the guard agreed with my version of the events when speaking with the officer. Also, I would like to file a civil suit against them, but must admit that money is an issue for me. How do you suggest I find a lawyer/firm that would take this case on a contingent fee?

Thanks for the time,

What a story! Where was this store located? Do you have the name of the security guard and manager to share? As far as contacting the State’s Attorney, I think simply an initial phone call to their office is fine. Finding a lawyer is as simple as calling your local bar association, describing in brief your case, and asking for a referral.

Thanks for the support,

The store is located at
175 Ambassador Drive
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 548-2000

The security guard’s name is “Malcom Melton,” and the corporate office he works out of has a number (630)963-9456.

I called the States Attorney’s office for my county and spoke to a prosecutor who “said charges would not be forthcoming.” Basically, his explanation was that I wasn’t detained long enough for him to bother. The police report is filed with the Naperville Police Department, report number [redacted].

I also contacted the bar, and was told that no lawyer would take this case on a contingency because there weren’t enough damages, but I was welcome to hire a lawyer on an hourly basis. However, they informed me that in all likelihood the attorney’s fees would be ten to twenty thousand, which I can’t afford.

Thanks for your quick response. No one else seemed bothered by this. All I really want is for them to change their policy and/or retrain the guards. Hopefully, with your support they will at least be shamed into doing that much.

Stinks. Did you happen to catch the manager’s name? At this point, you could either complain to corporate, or try pitching your story to the local media.

I did not get the manager’s name unfortunately; by the time I was leaving and got around to taking names the manager had already disappeared. I emailed corporate with the story too, but have yet to receive a response.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I doubt the local media would be very receptive to my claims. When the whole warrantless wiretapping scandal was taking place the little coverage it got was all in favor of government (e.g., “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about”). I’m fairly certain they’d just tell me I should have showed the guard the receipt and been done with it.

The voluntariness of the receipt checking is an interesting issue that we’ve touched on before. Unless you’ve signed a membership agreement agreeing to receipt checks, or they actually see you shoplifting, stores have no right to stop you from leaving the store for refusing a receipt-check. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a lot easier just to flash your receipt and get on with your life, but you’re perfectly within your rights to make a stand about the issue. Furthermore, beyond the mere detainment, the Tiger Direct store definitely went “beneath and below” by verbally assaulting you.

As you said, the reason you’ve had a hard time getting people interested in your case is because you didn’t actually incur any monetary loss. Companies care about balance sheets, not feelings, so your options for recompense are relatively limited. The most satisfaction you can probably hope to get is that I’ve just posted your story, informing more consumers of their rights, and casting a big stinky shame cloud on TigerDirect of Naperville, IL.

Ask The Consumerist: Do I Have To Let Stores Check My Receipt?
The Straight Scoop On If Stores Can Legally Stop You And Check Your Receipt
(Photo: Critical Miami)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    1. Contact the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
    505 North County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187
    (630) 407-8000
    That’s a problem as Joe Birkett, the DuPage SA is a nutcase.

    2. As I’ve been there many times, I can tell you that the checkouts are just at the exit & there’s no reason that a guard there couldn’t see you checkout.
    My guess is that this guard has gotten into trouble before & for some reason decided to pick you out as his victim.

  2. Sandtiger says:

    Coming from Tigerdirect this doesn’t surprise me one bit. They have been the worst in my experience when it comes to customer service. After over a year of refusing to shop there I decided to try them out and see if anything had changed. I went in and asked about a sound card to see if they had one in stock and the woman they had working didn’t even know what one was! Why have someone working in a computer store if they dont know ANYTHING about computers??

    Before I boycotted them I had spent over 3-4k there when I finally got tired of their HORRIBLE warranty and return policies.

  3. MudShark says:

    So you couldnt just show the guy the recipt? It was too much work to pull it out so he could just glance at it and let you leave?

    Oh well, good luck with your case.

  4. Freedomboy says:

    Well a nice walk around the VHS tape section with a powerful magnet taped to your hand is fun. Magnets do help with dyr skin [:-)]and using one while shopping for VHS tapes is good therapy. I hear tell the same benefit is true, for your hands that is, when stroking and shopping for 20″ monitors.

    I suppose that might make you feel better.

  5. I agree with CTHULHUBOT.

    This whole situation could have been avoided if the shopper would just show the receipt. That would only take a second.

    Now you have to fight the store with a lawsuit.

    Good luck with it.


    Oh by the way, have you set up a Paypal account to accept donations to cover legal fees?

  6. emergeoriginal says:

    Its tough to have sympathy for Shaneal. Ive been on both sides of the situation, and I have to say its easier to just show the receipt. Unless your buying hard core fetish porn you dont want people to know about (which is understandable at that point), what’s the difference of showing them your receipt? It makes it so they dont have to raise their prices because of theft, it keeps the cashiers honest, and all around a good business practice.

    I see no logical reasoning behind not showing them the receipt other then the fact you want to make your life harder.

  7. Hitchcock says:

    For suing them, your best bet is small claims court. At least in CA you can sue for detainment in small claims. So you are probably looking at $100 or so plus time off work to sue.

  8. Alexander says:

    @Cthulhubot: I’m with you. It sucks that it went down like that…but what was the point of not showing the receipt? Just to make a point of not showing it?

  9. Aqua says:

    Just a small note, by posting his name, he will probably counter sue for slander. Your story is intriguing, but next time, I’d highly recommend consulting a free legal advice call center, there are many in the US, before posting this on a blog. In addition, by entering the store, which is private property, you agree to their terms, yes that was unlawful holding, but if showing your receipt is a policy of the store, sorry man, but you gotta do it. Like many people, I avoid Tigerdirect like the plague, I’ve had horrible customer service experiences there myself.

    • Anonymous says:


      Aqua and others,

      While I agree with many that shoplifting or retail theft is an ongoing problem, There is no established ruke that if you do not capitulate to their demands that you are guilty of a crime. It is everyone’s choice to do or not to do a thing. As far as slander and defamation, truth is an absolute defense against against slander, libel and defamation.

      Mark JD.

  10. Jordan Lund says:

    Calling the cops was brilliant as it established a paper trail… but left to my own devices I simply would have fallen back on pepper spray. :^)

  11. curmudgeon5 says:

    Why should he have to succumb to their demands just to be able to leave the store? Those receipt check things piss me off. I’m often in a hurry and/or don’t feel like having to have additional interaction; I don’t see why I should be inconvenienced for something that’s voluntary.

  12. HRMan says:

    I just called the named store and spoke with the manager who was on duty yesterday. I asked her what she has to say about the incident, explaining to her that I am a customer and it makes me question my loyalty to their store. She was extremely rude to me and claimed that the reality was that the customer had two paid items on the screen and was walking out with three. Odd that the person then didn’t end up arrested for shoplifting. Also would give good reason to file for defamation as they are now telling other parties the customer stole when clearly there is no proof of that.

  13. ringokamens says:

    I would certainly be willing to throw a few dollars your way if you started accepting donations. I believe if you sued in Federal District Court that you could also obtain a judgment that would force them to change their policies. I had a similar incident happen recently where I was told by an officer of the RTD (our local public bus system) that it was illegal to take pictures on public property and he ordered me to put away my camera. I called their legal department and was told that he had violated my rights. Then I called the manager of the offending officer and was told that I was in the wrong.
    It’s unfortunate that all-to-often corruption is systematic along with the abuse of people’s rights and this is one example. Is there any contact information available for this store? I would love to do some investigating and calling.
    Comrade Ringo Kamens

  14. curmudgeon5 says:

    Also, it’s insulting — it treats everyone as a potential thief. I don’t particularly enjoy being insulted by a store I’m giving business too, particularly as a matter of routine practice.

  15. mwdavis says:

    Turn around at the door. Go to customer service and make a return.

  16. jermjerm says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like Circuit City but that was one of the things I like about them when working there. We did not bother customers with checking their receipts unless they set off an alarm. It was a breath of fresh air after working at CompUSA and ringing some one out only to have the security guard, literaly 4 feet away from me, make customers show him their receipt. It’s a big waste of time for customers and having the guard walking the aisles would be a better theft deterrent than having him babysit the exit.

  17. Televiper says:

    So the physical restraint was blocking your path and the verbal abuse was being called a thief. Can you say “frivolous” lawsuit or what? Sounds like someone really needs to learn to pick their battles. I mean they asked you to see the receipt, do you really expect people to be polite to you when you’re obviously being a complete dick?

  18. ju-ju-eyeball says:

    So you couldnt just show the guy the recipt? It was too much work to pull it out so he could just glance at it and let you leave?

    WOW! Just roll over let every invasion of privacy happen? You are not required to show a receipt. PERIOD.

    Would you just eat dog crap to have gotten out of the store???

  19. cincifresh says:

    Yes this is a really dumb situation. Many stores have the policy of checking receipts at the door. It’s like being carded when you’re obviously over 21. This poor security guard was just doing his job and now this guy wants to sue him? Maybe they just have a lot of time on their hands and some control issues. Crazy! I’m disappointed in you consumerist for taking this guys side.

  20. iamtravis says:

    i agree, it’s hard to feel bad for shaneal, but i do think it’s a bit bogus for a company to refuse your exit after legally purchasing something. don’t they watch the registers? don’t they notice that someone walking, say, straight out of the exit, as opposed to around the corner from the registers, is probably the real theif? i wonder how many people actually got away with walking out of the store while you she was detained by the security staff….

    i’d personally try saying you where detained from work, and lost valuable clients because of it (cha ching…)

  21. Christo67 says:

    Is it that difficult to show them a receipt?

    Is your life so empty that you have to waste your time pursuing a pointless lawsuit with a retail chain that isn’t worth the effort in the first place?

    I say grow up and get a life.

  22. RvLeshrac says:


    Let’s take the other side:

    Why couldn’t they just let him leave? Was it too much trouble to not do anything untoward and allow the customer to walk out of the store after *gasp* spending money there?

    More importantly, there is no law stating that you must show your receipt, while there IS a law stating that you cannot hold an individual against their will in the absence of a criminal offence (and in many locales, the offence must be a felony).

  23. jinjin1080 says:

    @Shaneal – You are part of the problem. Was this really worth it? It would have taken you less than 2 seconds to show your receipt or since you think it’s some travesty of civil rights you should have just kept walking. I’d go as far as to say you were LOOKING for a fight and now you want to WASTE the state attorney’s time with your frivolous suit? You’re part of the problem, you litigious jackass. I’m just glad the police officer had enough sense to NOT arrest the security guard (who’s just trying to do his job).

    @FREEDOMBOY – Yeah that’d be great revenge if this was 1987 and stores stocked VHS tapes, you’re gonna look pretty stupid trying to rub a DVD with a magnet :) .

  24. ReccaSquirrel says:

    @alexander: How about right to privacy? What I buy isn’t the business of anyone else. Beyond having to have a cashier ring the transaction up, it really doesn’t need to be shared with anyone else.

    People should not have to give up rights. And people certainly should not have to bend over and give up their rights on a whim because “it would have avoided the situation”. The situation should not have been created in the first place.

  25. natea says:

    Wait, I visit Costco all the time and I’m not bugged by them asking to see my receipt.

    Is it that big of an issue? I don’t understand why some people are so careful about their “personal rights”, and don’t just compromise once in a while.

  26. RvLeshrac says:


    You too, I suppose.

    Where do you draw the line? A full search of your coat and bags? Frisking you? Having to buzz you out of the store?

    It isn’t much of a stretch.

  27. bedofnails says:

    Great email, and great post. Kudos to the OP for holding ground on this issue. Personally I despise this policy. I took a similar stand at a Walmart last week, and left the pack of uneducated, “bag checkers” scratching their heads.

    However lame the story sounds when repeated, (receiving a blank stare, and the “why didn’t you just show your receipt?”), I must say sometimes people like that need a little shove, knocking them down a peg.

  28. ReccaSquirrel says:

    @Christo67: What point is there to having a life if we bend over and give up our rights anytime they are brought into question. You can have that world, I don’t want to live there.

  29. bedofnails says:


    They have no right to do so. Standing up for yourself does not equate to being a dick.

  30. chrisburp says:

    I think Costco started the whole “receipt check at the door” thing. If you didn’t show your receipt, they could “banish” you by canceling your membership.

  31. fredperry2 says:

    It does sound to me like she was looking for trouble by refusing to show the reciept and escalting the verbal banter in the store. Perhaps a better way would have been to show the reciept then sue them for violating your right to not show them the reciept?

  32. hypnotik_jello says:

    Wow, the comments on this post are pretty much par for the course of this blog. I’m not sure what’s more unnerving though, that people are giving this guy grief for putting up a stink when receipt showing is *voluntary*, or that most of you can’t be bothered to defend your rights because standing up for them would be an inconvenience to you.

    Give me a fucking break. He was hassled for no good reason, other than the fact that the guard/company were complete pricks and didn’t understand the law.

  33. bufftbone says:

    Well you could’ve avoided the whole thing as others have stated simply by showing him the receipt. Perhaps you were in a bad mood and decided to do that. Anyways, that may or may not be the case. They broke the law by detaining you and verbally slandering you. You can contact Lisa Madigan’s office. Do a google on her name and you go to the state attorney’s office website. You can download complaint forms there, print them up and mail them in. They are slow though. I’m in the process of trying to get back money owed to me by a shody contractor. A week after sending in the complaint I got a letter in the mail acknowledging that they got the complaint. That was about 3 weeks ago and I have yet to hear form anyone since. If you’ve got the time and patience, that’s a step you can take. Skip DuPage county’s system and go straight to the State level.

  34. alicetheowl says:

    Yes, clearly when someone’s leaving a store with a bag of merchandise, he’s stolen it, and it’s fully warranted to risk that a person who just spent his money in your store will never do so again when you make unfound accusations.

    This reminds me of my first job, when they said we had to stop giving away plastic bags for customers to put over their hair when it suddenly started pouring while they were shopping. “They might put merchandise in the bag and walk out!”

    I just rolled my eyes and ignored them in favor of the customer.

  35. cryrevolution says:

    While I agree it was probably easier just showing the receipt, I think the whole point is is that you don’t have to. It is the shoppers decision whether or not they show it, and if they don’t want to, more power to em. It’s their right. I do just out of habit. And laziness lol.

  36. jinjin1080 says:

    Fair enough, I’m all about civil rights but does that mean we just throw common sense out the window? Look I think we all shopped at enough Bestbuys, TDs, CCs, to know their policy. 90% of the time the security guard just stands there with a marker just to make sure you HAVE a receipt. Let’s get real they are generally not going over every minute of the receipt. It takes all of 0.5 seconds to show them that little piece of paper. Is this worth a police officers time? Is this worth a state attorney’s time? I’d go as far to say this isn’t even worth the security company’s time.

  37. JRuiz47 says:

    So this question is for a couple of you?

    Where do you work so I can go physically restrain you without cause and then tell you later on to “Get over it, Nancy.”

  38. EQC says:

    While I agree it would have been easy to “just show the receipt,” that’s not really the point. The logical reason to not show a receipt is simple: you don’t want to. There’s no legal requirement for it. There is no reason for it. Perhaps not showing the receipt is a simple objection to the policy — a policy that involves one more person being given the “job” of snooping into your business.

    As far as receipt checking goes, I can’t imagine it does much to stop shop lifting of any sort. Sure, there’s the occasional story of some guy with a $4 receipt trying to walk off with a plasma TV in his cart. But, if anything, all that means is that people walking off with $4000 worth of very large merchandise should be scrutinized.

    See, anywhere I’ve been that checks receipts will either (1) look only at the receipt, or (2) look at the receipt and compare it with what’s in the cart or the shopping bags in about 2 seconds.

    In other words, people can still stuff whatever they want into their pockets and that receipt-checker will be none the wiser. You can put things in a purse or backpack. At best, receipt-checking creates an “air of fear” for lazy thieves, and forces them to steal small expensive things (which are easily hidden) instead of big expensive things. Sure, idiots trying to walk off with plasma TV’s for free may be stopped…but they could be easily caught with other means.

    So why should every honest customer be subjected to having another grubby employee touch their receipt and poke around in their merchandise, when it doesn’t really stop any but the stupidest thieves? Why should anybody accept this reduction of their rights just because it’s “easier” than objecting?

    Receipt checking does little, if anything, to stop theft and keep prices low — but the employment of the security guards at the door is a definite cost to the store, slows down exit from the store, and is certain to raise prices since he’s got to get his paycheck from somewhere.

  39. Alexander says:

    You have to pick your battles. Of all the rights I’d be worried about losing, showing someone a receipt at the door is way down the list.

  40. chrispiss says:

    Just show your freakin receipt and go on your way and leave the minimum wage people alone. Man! This is stupid. Let them do their job. I can’t believe this lady is going to press charges and probably make people lose their jobs.

  41. lihtox says:

    I say huzzah for standing up for your rights; what have you lost by doing so? You lost a little time, and you discovered just how idiotic the store management is (a good thing to know; next time they could screw something up that costs someone money.)

    Two suggestions:
    1) I have heard of this thing called “small claims court”. :) I know nothing about it, but would it apply in this case? Since the damages you suffered are obviously minor, and the idea is to make a point and not back down, sue the store (or the security company) for $100 or something.

    2) Post/hand out flyers in front of the store explaining people’s rights regarding receipts. Either make it a hit-and-run operation, or make sure you are within the law (not trespassing etc).

    3) Talk a competing store to run an ad saying “Why go to a store where they treat you like a thief? Come to Dis-Co! Our security guards actually know the law!” (I wonder if one could actually talk a store into doing this.)

  42. Alvis says:

    Wow: I’m more upset at all these comments blaming Shaneal for not going along with the flow and doing whatever the store asks than the actual illegal detention.

    Doesn’t standing up for principles mean anything to you kids? Volunteering your receipt is saying “it’s reasonable to expect me to be a criminal and it’s up to me to convince you otherwise”

  43. JayXJ says:

    I’ve worked as a mahager in contract security for a few years now. The Officer in question screwed up, plain and simple. Policy for this sort of thing is: Ask (politely) to see a receipt. “Ma’am, may I see your receipt?” If they refuse…you can NOT detain them. At most all you can do is follow discreetly to acertain direction of travel or a plate number. Contract security officers are NOT protected under merchant privilage laws. Unless Illinois works drastically different than the states I’ve dealt with.

    Also, it’s Securitas. They tend to deal with lower paying accounts and thier officers wages reflect this. I’ve met very competent professional officers that work with that company, but they’re hard to come by at $7-$8 per hour.

  44. Sixdust says:

    Regardless of whether or not a receipt is shown to a hired guard or not, they should not stop you or prevent you from leaving. You paid for the items, obviously a cashier was involved that checked out the items. A majority of the time, they want your receipts so they can draw on it, that way if the same receipt makes it through the guard, its been used in a scam. However, it is illegal for them to do this, no contract is signed saying you must do it. If the guard/cashier did their jobs right, a search of your bag shouldn’t be needed. I suggest boycotting the store, and having people you know that don’t want to ever shop there or don’t like the store, repeat what you did. If a pattern is seen, that they refuse to let people leave, you may have a bigger case. Also remember that if they are verbally abusing you, to record it with your cellphone cam, or carry a compact digicam with you at all times like I do. A few years back,I was at a best buy with my friend and his father, they wanted to buy a new monitor, I picked one out and his father paid for it. 5 ft away was the guard that witnessed the purchase, however, his father was wearing tight jeans and was lifting the box of the monitor, thus making it impossible to reach the receipt without putting down the box, reaching into his very tight pocket and getting the receipt. The guard asked for the reciept, my friends dad said he can’t reach it. He has back problems, and bending down to pickup things is one of the things that he can’t do. Putting down the box is not an option. The box weighed over 200lbs and all three of us were carrying it from the counter and shopping cart, into our hands. It was snowy outside so a shopping cart was useless. After refusing to give the receipt, the guard pushed the kids dad away from the door causing him to lose grip of the tv, it falling, and crushing our hands. The guard blocked the doorway, and everyone was looking because of the loud thud the tv made and the loud ouch expression we both made. My friend’s father (an ex-marine) asked for assistance from another employee, to help lift the tv high enough so he could grab it. A man came and helped. The tv box, when lifted, made sounds of broken glass. (This was a CRT TV/monitor). My friends father looked at the manager, who came over, saw everything and started yelling at the guard. He said the cost of the tv has coming out of his salary since he pushed Dan(my friends father) and the box, causing us to drop it. The guard got angry, started cursing out Dan and while talking, let out luggie onto Dan. All hell broke lose. Dan told the guard in a high tone that he had committed assault while in his face, while whipping the luggie of his face. The guard didn’t like Dan screaming in his face so he spat again. Of course the first luggie is already considered assault and terms for getting an ass kicking, but the second one was what put the guard in a cop car after Dan gave him a right hand to the jaw. Dan was not charged, since he was defending himself. Dan got a new tv, but not the same one. The manager instead gave Dan a gift card for $4,000. The CRT was put in the back by employees and Dan got a nice LCD TV for his troubles. I got a free game and so did my friend, since we got our hands crushed. Overall the manager was very apologetic, and did what was in the customers interest. (Also to avoid a lawsuit) Lucky for him Dan, would never have sued, and the gift card made everything better. The guard was charged with assault and was fired. I think he got a few days in jail and a big fine. I have never been back at the store since I haven’t visited my friend or Dan in a long time and the 200 mile drive isn’t too thrilling.

    All that over showing a friggin’ receipt, it’s silly and unlawful. A crime is being committed it is unlawful to hold people against their will however people seem to be fine with it. Speak up and stand up. Don’t be silenced or trampled.

  45. coss3n says:

    I’m so glad to see this, as I’ve also stopped showing receipts on leaving a store. I’m doing them the favor by choosing to buy from them; do I really need to put up with being accused of being a thief?

    You’ll also note that the only places that seem to do this sort of thing are the big boxes (Walmart, Sam’s, Best Buy, etc.) — places where any good Consumerist shouldn’t be shopping anyway!

  46. alfista says:

    When my wife was pregnant, I took a day off on a blistering hot day to get an air conditioner for our bedroom. As such, it was a weekday and I went to Best Buy as it was close and they had a sale going. The registers near the door were closed and I had to check out at the customer service area in the center of the store. I put the receipt in my wallet, in clear view of the two security guards who were chit-chatting at the front of the store, and proceeded to lug a 60 pound air conditioner out to my car. When I got to the door, they asked for the receipt. There was no place to put the box down and they didn’t offer to help. I had to drag it 10 yards back into the store to dig up the receipt. I was pissed and would have returned it except, hey, cranky wife. Last time I shopped at best buy.

  47. EQC says:

    I will add…I probably wouldn’t sue the low-paid security guard — he’s got no training, and makes no money anyway. He was doing what somebody told him to do, and really probably didn’t know better. If I had a low-paying job and needed money, I’d do what my bosses said and not listen to the guy screaming about his rights (umm…to an extent).

    On the other hand, the store manager — he’s the boss. He told the security guard what to do, and he came over and escalated the situation. He’s higher on the totem pole, he runs the store, he makes policies, his policies overstepped bounds and so did he, and his harassment of customers is more for his profit (while the security guard is just trying to keep his job) — he should be punished. Sue him directly, and find a way to get his bosses mad at him. Perhaps scan your receipt from the day, plus your other $10,000 worth of receipts, and point out the lost business they’ll be feeling because of this guy being such a jerk.

  48. techmuse says:

    Wow. My wife and I run a local arts blog (www.surrealmuse.com) and occasionally I blow off a bit of steam as most bloggers do.

    I build all of my own machines and I am loathe to go into Best Buy, although I have slithered into it every now and then.

    I have had some pretty bad experiences there and so I was planning on writing an article about how the American public has pretty much been trained to accept bad service. While I was brainstorming, I was also thinking about the new machine I want to build… And most of the parts were going to come from Tigerdirect.

    And then I stumbled upon Gizmodo’s article recounting your experience.

    Out of curiosity, I called the store in question. I told them I was planning on doing a story for our arts blog about customer service, and that I was fact checking the news story “About a guy who didn’t want to show his reciept and then was unlawfully restrained.”

    The person who answered immediately went into corporate BS mode, and I could swear she was reading a script that contained phone numbers for their corporate offices, the names of media contacts, etc.

    I told the person that I was disappointed, and that I really like doing business with TD, but I was concerned about future dealings with them. Yeah, I know its a stretch, but I was trying to gauge her reaction.

    I got none. She just started repeating the phone numbers.

    Way to go, TD. Great way to handle it.

  49. Wouldpkr says:

    If its on “the List” it doesnt matter how close to the top it is.

    Very well said EQC!

  50. doofusgumby says:

    to all those who flippantly said “he should have just shown the receipt”, I say go fuck yourselves, idiots.

    Unless it’s costco or sam’s club, the membership rules say you have to show ’em, and they’ll revoke your membership if you don’t.

    I never have shown a freakin’ receipt at compusa, fry’s, or any other damn store that’s open to the public. Don’t bother me with illegal bullshit, I’m busy.

  51. 3drage says:

    @ the “Just show your receipt” comments, Are you serious? I’m amazed at how many people are easily bowed over when it comes to your rights as an American. The person who didn’t show their receipt is in the legal right and protecting their civil rights. It is against the law for a person to detain you and ask to see your receipt, and civilly punishable. I commend this guy for standing up for himself, and good to know there are some true Americans still around.

  52. macstrat says:

    Both of my roommates work for similiar places (one the same in fact) one works for a wholesale store called BJ’s. he does reciept checking at the door. The other works for securitas. BJ’s policy is that you must be checked at the door or they can detain you for up to 10 minutes while they collect the information from the computer system. this has pissed off alot of people. Then again it is rather hard to stick a case of toilet paper under your coat and walk out the door.

    Yhe other who works for securitas is given specific instructions by his employer as securitas handles alot of different buisness’ and its hard to keep track of all the different policies.

    what happened was inexcuseable and despite the fact that i can see the problem from both points of view there is a point.

    Sue his ass off mate!

  53. JRuiz47 says:

    And to tie this to another Consumerist post… make it profitable to make you happy.

    Before chastising your local media – give them a shot.

  54. It was rather shabby treatment, but I’m on the “just show the damn receipt” side. I never understood what was gained by refraining, except some minor degree of victory over “the man.” That “I’m in too much of a hurry” thing is a pretty flimsy reason, since it takes five seconds to show the guy.

    However, yeah, no one needs to be yelling at you and blocking your exit.

  55. scoobydoo says:

    I’ve been to this store and the story doesn’t surprise me… The security guards are probably TSA rejects.

    The insane thing is that the guard is RIGHT NEXT TO THE FRIKKIN REGISTER. So the dumbasses SEE YOU PAY…

    It’s one thing to check the receipt of someone who bypasses the register, but these bozo’s are paid to watch you pay, watch the $4.50/hour clerk put your crap in a bag AND then still check the receipt.

    To me it always seemed more like they are checking on their own clerks than the customers…

  56. Bourque77 says:

    Are you people kidding me? If I dont feel like showing a damn receipt im not required to and dont have to. I generally dont do it on principle. You people are a trip. In one thread you’ll bash a company for standing up for themselves when a customer was wrong and in this one bash the customer when the company was wrong. I know a few people who act like this its not a law you have to show them proof of purchase. Theres a big difference in suing someone because you are to sensitive and suing someone for verbally harassing you like these clowns did. They have every right to sue that store and the employees involved. Calling someone a thief like that in a store (where the customer lives near) can be quite embarrassing. Also +1 to the suggestion of small claims court, its cheap and easy.

  57. shades_of_blue says:

    too bad that plazma guy did not read this first, before ‘shopping’. hahah

    I don’t like showing my receipt either, but there’s no harm in showing it. Your most valuable information on a receipt would be 4-digits from your CC and even rainman could not piece together those X’s. BFD

    What exactly did you have to hide anyway? I could see if you bought a new sextoy, cause that I’d do everything in my power to prevent some random idiot from sticking his nose in my ass. But no, it was a computer store.
    Were you afraid the security guard was going to laugh when he found out that you actually paid for a piece of software, as opposed to downloaded it. :::sarcasm:::

    Don’t agree with the manager throwing insults, that was uncalled for. But I can’t say this guy did not have it coming. Did he honestly expect any less? Intimidation tactics are a part of retail, how else are they going to get a women to ‘willingly’ allow them to search her purse? They can’t, so they strong arm anyone who stands firm.

  58. grouse says:

    Good on you, Shaneal, for standing up for yourself and all of us.

    Shame on you who suggest that he should have just bent over for the security guard’s criminal acts. Yes, unlawful restraint is a CRIME.

  59. techmuse says:


    Right with ya. Many moons ago I toiled at CrapUSA. We had an off duty police officer instead of a regular security guard.

    Those of you that have worked and/or are working at a retail outlet like this knows that shoplifting is pretty regular, daily event. (Go check the ceiling tiles above the bathroom stall if you want to find some empty boxes…)

    Even so, I absolutely rail against the idea that it is assumed that I am a thief and that the reciept is my passport to prove that I am not.

    I am a busy person. I have places to go. I have things to do. (At least that’s what I tell myself when I am lighting firecrackers under Optimus Prime and Boba Fett.)

    We have very queitly shifted to this idea that every customer is a potential thief and that shopping at a particular store is a privelege for the shopper rather than an opportunity to provide a service to the customer.

    How do we deal with it?

    Don’t shop there. If you have a bad experience, just don’t go anymore, and tell as many people as you can.

    I don’t expect Shaneal will be wanting to go the store anytime soon. But now I don’t feel compelled to GIVE my business to a company that doesn’t nip shit like this in the bud immediately.

    Its a technology store, they should be able to pivot on a dime to correct issues like this.

    Just proves that TD has turned into yet another corporate behemoth too slow to clean up its own mess with a simple apology.

    I wonder how many forms the manager is required to fill out before he officially has permission to say that he is sorry?

    Will probably need to be notarized, too.

  60. Techguy1138 says:

    I think it is great that you stood up for your rights. Calling the officer was a great thing to do but pulling this through the courts is not right.

    The courts have 2 options fines and punishment. The odds of the security guard being given prison time are very slim. How much time would have been warranted anyway?

    As a fine how much money do you think this is worth? When you get the time it will take a police officer to write a report and get evidence, and a district attorney to compile a case and finally a judge to hear it the case will cost more to the court than it is worth.

    How much money would you expect to get, really what is the dollar figure?

    I can understand wanting to cause them pain but using the courts for petty vengeance isn’t what they are for.

    You are really just going to need to get over it.

  61. HungryGrrl says:

    Why are we expected to so sympathy to someone who CHOSE TO violate a store’s policy?


  62. animestar says:

    I’ve been in the TigerDirect store in Miami several times and have had been asked to produce the receipt as I leave the store. I’ve never thought twice about it. Yes it would have been easier just to show the guard (who could readly care less) the receipt but I also understand Shaneal’s reasons as well. Guilty and to prove ones own innocence. If the store belived he stole somthing they should have been the ones to call the police, but they did not. And of course it was wrong to verbaly abuse a customer. It was not handled in a profensional manor. I will think twice before I take that drive to TigerDirect to buy anything. I am finding that Newegg.com has much better support and prices.

  63. wesa says:

    Am I the only one who noticed the tone of “entitlement” to the email? Maybe if the customer was a bit more corporative and a little less snotty, the situation wouldn’t have gotten out of hand in the first place.

  64. Melov says:

    I didn’t know TirgerDirect had stores. Interesting…anyway I’ve always hated them. Their prices are way too high compaired to newegg

  65. Schalliol says:

    I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of any lawyers reading this post. A number of people note that you don’t have to show the receipt, which makes sense, but it would be nice to know the legal ramifications of the escalation here.

  66. SOhp101 says:

    There’s no way I would allow ANYONE besides law enforcement to detain me. Verbally warn them loudly that if they do not let you leave you will use force to leave the property. If they retaliate and you get hurt, they will have a multi-million dollar lawsuit on their hands.

    I agree with Doofus… fuck all of you who said show the receipt. I always wondered how in the world Bush’s wiretapping program was expanded despite his unpopularity… now I know the answer.

  67. techmuse says:

    This post sponsored by Newegg.com

    Hah! Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;-)

    For those of you that get it, no words are necessary. For those of you that don’t, no explanation is possible.

    I suppose I may be turning into a troll so that’s it for me on the comments tonight.

    Keep up the good work! Consumerist rocks!

  68. grouse says:

    @HungryGrrl: As Thoreau said, “Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” We have no duty to follow arbitrary store policies. And stores cannot unlawfully restrain their customers because they will not bend over for these policies.

    @Techguy1138: The point of pursuing this through the courts is not petty vengeance. It’s getting TigerDirect to realize that they can’t unlawfully restrain their customers like this. Most stores get it, TigerDirect needs a lesson.

  69. rawsteak says:

    firstly, if you’re going to buy hardcore porn, it’s going to be in a shady area where no one wants to know who you are, and even if you have to show the guy at the door your receipt for your “fair and square” porn purchase, you know that a) you don’t know the security guard because 2) if you did, you’d make him buy your hardcore porn instead!

    secondly, what exactly are you making a big deal about? it’s not privacy or security issues. your credit card number isn’t even completely shown on the receipt! it’s just stars and the last 4 numbers! your name, address, shoes size, mother’s maiden name… all NOT on a shopping receipt!! so? you’re just making a big deal out of an inconvenience, that the store unfortunately has to impose because theft happens nowadays. the door and the clerk aren’t always that close to each other, so they have someone check at the door to make sure you bought it. so you want them to watch you and make sure you don’t steal? way to open the doors to “Big Brother is watching you” fanatics. Those people can’t stand someone else watching them, so then what? the honor system?

    The consumerist posted 2 articles a while back. 1 was about a woman who stole $400+ merchandise and only paid for $113. Another article said that Walmart is losing $3 billion a year due to theft. sure i hate conglomerations! sure i hate cheaply made goods! but i’m not going to stop shopping at my local vintage store just because they make me take off my bag and let them hold it at the front!! stop being so self-righteous already. are you going to cry and whine if you get asked for ID when you use your credit card also?

  70. louballs says:

    Ok yes the security guard, manager, etc. crossed the line, but I think you were just being a dick. Its not like he jumped in front of you in the first place and tried to hold you down. Sounds like he politely asked you, just his job. If i were behind you trying to leave i’d be pretty pissed off. You sound like one of those uber cool fake “anarchists” who walks around with a smug look on his face all day long with an “im better than you” attitude and drives a hybrid while drinking starbucks.

  71. jinjin1080 says:

    Look I am all for civil and consumer rights. And I agree if Shaneal did not want to show the receipt then the store had no right to make him. Both he and the store manager had the power to stop the situation from escalating and neither chose to do so. If you want to waste YOUR time because you feel like you’ve been violated more power to you. I have a problem when you try to waste OTHER people’s times (the officer and the state attorney). The common sense way to solve this problem is to vote with your wallet. If you don’t like their policy, then you don’t have to shop there. TD does not have a monopoly on electronics retail and you can shop elsewhere.

  72. T-Man says:

    I really don’t see what the problem is. I do understand the posters who are saying that this is a further losing of ones rights, but TigerDirect is NOT the government. It would make much more sense to show your receipt and never shop there again. We’ve seen some recent posts today about how the only thing that really moves a company to action involves money. Don’t shop there anymore. It’s your right. Complain to corporate. And for god’s sake, don’t spend over $10,000 at the store if you really don’t like them that much.

    Remember, us consumers DO have the power. That green paper with dead presidents on them. Use it to your advantage (or in this case, don’t).

  73. Alexander says:

    @louballs: Don’t forget the Che Guevara T-shirt…bought from the Gap probably.

  74. I never understood showing the receipt in the first place. If they ask for it, I show them, because I haven’t stolen anything.

    However, they don’t read it. They just want to see that I have a receipt, it seems.

    Which is strange, because these stores rarely reconcile the actual merchandise in your bag with the receipt.

    So what happens if they “check” your receipt then you try to leave and the alarm goes off? Or you a thief, is the associate negligent for not removing the tag, or is the security person an idiot for not thoroughly checking the receipt?

    Also, some thieves have receipts. I still don’t get it.

  75. balthisar says:

    Good job. People are saying you’re a dick, and whether you were or not is irrelevant. You have the right to be a dick if that’s what you were. The store doesn’t have the right to detain you. Can they ask for a receipt? Sure, but you’re not obligated to present it.

    I really hope you take whatever you bought back for a refund. I’d like to see how their verbal banning works with that one.

  76. JBreakwell says:

    Why didn’t you just show it to him, if you didn’t steal anything you have nothing to hide. This is what i don’t get about people like this they say all this stuff about being innocent and whatever, but if they really were they would just show the receipt lol, maybe you should learn some respect for the authorities, i bet he was only doing his job!!

  77. balthisar says:

    Oh, forgot to mention: hire an intern to picket the store for you!

  78. racermd says:

    If it were me (though it never would be, I’d show my receipt as well just to get the experience over with), I’d suck up as much money as I possibly could and hire a lawyer to help deal with it. Usually, all that’s needed is a strongly-worded letter from a lawyer to get things moving. And, while a letter isn’t always free, it’s much less expensive than actually taking someone into court.

    Make sure you’re clear about what you want the outcome to be, though. A good lawyer (yes, they do exist) can help you figure that out.

  79. descend says:

    Wesa wrote: “Am I the only one who noticed the tone of “entitlement” to the email?”

    Hardly the only one, but be grateful or we’d miss out on the overwrought comments.

    Someone has already quoted Thoreau — can we take bets on when someone busts out with Niemoller’s “First they came…”?

  80. chrisgoh says:

    To all those saying just give up your right, it is not a big deal – If you are not willing to stick up for your rights then they won’t be there to protect you from something worse than this. Once I pay for an item, the transaction is complete and the property is legally mine. Without a reasonable belief that he stole it, they have no right to detain him. If they want to ban him from future shopping that is their prerogative and right.

    The ONLY store I submit to a receipt check is Sam’s Club. Since it is a members only store, I assume it is buried somewhere in the membership agreement. Plus, since they check EVERYONE, it is not like you are being accused of stealing.

  81. grouse says:

    @louballs: Anarchist? For insisting that the rule of law be upheld? That’s basically the opposite of anarchist.

    I never know where the idea came from that you must comply with the demands of anyone who is “just doing their job,” no matter how unreasonable or illegal those demands are. Stand up for yourself and you get called nasty names.

    It is alarming what a country of sheep this is becoming.

  82. narcolepticdoc says:

    Well, here’s what your mistake was:

    You let it end at detainment. He unlawfully ‘detained’ you. Big. Freaking. Deal. Nobody is going to care about that. Now try to get past him. Gently and slowly. Avoid touching him. Make HIM touch you. Make HIM physically grab you. At that point it’s assault and battery. Press charges.

    If you can get a loogie to the face, maybe you can get a free TV out of it.

  83. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Ok, let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Shaneal could have simply showed the receipt and gone on with life.

    However.. The manager stated that it’s store policy to show your receipt at the door. My question is, was this policy clearly posted at the entrance? Or displayed at the cash registers? If the answer is no, then Shaneal had a right to not show the receipt at the door. If the answer is yes, then Shaneal could have just walked out the door and shopped somewhere else. If Shaneal knew the policy beforehand and still didn’t show the receipt, then I’d agree with others.. That’s just being a dick.

  84. louballs says:

    @grouse: I said fake anarchist. I agreed that once they started getting abusive it was uncalled for, but what kind of right are you giving up by showing a receipt. In a store where theft is probably a common problem and small electronics are easily stolen I don’t really find it unreasonable. I’m the first one to stick up for my rights when I feel one has been violated, but I think refusing to show your receipt just to refuse is stupid and a waste of time.

  85. hibiscusroto says:

    Seems like appropriate behavior for a company named “TigerDirect”.

    If I were in this situation, and had experienced this kind if treatment I’d respond as follows…

    Round up as many people as you can, have everyone dress alike, purchase a low-cost item and refuse to show reciepts en masse.

    Better yet, divide the crowd into two groups (one group wearing one kind of outfit, the other wearing another)…the first group performs the action stated above, the other group INSISTS on showing their reciepts and refuses to STOP showing them.

    Now if we can somehow incorporate singing into this it’ll be the perfect plan.

  86. Lula Mae Broadway says:

    Yes, by all means clog up the legal system because you enjoy being RIGHT!

    Just show the freaking receipt.

    What’s the male equivalent of a Drama Queen?

  87. louballs says:

    No such thing as a male equivalent, a drama queen is a drama queen.

  88. joule says:

    I understand why he should be angered about having to show the receipt, what I don’t get, is why harass the guard? He is doing a lousy job, most of you probably wouldn’t even dream of doing, and the guy want’s him imprisoned for following the rules his managers assigned????? Give me a break. If he wants to take this to corp, or whatever, that’s ok, (though, in my opinion, he is grossly overreacting, it is not like they detained him illegaly, they just wanted to defend their business). I guess he will rather have them not ask for receipts, and after a few shop liftings, close down the store and leave all of this people jobless, just because it will loose him 1 minute to actually flash the receipt… Oh, and I forgot, his civil rights?? I guess you people never had a real problem in your life, if you are really wanting to fight this. Some perspective could come in handy.

  89. FREAKHEAD says:

    It is beyond sad to see so many people going after the OP. If you want to show your receipts, then go right ahead. After I have paid for the product, I legally own it. They have no right to demand I show a receipt. They can ask if they want, but they can not detain me for not showing.

    I can always find some place else to shop if you want to treat me a like a criminal.

    I managed a retail computer shop for 5 years. I never demanded receipts from customers. I understand the importance of controlling shrinkage but I kept mine down by engaging the customer, treating them with kindness and respect. I had next to no shrink because of that. I would have hurt my store more by doing ridiculous things like this than checking everyones bag.

  90. iotashan says:

    I agree with the people who say this isn’t something to drag through the courts. I’d love to see them suffer or be humiliated more, but I really think it’s honestly a waste of everyone’s time, including yours. You’ve probably had a far greater impact getting the story published here than the court date would have ever had.

    Might I suggest newegg.com instead of TigerDirect, or going to CDW or MicroCenter if you have to get something the same day locally.

  91. tkeer says:

    I can sympathize. I was in a large book store chain and all was going well until I had paid for the merchandise and preparing to leave. A large metal and glass contraption barred my exit. An employee came over and asked that I turn the knob before exiting. I know my rights! I am extremely busy and can’t be bothered to turn a knob! I of course immediately called 911 and fire trucks were dispatched to extract me. Of course, turns out a local school burnt down at the same time – but I know my rights, no way I was turning that knob.

  92. presser says:

    I am in complete agreement with Shaneal and her actions. More power to her.

    There are two problems with the system of checking Sales receipts.

    First, the company is not necessarily assuming that you are guilty of shoplifting, but the guilt of the cashiers. The checks are a way to make sure that LCD screen that you have did not cost .99 cents, which you will sell for 200 bucks profit that you will split between you and your cashier friend.

    The checks create an environment that is uncomfortable for the customer. A manager should watch the cashiers, rather than have a security guard do a meaningless check. At least the cashier is being paid to be scrutinized and treated shabbily. Maybe creating a better workplace and paying well might help with stealing and company loyalty?

    The other problem is that the guards are not often trained in the laws regarding checks. This is the fault of the security companies that send a lot of burly security guys unprepared. Again, they are not well paid and are not actual police officers, so what can you expect?

    The whole point of a civilian arrest is that the person accusing must be really sure that the other person is guilty before he takes action. That is why we have personal damages as part of the court system.

    It is great that you bring up this issue!

  93. TimSPC says:

    Once the product has been paid for and the transaction is complete, the customer assumes ownership. He should not be required to prove anything.

  94. sgodun says:

    I would REALLY like to feel sorry for this guy, but I can’t. Yeah, you legally own the product. You’ve yet to explain exactly what the big deal was about showing the receipt. On principle? What principle? That you disagree with the method in which stores like TigerDirect (who I have no personal love for anyway, btw) attempt to curb shoplifting?

    This story has all the earmarks of someone wanting to sue someone for a big payday over something which could have been completely avoided, with no harm (physical, mental, or emotional) to either party, with about five seconds of effort. Or does this guy simply feel so entitled that he won’t spare five seconds of harmless courtesy in order to avoid an extended confrontation that he instigated?

    Shaneal, grow up. Learn the difference between courtesy/respect and personal invasion.

  95. TheJollyGreenGiant says:

    Im not surprised. Before I moved out of state I had a number of awful experiences at their Outlet Store in Naperville. That place is really seedy.

    Its like hand-me-down Best Buy… as if BB isn’t bad enough.

  96. coan_net says:

    Hum…. lets see here.

    1. Have 1 security person half-ass check receipts as people leave


    2. Hire a lot more security to watch the store for shoplifters, in turn costing the store more, in turn raising the price on the items in the store, in turn making it worse for the consumer.

    I’m sorry – But I would much rather flash my receipt as I leave then pay higher prices. I know some are in favor of paying higher prices, but that is just not my style. Flash the receipt and keep on walking.

  97. skrom says:

    Just show the damn receipt and get on your way. Im sure the 200 people you held up while making a scene were happy with you. Some people are just so anal with privacy its ridiculous. If you didnt do anything wrong you have nothing to worry about. Something tells me this guy has fun making scenes and trying to “buck the system”. If nobody showed receipts then a lot of stuff would get stolen which in turn would raise prices for the honest people, then you would bitch that prices are too high and they are gouging you.

  98. skrom says:


    Who says it is voluntary. Im sure not the store

  99. louballs says:

    @TimSPC: Sure you do own the property, but lets just say for example someone in the back of a large store removes a security tag from a cd, attempts to walk out and when asked for a receipt the thief says “no thanks” and just keeps going. Thats why the receipt has to be shown. Never in my experience have a felt like a criminal, they usually politely ask and I politely show. NO big deal.

  100. skrom says:


    Im sure you patronize prepay gas stations which in effect also assumes all customer are theives. but yet I guess somehow receipt checks are different

  101. dunkinbean says:

    Interesting. I’ve been going to this TigerDirect ever since they were called Global Computer and have never heard of anyone having any problems with the staff. They implemented the security guard at the door to check receipts a few years ago and they usually have the same guy there; he looks pretty normal and modest. The biggest complaint I hear from people I know who goto the store is their policy of taking up to 30 minnutes or more to pull something out of their extended stock in the back of the store (the warehouse in the back operates as regional distribution from what I understand). They’ve had some floor people at that store forever and in the past few years the popularity of the place skyrocketed, so it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that they’re starting to considering themselves high and mighty enough to do something like this.

    Fittingly, I’ve walked out of that store before while the security guard has been distracted by someone from the registers without having my receipt shown to anyone. Guess company policy is only worth it when it’s convenient.

  102. Illusio26 says:

    I agree with the poster. I object to being treated like a thief. The store has no right to trample on our rights.

    To those who say the security guard was just doing his job, I say boo to that. If he knew how to do his job, he would have known the law and let the man pass. If I screw up on my job because I don’t know how to do it, no one is going to defend me.

    I live near this store and I’ll never shop there again.

  103. Good for you! Start a blog or a MSN Group or a web site and trash the chain, get all the info you can and get other horror stories from patrons. Give them as much publicity as you can and let them know what you are doing. It is NO FUN if you don’t rub their noses in it.

    Type up your complaint and send it to all the stores in the area. I did this once on a mail service that gave me crappy service, I sent letters to every store in the area asking them to NOT patronize that store and I sent the store itself a list of those places I had contacted. Boy were they pissed, even to an attorney letter, but it was just BS, 1st Amendment protects your free speech and free press, all they can do is huff and puff.

    Go get ’em!


    From: http://www.targetfiling.blogspot.com Go there to see the whole security manual

    C. Five Steps for Apprehension
    Certified AP team members must observe all five steps prior to making a shoplifter apprehension.

    NOTE: If local law enforcement takes independent action and makes an apprehension before all five steps are met, the details must be documented in the CIRS report.

    1. Initiation of Observation – The subject must enter the store/area without possession of Target merchandise.
    2. Selection – The subject must be observed selecting Target merchandise from the display location.
    3. Concealment – The subject must be observed concealing the merchandise, or the AP team member must have NO reasonable doubt based on observations that the merchandise has been concealed by the subject.
    NOTE: If the merchandise is not actually concealed, it must be exposed as the subject exits or attempts to exit the store.
    4. Maintain Observation – The AP team member must maintain sufficient surveillance of the subject in order to know the location of the merchandise and ensure the subject does not discard the merchandise.
    NOTE: A Productive Merchandise Recovery (PMR) shall be attempted if surveillance is broken for any reason, or the AP team member can not maintain sufficient surveillance. (See PMR Directive).
    5. Failure to Pay for Merchandise/Exiting the Store -AP team member(s) must observe the subject attempt to exit the store without paying for the merchandise.
    NOTE: Some jurisdictions allow variances from the exiting requirement to allow apprehensions of concealed merchandise before an individual reaches the building’s exit. In these cases, the requirements must be documented and approved by the Director or Vice President of Assets Protection using the “Variance from Exiting Form” (found on the AP Zone).

    D. Restroom / Fitting Room Apprehensions
    AP team members are not allowed to conduct surveillance or make apprehensions in restroom and/or fitting rooms.
    1. AP team members are not allowed to follow subject’s into a restroom or fitting room to conduct surveillance.
    2. AP team members shall not ask another team member to enter a fitting room or restroom to conduct surveillance.
    B. Searches of Private Residence or Motor Vehicles
    1. AP team members will NOT participate in a search of a private residence or motor vehicle.
    1. Fleeing Shoplifter
    a. If a shoplifter attempts to flee after being confronted, do not give chase in any manner (running, driving, etc.).
    b. Store based AP team members shall not use any vehicle to follow or pursue a subject for any reason.
    c. AP team members shall not encourage, condone, suggest or ask another Target team member or anyone else to chase a fleeing shoplifter.
    2. AP shall refer for prosecution all individuals apprehended for retail theft when the value of the merchandise is $20.00 or greater and the case meets local prosecution requirements.
    NOTE: If a case meets/exceeds the $20.00 referral guideline, but is NOT referred, the reason for non-referral must be included in the CIRS narrative. (Example: Local jurisdiction limits require merchandise in excess of $75.00 in order for prosecution.)
    3. A team member witness, of the same gender of the suspected shoplifter , must be present in the room at all times during the detention.
    A. Photographing Shoplifters
    1. Adult shoplifters – AP shall photograph all adult shoplifters unless prohibited by local statutes or ordinances.
    2. Team Member Shoplifters – AP will not photograph any team member apprehended for shoplifting during working or non-working hours.
    3. Juvenile Shoplifters – AP will not photograph any juveniles apprehended for shoplifting, unless required by local statutes or ordinances.


    Take a look at:


  104. Thaddeus says:

    I was just in there over the weekend and have shopped there enough to just expect the receipt to be checked on the way out. The fact that they decided to freak out as much as they did has made me think about ever shopping there again.

    You may not take it to court, but they just lost TWO customers.

  105. Jiminy Christmas says:

    @hibiscusroto: Wasn’t this basically the plot of Inside Man? (The bank heist movie with Clive Owen.)

    As for this receipt-checking fiasco: I side with the people who realize that ‘company policy’ doesn’t have the force of law.

    Another thing: this whole receipt-checking business is just another hallmark of the long decline of retailing. It’s along the same lines as bagging your own groceries and ringing up your own purchases. The retailers ‘keep prices low’ by shifting costs, in terms of time and hassle, onto their customers! If you were to write a list of all the things customer service used to include that customers now have to do for themselves the list would be as long as your arm.

    Look at it this way: If the company had an effective loss prevention program in place they wouldn’t have to hassle their customers with receipt checks. Instead, we all get conscripted into helping TigerDirect, Best Buy, et al. do security a little more cheaply.

  106. skrom says:


    You’re not losing ANY rights, If you dont like the policy then dont shop there. But if you insist on shopping there after knowing they check receipts and complain about it then youre an idiot

  107. Jon Parker says:

    I’ve shown my receipts, and I’ve walked right past them. I bought something at one of the big box stores one busy day, and there was a freaking line to show receipts. If it’s a two second deal, fine, but no way am I standing in line to do it.

    I had a another security guy, who didn’t ask me for a receipt at the door because he was busy talking to someone else, follow me screaming into the parking lot asking for it. I said no and got in my car.

  108. RetailVeteran says:


    Actually, he was illegally detained, if the original account is accurate. He declined the receipt check politely and the guard moved to prevent exit from the store. After the OP pressed the issue, the security guard summoned more employees and the manager to prevent the OP from leaving. That’s unlawful detainment.

    I live near this store. I saw a few other people who said they did too. If anyone would like to make a coordinated trip there to buy something small and remind their security of their jobs (observe and report), I’m game. Does Tiger Direct sell small, cheap parts like resistors? I know that the Frys in Downers Grove does. (Side note, Frys does receipt checks, but they’re cool if you just say “no thanks.”)

  109. Mojosan says:

    Author is a tool with too much free time.

    The receipt check is to make sure you’re not in cahoots with a cashier who rings up $2.00 items while you load laptop computers in your cart.

    And when you smugly reply, “not my problem” I assume you’d feel the same way if you were being mugged on a streetcorner while people walked by and said “not my problem.”

    If you disagree with store policy, shop elsewhere.

  110. jollymonjeff says:

    To the OP. I agree with your thoughts and actions.
    Could you more fully describe how you were prevented from leaving the store? Exactly how were you physically restrained?
    Thanks and Best of luck.

  111. erratapage says:

    Oddly enough, I was just shopping at Tiger Direct for a couple monitors for my law office. When I read this article, I sent them an email informing them that I would not be purchasing my monitors at a business that detains customers without probable cause.

    Do I have enough to do without complicating my life with such matters? Sure. But, life is more satisfying when you act on matters that you are passionate about. I happen to be passionate about privacy and freedom.

    If Shaneal doesn’t stand up for her rights, who will?

  112. Scott says:

    Filing a Small Claims case in Dupage County is actually surprisingly efficient. Small claims cases in Illinois are capped at $10,000.00. You could be done with the whole thing in a matter of months. The complaint for unlawful detention and slander should be pretty simple. The court house also has a very nice law library.

    These books should get you started:
    IICLE book on CIVIL PRACTICE (IL) (book for information on the actual procedures)
    “Trial Handbook for Illinois Lawyers”

    Also check out the NOLO.com website for info on small claims court.

    Best case scenario, you get a default judgment because they failed to appear.

  113. smallestmills says:

    Granted, some stores experience more shoplifting than others, but it’s unfair to punish 95% of the clientele for the 5% that are shoplifting. I have worked in stores that experience more shoplifting than other stores, but it’s only coming down to 10% of your loss (shrink in retail speak). Most theft is internal and most loss is paperwork errors and accountability. Good for you on not showing your receipt. Take your dollars elsewhere. It’s worth the gas money to not be humiliated every time you want to buy something.

  114. FREAKHEAD says:

    @Mojosan: how can a store policy over-ride the constitutional protection of unreasonable search and seizure. Again they can ask but you can say no. If they can’t trust their employees and their Point of Sale software is so bad that they can change the price of a plasma tv to $2.00, my receipt is the least of their problems.

  115. revanche says:

    It’s a very simple process.

    I give the store money, they give me the product.

    That is the whole transaction.

    At no point in this do I agree to help them with their loss prevention / security efforts, clean up the parking lot, restock the shelves or any other task that is primarily their responsibility as owners of a business.

  116. bnosach says:

    It’s not standing up for his rights, it’s just that he is a moron. Imagine that I own a store that has “no smoking” sign on the door, and you walk in knowing that and having a cigarette in your mouth just to piss me off. Was it done intentionally? Of course. As same as this guy did. So, this is not about your right, it’s about being disrespectful.

  117. ThyGuy says:

    Fine, use your right to be a jackass and refuse to let them see your receipt. You are obviously one of those assholes on the road that will cause a accident to save three extra seconds. While you are arguing with the guard, I’ll be showing my receipt, going out the door and be driving away, while you’re still arguing with the guard over your -right-.

    Honestly, everyone that stand up to their right to do this are the fucking morons here. Do us a favor, bitch about how everyone in this state is forced to have car insurance.

  118. Sudonum says:

    yeah and I guess Rosa Parks should have just sat in the back of the damn bus….

  119. enac says:

    The Guard and the Manager both crossed the line.
    Calling the Police was a great move.
    TD is responsible for it’s employees conduct, and subcontractor’s it pays to interface with it’s customers.

    But one thing: -why- do stores check reciepts?

    Prevent shoplifting? Nope, not really. Because as others have mentioned, they don’t really check that closely.

    They check reciepts to keep their -cashiers- honest.

    98% of the time the reciept checker is simply comparing the number of items on a reciept to the number in the bag.

    This started with Warehouse stores I believe; I remember being in college and shopping at Costco for 4 people, we bought a lot of food, beer, paper plates, etc. Pretty much everytime we got home and divied up the reciept, one or two items hadn’t been paid for. That was our “Sale” item/s and who ever’d put it on the list had to put the groceries away.

    Once they started checking reciepts at the door magically we stopped having “Sale” items.

    And consider this;

    You’re 16 years old, get a job at the Target as a cashier and one day a semi-friend (or a pretty girl) from high school comes through your line with a bunch of CD’s. This ‘friend’ whispers, “Hey, how about not ringing everything, k?” Not a fun place to be if you’re an honest sort.

    However, I’m -not- condoning this particular incident. And I agree with the several posters who liken the, “Just show the damn reciept” comments to how the 5th ammendment is getting treated like a chew toy by “our” government.

    The sad fact is “common sense” has become rarer than a honest politician.

    Common Sense would have stores like TD, Fry’s, Costco etc. put up a clearly worded signs explaining why they want to check your reciept, inform you that it ultimately keeps down the prices and simply -asks- for your cooperation.

    Just the same I support those of you who refuse to show your reciepts. And I’ll honestly say, “Thank you” as well because you’re the folks who can’t fathom not being polite (in general) believe that freedom -isn’t- free and make great neighbors; if your kid breaks my window I won’t have to sue you, you won’t block my driveway without asking and you’ll call the cops if you see someone breaking in.

    You’re good people. Just remain thoughtful regarding slippery slopes.

  120. chop88 says:

    Shaneal, now i usually don’t comment but this is one of those stories that needs a comment. It seems to me that your broke and you need some money, therefor you acted stupid to be able to sue a big company. I mean if you have no money its a well thought out plan but how low do you have to be to pull off a stunt like that. You have to be lower than dirt! Please answer this question. What was so difficult about showing the guy your receipt? You probably WERE shoplifting because no one with the very least bit of common sense would deny to show a receipt. This has gotta be one of worst stories I’ve ever heard. This is why America is what it is because of people like you who do retarded things just to sue (aka easy way to get money). This is the land of the free but there is no freedom.
    Good luck and have a nice day.

  121. Dranzerk says:

    Just show him the receipt and stop being a moron. Case closed.

    Take a few minutes next time out of your precious day being a jerkface and let them look at your receipt. I bet you would do the same thing to the little old lady at wal-mart asking to see your receipt.

    I don’t know if Tigerdirect does profit sharing, but in are local walmart, because of stupid laws enacted that don’t let us search we lose hundred dollars or more on bonuses because of theft. Even walmarts have CLOSED down in some parts of cities because of to much in theft, because protecting customer’s so called “rights to steal”.

    Try removing the “me” attitude.

  122. Lorticon says:

    Playing Devils Advocate: For all we know Shaneal is a party to a ruse to create a diversion to allow 5 other guys out of the store loaded with merchandise. Unpaid for, of course.

    But, I agree, unless the policy is written on the wall, they have no right to detain.

  123. zippyglue says:

    I keep walking when one of those embarrassing store alarms go off. I used to be a typical shopper who would stand there like a deer in the headlights waiting for someone to do something about the alarm.

    Then one day I bought a box of condoms at Wal-Mart and the clerk didn’t bother to deactivate the alarm that was hidden in the box. The alarm went off and in an instant it hit me that they would be publicly inspecting my box of condoms and my receipt — so I kept walking. Nothing happened, no one said anything, no one came after me. Ever since that day I walk right on through when those alarms go off. I know that I didn’t steal anything, so if they want to chase me, let them.

    Just a few days ago I purchased a saw at Home Depot and the clerk had not deactivated the alarm so it went off. I nonchalantly walked right on out the door. I refuse to be embarrassed and treated like a criminal when I did not do anything wrong.

  124. psennett says:

    Well, on the other hand, you could have just showed them the receipt and been out the door in about ten seconds. But as you felt the need to create a major kerfuffle, I can only assure you that I appreciate you leaving some bargains for me. I’m quite sure your moment of “sticking it to the man”, which turned into ten hours of rabblerousing and making and waiting for phone calls has somehow recharged your self-esteem.

    As for me, as long as a store is checking 100% of the receipts and keeps their prices low (see, receipt-checking is done in part to discourage neer-do-wells from visiting there), I’m happy to CHOOSE to buy from that retailer. And you are free to NOT shop there, which seems to be the accommodation reached.

  125. Dranzerk says:

    So you don’t help them by reporting shoplifting to management you see? We call that something else in the real world…unreasonable person.

    You sound like the type, who sees some recalled toy stuffed behind a item that no one sees then take a picture of it and post in on this site and claim such and such store still stocking recalled toys. Its unreasonable, and downright moronic.

  126. ThyGuy says:

    @Sudonum: Yeah… using the Rosa Park situation to compare with this unbelievably minuscule situation… fantastic. Because this has everything to do with human rights. I can see humanitarian groups flocking to protest about this. /sarcasm

  127. Frostberg says:

    Wow. The shopper is a huge prick. Maybe he should just show his stupid receipt. What is the cashier missed an item? Then he might feel better for not stealing. Or worse, what if a cashier scanned something twice. It would be hard to plead your case that you didn’t buy 2 of something. Or get on with your life and follow the stores policy or dont shop there. If it is their policy to check receipts, then you agreed to their policy by shopping there. What an idiot.

  128. Wubbytoes says:

    What a bunch of jerks. Thankfully, there are plenty of other places to shop.

  129. Frostberg says:

    If it is their policy don’t you think you agree to their policy by purchasing the items. After all what is so hard about showing your receipt? A lot of stores have this policy. Its not groundbreaking and too much to ask.

  130. OMG!Nirian says:

    i agree with all of you who said “you didn’t have to show it” anyone who does that is trying compensate for an unnaturally small penis,if i am at walmart and was asked for me to show them a receipt and i do not want to than by law i am not required to (unless they knew for a fact that i did indeed steal something) and them physically prevent me from leaving the store because i am defending my rights than why is it me that is the bad guy and to RAWSTEAK your a f^%king idiot, he has no good reason why he should have to put up with that and to SIXDUST awesome story and i 100% agree with you

  131. Falconfire says:

    @FREAKHEAD: Is it at all shocking to see this many people not care about their rights? Have we not seen the clusterfuck that is the last 8 years to show Americans dont believe in the constitution or freedom anymore?

    Doesnt shock me in the least that so many people have no problems telling people to wipe their ass with the freedoms our forefathers fought for. Its quite sad to look back at all the things we fought for in the Revolution, and to see companies and our government do the EXACT same things today, yet people are like “you should have just shown the receipt”

    Hi tea stamps anyone? Some of you people posting on here make me sick.

  132. Sudonum says:

    Its the same principle, standing up for your rights. All Rosa Parks had to do was go sit in the back of the bus and her life would have much less complicated. I think it’s a very apt analogy. Apparently you don’t because it makes your position look weak.

  133. ThyGuy says:

    @FALCONFIRE: Funny, your post made me feel the same way.

  134. Don Roberto says:

    If they demand a receipt, I happily show it to them, then immediately ask where the returns counter is located.

    Same thing if they ask for ID on a SIGNED credit card. I show ID and politely ask for them to void the transaction and walk out.

    If they don’t trust me, why should I trust them?

  135. TimSPC says:

    @revanche: you hit the nail on the head.

  136. sifr says:

    Best Buy did this to me last year. I also had the police respond. Except the police kept insisting that “it’s store policy…”.

    And I had a copy of the relevant sections of California Penal Code with me.

    I haven’t set foot (literally; I refuse to cross the threshhold) in a Best Buy since. If they want to help this country become a police state, they can do it without me funding it.

  137. binaryspiral says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Don Roberto.

    If the policy was on the entrance door when I arrived – then I wouldn’t shop there.

    I’ve told the security guard at BB before “The only person I’m showing my receipt to in this store is the person at the return desk if you don’t let me leave.”

  138. vlan500 says:

    You have spent over 10,000 dollars the last few years and nobody there recognized you? Or tried to vouch for you?

  139. ReccaSquirrel says:

    My personal policy is simple.

    If they want to see my receipt, they get to see it… when they issue a full return of all merchandise. That means they get no money off of me, they waste the time of the original ringing of the cashier. The incident involves a manager who could be getting work done. The time spent returning the item delays other customers. Oh, and I am very vocal about my dissatisfaction both during and after the transaction.

  140. binaryspiral says:

    @Frostberg: That’s the problem you moron… the policy isn’t posted. Show me a store (besides a membership store) that checks your receipts and has it posted anywhere for anyone to see before paying for their items.

    If you do that, then you can post a popular follow up to this story. Until then, you and the rest of you saying “just show the receipt” are ignorant sheep and deserve the world you live in.

  141. upset_Consumer says:

    Naperville is one of the richest town near Chicago. It doesn’t surprise me that this person thought the was better than the security guard trying to do his duty. Many stores in Chicago have the same policy. It’s just easier to show the receipt and leave. Normally I am all for the consumer, but this story is b.s. Sue away, I hope you just get a headache. Just because a person doesn’t make as much as you, doesn’t mean you can treat them any way you want.

  142. Buran says:

    @Tian: “This whole thing could have been avoided if you’d just give up those pesky civil rights of yours” …

    Nice try, troll.

  143. Esquire99 says:

    A lot of people on here have a very distorted perception of the law as a whole. Particularly the expectation that any small violation of their rights be prosecuted by the already overloaded justice system. Unless you have truly been wronged, no one cares. It sucks, but prosecutors and attorneys have better things to do than to go after some minor offense. It would be like the police pulling people over for doing 1mph over the limit. While I’m certainly not one to lay down my rights for anyone, wasting the officers time, the states attorneys times (even with your meaningless phone call), and bothering the bar association about an attorney is beyond reasonable.

  144. Daarken says:

    Apparently the person this article refers to has no idea about theft, and shoplifting. A common shoplifting tactic is for an idividual to have a store bag hidden on them before they enter the store. Then they proceed to stuff it with loot, and exit the premise.
    So when a dilegent security guard decided to request a reciept, and you refused to show it to him. It became a civil issue and your rights as an American citizen (hopefully) have been trampeled apon.
    A good honest citizen who doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder for the man, would have simply showed him the reciept and went on to have a nice day.
    I love the timeline of this incident.
    Considering that store opens at 9am, and you couldn’t possibly get thru with being held against your will for atleast 30 mins.
    Then you spend 4 hours (probably doing the same thing at the local Menards and Wal-Mart), you spend maybe 30 mins dealing with 3 seperate supervisors, on the phone.. and then you wait patiently at home for 2 hours, so you can try to get some poor sucker fired from his job.. Then you spend probably 30 more minutes on hold to elevator music, only to be suckered yourself into waiting 4 more hours for the “boss” to call you.
    Then you spend all this time producing a written statement and detailed timeline on what your version of the story is.. And on top of it you even appear to reply to questions from the poor sap who thinks this is major violation of your constitutional rights.
    Yeah whatever, I can’t wait to see the video posted on youtube..
    So now your in it for the money, and your whiney ass wants an attorney to SUE tigerdirect and some Security guard/Company for doing the job of trying to Save you money. Yes security reduces the cost of items by helping to reduce the amount of stolen merchandise.
    If you do sue and then win, you will probably cause tigerdirect to jack up thier prices even more, along with all the other retail chains, because then they can let a pack of nerds walk out of thier store carrying stolen barbie laptops and hello kitty monitors.
    Good Job Sir

  145. sly100100 says:

    @Freedomboy: yea’ that would make me feel real good. You know they say those magnets can do all kinds of amazing things, especially to electronics lol

  146. PapaGanoosh says:

    Normally I dont write comments on anything but this particular article is a little troubling, so here I go. (Oh yeah Gizmodo rocks!!) I cant believe that most of you are upset that the person didnt show the receipt. This shows what spineless sheep some of you are.

    The fact of the matter is that NO ONE has the right to detain you except law enforcement. Showing your receipt to a guard on your way out of a store that you just bought something from, is a courtesy, not a requirement, and is an inconvenience. NO ONE is supposed to stop you, let alone yell at you and call you a thief right after you just purchased something.

    I honestly am shocked and appalled that some of you out there are this passive on something that to me is an intrusion on my privacy. I just bought something, now I need to show you what I bought so I can leave your store? Really? How’s that work? I mean, I just BOUGHT it, it’s MINE, I dont need to show you ANYTHING.

    @RAWSTEAK, if someone asks you for ID when you are making a credit card purchase and your card is not signed…fine, show em ID. However if your card IS signed and they still ask for ID, then that is a bit of a problem and you should have your credit card company take care of that. There is a reason why you sign a receipt, and that is so that the clerk can match the sig on the back of your card with that on the receipt, and of course to verify your purchase. Even if they hit you with the old “store policy says blah blah” there is still no need to show ID unless they have a big sign that says “CUSTOMERS MUST SHOW ID WITH ANY CREDIT CARD PURCHASE”…but I know you know that and you were being a dick for fun.

    Anyway, I wish Shaneal all the best in this situation, and hope she keeps us updated.

  147. EtherealStrife says:

    @Alvis: I am 100% in agreement, this is ridiculous. To all those hating on shaneal: GTFO of the Western world. I hear Iraq has some openings.

    No violation of rights is acceptable, regardless of the size or scope.

  148. Slytherin says:

    @Cthulhubot: I agree. All of this shit just because Shaneal didn’t want to spend less than 5 seconds to show a receipt. I swear, some people really chap my ass!

    If he proceeds with a lawsuit, Shaneal will be taunted just as much as the stupid judge who tried to sue for millions for a pair of pants.

  149. Slytherin says:

    @upset_Consumer: Note to self: People in the Chicago metro area are nothing but cry babies (can you say Marshall Fields aka Macy’s?) and drama queens.

  150. curmudgeon5 says:

    @Skrom, you asked “Who says it is voluntary. I’m sure not the store.” The LAW says it’s voluntary. The Washington Post wrote about this a while ago – you can read the article here:

    I’m baffled at how many people in this thread think everyone should do what they’re asked to do simply because someone asks them to do it. I’m entitled to walk out of a store without being stopped and forced to do something for the store’s convenience. They are welcome to ask, and we are welcome to decline.

  151. emax4 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that he should have just shown the receipt, but I understand that he was standing up for his rights. I think most of the posters forget that he quoted himself by saying:

    “I’ve spent easily over $10,000 in the last few years at Tigerdirect.”

    I find it hard to believe that he was never approached to show his receipt upon leaving the building anytime he shopped there before, unless of course a security guard was just placed on the premises after the last time he shopped there and this time. I agree that it was wrong for the manager to berate him, especially in front of other shoppers. That just gives bad business for him.

    What about the security guard though? He has rights too. Does he risk losing his job because he failed to stop someone who didn’t show their receipt, therefore giving him and the manager the impression that he stole something? Or does he risk losing his job by going “above and beyond” what his job duties are in order to lower shrink and keep prices at a fair level for customers?

    Waiting for four hours to report it? That doesn’t sound like that serious of an issue to me. Then he has the balls to ask the police officer to arrest the security guard. Since when do ordinary citizens have authority over police officers? Maybe I should rob a bank and tell the arriving police officers to just go home for the day.

    What damages did he suffer? Embarrassment? That’s life, dude. Being held back? If I’m traveling someone and get held up in traffic due to a car accident, does that mean that I have the right to sue those involved in an accident because they’re holding me back from reaching my destination in the time that I expected? That’s a frivolous lawsuit, and readers of the Consumerist know about frivolous lawsuits, especially Mr. Fancy Pants.

    Like I said earlier, you had your right not to show the receipt, but it’s in the right of the business to run the business as they see fit. Any business reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. If I have my own business and demand that customers gawk like a chicken when they first come in the door in order to be served, that’s my call. I wouldn’t have any customers, but it’s my business and I can run it the way I want to.

    I worked at Guitar Center, and we asked customers to show their receipt in order to deter thieves. What customers didn’t know was that it helped cut costs down. When customers (and employees) steal, the store must raise prices in order to compensate for their losses. Ok, so the guy probably didn’t steal, but the staff knows what security guard are there for. So, when they see someone not present a receipt, what do you think their first thought is?

    As far as taking your business elsewhere, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. He spent thousands of dollars there, and I’m assuming price was one reason. Now because he wants to do things his own way (what harm is there in showing a receipt?) he’ll go somewhere else, probably somewhere with slightly higher prices. And if he decides to shop online, well.. heh, good luck trying to return something to a brick-and-mortar store after you’ve bought something online.

    You can stand up for your rights, but don’t bitch and moan about how you get treated afterwards.

  152. hushed13 says:

    There is only one place I shop that does this. Fry’s. I always put my receipt in the bag when I head to the exit. If they ask for the receipt, I make them dig it out of the bag. If they are checking someone else, I just walk past. I also keep walking, if the receipt checker is 10 feet away chatting up some hot coworker.

    I fully support the OP. He was well within his rights. He inspires me to do the same. If you don’t stand up for their rights, they might aswell not exist.

  153. cp87 says:

    I think that the Consumerist should remove the security guard’s name. Yeah, it was shitty situation, but the guy was enforcing what he understood to be the policy. Shaneal was challenging it and the guard probably was surprised and confused. Shaneal’s beef is with the store and their policy, not with the guard who was just trying to keep his job.

  154. curmudgeon5 says:

    @ EMAX4:
    Yes, they can absolutely ask him not to shop there if he doesn’t want to follow their policies. They cannot, however, detain him and prevent him from leaving until he complies with their request. That’s the illegal part.

  155. Smashville says:

    The worst is being stopped by the “show your receipt” guy when you haven’t bought anything…

  156. EtherealStrife says:

    @emax4: “Then he has the balls to ask the police officer to arrest the security guard.”

    How is that balls? It’s asking the police officer to do his or her job. The customer/victim is reporting a crime and informing the LEO that they DO intent to press charges for the criminal acts committed against them.

  157. Slytherin says:

    @emax4: Right on!!! You said it all right there.

  158. Buran says:

    @Dranzerk: If the store wants him to do something for them, they can hire and pay him.

  159. TexasScout says:

    You were just being a dickhead. You have an authority complex. You just like pushing the limits of civil society. It’s dicks like you that ruin it for the rest of us.

    You probably get mad when they ask for ID when you pay with a credit card.

  160. Esquire99 says:

    @EtherealStrife: The offended individual does not get to press charges. They simply get to express to the prosecutor that they would like to see that happen. If the prosecutor does not deem it worth of prosecution, it goes away. The officer has some discretion in determining if a real crime was committed, and clearly in this situation they did not see a prosecutable crime. If the officer didn’t see it, it’s damn unlikely the prosecutor will. The officers JOB is not to listen to an upset citizen when making a judgment as to whether an arrest is warranted, it is to use their training and common sense.

  161. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    @Christo67: Exactly.
    Besides, these are not the people to be angry at. To them, it is much better to deal with a jerk in maybe a less than gracious way. I know. I work retail. There are some situations that we have no control over because, unfortunately, people who work in retail do so because they have to eat too. Does Shaneal realize that this security guard and possibly the manager too just had their days ruined by someone who doesn’t have time to be polite?

  162. louballs says:

    I’ll ask my cousin in Iraq what rights he’s fighting for. I can tell you right now he’d puke at the thought of the waste or resources this “case” will bring. He’d probably knock the poster on his ass if he was standing in line behind him. Imagine if everyone that walked out of best buy cried “Stop violating my rights!” How ridiculous. How can people walk through life so concerned with such trivial shit. Don’t you have bigger problems in your life then showing a receipt? Im sure you were the same people in college that would question the professor with no reason at all except to just question it. If you have a valid reason then great, but just to not show a receipt because you dont have to is stupid. ANd i’ll repeat myself again, the reaction after the refusal was uncalled for, but the poster brought upon himself for sure. Shut up and stop being a bunch of pussies.

  163. Alvis says:


    You need an ID to use a credit card now? I have a driver’s license that I leave in the car with my registration, as I only need them to drive.

    I wasn’t aware anyone issued “shopping licenses”.

  164. Alvis says:


    “How can people walk through life so concerned with such trivial shit”

    My ancestors fought and died for that “trivial shit”. There’s a special ring of hell for people like you.

  165. louballs says:

    wife – “honey how was your day today”
    husband – “it was horrible! I had to show a receipt!”
    wife – “oh my god! I hope you sue and waste the judicial system’s time and money.”
    husband – “great idea! Lets go get a grande latte!”

    alvis, im pretty sure this was not the type of shit they fought for…seriously get a reality check

  166. Orchid64 says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the receipt checking isn’t to find out if someone has shop-lifted but rather to make sure that the clerks haven’t made a mistake in ringing the customer’s purchase up. I’m pretty sure this is what the deal is with Costco as the layout and size of the goods generally make theft from there impossible.

    I’m not saying this makes receipt-checking a good thing (I’m actually on the side which believes Americans already surrender too many rights casually because it’s too much trouble to fight) but it may explain why stores do it so casually and so often when it seems relatively pointless, especially when you can be seen paying for your goods.

  167. Slytherin says:

    @Alvis: Blah blah blah.

  168. FredTheCat says:

    I agree that the responses found here are disheartening. “Is it a big deal to just show the receipt?” Nah. It also wasn’t a big deal for Rosa Parks to sit at the back of the bus. Not really a big deal to have your house searched either, so why fight it?

    If we just surrender to injustice and stupidity, that’s what we’ll get. I’m eager to hear what comes of this incident.


  169. hypnotik_jello says:

    @louballs: no one gives a shit about your cousin in Iraq. It has absolutely nothing to do with our rights here, it never did, and never will. Do yourself a favor and go buy an alarm clock. You clearly need to wake up.

    What are you going to do? “Knock me on my ass?” puh-leese.

  170. Crazytree says:

    the following torts were committed against you… LIKELY:

    1. false imprisonment
    2. slander PER SE


  171. louballs says:

    Let’s seriously compare apples to apples here. Rosa Parks was asked to sit at the back of the bus because she was black. Tiger Direct POLITELY asks people to show their receipts because small electronics are VERY expensive and easy to steal. Rosa Parks stood up for her rights because she was being descriminated against. This would be a valid point if five people before the poster did not have to show a receipt and then all of the sudden they singled him out. Now i’ll say this AGAIN the abusive reaction and unlawful detention is wrong, but asking for a receipt is not a big deal. And I don’t want to hear about giving up small rights shit anymore. It’s like the .01% of people in a town that get offended and sue when there is a Christmas parade. Suck it up and contribute something to society.

  172. Buran says:

    @shades_of_blue: Um… so now you blame the victim. Nice.

  173. angelmom1 says:

    Showing a receipt is common in a lot of stores, while in Hawaii, I was ask at most stores even Walmart. You flash the receipt, you go on your way. My take is if you have nothing to hide then it shouln’t bother you to show your receipt, if you don’t like it shop somewhere else. Sounds to me like someone was looking for a reason to sue, and found one at Tiger Direct.

  174. louballs says:

    @hypnotik_jello: @hypnotik_jello: No one gives a shit about my cousin in Iraq? The war he’s fighting may not be for the right reasons but he’s fighting for the stupid ass shit that you believe you’re entitled to. When was the last time you put your life on the line for people who didn’t give a shit about you? And i have no intentions of knocking anyone on their ass.

  175. Buran says:

    @chop88: It’s stupid to exercise your rights? That kind of attitude is why society is going to hell.

  176. louballs says:

    @hypnotik_jello: anyone who disrespects the young people that fight for our country, whatever the reason, doesn’t deserve to be here. people like you make me sick and anyone else who has a problem with our soldiers can go F themselves too.

  177. jinjin1080 says:

    @Falconfire: That Rosa Parks argument is RIDICULUS. The city bus while maybe contracted to a private company is acting as a municpality so it is technically public and paid for by taxes. The store is a privately owned store with it’s own policies. There are ways to solve this issue without resorting to legal action that would waste the court’s time. Write letters to the TD corporate and the security company and never shop there again.

  178. dantsea says:

    Wow, Consumerist commenters sure are a bunch of cowed fucking idiots.

  179. Falconfire says:

    @jinjin1080: A) I never said it dumbass get your comments straight.

    B) Stores can only set policies that do NOT violate laws. Since innocent till proven guilty is a pretty big law in America, you cant “check” someones bags when there is no evidence that said person stole from you UNLESS you sign a agreement waving that right (IE a membership)

    This is not the first time this story has even been on here. It WAS SOP for Best Buy to pull the same shit, but I never see people stopped in NJ anymore since they had a huge confrontation about the policy.

    I have no issues with doing it at Costco or BJs.. but when my local Wallyworld started to do it thats where I draw the line. Its interesting my Walmart is doing it too, as they pretty much put out a corporate policy dictating that they where not doing that anymore.

  180. hypnotik_jello says:

    @louballs: Wow. You took the bait, line, and sinker.

    Do yourself a favor: go find a dictionary and look up the definition of hypocrite.


  181. Groganeer says:

    10 minutes waiting for the pimply faced dope smoker who works the camera desk

    10 more minutes waiting for the high school drop out working the cash register.

    And there’s a ten minute line to get my receipt checked.

    Yeah um no.

    See you can get out of the way, or you can choke on your teeth.

    One of the benefits of being a 6 foot tall 200 pound redneck. When I say no thanks they know I mean NO THANKS.

  182. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I’m going to ask a really controversial question here, and I don’t want anyone jumping down my throat here, but I’m curious…

    What color was the patron?

    And what color was the guard?

    OP – can you shed light on this please?

  183. louballs says:

    I did no such thing and if you were reading this whole time, I agreed that the reaction of the guard and managers was unruly and unconstitutional. Asking to show a receipt in a large store, where it is policy does NOT violate any laws or rights. His rights were violated AFTER he was unlawfully detained, but not when he was asked to show a receipt. And don’t give me that “puuh leese” shit, you limp wristed mary.

  184. louballs says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: that’s a good question, im curious to know also. Though i dont know if it would make a difference. I had to show my receipt at best buy the other day (im white) and if i said no im sure they wouldve made a stink about it.

  185. JRuiz47 says:

    I’m glad to see the new commenting policies have brought forth civil and intelligent posting.

  186. Televiper says:


    I’m sure people who lived through the centuries would be happy to know what you value from all their effort. Honestly, they’re asking to see your receipt, their not searching your belongings or questioning you. They’re asking for your cooperation. Sure, they way they handled this situation was uncalled for. But, it’s at the level of disagreement, of being rowdy. I’m sure your ancestors also fought for a society that was fair, that was civil, and didn’t involve the authorities at every turn. One where people were able to use their own common sense and resolve their problems on their terms. A society you don’t expect people to like your boot heels because of the position they’re in. The slippery slope comes when you have to start legislating because common sense no longer prevailing.

  187. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @louballs: I hate to make assumptions here, but I have a sneaking suspicion I already know the answer to my own question….

  188. AndyAndy719 says:

    Shaneal – I am totally with you. I went into the Tiger Direct store twice in my life. The first time I bought a few things (at the Naperville store) and the people in front of me paid cash for a laptop.

    The cashier was trying to be a hero, and found 2 older $100 bills (the one without the enlarged head). She made a big deal over it, and the supervisor was holding the older bills up to the light to look for the watermark (which didn’t exist on the older bills).

    I spoke up and said the older bills do not have watermarks, and if they’re not properly trained on the identification of counterfeit money they shouldnt play secret service agent (because they were holding up the line as well). The people in front of me were thankful that someone had some sense (me), and finally got to leave.

    I also visited the Orland Park store, where the Securitas security guard stands right by the door, which happens to be 6 steps from the cash register. This is the most absurd thing in the world – is 6 steps really that dangerous? After that, I wont shop there.

    Shaneal (and other people that speak up against the receipt checking) – keep defending your privacy and rights. I’m tired of the irritating republican style “if-you-have-nothing-to-hide-then-submit-to-giving-up-your-rights” attitude. All those people that say “just show your receipt” wouldn’t be all high and mighty if they were waiting to get receipt-searched and had to wait 15 minutes to leave.

    If I buy something, I pay the merchant, the merchant gives me a receipt, thats it. I have no obligation to keep the merchant’s profits up by helping them eliminate shrinkage – that’s their problem, and the cost of doing business (paid by the merchant). Especially when they’re more crooked then than the shoplifters themselves (need we mention rebates, prices not honored, returns promised yet denied for hokey reasons).

    There certainly has been a shift in the attitude of commerce over the years. It went from a responsibility to the customer to a responsibility to the shareholders and bottom line, at the cost of us, the consumer.

  189. louballs says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: whats your assumption, i assumed the person was white. i assumed this because if the person was black then im sure it wouldve already been brought to light in the original post, or al sharpton would have mentioned on the news by now.

  190. louballs says:

    @AndyGoodwin: 15 minutes to show a receipt? where exactly do you shop that it takes this long?

  191. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @louballs: I assume the customer was black and the guard was white. Given these two assumptions being true, I assume the patron views this demand as a “violation of rights” because in his mind he finds this to be racially driven.

  192. Buran says:

    @Lula Mae Broadway: Yes, by all means, clog up the legal system because you enjoy being right!

    Yes, let someone shoot you and walk away unpunished.

  193. AndyAndy719 says:

    @louballs: Fry’s on a sunday, when theres like 3 TVs, and about 8 people behind them – with one commerce security agency employee screening purchases (and armed with one pink highlighter).

  194. louballs says:

    Hopefully some of you people will need to call 911 for an emergency and when cops don’t show up for 15-20 minutes their excuse will be, “sorry, someone didn’t want to show their receipt at TigerDirect.” And i’ll be laughing at you from my private ring in hell.

  195. tobashadow says:

    MY wife will stand there for many many min’s allowing a person to take their time checking what i just bought 10 feet from them.

    I personaly if im not in a hurry and they are polite i will show it but i only allow less then a minute of my time to be waisted on it.

    If a guard kept me from leaving becuase i refused and it was not a store that required it (written notice before entering) then i would warn him once to move then proceed on my way. If he decided to just block my path i would return everything i had just bought giving the reason that i was not allowed to leave with it and make sure everyone in the general area heard that. If he decided to be stuipd and restrain me with force or pull something like pepper spray out and point it at me then he would be staring down the barrel of a legally carry’ed pistol.

  196. louballs says:

    @AndyGoodwin: well damn thats a long time and im sorry you have to go through that.

    Let me just throw this out there for shits and giggles: If showing a receipt violates rights, then doesn’t random searches on airline passengers as well? In the same context neither party has shown a valid reason to be searched, but still are asked to comply. Thoughts?

  197. nctrnlboy says:

    Why is it when a police officer wants to press “petty” charges they get to & are supported by the local DA? Technically… if you touch a cop…. it is assault (I have read plenty of newsstories of cops looking for any excuse to use the law to “punish” a person who pissed them off in some way). Isnt a cop supposed to take some sort of action when the law is broken or your civil rights are trampled upon?

  198. jwissick says:

    If they would have happened in Ca to me, I would have placed the guard under citizens arrest. The officer would have had NO CHOICE but to take the guard to jail and book him. Whether or not the DA prosecutes or not is another story.

    TO those who say just show the reciept, it is people like you who allow our rights to be stripped from us because you refuse to fight to keep them. Its easier just to show the reciept than it is to keep your rights… so you deserve to loose your rights.

    Innocent till proven guilty. That means they have to prove I am a thief… not that I have to prove that I am not a thief.

    As far as suing, call the ACLU. Let them take this one on.

  199. AndyAndy719 says:

    @louballs: A response for your “shits and giggles” – I think the difference between receipt searches and airline passenger screening is the motive. Passenger screening is supposed to be for the good of all the passengers – to ensure the safety of all on the flight.

    A receipt search benefits corporate profits at the expense of the customers. If someone wants to steal, they’re going to steal, hi-lighter be damned.

    Look at this: [retailindustry.about.com]

    Employee theft accounts for much more than shoplifting, yet the people that give the store the revenue stream is the one that gets the shaft.

  200. louballs says:

    Do you guys get mad when you go to the movies, buy a ticket at the window, and then the guy asks to see it and rips it half before you go into the actual theater? I hope you guys all cry civil violations there too.

  201. gatopeligroso says:

    I’ve been to that store once. Never again. You should try Fry’s Electronics in Da Grove. Better selection, competitive prices, just make sure you know exactly what you need. (Sometimes they are way too busy)

  202. louballs says:

    @AndyGoodwin: yeah i agree with you there, but i think my above movie argument is pretty legitimate. both policies are in place to stop unpaying customers, but ive never seen anyone complain at the movies before.

  203. gatopeligroso says:

    @LOUBALLS: Your transaction concludes at the register. Unless they have reason to believe you might be stealing, ie video, witness, they will usually just say nothing if you refuse. That’s why they ask, not demand.

  204. louballs says:

    @gatopeligroso: well ive never seen anyone refuse to show a ticket at the movies i can almost guarantee that if you say no to the guy who rips it in half he will put up a pretty decent fuss about you proceeding forward.

  205. jwissick says:

    @TexasScout: I do get mad when people demand ID when I am not required to show it. He was not being a dick head. He is helping YOU keep YOUR rights. What’s next? Show them the contents of all your bags and pockets at the door too? A frisk by the guard? Letting them search your purse?? Why not? It’s store policy!

    To those who think a store policy is law:
    A policy is not a policy when it violates the law. I could have a policy of no Blacks in my store… is that legal? Would you say the blacks have no right to enter my store?

    I have the right to go where I want and leave when I want unless they want to arrest me… And if they are wrong, they better have good lawyers. Stores have no right to detain anyone just because they refuse to show a receipt… unless they SAW the person steal something… and they BETTER be right.

  206. curmudgeon5 says:

    Let’s check some premises here: People are arguing over whether or not a store can legally require this. This is not an open question; it has already been determined that stores cannot legally require it, unless they have a pre-signed contract with you, such as Costco. Newspapers have reported on this fact previously (see the Washington Post link I posted earlier).

    So the people claiming stores have the “right” to require this are wrong. Now, they do have the right to REQUEST this — but if customers refuse, the stores have to let them go on their way.

    All of the above is objective fact; look at the newspaper coverage of it.

    So if you want to argue about it, the only arguable point is whether or not people should bother refusing the request. Many of us here prefer not to be inconvenienced by these requests and consider them yet one more way stores are changing the ways they treat customers; we choose not to play, because the law gives us the right to make that choice. If you’re willing to play along, good for you — but it makes no sense to disparage people who would rather not. It reminds me of the way stores now ask for your phone number before a transaction; I see no reason to make my transaction take longer in order to assist the store with their marketing efforts, and I always refuse.

  207. jwissick says:

    Ticket != receipt.

    The receipt they give me at the theater is the receipt. The ticket grants me access. The Apples and oranges.

    If they asked to see the ticket AND receipt, then we would have a problem.

  208. rawsteak says:

    @jwissick: stop being uppity about your “rights.” it’s a stupid piece of paper that proves a transaction took place for goods and services. your right to free speech is not being taken away. the store is not prohibiting you from practicing your religion before shopping there and taking your money. you’re not even asked for ID to confirm that you’re the same person that paid with that credit card. please, for the love of the constitution, show me where it says i have the right to keep my purchases secret from the same store i just entered, and I’ll gladly fight it with tooth and nail to support it.

  209. curmudgeon5 says:

    It IS the law that stores can’t require this. See
    So now are you ready to “fight tooth and nail to support it,” as you mentioned above?

  210. rdm7234 says:

    I find the customer’s behavior in this situation reproachable.

    1) Not showing a receipt. Why? Why? Do you enjoy being a jerk? Sure, you may be within your rights (I’m no legal scholar, so I don’t know if that’s the case). But you had no real interest in witholding your receipt. We have every right to insult everyone you meet on the streets, but most of us have the sense not to.

    2) You called 911, diverting the police from things like, say, homicides.

    3) You were far too impatient in expecting a call back within 2 hours. I mean, that’s just crazy.

    4) You are wasting the State Attorney’s time too. Shouldn’t he (or she) be doing things, like prosecuting criminals?

    Really, are you a professional nuissance-maker? Do you enjoy wasting public resources? Would you really want everyone to behave like you? Could you even stand it?

  211. mrstu says:

    When a low level retail employee quotes “Corporate Policy” and refuses to budge or compromise, they are NOT trying to be stubborn. Odds are good, they actually WANT to help you, but for them, “Corporate Policy” is law. Your cashier/door person/return counter person/sales floor guy DOES NOT HAVE THE OPTION to make exceptions to corporate policy. If they bend the rules for you without a managers approval, THEY ARE RISKING THEIR JOB. If they tell you “I have to follow this rule, but a manager might be able to make an exception for you”, THEY ARE RISKING THEIR JOB. If they IN ANY WAY suggest that they think the corporate policy is stupid, or wrong, or silly, THEY ARE RISKING THEIR JOB. If they even offer to call over a manager to resolve the situation for you, and you havn’t asked for one or become angry, THEY ARE RISKING THEIR JOB. An example: Best Buy sells items that are returned as open box. There is a fixed percentage they take off the price of these items, depending on what the item is. If the item is damaged, or discolored, or in any way in less then ideal condition, and you ask the manager for a bit more off, odds are, he’ll take off another 5 or 10 percent for you, just to move the item. That said, a home theater employee at my store got fired not three months ago. The reason? He was selling an open box TV that had an ugly scratch in the plastic below the screen. The TV worked fine, and the customer had pretty much decided to buy it for the posted open box price. The salesperson, trying to be a nice guy, offered to ask a manager to take a bit more off because of the scratch. The manager did so, but later heard from another salesperson that the customer had not asked for the discount, and had seemed likely to buy it anyway. Thats all it took to get someone fired. Corporate policies are at stores to maximize profits. These policies also allow Managers to override them if they think it will mean more money in the long run (customer retention, closing a big sale, etc). However, they try to minimize this AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. If a manager thinks that line level employee is contributing to too many “exceptions”, they can and probobly will just fire them and hire someone else. And employees are discouraged from involing a manager if the customer has not asked for one or has not become mad. They are expected to do their very best to minimize “exceptions”.If you get the corporate policy line from a low level employee, getting mad at them will do no good. Regardless of how much or how little they want to help you, THEY CANNOT IF CORPORATE POLICY FORBIDS THEM FROM DOING SO. When you hear “corporate policy” from a cashier/etc., thats their way of telling you “I dont have the power to help you any further, you need to ask for a manager”.

    My apoligies for the rant, but I see this every day at work, and trust me… we know that a lot of the policies are silly. We know they can be a pain in the ass, a lot of the time, they are for us as well. We would LOVE to cut you a break. But we also want to keep our jobs.

  212. smanek says:

    Hello all, this is Shaneal (the original poster). I’d just like to answer a few of the questions that some of you brought up. Before I do so, I’d just like to say thanks, and thanks for all the support.

    For starters, I don’t believe (nor do I have any reason to believe) this was racially motivated. I am Indian, and the Guard was White, but they ask everyone to show receipts on the way out.

    Secondly, the reason I didn’t show my receipt is simple enough: I didn’t want to. The store has no right to force me to (although they do have every right to ask, and I have every right to decline). I was polite (saying please, thank you, and sir) until I was slandered and called a thief, and yelled at. It is true that I have submitted to their requests in the past, but the guard was exceptionally rude to me the last time I was there and I saw no reason to extend courtesy to him when he would not do me the same favor.

    Third, I agree that Tigerdirect is a private corporation and thus not subject to the 4th amendment, which only protects citizens from governmental searches and seizures. However, in my understanding of the law, the worst they can do to me is kick me out/ban me from the store (which they did). I have no problem with that, since I have no intent to ever return, and will gladly drive the extra 10 minutes to Fry’s. The second they forcibly detained me, without reasonable grounds to believe I shop lifted, they broke the law.

    Fourth, what I hope to get out of this is simple: I want them to change their policy and apologize. Note that I first attempted to contact Tigerdirect and Securitas directly. Then I talked to a State’s Attorney. Only after that did I even look into a civil suit (on the recommendation of the State’s Attorney). If I were to win some sort of monetary settlement (which I find to be unlikely in the extreme), I would donate the winnings to some worthy organization like the ACLU.

    As for the point about random searches in other places, a corporation has every right to ask me to consent to a search. If I decline, they can kick me off their property/ban me, but they can not forcibly detain me. It would be like (I hate analogies, as they always turn into strawmen, but here we go anyways) me inviting you over to my house for drinks and asking you to use a coaster. If you don’t use a coaster I can kick you out and file a civil suit for damages, but I can not use force against you.

    Also, I did not steal anything. The Officer and my receipts agree with me on that. It is true that the last receipt at the cashiers station was only for two items and I was carrying three items. I had bought three items, two for me and one for a small business I do tech support on the side for. I always get a separate receipt for clients, so they can keep it in their records/claim a deduction. Note that the security guard and manager didn’t know any of this when they detained me. It was only after I had been detained that someone went back to check the cashier I was at for the last receipt.

    Finally, I do feel bad about using the guards name. I didn’t include it in my original tip, but Ben asked and I answered. I don’t feel I open myself up to any liability because the truth is always an absolute defense against libel/slander. Their own security cameras and cashiers will agree with my version of events.

    Thanks again for all the support and questions.

  213. delphi_ote says:

    Why not show the receipt? Our laws are based on the premise that we’re innocent until proven guilty.

    Surrendering those rights under intimidation to someone who isn’t even a law enforcement officer sets a very bad precedent.

  214. Havok154 says:

    So….what were you stealing again?

  215. mrstu says:

    When stores ask for a phone number, it’s not necessarily for marketing purposes. As an example, I shop at Lowes a lot, usually for little things, so I usually pay in cash. They take my phone number when I make a purchase, but I’ve never gotten a call from them. I HAVE, however, discovered that if I lose my recipt and want to return something, I can do so, because they can use my phone number to look up my transaction.

  216. louballs says:

    @jwissick: If ticket = receipt then whats the difference. A person at that establishment who did not ring you up is asking to see your ticket/receipt to enter the theater, even though you just paid for it and it is now your property. Same shit different story.

  217. hwsvin says:

    I would have to agree with sticking up for your rights if you believe you are being wronged. Too many men have given their lives for us to have this incredible gift of freedom… lets not take it for granted.

  218. darkclawsofchaos says:

    Should just hand him the receipt if you are not carrying much, but he doesn’t get to touch your bag. And if you are carrying a lot or something heavy, demand that they hold it for you or they don’t get your receipt. Usually they don’t like to hold it or even ask for an employee to help you bring it to your car if it is heavy so they don’t bother then or if they help you lift it to your car, show them the receipt for free labor (it works be it a 22″ lcd in which they left me alone, or an air conditioner as they did send an employee to hold it in a cart at the front door so I can drive my car up and they even help me load it into the car). And say it with confidence, being sheepish will only allow them to make you bend to their will.

  219. delirium says:

    My GAWD, what a bunch of sheeple. Just look what you idiots have done and are doing to this once great, and once “free” country by your “just show the receipt and make nice attitudes”. You are conditioned to these apathetic views on what is and is not a civil liberties and/or American constitutional rights issue.
    ALL of these “no big deal” just comply if you have nothing to hide responses to the OP are revolting to say the least. You lazy cheetos eating slobs are so ignorant.
    I used to wonder HOW did it come to this in this society that once was truly striving to be the land of the free- not like nowadays in this corporatocracy that we’ve become… but then I watched in disbelief as you dumb-fucks RE-elected the idiot prince, and now reading your ridiculous mutterings here I will wonder no more. Now back to your regular “programming”

  220. sfreak says:

    My brother made an interesting point about private property (he just challenged a store on this same point). Once you have exchanged your money for their goods/services, the deal is done and the items are now your private property. In short, what is in the bag is now yours, and no one has any right to force you to show them what is in there. If they want to see your items, tell them they can have them back at and if they agree, the items are theirs. After all, a deal is a deal.

    Great story, keep up the good fight!

  221. Theora says:

    Bravo to you for standing up for your rights. Boo to those who keep saying “why didn’t you just show your receipt?” I bet you’re the same sort of people who let bored cops search your car every time you get pulled over because you “have nothing to hide.”

    You shouldn’t let an “authority figure” hassle you without reason. It reinforces their idea that they can crap all over the general public because the vast majority of them will roll over and take it because “it’s just easier” than standing up for yourself.

  222. doofusgumby says:

    geeze. you idiots hafta make me say it again.

    FUCK YOU IDIOTS IN THE NECK. I’m not showing nothing to some rentacop at the door when I paid for my purchase. FUCK them, FUCK you, and FUCK the dumbass mule you rode in on.

  223. jwissick says:

    @louballs: Ticket != receipt means the ticket does NOT equal receipt. You do not buy entrance to a movie. You buy a ticket which is EXCHANGED for ENTRANCE to a movie.

    @rawsteak: Read Amendment IV to the US Const. You’re consenting to a search without probable cause

    Want a reason why showing a receipt is crap?? Read this: [blogs.mercurynews.com]

    The only purpose of the receipt check is to intimidate people. Unless you are going to look into my bag too and compare the contents to the list of items on the receipt, there is NO reason for checking a receipt. NONE except to intimidate.

    Touch me and it’s assault. If you detain me it is illegal detainment / arrest AND more than likely illegal search and seizure.

    Don’t let these stores chip away at your rights. Rights that you give away are meaningless. Rights exercised are rights kept. Don’t let fear of ‘being difficult’ keep you from doing it. STAND UP for YOUR rights.

  224. Bruce says:

    I can’t beleive the sheer number of people here that do not have a spine, a clue or the willingness to stand up for their rights. You do not understand how *valuable* those very rights are. Visit a totalitarian country sometime as I have while serving in the Military, it’ll open your eyes. People *DIED* to protect those very rights you so willingly give up to some minimum wage tin badge wearing loser.

    There is a word to describe you, it’s called Sheeple, you do as you’re told, submit to indignities and are generally led around by the nose.

    When it comes to merchandise ownership, you people need to read the UCC, the Uniform Commerce Code, in that federal law, it explicitly outlines how and when ownership of merchandise is transferred from a seller to a buyer in a retail environment.

    Once you own the property, you don’t have to prove you own it, THEY HAVE TO PROVE YOU STOLE IT.

    When it comes to shoplifting and PROVING you stole it, there are six universally accepted steps that must be met to legally detain someone under suspicion of shoplifting. From reading the original poster’s entry, those steps were NOT followed. OP’s rights were violated.


    “But Costco…” Costco shoppers agreed to Costco’s terms and conditions in writing, It’s a membership CLUB, it’s not a retail store.

    I can already hear some or your rebuttals now, “You’re not a lawyer!”. Absolutely correct! I have a brain, I know how to read, research, comprehend what I’ve read and I think for myself.

    It’s not required that you be a licensed and bonded plumber to know when something stinks.

    Standing up for your rights is one of the most American things a person can do. Sheeple make me sick.

    If everybody allows themselves to be searched at a whim, then that becomes the new accepted standard when there is no legal justification for it. At what point will you have to carry proof of ownership for everything you have on your person, the iPod or cell phone in your pocket, the shoes on you feet? Where will it end?

    Your papers please! *NOT* in my country!

  225. Cap says:

    oh snap. and the world thinks America is a litigious society. no idea where they got that from.

    you know you have it good and that you’re living a great life when an issue in your life involves being yelled at when you don’t show a piece of paper.

    there’s 217 (+1) comments on this.

    give it a few weeks and no one (including the OP), would really give a damn about this. if you do, then you may have an interesting sense of priority.

  226. ct03 says:

    Holler at the Rosa Parks analogy. Just because it’s not as nobly based as Civil Rights doesn’t mean it’s not worth standing up for yourself.

  227. mistical says:

    Thank God I no longer shop at Tiger Direct. I find that the prices are too high, especially when combined with the local tax of Naperville, especially if combined with shipping. I’ve been to the Naperville, IL store (the one the article speaks of) and the Orland Park store. Now I resort to shopping at Newegg. <3 I am considering making a return to the stores, though, just to make a small purchase and refuse to show my receipt. I want to give them a hard time and see what happens from there. (As well as see if the same guard is at the door.) If they hassle me, I will do what one of the other commenters suggested, walk it back up to the customer service counter and ask for a return. (And say I opted to make a purchase from another retailer, like Newegg.) Seeing that most likely the visit will warrant a reassurance in my choice in shopping with them for all my tech needs.

  228. louballs says:

    I really don’t think its valid to say that your being hassled. I think if someone says “may i see your receipt” it shouldn’t be constituted as a form of harrassment. I guess it really comes down to how you look at it. I see it as a deterrent for thieves, so for this I will comply. It is not the case when I get pulled over and a cop asks to search my car without probable cause as a deterrent for thievery. So to those who call me “sheep” you don’t know anything. I’ve been up against the opposite side of the law a few times just to stand up for what I believe in. The only difference is that I take each individual situation and evaluate the importance of it. I’m pretty much a firm believer in live and let live. I don’t know maybe I’m too laid back in thinking life is too short and precious to start a huge fuss over a receipt. NOT THE REACTION TO NOT SHOWING THE RECEIPT, BUT THE RECEIPT SHOWING ITSELF. And please stop comparing it to Rosa Parks, if this person was singled out of crowd to show a receipt then that is a valid point. HOwever from my experiences they usually do not discriminate on who has to show a receipt and who does not. And whoever started bringing up Republican/Democrat stuff just shut up. Republicans do stupid shit and Democrats bitch about it, but do nothing exept complain like old ladies. I didn’t vote last election and will continue not to vote until there’s a candidate worth voting for runs, which probably won’t happen until the flawed 2 party system is dismantled and we vote on individuals not parties.

  229. jwissick says:

    @rdm7234: Don’t call 911 when you are being illegally detained because it might divert the police from Homicides??? Whisky Tango Foxtrot??

    And if my daughter is being raped should she not call the police because it might divert them from something else??

    If they have time to write tickets and do DUI check points (which is unconstitutional as well), then they have time to come to my aid when I am being illegally detained and arrest the person detaining me.

    The bleating of the sheep in here is deafening… No wonder this country is going to shit…. 1/4 of you think the stores ‘policy’ trumps your civil rights. Another 1/4 have no f-ing clue what your rights are!! I am ashamed of all you who think the store was in the right. Don’t you DARE call yourself Americans Citizens or Patriots. You do not deserve the title.

  230. Whoa says:

    @Bruce: [I’m not a lawyer, but…]

    AAarrrghhh! I’m not a plumber, and even though I can tell when something stinks, I (generally) don’t pretend to know how to fix it, or exactly what the problem is (unless, I’m trying to like, impress a girl or something. yeah).

    How many times do people have to point out that the Constitution is in place to protect people from actions (e.g. unreasonable search and seizure) by the federal government, and not private entities? Somehow I think this won’t be the last.

    How is being asked to show a receipt being “searched at a whim?”

    And, you were also wrong about the UCC. It’s not federal law, although most States have adopted it or something similar. See this (Wikipedia article). And even if they have, shoplifting is not a federal offense; it is governed by State law.

    No one should blindly follow the rules just becuase they are there. And no one should blindly disobey them either.

  231. MommaJ says:

    Shaneal alleges to have already spent thousands of dollars in this store, so presumably she was quite familiar with their receipt procedure. If she didn’t like it, she should have shopped elsewhere. Instead, she wasted (and plans to continue to waste) the time of many others over nothing. I’m guessing Shaneal was accompanied on this shopping trip by a friend or significant other and was primarily concerned with impressing that person by showing off her incredible knowledge of her “rights” and her brave refusal to buckle under to vile injustice. Hopefully, said person realizes what an obnoxious blowhard Shaneal is and wouldn’t be caught dead going out in public with her again. Whenever I shop in a store that does receipt checks, I simply keep my receipt in my hand after completing my purchase to make the whole process quick and painless for everyone. And yet the Republic still stands.

  232. nctrnlboy says:

    I remember the comedian bobcat goldthwait having an incident with a store security guard once. From what I vaguely remember…. he was accused of theft by a security guard solely because he had a “roll of rolaids/mentos-shaped-bump” in his pants pocket. The security guard stopped him, wouldnt let him leave until he produced the object from his pocket. He said “call the cops” or soemthing like that, cops came searched him & the bump turned out to be a highlighter marker… the guard was made to apologise.

  233. genterara says:

    Whats wrong with the US, where every problem must be solved by suing people?

    Just tell everybody and boycott the company.

  234. HrPingui says:

    Innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent

    I full support Shaneal in his actions. Yes, he could have taken an easier route and avoided this whole thing, but in the end he was only FOLLOWING THE LAW. If the guard saw him stealing mechandise and not paying for it, then the guard would have some rights. The security asked, he declined and was within his rights. I am sickened by the people who would rather bend over and take it, than stand up for your rights. People like you who say, “I have nothing to fear, so why cause trouble.” Fight for rights, that are given by our Constitution/Bill of Rights (Patriot act anyone?)

  235. m4nea says:

    If you legitimately paid for the merchandise, and have spent “about $10 000” at the store in the past, why did you throw a fit on THIS particular occasion when all that was required of you was that you reach into your bag and show your stupid receipt?
    All you do is give them grounds to believe you have stolen something. And I’m glad no one will represent you; you want to take a company to court for trying to maintain their inventory so they can continue to offer competitive prices?
    Bottom line: was the seven and three-quarter seconds it would have taken to prove that you indeed bought the item worth not only ruining the day for the security guard, the manager, yourself, and the officer; but also the following couple days you spent trying to bring the place to court over such a trivial matter?
    I hope all the controversy made you feel big.

  236. m4nea says:

    @tkeer: well said

  237. TDJ says:

    This little rat went to the store hoping he’d be stopped. Who knows how many times he’s gone there before hoping to be stopped and wasn’t. They should have pepper sprayed his dumbass. What kind of loser chooses this as a form of rebellion against “the man” (lol) ? Wusses like this are why the civil courts are so backed up and we have become known the world over as a litigious society.

  238. infinitysnake says:

    @Tian: If course it takes “just a second” to show the stormtriooper your papers. That doesn’t mean you should.

  239. quiksilver says:

    um, couldn’t you have shown them your receipt? Since that would have been so hard….

    People like this makes me lose faith in the human race.

  240. Helvetian says:

    I always refuse, and never had these problems. If I did, I would also stand firm. I am not going to capitulate and show my receipt to anyone. Fortunately not a single store has given me problems, except Best Buy on E 86th St in New York City. The security guard initially indicated showing my receipt was a condition of being able to leave, until his co-worker said “they don’t have to show it, if they don’t want to” and I left.

  241. infinitysnake says:

    @jwissick: Absolutely, you nailed it. If you don’t stand up for yourself, you’re a rug.

  242. rakers says:


    Hahahaha. I can see both sides I guess, but I don’t think this is worthy of a lawsuit. I pray to god my tax dollars don’t pay for a judge to listen to this shit.

  243. ivieso says:

    SERIOUSLY, JUST SHOW HIM THE DAMN RECEIPT!!! You made all this ruckus because you were on your high horse that day and didnt feel like showing him a little piece of paper that hundreds of people before had no problem doing. It people like you that makes life diffcult for everyone.

    That security guard who probably earns not very much is gonna get fired and he was only trying to do his job. Then you went ahead and wasted my tax dollars calling 911, when that officer could have been better off somwhere else. You went as far to call the DA.

    I would love to say more to what I think about this, but it would probably deleted. It is that bad! Shaneal your a BAD consumerist. Your are #1 on my worst consumerist list. I thought Lauren and the Bank overdraft was bad. This one beats it by far.

  244. FLConsumer says:

    As much as I’m not a fan of frivolous/petty lawsuits, this is one time when I’d agree with it.

    I have to ask this… When did stores (and companies) stop seeing customers as their livelihood and started seeing them as enemies? I’m not an old fart, but I do remember when companies wouldn’t even dare attempt the stunts they do today. Even 10 years ago, things weren’t this adversarial.

    I think the problem now is that we’ve become complacent and have become whores. Why do people shop at Mal-Wart? For the quality products? For the excellent workintg conditions for their employees and workers in overseas factories? To keep jobs in the USA? For the superior service, clean stores, and quick check-out? Nope, none of these. They shop their to get the lowest quality at the lowest price. This so-called “value” gives us tainted food & products and DVD players which last for 30 days. Some value. You get what you pay for.

    I’ve said it in other posts and I’ll say it again — I’m willing to pay for quality, both in product quality and service quality. I’m finding it close to impossible to get quality products and service in my area lately. Was recently in NYC and fortunately there are still stores up there which remember how it’s supposed to be done — a refreshing change. This doesn’t mean overpriced products either.

  245. cabedrgn says:

    As with a lot of others, I have to agree that while this situation escalated a lot quicker than it should have and while by principal the store was in the wrong, you should have shown your receipt and then made a formal complaint, it would have avoided a lot of headaches and waisted time. Plus, for kicks, it would have made management and the security guard feel like idiots.

    That being said, I had a security guard at BB in Orlando attempt to tell me that I “tried” to present a fake receipt because I was with my ex-girlfriend (who was Puerto Rican, apparently in his skewed reality he only checked ‘ricans because “theft is caused more by Hispanics” as said by the guard). So after about 10/15min and me threating to call the cops and berating the guard for racism (and pointing out the ignorant f**k he was) the manager walked over (after hearing some of the conversation), fired the guard on the spot (I’m sure he noticed the liability) and proceeded to apologize. The guard threatened to “break my back and snap my neck” (like I said, he wasn’t very smart) and do the same to the manager that just fired him. We both reported him to the cops (one just happened to show up for an unrelated shoplifting call) and the cop laid into the former security guard saying that we could press charges and put him into jail for quite a while. At the end, my girlfriend was crying, the manager was pissed and filing a trespassing affidavit on the security guard, the cop was not all that happy either and I ended up with a $400 gift card and a letter of apology sent to my address directly from corporate.

  246. emax4 says:

    I’ve already commented once, and I’m in favor of the store policy. But for those in favor of the customer, please enlighten me. Can you explain to those of us in favor of the store what exactly her rights were? I’m not being sarcastic in any way, but I really want to know word-for-word what the citizen’s rights are.

    Do we as citizens have a written and God-given right not to show a receipt?

    Is it the right not to show proof of purchase?

    Is it the right not to follow store policy?

    Is it the right to say “no” to security guards?

    A lot of readers commented on showing a ticket in the movie theater. If the readers who sided with Shaneal have no qualms when showing their ticket to get into a movie theater, why is it any different after checking out of a business that sells costly electronics?

    Is it our right to say “no” if we ever feel that we’re being profiled? (I really don’t want to open up a can of worms, but “Shaneal” sounds like an African-American name, and it still sucks that racial profiling still exists.)

    What if the security guard just followed her out of the store and wrote down her car description and license #? There’s no harm done on the store’s part by doing that. I don’t think we’d be making such a big stink about it. Yeah, my opinion is that she should have just showed her receipt, but although she didn’t make a serious offense by not showing it, she wasn’t responsible for what happened afterwards. Not one bit. I’m beginning to think the manager and security guard needed to flex their muscles in order to prove a point, and that was the mistake that started the downward spiral.

  247. b612markt says:

    This and other customer service/price issues are why I only shop at Costco or online for just about everything except food.

  248. smanek says:

    Hello, this is the Original Poster, Shaneal, again.

    My reasoning, in being angry at this, is that I was forcibly detained. I have no problem with being asked to show a receipt. I also have no problem with being told to leave and not come back if I refuse. My problem is that they used force against me for not following a store policy, even though I broke no law.

    If I had shoplifted, or if they even had reasonable grounds to suspect I did, they can legally detain me. However, many courts have ruled that refusing to show a receipt does NOT constitute reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting.

    As for the movie the movie example that keeps coming up, that is just another strawman (why I hate analogies). If I refused to show my ticket to enter a movie they would be more than free to kick me off their property (i.e., out of the theater). If, on the other hand, they forcibly restrained me and would not let me leave the theater when I said I don’t want to show my ticket, that is when they have broken the law.

    On the other hand, if they see me sneaking into the theater without buying a ticket they are more than free to use force to detain me till an officer arrives to arrest me, because seeing me sneak in is reasonable grounds to suspect theft.

    What happened to me, to continue with the theater example, is that I bought a ticket to see the movie. I receive my good/service (the movie) without issue. On my way out of the theater, a guard asks to see my ticket. For whatever reason (e.g., I lost it or just don’t feel like it) I don’t show him the ticket. The guard then physically detains me from leaving and calls me a thief.

    The problem with that is our legal system is set up in such a way that the burden of proof does not rest on the accused. Just because I can’t prove that I did pay for the movie, doesn’t mean he can assume that I didn’t. He would have to have more evidence than that to have reasonable grounds to suspect I’m guilty (e.g., eye witness or security footage). Simply put, I don’t have to show I’m innocent; instead the guard has to show I’m guilty. Unless he does that, then he and I are just private citizens and he has no right to use force.

    I hope that clears up some of the confusion, and sorry for the verbosity. I’m a mathematician, not a writer, and we tend to be very explicit.

    One final question for you legal types out there:
    I’m looking into handling this case pro se in small claims court, as per several suggestions. If I could get the store’s security tapes I could absolutely prove my version of events (just to be safe).
    The problem is that according to rule 287 (available here: [www.state.il.us]), I can’t file a motion to compel discovery before the case in small claims court “except by leave of the court.” The problem is that the case wouldn’t come up for at least a month, and by then the tapes will have been erased. How can I get the court’s permission to compel discovery now, before the trial and before the tapes are erased? (I know a bit of legal theory, but absolutely nothing about actual procedure).
    As a final note, for all you saying I’m just looking to get money out of this: I’m only planning to ask for a $100 judgment. Filing fees are $82, and sending out the notice through the court costs $16, for a grand total of $98 in costs. Which means I’d only come out $2 ahead. This is just a matter of principal. The half hour of time they wasted is ony worth ~$20. I just need to show them that it is not alright for one private citizen (the guard) to use force against another law abiding private citizen (me).

  249. fredmertz says:

    @Aqua: Slander starts with an “s” and needs to be “s”poken. The written word is libel.

    If you spent so much money at the store, you clearly must have known that they were going to ask for the receipt. If this bothered you so much, why did you shop there.

    Sounds like someone suffers from a little “Consumerist-itis”, which Webster defines as the needless escalation of customer service problems in order to get a story posted on consumerist.com.

  250. JohnMc says:

    actually I am with Shaneal on this but not for any ‘civil rights’ issues. Though I do think it lame. My point is why as a customer am I paying for some schmuck to stand there with a felt marker? Tiger Direct (and Fry’s) should rearrange their checkouts so that in order to leave the store with merchandise you MUST have rung out. The way both those firms have their register-front office is not only inefficient but sets up this kind of altercation to begin with.

  251. ry81984 says:

    Showing your receipt is pointless, a waste of time, and not my job.

    Just because a store has quality issues with their security does not mean I should be forced to show my receipt and waste my time.

    Why should I help them out when they have crappy security policies?

  252. psennett says:

    @upset_Consumer: This particular store is on the very west side of Naperville, bordering on gang-infested Aurora. I have no doubt that the “shrinkage” rates of all stores along Route 59 is a startling number.

    No, this isn’t a Rosa Parks moment. If this person ever shopped at TigerDirect, or Best Buy, or Sam’s Club, or Fry’s – they would know it’s store policy to check every customer as they leave. It’s simply a nuisance check – they don’t actually do much more than keep you from barging right out the door. It’s just like the TSA checks at the airport. A visible action, applied universally, to give the appearance of security, in the hopes that it will discourage evildoers from visiting there.

  253. fredmertz says:

    @smanek: I don’t think you can file this sort of case in small claims — I believe small claims. Most small claims courts require some documented dollar figure for which you are suing. Had they taken your items, you could sue in small claims to get the dollar value of the items back, but you can’t ask for damages in a small claims court.

  254. smanek says:

    According to the state, “a small claim is a civil action based on either tort or contract for money not in excess of $5,000 $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs, or for the collection of taxes not in excess of that amount.”

    The guard behaved tortiously towards me (False Imprisonment is an intentional tort). Civil action can ask or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are actually closer to $20 for a half hour of time, based on my wage. But, in any case, you are definetly allowed to ask punitive damages be awarded in a small claims court (see [nolo.com] for a lay explanation).

  255. JustAGuy2 says:

    OP, you’re in the right, but you really can’t pursue this any farther – the SA isn’t going to prosecute, and the bar’s commentary that you can’t get a contingency lawyer tells you something about the monetary value of the case.

    Frankly, what I would have done is, once they’re not going to let me leave, say “fine, I’d like to make a return,” and then walk over to the returns counter and return the items. No reason for you to shop at a store that thinks you’re a criminal.

  256. Starfury says:

    Here in CA Fry’s wants to look at your receipt. I always decline with a polite “no thanks” and keep on walking; if there’s a line of sheep (yes, sheep) lined up I walk right on past. Same with BB the few times I’ve shopped there. Unless they want to accuse me of shoplifting I do NOT have to stop and show my receipt. The only place I do that is at Costco because of the membership rules.

    Good for Shaneal for standing up for his rights.

  257. alfista says:

    Also – I didn’t realize Tiger Direct also has retail stores. I wish they had some around here so I could avoid going to them.

  258. cindel says:

    Checking receipt isn’t to deter Theft but to keep the cashiers “honest”. I know I used to work in retail and that’s what my manager told me.

    The OP is in the right; if it isn’t store policy like Costco or BJ’s, they have no right to check. I do it out of pure laziness at my local Kmart which is the only store in my area that I know of that checks receipts.

    Beside it doesn’t feel like “Consumerist” without one person blaming the consumer…carry on.

  259. manevitch says:

    Just show your receipt, huh?

    What about those of us – and there are many – who legally carry firearms? Should we also “just” submit to a physical search because, after all, if we didn’t do anything wrong then we shouldn’t be worried about it? And what exactly do you think the guard at the front door – provided by the lowest bidder – would do when he discovers my gun? I don’t even want to think about that possibility.

    I have no legal obligation to prove to a security guard that I’m not stealing store merchandise, nor am I under legal obligation to consent to a security check or search. I know I’ve paid for every item in my cart, thank you very much.

  260. Hackoff says:

    I find it interesting that people reading this blog are so apalled that someone might stand up for their rights. Just because 90% of people are willing to roll over and give up their rights (most probably don’t even know what their rights are), doesn’t mean that this guy should.

    It is a shame that no lawyer or public official has stepped up to the plate to protect this tax paying citizens civil rights. I guess these days people are too busy living in fear of making a scene and being called a “rebel”.

    Basically all of the people who have bitched about this guy not showing his receipt are a bunch of pussies! They wouldn’t have the balls to do such a thing. They are either too self absorbed to see the issue here or they are just plain stupid.

    And for those people who claim that this would just be a frivolous lawsuit… you dumbasses have no idea! Without people like this guy, corporations would have even more control than they already do.

    It is amazing how so many people in this country simply close their eyes and humm when things get a little rough. A bunch of fucking followers. Freakin sheep!

  261. glenndo says:

    Seriously people, its within his rights to not subject himself to a receipt check. What if you went to the mall and they demanded you stop and take a survey? It’s the same crap, if you don’t want to you just say no. You can say it would have been easier for him to just show the guard the receipt. It would also have been easier if the guard had just said “no problem” when the customer politely declined instead of blocking his path and accusing him of stealing without any proof.

  262. In reading the comments I’ve yet to see a “just show the receipt” person even mention the fact that he was illegally detained.

    Just because it would have been easier to show it (and we don’t even know that, the guard had apparently coped an attitude last type he was there) doesn’t mean that the store gets to break the law when he doesn’t.

  263. weave says:

    Crimes against corporations are far more serious of a nature than crimes against people, or at least that’s how things seem to be heading.

    I’m confident that if people started to en masse try to walk out without receipt checks, the law would be changed to allow detention for it. Is it unconstitutional? Well who would be willing to run it far enough up the court chain to get a ruling on that?

    Anyway, I’d just file against them in small claims court for some little amount, like the value of your time spent detained and for court costs. You don’t need a lawyer for that.

    That will get them served and require them to either pay someone to go out to answer it, or ignore it and end up getting a default judgement.

    Most likely outcome will some company lawyer will contact you and try to make you go away. You’ll get some satisfaction out of that at least. Then you can bet they’ll be revisiting the policy internally after that.

    You’ll probably make the day of the JP court judge too. I’m sure it will be at least somewhat more interesting than the usual cases they have to deal with. I’m sure they get bored as hell in that job.

  264. ndjustin says:

    I worked for several years as loss prevention in a major department store, one that did not check receipts at the door, for reasons like this. I’ve been through a lot of training and had to study cases where things went wrong in the favor of huge lawsuits.

    The bottom line is the receipt checking is supposed to deter shoplifters. If someone stole something and refused to show a receipt, unless they have witness or videotape of the incident it would never stand up in court. Hell, an officer wouldn’t even arrest someone based on that.

    If someone refuses to show you their receipt you have one of two choices:

    A. Let them go because it isn’t going to change anything anyhow. Perhaps be on the look out for that person the next time they are in the store and actually watch them shopping. Find out if they are a real customer or not.

    B. Detain them, break the law yourself. Make a scene in front of other customers. Have a police cruiser called by a customer sitting in front of your store for a while. Disrupt other customers. Fill out hours of paper work and maybe get fired.

    This store picked B, I have no clue why anyone would.

    I do show my receipt when I shop at CC, but if they catch me on the wrong day, I very well may refuse. I’d love to have a civil chat with them about my previous loss prevention experiences and how they really plan on prosecuting me for refusal to show the receipt.

  265. TDJ says:

    original posting quote by smanek:
    “A security guard demanded that I show him my receipt, which I respectfully declined with a “No Thanks” and continued walking out the door.”

    next day quote by smanek:
    “My reasoning, in being angry at this, is that I was forcibly detained. I have no problem with being asked to show a receipt.”

    If you had no problem with showing the receipt then, why didn’t you ? Or, maybe you enjoy the pleasant exchange when being asked to show your receipt. It’s the actual act of producing it that offends you ? You are contradicting yourself now. This is one of many reasons why even lawyers who setup shop in the local mall won’t take your case. I’ll bet you’re one of those people who gets pissed when a cashier asks to see your id when paying with a credit card. Maybe that can be your next big crusade where you can try to get someone else fired for doing their job.

  266. BadDolphin says:

    When an authority figure tells you to do something, you must obey without question, or else you’re a terrorist-supporter. What, did you think this was still America or something?

  267. weave says:

    Someone should graph the support for/against the OP over time on this thread. I wonder how many industry people are chiming in against the OP as this makes its way around the interwebs.

    Anyway, yeah, this all is petty. Just like it was petty to arrest some kid for filming 20 seconds of a movie in a theater with his new camcorder, which would have zero value or use to anyone.

    So why is it OK for a company to make an example out of someone even if it’s petty but not for a customer to do it to a company?

  268. bravo369 says:

    I can’t believe the comments I am reading. The guy is coming across as a complete d*ck that just wanted to stir up trouble. If i was a judge and this actually made my courtroom, i would laugh him out of the room. Let me get this straight…you go to a store, start walking out with merchandise, an officer asks for a receipt and you refuse and you actually have the balls to complain they detained you? I hope you never open your own business unless you want all your merchandise leaving. Frankly I hate people like you. You have a valid receipt so instead of showing it and being on your way, you decide to cause a scene, try to get people fired, waste time in courtrooms, waste time of the police…all because you couldn’t be bothered to take out the receipt.

  269. tinyrobot says:

    Jesus… really? REALLY? I don’t understand how you have the time to pursue all of this. True, you certainly have the right to refuse to show them anything they’re not entitled to. But think for a second – do you really (really?) think the guard was so sophisticated as to think that he was going to violate your rights as some sort of power play? The dude was a douche, plain and simple, and while douches totally deserve their comeuppance, your time (or at least my time) is far, far too valuable to take something to an illogical extreme like this. If waving a piece of paper will make them go away, then it’s worth it every time.

    I mean, privacy is sacred, but life without uneeded douchebaggery is equally precious. At this point, I’d say it sounds more like the protagonist is locked in some sort of macho-off with the guard (“I dare you to press charges!”), and it seems like they’re just stooping to the guard’s level of being petty and inflammatory. Way to let a store you’re done with continue to eat up hours of your life when they have nothing further (pending credit, defective item exchange) you need from them…

  270. rawsteak says:

    @curmudgeon5: Well, it turns out retailers are allowed to check your purchases and receipt as long as the search is voluntary and they don’t do it in a discriminatory way. Some retailers, such as Costco, spell it out as a condition of membership.

    So theoretically, you don’t have to submit to such checks unless you’re at Costco and don’t mind getting your membership revoked.

    so, tell me again where there are laws or rights involved? it’s voluntary, but then again, so is a breathalyser test, which you can totally refuse, except they take away your driver’s license… ? OMG MY RIGHTS AS A DRUNK DRIVER ARE BEING INFRINGED UPON!!

  271. methane says:

    digg it!

    Slippery slopes like this shouldn’t be allowed to persist.

  272. TDJ says:

    “so, tell me again where there are laws or rights involved? it’s voluntary, but then again, so is a breathalyser test, which you can totally refuse, except they take away your driver’s license… ? OMG MY RIGHTS AS A DRUNK DRIVER ARE BEING INFRINGED UPON!!”

    Thank you for the morning laugh.

  273. Mary says:

    You know, I’d love to see this case go on Judge Alex. Maybe you can call up the show, I hear those things work by giving everybody cash anyway so you’d have some money for your trouble.

    This is a case where you have to decide about where your principles lie. Mine aren’t attuned to refusing to show a receipt because the guards don’t even look at the things, they just see you have one.

    However, when they started yelling and cursing, they were out of line. So they should apologize for that, and maybe somebody needs to construct a nice legal document citing the laws in question and how the customer was legal within his rights to refuse, present it to the store, the managers, the security company, corporate offices, etc. Because honestly, they might not have known and educating them could solve the problem. Sure, you were standing there shouting it at them, but customers shout all kinds of incorrect and ignorant things, so I don’t find it hard to think they didn’t believe you.

    If they continue after you inform them, formally with cited sources, that they’re wrong, then they’re morons.

    But seriously, Judge Alex.

  274. bravo369 says:

    as a follow up to my post, if people are saying that civil rights are being broken because some douche doesn’t want to show a receipt, can’t the store policy then be that if a receipt is not shown, the person can leave but any merchandise without proper sales receipt cannot leave the store. Couldn’t they have just taken away his merchandise since he didn’t leave the store yet? My parents own a business so forgive me for thinking a business should have the benefit of the doubt than consumers in situations like this.

  275. 3ZKL says:

    personally i would use my 10K$ worth of tigerdirect super computorz to create the ultimate WoW character, then sell it on ebay along with my super computorz, and use all the profits (minus paypal fees) to take the case to the grand wizards court.

    in any other circumstance, i would simply keep the receipt in my hands as i walked the 20 steps out the door to avoid causing a needless scene & calling wolf.

  276. Pelagius says:

    Hire Roy Pearson to represent you. This sounds like it would be right up his alley.

  277. rewinditback says:

    Tigerdirect worthless when it comes to customer service… Just try ordering something from them to find out.

  278. supra606 says:

    I’ve seen a lot of posts going both ways here but I have to agree with the customer on this one. If you show them your receipt, you are giving up your rights under the law and that is a slippery slope. If people don’t stand up for their rights, they will be easier to take away in the future. This trend of businesses treating their customers like thieves is deplorable and needs to stop. It’s another great opportunity for consumers to vote with their dollars – in this case on whether or not they want to be considered guilty until proven innocent.

  279. jmuskratt says:

    1) Turn video camera in phone on (or hell, go buy one in the store).
    2) Attempt to leave the store.
    3) Profit.

    or, as mentioned above, return all the shit.

    To those saying “You should have just showed the receipt and not been a dick about it,” remember that the next time you get pulled over for a minor traffic violation/pretext stop and the cops tell you they want to search your car.

  280. jmuskratt says:

    Also, what happens if on the way to the exit the customer had dropped his brand new flat panel TV and broken it? Could he get a refund? No? Why not? Oh, it’s HIS TV? I see.

  281. Jerim says:

    The problem I have is that I think most people, if they were really offended, would have allowed the situation to swell up like it did. But at the last minute they would have produced the receipt and gloated over how ridiculous this all was, much to the embarrassment of the security guard and manager. Finally, they would have went to customer service and returned the items, vowing to never shop there again.

    I don’t think they chose you at random. Whatever their reasons, I think they asked a fair question. No you don’t legally have to show receipt, but that only increases the suspicion. Your actions are the exact same as someone who really is stealing. So what is the store to believe? They should just automatically know what a good person you are and that you would never steal? But the next guy, they should know he is a theif? Although you both acted the same?

    I think to lend this story more credibility, I would need to see the receipt. If you can provide the receipt, then at least I know you are in the right, even if you went about it the wrong way. If you can’t provide a receipt then your story becomes fishy, and the stores actions start to make more sense.

  282. “My reasoning, in being angry at this, is that I was forcibly detained. I have no problem with being asked to show a receipt.” If you had no problem with showing the receipt then, why didn’t you ? Or, maybe you enjoy the pleasant exchange when being asked to show your receipt. It’s the actual act of producing it that offends you ? You are contradicting yourself now.

    @TDJ: No he isn’t! Please try to comprehend what you’re reading.

    He never said he didn’t have a problem with showing the receipt, he said he didn’t have a problem with being ASKED to show the receipt.

    No one here is arguing that stores don’t have the right to see it. We are trying to explain that we have the right to refuse when asked and the store broke the law by detaining him.

    Couldn’t they have just taken away his merchandise since he didn’t leave the store

    @bravo369: Not without a refund but if I were him I’d have returned it anyway.

  283. gibsonic says:

    i’ve read about 1/3 of the comments and i’m sick to my stomach of reading them.

    if you are in the USA and think this guy should have just rolled over and showed them anyway…GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY!!!

  284. Jerim says:


    The problem with that is that basically you are saying that once a thief puts an item in a bag, it is theirs and the store can’t do anything about it. Thieves can roam the store, filling up bags, and there is nothing the store can do? What if a security guard sees you pushing a cart full of bagged items from the back of the store to the front exit. The guard knows there is no checkout stand back there. They don’t have the right to detain you?

  285. The Walking Eye says:

    @Jerim: Absolutely they do! That’s called suspicion of shoplifting. Politely declining showing a receipt after walking from the register 4 feet away from the security guard is NOT a reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.

  286. Secularsage says:

    The moronic nature of this thread is too much. I have to post, even though no one’s going to read this.

    So, I’ll summarize.

    1) By being hostile to the security guard and refusing to show a receipt, Shaneal behaved like someone who had just gotten caught shoplifting. This made the situation escalate and Shaneal is as much to blame as anyone.
    2) The store’s premises are private property and they have a right to ensure that people aren’t walking off with merchandise. The situation was handled poorly, but that was because Shaneal refused to cooperate and show a receipt. I suspect there was much shouting and the situation made a large scene.
    3) Threatening to call 911 is something many THIEVES do when they’re caught. It’s a panicked gesture. I’ve dealt with it myself. The security guard had no reason not to be suspicious.
    4) Why was this such a big deal? It’s not an invasion of privacy; it’s a simple matter of demonstrating proof of purchase. If you don’t like the policy, Shaneal, don’t shop there. It’s simple.
    5) If TigerDirect gets hit with too many shoplifters, prices will go up to offset the shrink costs. That’s why they have LP people standing by. Again… if you don’t like the policy, don’t shop there!
    6) It’s not the principle. It’s the fact that you made a fool out of yourself and you’re overreacting. And you’re an idiot if you think the majority of people will side with you.

    As a side note… what the hell, Consumerist? You guys used to be a little more critical of what you posted. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of whining from people who want to get back at businesses after behaving like children. That’s not helpful to anyone.

  287. LionelEHutz says:

    @Cthulhubot: What part of they don’t have the right to require you to show your receipt do you not understand? Also, what part of they also don’t have the right to detain you unless they saw you shoplifting do you not understand?

    People in this country are way too cavalier with giving up their rights for a little bit of convenience.

  288. Secularsage says:

    And all this stuff about “rights” — you people DO understand that businesses are PRIVATE ENTITIES, right? You don’t enjoy the same privileges on private property that you do on public (i.e. government) property.

    Nobody has a right to go into a store, refuse to cooperate with their policies, and then try to get the staff arrested. That’s asinine.

    You DO have the right not to shop there. Exercise it.

  289. @Secularsage:

    1) By his account he was nothing but polite when he refused to show the reciept.

    2) The situation was handled poorly when the store employees refused to let him pass.

    3) Calling 911 is what many VICTIMS do when a crime is being committed against them.

    4) The store policy does not allow them to detain people.

    5) I’m sure many people won’t.

    6) The store employees made fools out of themselves by thinking they were above the law.

    Side Note: Consumerist has posted stories about stores wanting customers to submit to checks before. This is not new.

  290. louballs says:

    I am one of the “show your receipt” guys. And I did mention that being illegal detained was wrong and unconstitutional. I just don’t get the contradicting statements from Shaneal that he has “no problems showing a receipt”. Sure sounds like you have a problem with it to me.

  291. Usermanual says:

    After reading the whole story, and considering all the comments made, I have decided that this was a poor decision. I agree in principal, but not in execution. Stores don’t post, and pay, people to stand at doors and check recipts for fun. The people are there for loss prevention. You may never have seen them catch a person stealing USB cables, but it may have happened in the past and this is one of their solutions to keeping ALL our prices lower so we don’t eat the cost of replacing things others have stolen. I would gladly show my reciept rather than pay an extra $2.00 for whatever I buy.

  292. Phuturephunk says:

    Whenever I go to one of these stores I usually still have the damn thing in my hand as I’m leaving and get a lazy wave through the door.

    These types of employees (retail) read from the script, that’s it. Because if they don’t they get fired so fast your head will spin.

    This is one of those instances where the customer is just being an asshole to see if he/she could get away with pushing button. I fucking HATE when people do this because it makes consumers in general look REALLY FUCKING BAD. And then we all wonder why these stores never seemingly give a fuck about us beyond what dollars we spend.

    I mean seriously, show the goddamned receipt. Everybody’s gotta be a fucking cowboy nowadays. Sheesh.

  293. whereismyrobot says:

    “Ya’ll don’t know what it’s like, being male, middle class and white.”

  294. thepassenger says:

    So the guy says he has spent over $10K at this store “in the last few years” but feels he can’t afford the lawyer’s fees? That’s a lot of (presumably discretionary) money for electronics purchases…

  295. Soldmysoul says:

    Its a good story but one thing does confuse me a little. The buyer spends $10,000 over the course of a few years at this place, but later goes on to say money is an issue. Maybe some priorities should be re-arranged.

  296. eblack says:

    To anyone saying he should have just shown the receipt, where do you draw the line at stores illegally detaining people for not following their unenforcable rules? What if you had to show your ID when leaving? What if they wanted you to sign something, or give them a fingerprint?

    Was he just causing trouble? Sure. Could it have been avoided? Sure. Justice vs injustice isn’t always a righteous battle, and it’s not always glamorous. Sometimes it’s as simple as not leaving your bus seat, or not showing your receipt.

  297. jmorgans says:

    I agree that it’s not a big deal to show the receipt, though I’ve tried to avoid it when the line is long. The problem is what comes next- inspecting handbags on the way out? Frisking? Body cavity search? Once you allow your privacy to be invaded, it is a slippery slope.

  298. phrygian says:

    Voluntary receipt checks are, by their nature, not compulsory. The security guard should have let the OP leave. I don’t understand where the attacks against the OP are coming from. After all, it was important enough to him to not succumb to the voluntary check that he stood his ground. I wouldn’t have done it, but that’s just me. (I would have immediately returned my items at customer service instead, if I were really bothered by the security/manager.)

  299. ReccaSquirrel says:

    @louballs: I have relatives and friends who are over fighting in, or have fought in, Iraq that would find your cousin’s attitude worth a beat down. Most US Soldiers know that we shouldn’t blindly follow the country. They recognize that we do have the right to stand up against injustice no matter how trivial it might be.

    Illegal detainment is on the rise in this country right now. And whether or not you think you should simply hand over a receipt at a store, the fact doesn’t change he was being illegally detained. And I would MUCH rather have cops taking 5 to 10 extra minutes because they were stopping an illegal detainment then having to wait an extra 5 to 10 minutes for them because they were… I donnow, breaking down the front door of someone in North Carolina for flying a flag upside down or hauling a couple off to jail for wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt at a 4th of July celebration in Texas.

  300. ConRoo says:

    I suggest he write a letter to his newspaper. Newspapers are consumer watchdogs and may take up this issue in a more generalized manner. Believe me, reporters love this stuff. He shouldn’t just call and start ranting, they’ll think his incident is isolated. It’s better if the newspaper people take up the issue on their own. Rather than fighting for one person, they will fight for the rights of the general population.

  301. matthewvermont says:

    I totally agree with those folks saying that it would have been simpler if she could have just shown the security guard her receipt.

    I mean, wouldn’t it have been easier if Rosa Parks had just taken that seat in the back of the bus instead of insisting on making such a fuss over something so meaningless as civil rights?

  302. alvinY says:

    If you really want to protest this kind of thing, don’t make an ass out of yourself by holding up everyone else in the store. Everybody will get angry with you and see the store as the victim.

    Instead, when he asks to see your receipt, turn around and show your receipt to the customer service desk. Return the merchandise, get your money back and walk out. Be sure to say why you are returning the stuff when you do it. If there are return forms to fill out, be thankful and write down what you’re upset about.

    This way, the only person’s time you waste is your own.

  303. …breaking down the front door of someone in North Carolina for flying a flag upside down…

    @ReccaSquirrel: I just looked up that story. Insane.

  304. tinymon says:

    You guys miss the big picture here. Receipt checking works. My roommate works at a major retailer in their Loss Prevention division. You should hear the stories on how creative thieves can be…Including the cashiers. As a guess, they catch two cashiers for every civilian thief. A simple receipt check saves a major retailer hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

    You don’t think the companies scrutinize data on these things?

    But the person knew going in that TD checks receipts. You had the choice of not going there in the first place and going somewhere else. Or shopping online. TD has a pretty good web site and they don’t come to your door with the UPS guy to check your Invoice.

    But if you want to shop at a retail outlet with cheap prices, receipt checking is something that you put up with.

    With all that said, if you want to really screw with them then you should have had a friend video tape the encounter and posted it on YouTube. There is never a reason to be as nasty as they were, which it sounds like you weren’t. Don’t clog up the legal system with this minor incident. Use the power of the Internet to its fullest.

  305. Jerim says:

    @The Walking Eye:


    They weren’t detaining him. He was free to leave at any time. It was the merchandise, for which he had no receipt, that was being detained. No, you don’t have to show a receipt, but any citizen can make a citizens arrest. Shoplifting doesn’t technically occur until you try to leave the building with the merchandise. So for shoplifting, the crime doesn’t occur when you take the item off the shelf, it occurs at the door when you try to leave. In a legal sense, they did witness him attempting to shoplift, from their point of view.

    Now, I like to believe the guy is innocent. However, if I look at it from the store’s point of view, I see a story of a guy who allegedly bought only 2 items, but was leaving the store with 3. When approached for a receipt, he refused. Even when the cops arrived, he refused. As of this date, he has still failed to produce a receipt to anyone. Not saying that makes him guilty, but that is certainly reason enough to be suspicious. And reasonable suspicion is reason enough to be detained by anyone, till police arrive.

  306. AlexHalavais says:

    I’m shocked at the complacency found in the comments above. When I purchase something, our business is done. You have my money, I have my new product. I do not want you delaying my departure or looking through my bags. Mind your own damned business.

    After my purchase, if the stuff is small, I just shove it in my backpack. Odd that security doesn’t bother me when I “hide” my new purchases, only when I have an obvious bag out. Given that most losses still come from the employees, treating the customer as criminal seems like a stupid way to go.

    I have shopped at TigerDirect’s Naperville outlet before, and ordered from them online. I will not in the future. While I would support a lawsuit in this case (try the local law schools to see if there is a clinic willing to take it pro bono), I think the best reaction is to refuse to shop at TigerDirect until they change the policy. They have lost my business.

  307. Homie2982 says:

    I would tell you to go downtown joliet and file a civil suit against tigercirect the fee is small its only about 200 but it goes a long way

  308. WNW says:

    @cincifresh: “Many stores have the policy of checking receipts at the door. It’s like being carded when you’re obviously over 21.”

    Actually, it’s not like that at all. Bars/Stores are legally obligated to confirm your age and face fines if they sell to someone under 21.

    A valid comparison would be if someone on the street asked to see the contents of your wallet. I’m not letting some random head look at my wallet or some random security goon look at my purchases.

  309. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    Wow, what an awful lot of comments, and so many of them either examples of big box electronics store sockpuppetry or people that have somehow missed the fact that this blog is called Consumerist and not Corporatist or perhaps Police-Statist. Let me see if I can break it down monosyllabically for the slow kids:

    The store dudes broke the law. THEY ARE CROOKS.

    I’m truly, deeply sorry that so many of you are affronted that Shaneal had the gall to stand up for her rights at the cost of some small theoretical inconvenience to fellow shoppers and/or store personnel. I honestly don’t have the patience to explain to you why an illegal detention is neither the same as having to show a ticket to get into a place nor the same as having to turn a doorknob to get out. All I can do is leave you with some words from Sam Adams: “May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

  310. stevencbyers says:

    It seems to me that you saw the article online a few days ago about how you don’t have to show your receipt at stores and decided to try it out, with a ‘no thanks’. And this is what you got, trial and error. I’m sure you weren’t in a hurry as you did 4 more hours of errands. I am all for privacy and I love the consumerist, but I do think that saying no thanks to showing your receipt, is enough to make you seem suspicious of shoplifting, kind of like saying no thanks to a breathalyzer. If you did have such a big problem with it though, you should have shown your receipt and turned right around and returned your items.

  311. cheviot says:

    @joule: Who cares if he’s “just doing what his manager assigned”? It’s AGAINST THE LAW.

  312. bbbici says:

    It’s good to know that it’s perfectly fine to shoplift in the US, without any repercussions.

  313. skeksil says:

    I find it interesting that so many users on consumerist.com are presenting themselves as apologists for Tiger Direct. It may have been easier for Shaneal to “just show the receipt”. However, her story is, I believe, representative of a bigger problem in America. All too often, Americans readily give up their freedoms when someone in authority asks for it. Some users on Consumerist.com are apparent proponents of the “what are you hiding” or “if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you shouldn’t have to worry” principles. That is a very narrow view of things because sometimes people with authority have larger agendas.
    I’m going to suggest something that may be controversial, but maybe it will spark debate. I’m going to presume that Shaneal is an African-American woman. I’m also going to presume that the security guard was not African-American. Is it possible that Shaneal was presumed to be a thief? Obviously, these presumptions are dangerous since we don’t know these facts from the story. Still it brings up a good point. Would the security guard have treated me (a white man) in the same manner?
    Concerning her rights, I believe Shaneal stood her ground. I too believe that court (aside from small claims) may not be the answer. Instead, she should locate and use some free legal advice and find other ways to punish this company. Posting on Consumerist.com was an important step. Next, I would suggest contacting other media, starting with your local television stations.
    From what I understand from the posted story, Shaneal was well within her right to refuse to show her receipt.

  314. GuruSteve says:

    The problem that I have with this situation is not what rights the store and customer have, I think we can all agree on this. The problem is the absolute STUPIDITY of the manager. This could have been resolved in 20 seconds. Learn some people skills!! This is pandemic of the overall decline in the customer experience at retail. I AM A CUSTOMER NOT A CONSUMER!

    If there is definitely a large benefit in checking receipts at the door (as others have suggested), then make it worthwhile to the customer. Offer coupons to those that submit to receipt checking. Or even easier, instead of hiring burley mean looking security guards to check receipts, hire a cutie!! Computer nerds will line up to have there receipts checked (me included).

  315. bdgbill says:

    To all the people who say “just show your receipt and get on with your life”….

    Ever been to TigerDirect, Best Buy, Fry’s etc around Chrstmas Time?

    Wait (forever) for someone to help you on the sales floor. Wait in a miles long check out line. Then wait in another line to have your recept checked?? I don’t think so.

    These “Receipt checks” could easily evolve into pat-downs if everyone just accepts them like good sheep.

  316. cheviot says:

    @louballs: No, you’re cousin is NOT fighting in Iraq for what we believe in. He’s fighting in Iraq because a petty, narrow-minded president decided to go finish what his daddy started, to hell with the consequences.

    Grow up.

  317. shamshe says:

    Here’s what i think, it was not right for the guard to detain anyone if the receipt was not presented, but i also think that this is something that is not worth the time and money to fight over, when it could have been avoided by showing a stupid piece of paper. furthermore all these people on here are talking about “rights being violated” and stuff like that, why don’t you guys turn around and see what the government is doing with your rights at this time and why everyone is pretty much sitting back and saying nothing about it, but then over a small stupid thing like this a whole ruckus is being raised. i say pick your battles correctly!

  318. Joe B. Low says:

    Perhaps the same security guard will soon be checking your identification papers as you walk down the street. If you don’t pass his muster… off to prison.

    Take a look at the US legal system and you’ll notice one thing that differentiates us from so many others… presumption of innocence.

    That is why this is an important battle to fight each and every time you have your rights violated.

  319. sinclair__ says:

    Since when do stores get to make up laws? There is no legal requirement to comply with store policy *after* your purchase is finished unless:

    1) You’ve already agreed to do so – i.e. membership clubs like Costco or Sams where you’ve agreed as a condition of membership.

    2) You want something from the store that they are not legally required to provide – i.e. a receipt shown to customer service to process a return.

    3) You are in a good mood and want to cooperate.

    The store can to ban you from visiting in the future, but they cannot make you show your receipt unless there is prior evidence that you stole something. Once you pay for an item, *it* *is* *yours*.

  320. pestie says:

    See? Things like this are why I keep complaining every time Tiger Direct shows up in Morning Deals.

    I resent being treated like a criminal, too. I was confronted by a Wal-Mart drone demanding to see my receipt at one point. I showed it, but made it clear I wasn’t happy about it. She said, sarcastically, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience!” Well, I’m sorry you’re treating me like a criminal, too, which is why I have a problem with it!

    I might have more sympathy if receipt checking did anything to prevent or deter shoplifting, but I seem to recall reading how it makes no difference at all. If anyone has a citation one way or another, I’d love to see it.

  321. armour says:

    Can’t believe some people just keep throwing away your rights!!! They have no right to stop you or see the receipt on exit. Yes it would be easier to just show it but that’s not the point. What’s next as you exit having to show your recipes and the bank or credit card you have used for the purchase and two pieces of ID?

    Just because something is easier to comply with it doesn’t make it right!!! Stop being sheep and allowing the corporations dictate on how we should be consumers!! We are giving them our hard money we should be dictating to them on how we want to be consumers!!

  322. It was the merchandise, for which he had no receipt, that was being detained.

    @Jerim: No, they were detaining him. They said they wanted him arrested for shoplifting. He also has a receipt he just didn’t show it to him.

    I see a story of a guy who allegedly bought only 2 items, but was leaving the store with 3.

    He bought three items but purchased the item for the business he does work for separately. He said the “last” receipt from the cashier only had two items, he didn’t say the “only” receipt.

    Refusing to show the receipt is not enough to detain someone.

  323. Jerim says:


    Is it really that random? I have never once had any sort of problem with a security guard. People always make it out to be that they were just innocently minding their own business, and the big bad mean security guy just went crazy on them for no reason what so ever. Every one who has ever gotten in trouble swears up and down they did absolutely nothing. He may not have been doing anything, but he did something that made people think he was doing something. He wasn’t just chosen at random.

  324. AnonAdmin says:

    The AG will not do anything, fine. Call the local Federal Magistrate and tell him or her that you wish to press federal charges against the security guard, store manager, the store staff, and the Local AG under USC Title 18 Part I Chapter 13 section 241.

    This will get there attention




    Sec. 241. Conspiracy against rights

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or
    intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession,
    or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege
    secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or
    because of his having so exercised the same; or
    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the
    premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise
    or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured–
    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten
    years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in
    violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an
    attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit
    aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined
    under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or
    both, or may be sentenced to death.

    They conspired to deprive you of your 4th and 5th amendment rights!

  325. bravo369 says:

    You know, i’d really like for all these people to open a store themselves only to watch person after person walk out of the store with merchandise they didn’t pay for…all while smiling at your because you can’t stop them. it’s asanine. I need a new tv so i might as well go to bestbuy, grab the nearest flatscreen and go to the door. Just tell security i bought it and i don’t want to show a receipt.

  326. bravo369 says:

    HRMan…how would we know that SINCE WE DIDN”T SEE A RECEIPT!!!!

  327. @bravo369: Security would then detain you because you never went to a cash register which is a good reason to suspect you of shoplifting.

  328. asherchang says:

    Shaneal should set up a site with some sorta donor box (paypal, amazon,
    google checkout, etc). I’d definately be willing to spare a few bux in
    the name of civil rights. And with the number of diggs this story has,
    it’s very possible netizens can get Shaneal the money she needs for a
    laywer very quickly.

  329. bravo369 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Ahh…i get it now. put a bunch of items in a bestbuy bag i got with my purchase last week, then go up to the register and pay for $1.99 item and walk out and refuse to show a receipt. i get it now. thanks for clearing that up for me

  330. Ola says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but has Godwin’s Law come into effect yet? *munches on popcorn*

    FWIW, I think there’s a reason stores have their receipt checks, but I also think it’s annoying and rather assumptive of guilt. I don’t blame the OP for not showing the receipt, but he *could* have shown it at some point, and also, the manager’s response was pretty bad.

  331. Adam291 says:

    I don’t agree with what the store did, but I also think we should be more careful when we pick our battles.

  332. asherchang says:

    @Tian: she doesnt HAVE to do anything. But
    the right thing WOULD be to press charges, and yes, I agree with you
    that she should do some sorta paypal thing for legal fees.

  333. asherchang says:

    @emergeoriginal: Well, it would be very
    Taoist (and easy) to take the path of least resistance and overcome
    obstacles gently. And it would be very Confucian to make decisions that
    ensure an environment of social harmony.

    But none of that should matter cuz here in the US we value our civil
    rights and should excercise them as much as we possibly can.

  334. Shadkahn says:

    Well I hate to say this, but I drive a hybrid, simply because of prices of gas, and not because it makes me feel ‘superior to the rest of you’ (seriously how can I feel superior in a rinky dinky car?). I don’t drink Starbucks, can’t stand their coffee – Dunkin Doughnuts coffee now… that’s classy.

    But seriously, I found this article interesting – yet I still feel that things probably did not go down as we are told. Mainly due to the fact that if I was accosted by someone yelling at me – not just one person but a group of people as the individual attests in their story, I would surely become vocal myself to the point that it would be nothing but a yelling match.

    That being said though, if it is not stated in their policy then they probably should not be checking receipts at the door, even if theft is on the upswing in the area – that sounds like a need to change policy and have it posted near the exit. Something poetic like: “Due to recent events we may require you to show your receipt when exiting our store – we apologize for this inconvenience.”

    Sure you could say that does not reflect store policy – just a sign suggesting that they can ask to see your receipt. But my point is, if it is not stated and you have never been asked to show your receipt before (especially in such a confrontational manner) – then yes I do feel that you are being mistreated, and the situation itself was not your fault but the stores.

    Overall though, I could not shake the feeling that this event was just blown out of proportion – and that we are not given all the details. I’m sure after a few moments voices were already elevating and frankly no one was innocent in what transpired. I know I don’t have to show the receipt when asked. Frankly I was asked to show my receipt at Best Buy when I purchased a rather large monitor, I refused stating “Sorry buddy I just can’t get to it now” And the clerk at the register even said “It was okay,” and even helped me out – so yes you can refuse to have the receipt checked and things can go smoothly. It tends to be the actual people that you get that merits how things will pan out. Some days you get the ‘dick,’ some days you get the considerate individuals – but you have to remember we are just so close to becoming a douche ourselves. So I would like to side with the originator of this story and how the situation panned out, but I just cannot rightfully think that it was one sided to begin with.

  335. @bravo369: If you insist on being a criminal, that’s on you. Enjoy your life of crime! I’m sure the security guards, cameras, and RFID tags won’t cause you any problems.

  336. rrapynot says:

    The “If you have nothing to hide…….” types irritate me. Next time you hear that just say to the person, “Hand me your wallet. I’d like to look inside it”. You can guarantee they will say “no way”.

  337. killavanilla says:

    Of course this could have been avoided by simply showing the receipt to the knuckledragger working security, but you didn’t want to and I suppose that is within your rights.
    Here’s what I would have done/would do:
    1) return all the merchandise for full refund immediately
    2) Contact tigerdirect and let them know that the manager and their policies have resulted in embarrassment, improper detainment, harrassment by the manager and security employee, and a total loss in future business.
    3) Contact the local papers – don’t confuse an interesting personal interest story like yours with NSA wiretapping coverage – they aren’t on the same level. A story like this may wet the salivary glands of a reporter looking for an interesting story that appeals to the average consumer. If nothing else, it might spark some reporter to write an article on receipt checks. Are they legal? Are you required to comply? Why are they necessary? Are they reasonable? The last time I wrote a story for newspaper was in high school, but I seem to remember something about how stories that appeal to shared experiences have some traction. The chicago tribune has a ‘problem solver’ who deals with consumer issues.
    4) Drop the idea of a lawsuit. It isn’t going to happen and if it does, you won’t ‘win’ anything. Tigerdirect is sure to have deeper pockets than you and will fight this for a long time.
    5) Accusations of slander or defamation only have merit if you can prove a loss – be it in reputation or otherwise- that has a genuine and real monetary effect. There is none here.
    6) Next time, flash the stupid receipt. It only takes a moment and, simply put, you have literally nothing to gain by refusing. The inconvenience is minor and it avoids problems like this.
    Now – to those of you who wish to chastise people for sharing the opinion that this was meaningless and defending this silly excercise in civil liberties – what is the benefit to refusing?
    Perhaps I start from a different base of reasoning, but shouldn’t we be picking our battles a bit more carefully? Look at the result! Getting berated by an uneducated, moron security guard, having to endure yelling and accusations of theft from a store manager with no patience and no concept of customer service, being banned from a store, and being known as ‘the crazy customer’.
    So what possible good can come from refusing to show the receipt? Are you embarrassed by your purchase? Are you afraid that the security guard will see what you bought?
    What is the point of protesting a store policy here exactly?
    The end result has been hours of wasted time, embarrassment, a waste of police resources, and a ban from a crappy retailer.
    Good for you.
    Way to stand up for what is really ‘important’.
    In the grand scheme of things, this is completely and utterly insignificant.
    Perhaps the fact that an old friends dad just got diagnosed with Cancer is part of my reasoning here, but is/was it worth it?
    Probably not.

  338. reefer says:

    I don’t see why you couldn’t have taken an extra seconds and shown them your receipt. They also do this at Fry’s Electronics in Downers Grove(a town or two from Naperville). I on the other hand have never had a bad experience with TigerDirect, and since they are local I prefer dealing with them(on-line and in store) instead of some of the bigger names.

  339. Schmee says:

    I know a number of stores that do a receipt check, (Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy off the top of my head). A receipt check is not that big of deal and I think this got blown WAY out of proportion. Save your money on lawyers, back off on the security guard (I’ve known people who work for Securitas and it’s not a job I would wish on an enemy), and either show your receipt (oh no the effort!) or don’t shop there if you don’t agree with their policies.

  340. louballs says:

    @cheviot: I know the war that he is fighting is not for our rights, but he is still a US soldier and should be shown some respect. Comments like “no one gives a shit about your cousin in Iraq”, to me, is pretty insulting to anyone who has family members that fought or died, regardless of the war’s purpose. Apparently, no one hears that I AGREE that rights were violated with unlawful detainment, but I don’t believe that requesting a receipt violates any civil liberties. We each have our own opionions so its really no sense arguing further.

  341. acambras says:


    If you had read the comments, you would have found the ones by Shaneal, who is a man of Indian descent, not an African American woman as you assumed.

  342. Dorgon says:

    This is a tough one. I’ve never agreed with a store before on any Consumerist post. This is one of those situations where both parties are wrong. One is wrong legally, and the other is acting as a poor member of society.

    As George (of Seinfeld) would say, “we’re living in a society!”

    It’s annoying to submit to checking your bag when you go into a store or having to show a receipt on the way out, but you know it’s coming.

    You’ve spent $10,000 in Tigerdirect. You know how it works. Is this the first time you’ve ever had to show a receipt? What have you done previously? I’m very curious.

    Perhaps you read the Consumerist and learned you don’t need to show a receipt, and thought this was a good opportunity for a lawsuit. Or maybe you came up with a plan to steal something from them by using this tactic. Or perhaps you’re just a jerk.

    It’s people like you that help LOSE our rights. Threatening lawsuits in a situation like this is just the kind of thing that leads to tort reform. And I don’t need a slippery slope to know that tort reform is a path to fewer rights.

  343. I just called the store in question because I’m originally from the area and will be in that area tomorrow. I was considering shopping there but now I’m not.

    The store manager basically said they’re not answering any questions about it at the store and gave me the corporate number. He was very polite.

    I managed to record it to my cell phone but it appears to only have recorded his side of the conversation :( If anyone wants it, I could possibly get it from the phone.

  344. killavanilla says:

    I wasn’t aware that the founders of this country had the foresight to envision a country where massive retailers could so infringe on individual liberties that they have the gall to politely ask a customer walking out to show them a receipt.
    Listen, I’m all about civil liberties. I fully believe that we need to make sure that they don’t get stripped away.
    But really – THIS is the proper way to handle this issue?
    Another poster compared this to Rosa Parks. Really. For the love of all that is glorious, pick your damn battles!
    The store was asking for personal information or requiring any sort of blood work – they were asking customers (all customers) to show their receipt. This isn’t an example of a corporation trying to destroy civil liberties – people steal! They are trying to prevent it.
    And for those of you who think they should only ask customer they suspect of shoplifting – how long before the ACLU files a claim that they ask more minorities for their receipts?
    Welcome to the age of PC – where we HAVE to treat EVERYONE the same. That includes a mom with her kids AS WELL AS any kid wearing their pants just below their butts!
    Yes, this is a minor inconvenience. Yes, it is TECHNICALLY not supposed to be this way – but does this somehow really affect any of our freedoms? Two seconds is all it takes to pull out the receipt and show it. There is no real damages here and there is no reason to make this into a civil rights issue.
    Don’t like it? Fine. Shop at stores that don’t check receipts.
    That means no more Microcenter, no more Best Buy, no more Home Depot, etc.
    Those stores that don’t check? usually mom and pops with higher prices and smaller stock.
    THAT is the correct way to handle this sort of objection- not through frivolous lawsuits and distracting unneccessary police involvement.
    The only reason this shopper was made to feel like a criminal is that THEY BEHAVED LIKE ONE.

  345. sumertopp says:

    Are you people nuts?!?! Isn’t this standard policy at pretty much any retail electronics store in the country? Best Buy and Circuit City certainly check receipts. Even Wal Mart and Costco do. I do feel slightly violated when I can’t be trusted to make a legitimate purchase at a store, but you’re gonna have to take on a lot more than Tigerdirect if you hope to win this one.

  346. macgregor98 says:

    I had to register to say my two cents. I worked in retail security for
    eight months. From day one hour one it was drilled into my head never
    to stop a customer unless you had absolute proof that they took
    something. usually by video/visual confirmation. their reasoning was
    that it was better to eat the loss than face a massive lawsuit. despite
    what the other people say you have no requirement to show a reciept
    unless they have accused you of theft.

  347. asherchang says:

    @Shadkahn: Why do you say that? You don’t
    believe people can act level-headed? Not everyone has the same
    personality, the manager could have easilly been pissed off at
    something from earlier, and also have been a more combative kinda
    person, while Shaneal might be someone who just doesn’t yell back.

    Anyways, in order for any sorta store policy to have any kind of legal
    weight it would have to be phrased something like “By purchasing our
    products, you agree to a mandatory receipt check at the door”.

  348. mmm_cheetos says:

    If your goal to change the company policy and not sue for monetary gain, here is what you can do:
    Get a dozen or so friends who believe in your cause and get them to buy something at the store and then refuse to show the receipt at the door. If they are not allowed to exit, they can call the police. (I suggest using the non-emergency number instead of 911.) You can do this all at once, but it might be better to do it in intervals so there are several separate calls to the police. (i.e. Wait for the police to leave before the next person goes in.)
    There are drawbacks in that it wastes the police’s time and they might get upset such that your Nth friend to do this get really hassled by them. You will also delay other people in the store, so I suggest planning this act of civil disobedience during a slow time at the store, if there is one.

  349. AlexPDL says:

    WOW! Im surprised this is even being discussed… the store has a right to do this. I’m an attorney… I have not researched the issue but I do not think there is a case here. You don’t have to shop at these stores. Costco, Circuit City, Best Buy, and many urban stores have this policy. Some stores make you check your bags at a counter and almost all stores have policies that say they can check your bags at will. They have the right to refuse service (as long as it does not violate statute). Remember we do not have a “right” to privacy. Oftentimes people quote the Constitution against companies…well unfortunately the Constitution does not protect us from private entities. Statutes protect us from private entities. The Constitution protects us from our government.

    As always I am not your attorney, get advise from your own attorney. This post is not legal advice.

  350. sifr says:

    “How can people walk through life so concerned with such trivial shit”

    Which is trivial to you, unlawful search or unlawful detainment?

    Yeah, this’d be a wonderful fucking country if we all just get over it and let anyone and everyone search us without cause and detain us without cause.

    And as for playing the military card, get bent. I also did my time in a combat unit, and I’m here to say that the whole flag-waving “support the troops” routine everytime someone does something that isn’t in line with the current administration’s attempts to piss all over the graves of everyone who’s fought and died for these United States is getting very old.

  351. killavanilla says:

    This is a faulty argument that won’t withstand court review.
    because you do not have a ‘right’ to shop in a store.
    That’s right! You don’t. Stores have a right to refuse business to anyone and for any reason.
    So to make a claim of this nature, you would be filing a bad faith lawsuit.
    In essence, your argument relies on the assumption that you have a ‘right’ to shop at a store, which is false. You have a right to walk down the street. A store is a private entity that can set it’s own rules. Sort of like Bally’s. You don’t have a ‘right’ to work out there, you pay for membership so that you can. Same for Costco. You have to purchase membership to gain access.
    They did not infringe on constitutional rights.
    I still don’t think they really illegally detained this person either.
    Think about it – they ask someone to show a receipt and that person refuses – that is grounds for reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.
    If you get pulled over and the police officer asks you if you have anything in the car and you say “do not open the trunk”, you’ve given reasonable suspicion.
    By the way, you don’t have a ‘right’ to drive either. Driving is a priveledge that has requirements.
    Perhaps you should law off the law books unless you understand how the law works?
    You only found half the answer.
    Question 1 is what code applies.
    Question 2 is does that code really apply?
    The code is correct, the application is not.

  352. sifr says:

    @AlexPDL: You might be a lawyer, but you’re a poor one if you think your idea of legality applies in every state. In California, stores very much do not have the right to ask for a receipt. See California Penal Code 490.5.(f)(1) et. seq.

    And as for the detainment, that’s against the law in any state, without reasonable suspicion. Failure to consent to a voluntary search does not constitute reasonable suspicion.

  353. zzub says:

    i would like to see someone organize a flash mob to go into that particular or multiple stores simataniously and buy something under a doller makeing sure they get a bag,then when leaving…well you can probably see where this is going.inconvenience those bastards while having a laugh or two. get it on video and post it, i and maybe the media would like to see that

  354. Sukii says:

    DonRoberto: If they demand a receipt, I happily show it to them, then immediately ask where the returns counter is located.
    Same thing if they ask for ID on a SIGNED credit card. I show ID and politely ask for them to void the transaction and walk out.
    If they don’t trust me, why should I trust them?

    Ok, I’m kind of late to the party to be commenting on this, but I just wanted to point out that in your example, the latter is to protect YOU and your interests while the former is to protect the store’s interests. I have absolutely no problem showing my ID for a credit card purchase because I know it is for my protection. That’s why you are supposed to sign your card in the first place–so the clerk can check the signature on your card with the signature on your driver’s license or other form of photo ID.

  355. Balisong says:

    First time commenting here and taking time out of lunch break to do so, because this story really makes me angry. Shoplifters increase prices for all of us, so why are you trying to interfere with policies trying to prevent it? And then tying up our court system with the aftermath. What is all this “I have a right to not show my receipt” talk? Five seconds to show a slip of paper would have prevented all of this. I’ve worked a lot of retail, so no this is not going to lead to frisking, searching through your pockets, etc, like some people are stating on here because that is not any store’s policy. Why are you trying to make someone’s job harder because you have “consumer rights” to do so? Show the receipt – it’s not wire tapping.

  356. killavanilla says:

    You know what else is getting old?
    People blaming everything that they don’t like on the Bush administration.
    I thank you for your service and despise your attitude.
    To all of you who wish to invoke the name “bush” in relation to this story – STFU. This is not a government issue, this is a private issue totally unrelated to the war, our current administration, vets, constitutional law, and President Bush.
    This is not politics, this is consumer issues.
    There was no improper search. The idea that this was unlawful detainment is also suspect.
    So please, enough with the ‘i’m a combat vet’, ‘This is bush’s fault’, ‘the government is trampling our rights’, ‘this is a civil liberties issue’ nonsense.
    Drop the wrong headed politics and get with the program.
    Anything relating to bush, the government, the constitution, and civil rights is superfluous and silly.
    You have a right to choose where you shop. You have a right not to be discriminated against. BUT stores have a right to ask for a receipt. Sure, technically you can refuse – BUT WHY?
    What good can possibly come of it?
    For all we know, this customer stole something and got away with it.
    This thread deteriorated from a discussion of consumer rights into nonsense.

  357. enm4r says:

    @killavanilla: @AnonAdmin:
    Think about it – they ask someone to show a receipt and that person refuses – that is grounds for reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.
    If you get pulled over and the police officer asks you if you have anything in the car and you say “do not open the trunk”, you’ve given reasonable suspicion.

    Your analogy is completely wrong. He did not say “don’t open the trunk.” The correct analogy would be to be pulled over havign committed no traffic violation, and then being asked to open the trunk. You do not have to submit to that.

    Not showing a receipt is NOT grounds for reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.

  358. killavanilla says:

    There was no request for a search, just proof of purchase.
    Not consenting to that is grounds for reasonable suspicion.
    The guard didn’t ask to look in the bag, just to see the receipt. He never got the chance to ask about the bag, so reasonable suspicion is at play here. There wouldn’t have been any detainment had the customer just flashed the receipt, which was not a request for a search at all.
    And since this happened in Illinois, I’m pretty sure you either aren’t a lawyer or ‘are a poor one’ because California law has no bearing on what happened in Illinois.

  359. Dorgon says:

    @SIFR California Penal Code says:

    (f) (1) A merchant may detain a person for a reasonable time for the purpose of conducting an investigation in a reasonable manner whenever the merchant has probable cause to believe the person to be detained is attempting to unlawfully take or has unlawfully taken merchandise from the merchant’s premises.

    This sounds like it fits perfectly. Asking for a receipt, which takes about 10 seconds, is a reasonable investigation and a reasonable amount of time. What’s the probable cause? We only have one side of this story, so we’ll never know.

  360. sifr says:

    @Dorgon: Refusing a voluntary search is NOT probable cause, by legal definition!

  361. TheMadCow says:

    Based on the majority of comments that just expect you to “roll over” for an authority figure – I’d have to say that in the US our young citizens have been properly indoctrinated by the last 8 years of Bush & Company. Congratulations on a fine crop of sheeple.

    To Shaneal, I feel your anger with these policies. Best Buy, Frys, Costco and other venders of this ilk and always getting under my skin with not letting you leave the store without showing “your papers”. Try this sometime at Costco. It’s even worse than at TigerDirect. If a retailer is SO concerned with shoplifting, why don’t they isolate the checkout system so that you only reach that exit door by being “checked out”?

  362. killavanilla says:

    ummm, you are wrong.
    If the police see you weaving inside your lane, they CAN pull you over even though weaving inside of one’s lane isn’t illegal.
    Not showing a receipt upon request can, and often does, result in detainment and a search of the bag as well as frequently ending up with a shoplifter getting caught.
    What logical reason could someone have for not wanting to show a receipt?
    The logic flow makes sense here – you know who DOESN’T want to comply with that request? Usually shoplifters. In this case? Not a shoplifter (that we know about). But how many people actually refuse when they have no reason save for some convoluted civil rights nonsense?
    I just fail to see the harm in flashing the receipt here. What damages could possibly occur by showing it?

  363. tck1000 says:

    Legally you don’t have to show a receipt? You have a right to privacy? That’s your argument?

    You may have a right to privacy, but you don’t have a “right” to shop at TigerDirect, or Costco. Both of those are privileges (YMMV). By shopping there, you are temporarily agreeing to their Terms of Use, which may temporarily ask you to waive certain “rights” while you’re on their premises, which are private property.

    While you may legally not have to show a receipt, they also legally don’t have to sell anything to you.

  364. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: If the guard was not going to look in the bag, then there is zero point to asking for the receipt.

    Furthermore, the receipt, once tendered to the customer, is the customer’s property. Asking to see the receipt therefore constitutes search.

    Refusing a voluntary search is perfectly legal. Insisting a voluntary search is mandatory when the victim has no way to opt out of the search is not.

    Stores like Costco do not fall into this category, because one has a contractual agreement with the store, which covers said search. Stores like TigerDirect have no such contract.

  365. Dorgon says:


    As I stated, we have absolutely no idea what else this guy may have done. He got pretty defensive in a darned hurry. Why?

    If the norm is to show a receipt, and he refuses, it is well within the store’s bounds to question this. At no time was he “searched.”

    Read the rest of 490.5 to get an idea of the rights of merchants in this situation.

  366. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: Please stop conflating the actions of LEOs with the actions of private citizens working in a retail store.

    What LEOs may or may not do and what private citizens may or may not do are two separate things.

  367. Esquire99 says:

    @sifr: Are you an attorney? Have you done research regarding the actual application of the penal code you cite?

  368. sifr says:

    @Dorgon: You’re right. He wasn’t searched. He was unlawfully detained for legally declining a voluntary search. Get your facts right.

    And, having successfully used 490.5 to get out of exactly that situation at Best Buy in the presence of a LEO, I suggest YOU do further reading.

  369. enm4r says:

    @killavanilla: @enm4r:
    ummm, you are wrong.
    If the police see you weaving inside your lane, they CAN pull you over even though weaving inside of one’s lane isn’t illegal.

    Yes, but weaving is grounds for suspicion. If you don’t give the police a reason to check you out, they cannot simply pull you over and search your car. Again, no reason, no search.

    Simply walking out a store is not grounds for suspicion. Unless he was strafing out the door….

  370. sifr says:

    @bradg33: Are you a criminal? have you done research regarding the actual subversion of your legal rights?

  371. Voyou_Charmant says:

    This seems like a huge deal out of something that simply is not.

    Was security and management out of line, based on your account? Yes.

    Should you have maybe let him see the receipt since it would have taken all of 3 seconds to do? Probably.

    I say throw a brick through the window of the store and yell ANARCHYYYYY!!!!!

  372. sifr says:

    @thisaintsweettea: So we should let the government record all our phone calls. After all, it takes all of 3 seconds to do so, and you’ve done nothing wrong, right?


    You sheep need to get your heads out of your arses and stop thinking that the argument “You wouldn’t have a problem with it if you’ve got nothing to hide” is valid.

    Go read up on being secure in one’s person and property.

  373. silverlining says:

    @louballs: That doesn’t make sense. Once a customer is out the door and store staff/security seen you shoplift something, store personnel can rightfully stop and detain you. In the case you make, the cd isn’t even in a bag–obviously, it’s being stolen. That’s completely different than the situation described above.

    I actually really appreciate what Shaneal did. I’ve seen this practice at discount stores–especially K-Mart. It’s stupid. They never even look in your bag; just highlight the receipt and off you go.

    Just because you shop at a store in a poor neighborhood (that’s where the K-Mart I saw was, anyway–can’t speak to the TigerDirect store) doesn’t mean that you give up your privacy rights or that you should be treated like a criminal.

    I think that the security guard was probably the middle man, though. Obviously the guy was enforcing company policy, and it’s the company that should be targeted. The security company shouldn’t require its employees to break the law, either, even if their client the store wants them to. The guard is screwed any way he handles the situation–his choices are to be sued by the customer, get a complaint filed against him from the store to the security company, or be fired by the security company.

    And what makes standing up for your rights worse is that (though it doesn’t sound like in this case) security guards are often off-duty policemen who have connections with the local police station anyway. If one happens to run into one of these off-duty cop guards and one calls the cops for unlawful detainment–well, good luck with that.

    Good luck, Shaneal. You’re standing up for the right principles.

  374. killavanilla says:

    Talk about conflating an argument.
    You just scolded me for conflating the situation by comparing government and here you are, calling people ‘sheep’ (that’s not going to sway anyone to your side, btw) and comparing this minor private issue to governmental wire tapping.
    Take your own advice and stay on subject OR stop telling other people not to do what you chose to do not 8 minutes later.

  375. Dorgon says:

    I can’t believe all of these people walk through life with such a giant chip on their shoulder that they can’t just be good to each others. The only way to get good Customer Service is to be a good Customer.

    Like it or not, it is now customary to show a receipt at a big box electronics store.

    Which of things do you do, just because it is your right to do so?

    1. Cram into an elevator before letting other people off.
    2. Fail to tip your servers when eating out a restaurant.
    3. Talk on your cellphone in a movie theater.

    My point is that there are many many things we do in this life because societal customs dictate them, and not because they fall within some set of legal rights.

    It’s fine to be a dick if you want to be. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences.

    I’m done defending a store. Back to defending Customers.

  376. AnonAdmin says:

    @KILLAVANILLA I beg to differ on this issue. You are correct that “Stores have a right to refuse business to anyone and for any reason.” but they do not have the right to detain and search a customer after the sale with out witnessing a crime. This would be depriving him of liberty, andor property, without due process of law; (Amendment 5). They did refuse his business when they banned him from the store.

    Presuming guilt based on the fact that he will not submit to a search of his belongings (He paid for them) is another violation. Presumption of innocence is widely held to follow from the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments. Coffin v. United States

    By the way, if the police ask to search the car and you decline. They can not search the car! The probable cause is well defined and if they can meet the requirements to show probable cause they can search. The act of refusing a search can not be used as probable cause to search the vehicle.

    As to the statement you made that he would be “filing a bad faith lawsuit.” I am suggesting that he file federal charges through the magistrate, not file a civil law suit. This would not be a lawsuit.

  377. sifr says:

    @Dorgon: It might be customary, but — and here’s the point you keep missing — it’s also VOLUNTARY.

    Shopping there is voluntary, but submitting to the exit-door Nazi is ALSO voluntary.

    This is why you can walk out of Fry’s with zero hassle in California without showing a receipt. They thought otherwise, and got sued seven ways from Sunday by someone who stood up for their rights.

    But hey, have fun going to big box retailers on busy weekends and standing in that idiotic line for 20 minutes while all of you go “Baa! Baa!” while the door Nazi pats you on the head and tells you what a good, righteous Customer you are, and what an upstanding Citizen you’re being.

    Maybe you’ll even get a yummy.

  378. killavanilla says:

    regarding your argument that there is no point in asking for a receipt if you aren’t going to look in the bag –
    Says you!
    There are many reasons to stop a customer and ask to show a receipt. For one, a person who stole something might behave suspiciously.
    For another, people can walk through with a store bag, filling it up, then try to walk out without paying. Asking for a receipt completely stops this type of shoplifting.
    Some expert you turned out to be!
    I worked at a busy bar/restaurant. At one point, we started to notice a lot of people asking for their to-go food and *surprise* we couldn’t find it even though the cooks had it.
    Turns out, people were walking up to our to-go station and walking out with other peoples orders without paying. We posted someone at the door, and asked our customers who were leaving with to-go bags for their receipt. One time, while working the door, I asked a guy if he could show me his receipt. He put down the bag of food, presumably to get his receipt out of his pockets, turned around for a second and ran through the crowd and out the back door.
    Here’s a shocker – we stopped having this problem within 2 weeks.
    When customers objected, we explained that it was for their benefit and not one person refused or had an issue with it, save for the runners and the one guy we detained and had arrested.
    Simply put, there is nothing unreasonable about asking for a receipt. No search is necessary because all but hardened criminals that may be shoplifting start to act nervous, refuse, and either run or try to make a big deal about it like our friend here.
    This is and will always be much ado about nothing.

  379. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: Behaving suspiciously is probable cause for a reasonable investigation using reasonable methods.

    Legally declining a voluntary search absent any such suspicious behavior is not probable cause.

    Loss prevention must witness the suspicious behavior, then keep the suspect in sight at all times until such an investigation can be conducted.

    Legally declining a voluntary search isn’t suspicious behavior, and is not grounds for detainment under the law.

    People do illegal things all the time while smiling and saying “it’s for your benefit”. That a sad percentage of people would willingly go along with that is a testament to the decay of today’s American society.

    Getting away with it does not become any sort of precedent for making it right. It just means you got away with it.

    Now, stop predenting that this guy did anything other but insist that he be granted the freedoms allowed under the law, and go back to licking your jackboots.

  380. zzub says:

    i think they were on a power trip.now for revenge.get a flash mob to go in there and buy somthing under a doller make sure they get a bag and are stopped on the way out,refusing to show receipt.i and maybe the media woud like to see that.i would love to see that

  381. Craig says:

    If you say you’ve spent over $10,000 at this store then you know they’re going to ask for your receipt at the door. If you choose to refuse then you’re obviously going to get some kind of argument. Did TigerDirect go over the top here? Sure, but your actions meant you were looking for a fight in the first place.

  382. It’s fine to be a dick if you want to be. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences.

    @Dorgon: None of which should include being the victim of a crime. The store broke the law by detaining him and all of the whining in the world that he should have shown the reciept won’t change the fact that what the store employees did was wrong.

    This is and will always be much ado about nothing.
    @killavanilla: Being held illegally is not “nothing”.

  383. killavanilla says:

    All the rights and constitutional amendments apply to government, not private entities such as stores.
    There was no attempt made to search the customer, so kindly remove that from your list of ‘offenses’.
    And why on god’s green earth would any federal prosecutor make a federal case about this?
    Besides being totally insignificant, the detainment hardly qualified as damaging as it lasted less than 30 minutes and was not forcible.
    They didn’t tie him up, they restricted his access to the exit.
    They didn’t cuff him or restrain him in any way. They were simply curious as to why a person would be so vehement as to call 911 after refusing to show a receipt he likely had in his hand or bag – OR NOT! And this whole ‘reasonable suspicion’ argument is moot as we don’t know if the security goon had observed unusual or suspicious behavior. All we have is the customers side of the story. Which means we have half of the story, at best, and a pretty typical ‘i didn’t do a single thing wrong’ claim.
    Since we don’t know if there was reasonable cause (perhaps the store manager saw him take three items but pay for two, or saw him throw something else in the bag after or during the transaction).
    All I am saying is that this isn’t a federal case, no law was indisputably broken, and the DA as well as private attorneys that were consulted BOTH refused to take action.
    To me, that’s all I need to hear. If serious laws were broken or there was a real basis for a case, the DA, states attorney or personal attorney would likely have taken a different course of action.
    It’s been an interesting discussion, with posts ranging from the reasonable “just show the stupid receipt” to the unreasonable “Bush administration” horsesqueeze.

  384. killavanilla says:

    You are both intelligent and reasonable.
    Through your deductive prowess, you figured out that I am, in fact, a nazi who wears jackboots.
    Grow up and stop acting like a spoiled child.
    I am not a nazi. This wasn’t a case of clear cut anything, just a note from a consumer that people like you turned into a federal case that illustrates the power of the ever evil Bush administration.
    He was detained for minutes and without the use of force.
    Stuff it, neo-hippie. I’m off to lick my jackboots.

  385. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: “All the rights and constitutional amendments apply to government, not private entities such as stores.”

    You’ve just destroyed any and all credibility you may have had.

  386. djanes1 says:

    It seems to me that most of the comments fall into the camps of ‘Just show the receipt numbnut’ and ‘This is a grave injustice’… I fall somewhere in the middle. This ‘voluntary’ receipt check policy is lame, but is fairly unintrusive as far as common violations of privacy go. Unfortunately we have to put up with these fairly often, be they TSA screenings, security checks at museums or sports games, or drunk driving checkpoints. The only way to avoid them is to go all Ted Nugent/Bob Lee Swagger. Shaneal obviously did his research and decided to pick this fight. He took the time to know his rights and what course of action he would take if detained (dial 911). But since most of the world falls into the ‘just show your receipt numbnut’ camp, I don’t think he is going to find satisfaction through any kind of legal process that involves payment for ‘damages’. If he is still looking to ‘get the best of Tigerdirect’ I would suggest complaints to the BBB asking for written apologies from the store and security company. Protesting on public property in front of the store could also ‘work’. Sometimes all you really can do is make formal complaints.

  387. If you choose to refuse then you’re obviously going to get some kind of argument.

    @Craig: No, not obviously. Others have already said on this thread that they’ve skipped the check with no problem period. Having always submitted to the check before he’d have no idea that it’d blow up the way it did.

    I could easily argue the guard was the one spoiling for a fight.

  388. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: “He was detained for minutes and without the use of force”

    So because he was illegally detained without also being assaulted, and because the illegal detainment wasn’t prolonged, the illegal detainment is okay?

    I’m flabbergasted that someone as high as yourself is still able to use a computer.

  389. jamesdenver says:


    Christ I hate it when people toss equate the Civil Rights movement to stupid mundane shit.

    Go visit the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and then equate Rosa Parks to such nonsense.

    Same thing applies to using the term “Nazi” for everything slightly irritating.

  390. killavanilla says:

    By the way, do any of you who are claiming unreasonable search and detainment have any information that would lead you to conclude with a degree of certainty that there was no suspicious activity?
    Not one.
    And being detained peacefully does not amount to the degree of severity of being ‘unlawfully detained’ or else the police officer would have made an arrest and the SA or DA would have happily prosecuted.
    I know, god forbid we show our receipt. Going through a hassle like this was and remains TOTALLY worth it!
    What’s next?
    Are we off to harrass the store now? Should we all picket the store and waste more valuable time over a situation that should of and likely would have resulted in three seconds of showing a receipt and being on your merry way?
    When you order food for takeout and they ask for a receipt, are they accusing you of stealing?
    Grow up. All of you. Every lawyer who took a look at this case agreed that it was baseless and insignificant. But hey, you faceless commenters must know something that all those people who went through years of law school and years of practice don’t.
    Still much ado about nothing.

  391. sifr says:

    @djanes1: I take issue with a few of your examples.

    TSA searches are not voluntary, they are mandatory.

    Searches at entrances to museums and sporting events are contractually specified and agreed to when you purchase a ticket.

    A search at an exit of a store to which no membership is sold and no contract has been entered into is voluntary, and may be declined legally. The store has every right to attempt the search. The customer has every right to decline the search. The store has every right to refuse future service to the customer on the basis of that declination.

    The store does NOT have the right to detain the customer on the basis of a legally declined volluntary search.

  392. Shaneal obviously did his research and decided to pick this fight. He took the time to know his rights and what course of action he would take if detained (dial 911).

    @djanes1: Oh yes, because only troublemakers go through the trouble of knowing their legal rights.

  393. holy3daps says:

    If I’m carrying several things, in both hands, stopping to allow a security guard to be certain that I didn’t actually just steal them will be annoying and time-consuming. If I’ve just bought a computer and some software, I’ve got to put the computer down, fish through the bag with the software to find the receipt, wait for the minimum-wage guard to assure him/herself that I didn’t take something that isn’t on the receipt, and then I’ve got to pick the computer up again. It’s easy to hand a receipt over if I’ve got one hand free to do so. How many times have you gone shopping and come out with packages in both hands?

    As for TigerDirect, after my first and only computer purchase (with extended warranty) from them, I will never buy anything from them ever again. It took hours of phone calling to get them to take the computer back (I had to pay for shipping it to them) and fix the IDE controller. Unfortunately (for me) they used the wrong address to send it back, and ended up shipping it twice (the second time ALSO to the wrong address, but DHL and I figured it out before it was shipped back to TD). There’s nothing TD has that I can’t get cheaper and more correctly from my favorite computer online merchant, multiwave direct (mwave dot com).

  394. jamesdenver says:

    I agree with the poster’s point, but also feel the “just show them” logic too. No point in stressing yourself over such mundane crap.

    I thought of almost EVERY time I leave Walgreens with my prescription the door alarm beeps me. I have no idea why. I NEVER stop and gape and turn around, I just keep walking. If they want to follow me out I’ll show them my receipt while walking to my car or to my bike. I’ll never slow down though – I’m not going to sit like a dog and wait for someone to tell me I can leave the store just because an alarm dings at me

    And they rarely do follow me out.


  395. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: Yes, actually.

    If there was suspicious behavior, a loss prevention employee would have identified the customer to management prior to his attempted exit from the store, and the customer would have been presented with the evidence against him as justification for the reasonable investigation and detainment.

    Furthermore, management would have had the loss prevention employee on hand when the LEO arrived to present the evidence to the LEO, and would have requested that the LEO take appropriate action.

  396. And being detained peacefully does not amount to the degree of severity of being ‘unlawfully detained’

    @killavanilla: It being “peaceful” does not make it legal.

  397. AndyAndy719 says:

    I love the consumerist, and I think the 389 comments are great. Two things:

    It seems Godwin’s law applies here:

    Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies)[1] is an adage that Mike Godwin formulated in 1990. The law states:[2]

    As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

    Second – if anyone in the illinois area wants to do a collective “fuq you I want my rights back” type event and go to tiger direct, purchase items and refuse to show receipt, I’m in. :)

    Nothing will get the point across more then 20+ people telling the jerks that they can take their crazy policy and stuff it. Tiger Direct can claim 1 person was attempting shoplifting – but 20 – are they going to claim it was a shoplifting ring? :)

  398. sifr says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: “Oh yes, because only troublemakers go through the trouble of knowing their legal rights”

    Funny you mention that. When the LEO arrived to handle my incident at BB, he told me that me knowing the appropriate section of the California Penal Code was in fact suspicious. I informed him that knowledge of the law is not a crime, nor does it constitute reasonable suspicion, as much as some people might wish otherwise to the detriment of lawyers everywhere.

    My lawyer, who I happened to have called while all this was happening, got a chuckle out of that.

    And, just so everyone’s absolutely clear, the LEO had no choice but to let me leave with the items I had purchased.

  399. rdm7234 says:

    @jwissick: You’ve crossed the line into histrionic.

    If your daughter is getting raped, but the cop can’t stop it because he’s dealing with someone making a stink at a store, be sure to thank him for standing up for his rights.

  400. colinjay says:

    This is absolutely astonishing. I can’t believe that so many people have belittled the OP.

    Most laws state that you can only be detained by a store if they have observed you shoplifting or you set off some type of security device. Checking your receipt or the contents of your bag unless you are suspected of shoplifting is UNLAWFUL. Failure to consent to a receipt check is not considered probable cause to initiate a search.

    The bottom line is that those of you who think that you are an “ass” or “inconvenient” when you refuse to consent to an unlawful request by a business show that in the quest for convenience and low prices that you are willing to give up your rights unnecessarily. I still get the same low prices and NEVER show my receipt because it is UNLAWFUL to require me to do so unless you observed me put something else in my bag or if I set off the security alarms.

  401. killavanilla says:

    And you just proved yourself to be not smart enough to know what you are talking about:
    “The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that searches and seizures conducted under governmental authority be “reasonable””
    So that doesn’t apply because the store isn’t a governemental authority. So who is the idiot again?
    Oh yeah, you.
    And the fifth amendment?
    “Fifth Amendment protections apply wherever and whenever an individual is compelled to testify.”
    “The Fifth Amendment protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves.”
    “The Fifth Amendment’s protections often relate to police interrogations and confessions by suspects.”
    The bill of rights applies to protections of citizens from the goverment.
    Did I get high from licking my jackboots?

  402. sifr says:

    @rdm7234: Move to a city with more than one cop.

  403. Esquire99 says:

    Another thing that came to mind, the OP mentions damages for 30 minutes of their time being wasted. I believe in most cases, the plaintiff needs to show a reasonable effort to mitigate the damages they are claiming. In this case, there was no effort at all to mitigate. In fact, the actions of the OP made the damages worse. While I agree they were not legally obligated to show the receipt, the failure to do so may negate any damage award because there was no effort to mitigate. It would have been a reasonable way to diffuse the situation. It’s not like they were asking for a sexual favor, or anything that could be deemed as unreasonable, and I think the OP would be obligated, in the eyes of mitigation, to have shown the receipt to end the situation. Again, I’m not saying it was legal for them to do what they did, and I don’t believe there was a legal obligation to show the receipt, but I think it will certainly come up when the OP tries to get damages.

  404. vincedotcom says:

    You called the cops–priceless absolutely priceless! ! ! ! !

  405. hypnotik_jello says:

    @AndyGoodwin: Or, when asked to produce the receipt, head straight to the refund counter. No point in actually giving them any real business.

  406. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: You said “all rights and amentments”. You don’t get to pick and choose now, after discovering you screwed up.

    Let’s start with the 1st. The 1st precludes Congress from enacting laws that would restrict constitutional rights.

    However, the rights therein are not restricted to members of government.

    Let’s move to the 2nd. The 2nd deals with the people’s right to keep and bear arms. Yes, it once again constrains the government from abridging those rights, but the rights themselves do not pertain to the government.

    We could do this with all 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights, but really, what’s the point? You’ve already amply demonstrated your asshattery.

    By all means, keep frothing, my little neocon. Poking you with a stick is the kind of entertainment we can enjoy all week.

  407. rjhiggins says:

    You want to fight for a cause? Help raise awareness for those starving in Darfur. Volunteer at your local shelter. Raise money for AIDS research. Buy some back-to-school supplies or clothes for kids in your community whose parents can’t afford them.

    But don’t waste everyone’s time and money with such a frivolous lawsuit. There are so many more important things in the world.

  408. rdm7234 says:

    If you @sifr: Oh, I get it. Most cities have plenty of cops that are just waiting to deal with this type of nonsense? Is that what you’re saying?

    Honestly, if you can’t handle a store checking your receipt, stay home and shop online. And if you’re concerned about your civil rights, do something more useful about it.

  409. Dan_M says:

    Just remember a few things:
    It’s easier to submit to an unlawful search of your vehicle.
    It’s easier to submit to an unlawful search of your house.
    It’s easier to submit to an unlawful search of your person.
    It’s easier to stop people in cars because their black (racial profiling).
    It’s easier to promote the white guy because he’s white.
    It’s easier to beat someone with a bat instead of a lawsuit.

    Just because it’s easier, doesn’t make it right. Even with the addage, “If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care they are violating your civil rights.”

    If the receipt showing was voluntary he shouldn’t have been stopped, period.

    If he stole something, like a post here is stating, he should’ve been arrested, period. Otherwise, it’s slander. Simple enough. But wouldn’t it “be easier” to just give up the item he ‘supposedly stole’ than arrest him? Who out there is for arresting him for doing that, but not arresting the security guard for violating his rights? Would be hipocritical wouldn’t it?

    And it seems the “it’s easier” was the position taken by the officer to not cite/arrest the parties involved. There is no way to know how long he would have been detained, or how much further it would’ve been escalated had the officer not been called and/or shown up. While it’s hard to prove intent, it’s simple there was intent to prevent him from leaving without complying with a voluntary policy. Would they have called the cops? Would they have become physically violent and start searching him for that receipt? How many of you against him right now, would be behind him if he had been acosted by the security guard for not showing the receipt?

    I think the wrong should be held accountable, not “well, it’s easier”-ed.

  410. sifr says:

    @rdm7234: Standing up for one’s rights is always useful.

    If you disagree, feel free to live without them. There are plenty of people who’d love to have them, and would fight and die to protect them. Yes, even the little ones. Yes, even the seemingly insignificant ones.

    If you refuse to protect them, you WILL lose them.

  411. Esquire99 says:

    I do agree with sifr on the fact that simply refusing to consent to a search or a receipt check by no means meets the legal definition of probable cause. It can draw suspicion, but more than simple suspicion is required in order to detain someone. What if the person walking out the door, with no bags and not carrying anything looks “shifty-eyed”, do they get to stop them too?

  412. killavanilla says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:
    true, it being peaceful doesn’t make it legal, but it certainly weakens the voracity of the whole ‘illegal search and detainment’ argument.
    I was once asked for a receipt on my way out of a store that I couldn’t find. While I searched through my pockets, was I illegally detained?
    Should I have sued?
    Nah. Much easier to simply produce a receipt. That is the point. There would have been no detainment had the customer simply thought “I can make a stink and waste 30 minutes or so of my day or I can hand the goon his receipt.”
    It’s not that I think the way this was handled was correct by the store – it’s just that making a stink about something as silly as a request for a receipt just makes no sense.

  413. coss3n says:

    @bravo369: If a store has *probable cause* to believe you’ve stolen their property, they’re within their rights to detain you. If they see you walk over to the plasma TV section, pick up a 50″ screen, and put it in your purse before trying to leave, the law is entirely with them in stopping you.

    What they *can’t* do is stop every single customer with no cause and demand to see proof that you’re not a thief. Don’t even try this reductio ad absurdum nonsense. A retailer can defend themself against loss, but they still have to obey the darn law.

    If we’re going to be taking things to extremes, why not have police checkpoints at every intersection to make sure that people aren’t drunk-driving in stolen vehicles? We’d sure catch more offenders that way, and really what rights are you giving up? Only the guilty have something to hide.

  414. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: “You have done nothing wrong, therefore you have nothing to worry about.”

    Yet another argument of that form. Why?

    What makes you think this is a sound basis for civil conduct? And why does it suddenly become unsound when exactly the same premise is used to justify wiretapping, showing your papers on demand, being stopped in the street and searched, etc.?

  415. chazz says:

    I think the reason they do that, check the receipts of everyone is to avoid a discrimination lawsuit based on some kind of “profiling.” If their “policy” is to search everyone – then the “suspicious” usually minority shoppers can’t scream discrimination.

    I personally come down on the side of, show the freaking receipt and let the ACLU worry about the rest. Donate $5 if you really care. I think there are bigger/better battles to make a stand on. However if that gets your goat don’t stand for it.

  416. norsman says:

    I’m in Canada and had a similar situation as the TigerDirect one but was at a Superstore based outlet store. I emailed the following to their head office with no direct response. However I do let friends and family know that they really shouldn’t shop where you are treated like a thief. I’ve noticed a complete change and the Superstores and their smaller Extra foods, where they no longer have security guards taping the items you bring into the store. I haven’t been back to the store where i had the trouble so i don’t know if they got rid of the guard approach or not.

    This is my email-

    To Whom it may concern.

    I’m quite sure you have received complaints like mine as I’ve heard numerous over the years from friends and family.

    I have never liked being treated as a thief while entering one of your stores. If I have a bag on me, a guard wishes to inspect it and then puts tape on it. A most ridiculous procedure, I’m sure, to any real thief as it’s unlikely they would display the bag they are stealing with. Sometimes, I will ignore this rudeness if I absolutely must shop in one of your stores but most of my business goes to Safeway and the Co-op simply because of your backwards, insulting approach.

    I experienced an approach today in your warehouse store on north Broad street in Regina, that I simply would not let the “security guard” get away with.

    It was the first time (and last) that I shop there.

    The guard was busy inspecting large carts full of items and the customers obliged him like sheep as they showed him “their” receipts. I had a few items in my hands that I had just paid for and one was quite large and awkward to carry. As I tried to head out of the door the “guard” stopped me and told me to show him my receipt.

    I said that he can verify my purchase by talking to the cashier that I just transacted with. He refused and again asked for my receipt. I said hold my stuff and I’ll get it. He refused so I tried to walk out. He grabbed me at which I showed him my receipt and told him to go “fuck himself”. And that I’m never shopping there again.

    What he and you, I’m sure, fail to realize is that once paid for , those items are mine and if I want to show I didn’t steal them, it’s my decision. Beyond that no one has the right to touch me in their store.

    I know you won’t change your policy or approach but you’ve lost another customer

    and I think most simply don’t say anything and then never come back.

    Be thankful that I didn’t press charges.

    Ron Montgomery


  417. jinjin1080 says:


    A) I never said it dumbass get your comments straight.

    B) Stores can only set policies that do NOT violate laws. Since innocent till proven guilty is a pretty big law in America, you cant “check” someones bags when there is no evidence that said person stole from you UNLESS you sign a agreement waving that right (IE a membership)

    This is not the first time this story has even been on here. It WAS SOP for Best Buy to pull the same shit, but I never see people stopped in NJ anymore since they had a huge confrontation about the policy.

    I have no issues with doing it at Costco or BJs.. but when my local Wallyworld started to do it thats where I draw the line. Its interesting my Walmart is doing it too, as they pretty much put out a corporate policy dictating that they where not doing that anymore.

    A) you may not have posted the comment but you did endorse it.

    B) What law does the store’s policy break? The store may have broke the law trying to enforce a policy but that’s different. I agree that the OP should never been detained. The OP has every right to be angry at the store and its policies. I do take offense at the manner in which the OP has decided to resolve this situation.

  418. Much easier to simply produce a receipt. That is the point. There would have been no detainment had the customer simply thought “I can make a stink and waste 30 minutes or so of my day or I can hand the goon his receipt.”

    …it’s just that making a stink about something as silly as a request for a receipt just makes no sense.

    @killavanilla: But he had no reason to think it would turn into all this drama. Lots of people skip the check with not even a blink from security. He politely declined to show it and tried to keep walking. The security guard raised the stink by not letting him leave.

  419. Esquire99 says:

    @chazz: Your comment regarding the “suspicious minority shoppers” is incredibly uncalled for. What an awful and bigoted thing to say, especially on a public forum. People like you are the reason there is still a huge racial divide in this country.

  420. Shadkahn says:

    @asherchang: I just personally feel that under such a situation someone would be hard pressed to be level headed – I’m certain there are a few people that can be so level headed that they are calm during what sounds like a “verbal beatdown” by a group of hostile individuals, maybe I’m just not as strong emotionally to be so calm in such a situation. I can have my viewpoint though that things may not be what was presented, I do think it is reasonable to think that an individual may have reflected upon their on actions differently than what actually took place. It is not that I doubt the story’s validity – I just think that there could be more to it – he could overlooked what he said, or how he carried himself (again something that should not really be an issue, perceiving how someone is carrying themselves is really not the best way to judge a personality anyway). I just felt from my personal interpretation (by placing myself in the same situation) things may have been emotionally explosive on both fronts – Just a feeling – I do have that right to perceive something differently ;3

    Also I was only giving an example of what a store should do if they really want to make it mandatory to show receipts at the door. Just paraphrasing thoughts from my mind onto the keyboard here. Your’s seems more thorough though, so that settles that.

  421. Twitch says:

    To all of you saying “Just show your receipt”.

    This issue deals with your right to privacy. If you give in to allowing a security guard in a electronics store to search you at their whim, then what’s to stop a security guard in a mall searching your bags before you leave? Whats to stop them from stopping you in your car before you get home to search your bag?

    We don’t live in a police state. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy in what they are carrying or purchasing. Would you care if I walked up to you in a parking lot outside of bestbuy and said, show me your receipt? I have just as much authority to do that is they do.

    Once you pay for something, it’s yours. If it’s in a bag, you don’t have to show it to anyone, you don’t have to prove to anyone that you paid for it. It is up to the store to prove that you took it.

    If you allow these rights to be eroded, because, hey, I wasn’t using those rights anyway, you’re stupid.

  422. smanek says:

    A lot of people seemed to have missed some of my previous comments, so I will try and recap:

    The reason I am so offended is that I was forcibly detained. I have no problem with being asked to show a receipt. I also have no problem with being told to leave and not come back if I refuse. Honestly, I don’t particularly care about the slander either, i doubt more than 2-3 people heard it. My problem is that they used force against me for not following a store policy, even though I broke no law.

    If I had shoplifted, or if they even had reasonable grounds to suspect I did, they can legally detain me. However, many courts have ruled that refusing to show a receipt does NOT constitute reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting.

    Also, as I stated before, I am an Indian Male (born in Illinois though) and the guard was white. I have no reason to believe this had anything to do with race though, since TigerDirect asks everyone to show a receipt (yet another reason I know they had no reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting).

    I also did not steal anything, I have both receipts for all three items. But think about it logically: The officer ordered them to let me go; TigerDirect has hundreds of cameras and would have reviewed them after the fact to see if I was shoplifting, if I was, don’t you think they would have pressed charges by now?

  423. bravo369 says:

    @coss3n: That’s exactly what I see though which is what I don’t understand people complaining about. You see someone walking towards the door with items from the store. How does the security guard know they were just purchased? Isn’t his job to check for shoplifting? well that’s what he’s doing. he asks for a receipt and the guy says no. To me, that’s shady.

  424. louballs says:

    @smanek: It seems that they didn’t show force until after you refused to show the receipt. You just stated that you have no problem showing one, so why did you refuse to show it in the first place? Just curious. Thanks.

  425. cptpez says:

    This is a situation that has always irked me – Open-to-the-public stores that think they can detain customers for no other reason than the customer’s refusal to submit to a search.

    And, yes – that is what it is – it is a search. The store wants to search your bag or your cart.

    The law in most states is clear. A store has a “shop-keepers” privilege allowing the store to reasonably detain a person they reasonably suspect of shoplifting until the police arrive.

    Stores have unilaterally attempted to expand on this very limited right and now impose a search on every person leaving the store.

    Can they ask you for the recipt? Sure – they can ask for anything.

    The key question is – what can the store do if you refuse? The answer is nothing – unless they have some other reason to suspect that you shoplifted – your denial of their request is NOT a reasonable basis. The store simply cannot detain you and the moment they do – they are falsely imprisioning you.

    Of course the store is free to bar you from entrance to the store in the future, but they cannot detain you.

    I am amazed that the majority of posters think that the unreasonable person here is the original poster. You are all lambs, and the Store is counting on your docile nature.

    What if the store decided that they wanted to look in your car trunk before you left the parking lot?

    What if they wanted you to turn out your pockets?

    What if they wanted to look in your purse?

    I beleive you would all agree that that would be too much – but it is not that far removed from forcing (yes forcing) people to submit to a search of their cart or bag before being permitted to exit the store.

    We are not talking about the government or the police searching you here – we are talking about another “citizen” stopping and searching you.

    I say take them to court for false imprisonment and defamation – and represent yourself if necessary.

  426. cptpez says:



    No, I dont mind when the usher at a movie theater asks for my ticket on the way in.

    Now, what if he asks for it on the way out and then wont let me leave the theater when I don’t or cannot produce it for him?

  427. smanek says:

    @bravo369: The thing is, the security guard can’t legally just stop me if he doesn’t know they were just purchased. He has to actually know they weren’t purchased (or at least have reasonable grounds to believe they weren’t purchased) in order to use force to detain me.

    What if I stopped someone randomly on the street and asked to see their wallet, to make sure they hadn’t stolen my wallet? I have every right to make the request, and they have every right to refuse. Their refusal to comply doesn’t constitute grounds for reasonable belief.

    Again, I don’t care about being asked, slandered, or even banned. The only thing that bothers me is that I was forcibly and unlawfully restrained. The only time a store is allowed to do that is if they have reasonable grounds to believe I broke the law. They had no such grounds, thus they are not allowed to use force against me.

    To put it more formally:
    1. A store can only legally detain a customer when they have reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting.
    2. The store did no have reasonable grounds to suspect shoplifting (may courts have agreed refusal to consent to a voluntary search does not constitute reasonable grounds for suspicion).
    3. I was detained.
    4. Therefore, that Detention/restraint was unlawful.

    Hope that helps, and thanks for all the support,

  428. SadSam says:

    I hate the show me the receipt policy at certain stores and refuse to go along with it, b/c its dumb and there is no legal requirement for me to show a receipt. Plus 1/2 the time the person asking me to show a receipt just watched me check out. I generally avoid all stores that have this policy – Wal-Mart, BestBuy, K-Mart, etc. If I find myself at such a store, I just say no thank you and keep walking.

    Good for you, fight the power!

  429. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Cthulhubot: The point is, you shouldn’t have to show the guy your receipt, and for them to continue to demand such is unreasonable search and seizure. We used to live in a society where we were “innocent until proven guilty”; sadly, we bartered that away for the shadows of convenience and safety.

  430. SadSam says:

    Furthermore, what is the point of the show the receipt policy?? These security folks don’t check the receipt against the purchases, most of the time they don’t even look long enough to conifrm that the receipt is for the store and for that date. Its just dumb and pisses off customers.

  431. sifr says:

    @bravo369: “How does the security guard know they were just purchased? Isn’t his job to check for shoplifting?”

    No, his job is specifically to check the receipts. The store employs loss prevention specialists whose job it is to watch for shoplifting. If the act is not observed, or behavior observed that strongly suggests the act is taking place, they cannot detain you. They cannot search you.

  432. Michael says:

    @HRMan: I called the security company who threatened me! He said “action will be taken against you if you continue to harass me”. Ah, rent-a-cops, how I love your machismo…

  433. gregly says:

    Damn, I show my receipt all the time, but I also recognize such an act should be voluntary. I can’t believe all the people that have literally made the “if you’re innocent, you have nothing to hide” and “I’d rather give up my rights for lower prices” arguments. (Oh, and the “they’re a private entity, so the Constitution doesn’t apply” argument is priceless too.)

    I’m sure you don’t mind AT&T eavesdropping on all your conversations, and Comcast monitoring all your Internet traffic; after all, if you’re innocent, surely you have nothing to hide! Your entire life should be a totally open book, so people who know what’s best for you can make sure you’re never doing anything that might be construed as illegal! We’d also modify the Miranda clause to say “You have the right to remain silent; however, such silence will be construed as a sign of guilt.”

    “Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t magically disappear when you’ve entered a store, and if you’re willing to sacrifice that for a little convenience, you’re a sheep and deserve the intrusive, patronizing, paranoid, closed-circuit-television world you’ll get. And those of us who actually believe in outdated concepts like individual liberty will suffer for it.

  434. Michael says:

    Or you can email them: [www.tigerdirect.com]

  435. sifr says:

    @gregly: “And those of us who actually believe in outdated concepts like individual liberty will suffer for it.”

    But we’ll still keep fighting to protect those rights, so the mouth-breathers can continue taking them for granted.

  436. Tonguetied says:

    “This poor security guard was just doing his job and now this guy wants to sue him?”

    Just doing your job requires verbal abuse and unlawful detainment? I think that job description needs to be modified.

    And to comment on the story as a whole.

    I don’t have to show my receipt unless they have cause. What if the guard were telling the women to open their purses for inspection? What if he were telling you to empty your pockets? It’s a private store and you have to abide by their policies? I have heard that most theft in stores comes from employees btw, not customers.

  437. chrispiss says:

    Reading these comments remind me of how stupid it is to argue on the internet. I should’ve never posted anything, it’s worthless.

  438. Trackback says:

    Xeni Jardin: Consumerist publishes a pretty wild first-person account from a guy who claims to have been forcibly detained and harassed by private security staff at electronics retailer TigerDirect. The shopper refused to show his receipt after his purchase.

  439. browse says:

    Thank you for being willing to fight the now-traditional “store exit interrogation”. I also refuse those receipt examinations. More than once, I have told a security guard, “I will happily go back inside and return everything I just bought. Or you can let me leave. Those are the only two options; your call.” Only once has someone taken me up on the “return it” option.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  440. wcforeman says:

    If you Know a lawyer personally or know someone who does, you could easily look to sue them and easily win. Now the amount of money involved would likely only be a few thousand, but certainly something to make you feel a little better, with some left to show thanks to the lawyer(reason lawyer needs to be an acquaintance). This will more than likely never even see a court room. It’s more of a way for you to get to slap them on the wrist for bothering an honest paying customer. This worked for my wife when she had her purse searched for setting off one of the magnet sensors in a store with something from another store, it was just a freak thing and the security guard seriously over reacted

  441. EdwardLund says:

    @ Shaneal:
    There’s no way that you didn’t pretty much have this planned. You admit to regularly going to TD, and you’re more aware of the technical details of what they can and can’t check for. Got a friend in law school or taking some other law-related class that told you all about how to be a doofus regarding your rights in a store? How many times have you complied with this policy before deciding to get yourself in the blogosphere?
    Way to create a scenario to generate 15 mins of “fame,” bud. Hopefully you’ll get a few low-wage workers fired through your publicity stunt, too.
    I’ve got no problem with exercising one’s rights, but if you’re doing it for publicity, at least say so up front.

  442. Britblogger says:

    All I can say to you is bravo for standing up for your rights.

    They do not have a legal right to stop, detain, or keep you from leaving the premises once you have bought their products.

    I too refuse to stop and let them look at my receipt – and I too would have gone this far.

    My advice to you though… you should have filed a police report there and then, as now you don’t have much to prove upon the neglect of the store’s loss prevention people with a case to your State Attorney General’s office.

    Stand up for your rights – or remain the lemmings you are.

  443. djdanska says:

    The naperville sun would be pretty interested in something like this. And there would be lawyers who would be interested too. Barry rabovsky comes to mind off the top of my head.

  444. sifr says:

    @EdwardLund: Yeah, because he’s obviously benefitting immensely from all the publicity.

    How much crack do you smoke before posting?

  445. louballs says:

    I still just wish Shaneal would answer why he refused to show if he doesn’t have a problem showing.

  446. EdwardLund says:

    I’m sorry that you didn’t think of posting your Best Buy experience here back when it happened. At least now you can fight the good fight here in a widely-read comments section.
    Let me know if you want the name of my dealer. You could definitely use better stuff.

  447. Mary says:

    To everybody that keeps saying “Where do you draw the line?”

    You do realize that drawing lines and evaluating situations on a case by case basis is the right way to live your life? You can say “I’m okay with paying $5 for a cheeseburger, but not $6!” Because that’s the way reasonable adults are supposed to be.

    I draw the line after receipt checks (because really, who cares? There’s no slippery slope there, because they don’t even look at the receipt) and before personal searches, because that would be an invasion of privacy.

    To people saying asking for the receipt is accusing the customer of shoplifting, if they do it to everyone, or a random sample, or only if you set off the alarm, then you couldn’t win a slander case in court with that. The behavior is not them saying you shoplifted. It’s them saying “shoplifters watch out! See what we’re doing to EVERYBODY?” So congrats, you’re being declared a customer.

    And lastly, do you know how many times retail employees and people who work in customer service hear “This is against my rights! This is illegal!” Almost every single time, the customer is in the wrong, what they’re doing is not illegal, and nothing untoward is happening. The employees should have been nice to this guy, but they had no reason to believe a word he said, and their only fault and problem is that they were rude in response.

    And I don’t believe this account happened remotely as written. They never do.

  448. KIRZEN2007 says:

    Personally, if some rent-a-cop prevented my from physically exiting the store, I would take one step back from him and offer.

    “I’m leaving this store, if you physically prevent me from doing so. I warn you that I will defend my rights not to be restrained or imprisoned unlawfully. If that means I have to grab you by the head and -throw- you from where you stand to the far side of this lobby, so ****ing help me, I will.”

    At this point, I would do so…

    Now, its probably necessary to mention that I’m 6’4″ and built like a russian circus bear. This wouldn’t sound so hot coming from someone who’s 5’10” and 140lbs.

    Its also necessary to state that I’m up in Canada, and they treat your rights and freedoms very seriously up here. (I still remember a landmark case we learned about in law where a police officer decided to search someone’s truck without permission or material reason, and after climbing into the back to go through the guy’s things, he took a baseball bat to the backs of the knees, and toppled off the truck in a broken heap… Charges were pressed, then immediately dropped)…

    But given all the crap I’ve seen in the US media with the government basically shoving the constitution up their own ass, I doubt you’d get away with tossing someone across the room while defending your rights against unlawful imprisonment…

    It would make it a much more memorable story, but jail sucks…

  449. JoseBueno says:

    Hm. I had a very similar experience with Tiger Direct back in May of this year.


  450. sifr says:

    @louballs: Why do you refuse to let people stop you on the street and search you if you’ve got nothing to hide?

  451. SixFour350 says:

    I’ve faced this kind of crap for well over two decade – Softwarehouse / CompUSA, Highland Electronics, BestBuy.
    Sometimes when they tried to stop me, I’d ask under what premise. Most said that they wanted to ensure that their sales associates were not failing to ring up the items correctly. My response was that if they felt that they had a shrinkage problems that was employee related, then it made no sense to harass every customer as they exited the store.
    When they failed to offer any explaination for their attempt to detain me, I took umbrage if they even implied I was a shoplifter.
    I also stated that people with no store bag (and therefore no receipt) were free to exit the store unmolested, and that people who had obviously made purchase were being stopped.

    Most of the time, I just keep walking — if they want to get in my way, I have no problem giving them a shoulder and putting their ass on the pavement.

  452. kareneliot says:

    So the other side of this is – If I were to go a store that has a show me your reciept policy, look around, and not purchase anything I should expect to be searched and patted down on my way out to prove I didn’t steal anything?

  453. AimeeGee says:

    I think that it’s a pretty big stretch to say that a security person checking your receipt (which merely contains information regarding your purchase, information that at least one cashier has already seen) is tantamount to “giving up my rights! rah rah rah!”

    It’s like saying you shouldn’t have to show your ID when buying alchohol “because they should trust that, because I am a paying customer, I have the right not to show that information. They should trust me!” (I won’t even go into how you have more information on your driver’s license than would be on that receipt, and you show that to any convenience store clerk or bouncer who asks to see it.) (Oh wait… I did go into that.)

    The obvious solution, if you feel that your rights have been violated when someone dares to ask to see your receipt, is this:

    1. Don’t show them your receipt.
    2. Stay in the store and return whatever you purchased.
    3. Never shop there again.

    I think that’s pretty simple, don’t you?

    Me? I’ll just show them the receipt.

  454. ablestmage says:

    I am amazed at your overabundance of excessive personal pride to brazenly assume you can just do whatever you want on private property. Although you are on an open business’ property, it is still private and they still govern what can or cannot take place there. By refusing to cooperate with security, you are waving giant red flags in a semaphore fashion indicating that, not only are you a possible shoplifter, but you’re really bad at it because you’re actually refusing security’s requests because you think apparently you have some kind of rights. It is not a voluntary receipt check, and it is completely at the liberty of a business to establish a receipt checkpoint. If you’re offended over being asked for your receipt, then you are deliberately personally taking a nonissue. What you, legally, actually did was resist completely legitimate detention — and like a raving idiot, even! Your excessive, prideful, boastful air of being something resemebling “I am above store policy” demeanor is what got you into your lousy position. I would chip in for TigerDirect’s lawsuit against your incessant arrogance.

  455. soulbarn says:




  456. Interesting says:

    So showing receipt is no big deal? What if they require showing both receipt and the content of bag? What about allow examination of the consumer’s purse? How about showing identification? Where does one draw the line?

    For some of you, there is no need to draw the line if you can get lower price (and corporation keep greater corporate profit?) . For some of us, the line stops at checking the receipt. The law is on our side, not yours.

    This analogy can be taken further – why not just let the government listen in on your calls and check your mail and e-mail? You have nothing to hide right?

  457. sifr says:

    @AimeeGee: “It’s like saying you shouldn’t have to show your ID when buying alchohol “because they should trust that, because I am a paying customer, I have the right not to show that information.”

    You fail. Showing ID is required by law.

    Consenting to a voluntary search is not.

  458. louballs says:

    @sifr: I didn’t publically announce this whole situation. I’m just simply wondering why he seems to be contradicting himself. He states he has no problem showing a receipt, but he obviously does by saying “no thanks” when asked to show it. Just wondering why the fuss in the first place. What happened after that is pretty clear.

  459. dadelus says:

    As one of the people who used to stop people and ask for receipts I can assure you that the purpose was to deter shoplifters not catch them.

    The main purpose for it was to make sure that everything leaving the store had been properly paid for. As anyone who has shopped with kids can attest, it is easy to get distracted and forget to place something on the checkout counter. So many times people would leave the register and walk out of the store with something they had not paid for. I realize they are not trying to conciously steal something from the store but the result is the same.

    I hated doing receipt checks because I knew how much people hated being inconveinenced so I was always polite and never forced anyone to comply. But it did get results. If I found something that was in their cart that had not been purchased I would give them the option of paying for the item or leaving it with me. I also explained that we understood that these things happen and that I was in no way trying to accuse them of theft. If they decided to purchase it I would escort them to the nearest register with no line and have the cashier ring it up for them. We had to log all of these incidents and I personally “recovered” over a thousand dollars of merchandise in a year through receipt checks alone.

    It sounds as though TigerDirects policy was different from ours since we would only check receipts for items that had not been bagged. Most of the things I would see would be items that had been placed under a cart that had then been honestly forgotten while the person was checking out. But there were exceptions to this. One guy, who was friends with a cashier, was buying a $2000 big screen TV when I asked for his receipt it showed that he had just purchased a $100 model. After checking video we saw that he had cut the UPC off the cheaper model and then handed that to his friend when he got to the register. Him and the cashier were charged and the cashier was of course fired.

    In my store it was against policy to block or restrain a customer unless you had them dead to rights as a shoplifter. Meaning you had personally seen them take something from the shelf, conceal it, and then attempt to walk out of the store. If I had treated a customer like this guy did my manager would have fired me on the spot.

    Finally, to those of you who are saying “just show the receipt if you have nothing to hide” I don’t agree with this attitude either. The security guard has the right to make the request, and the customer has the right to tell them to stick it. At that point the guard can either be a jerk, or realize that they have been called out, suck it up and go about their day. Forcing the issue is childish.

  460. ablestmage says:

    @SOhp101: So you, at your own discretion, are at completely liberty to distinguish what is or isn’t law enforcement? I suppose you are somehow also hyprocritically unperturbed by the fact that they make you actually PAY for items there. True, they COULD actually let you walk out of the store with an item for free (if it were company policy) but they have a price set, and you have to obey THAT PRICE. Who the frack cares if you think the price is too high, does that mean that you get to pay less, and that they can’t detain you for paying only a certain amount? It’s the same principle. The crybaby making the big fuss is effective stating, “this limitation does not apply to me because I am some variety of royalty who may or may not ride the short bus” and obscenely and disgracefully tramples the actual definition of rights as if it were some kind of constitutional amendment to bypass receipt checkpoints as if you had some sort of assinine receipt immunity. You will get out your fracking receipt and YOU WILL LIKE IT.

  461. The Walking Eye says:

    @Jerim: He didn’t show a receipt until the cops arrived, therefore he was illegally detained for merely refusing to submit to a check which the law says is voluntary.

  462. Trykt says:

    The stores have no legal right to require you to show a receipt for exiting. I also agree that it’s easier just to show the receipt and keep going. If the request is polite and your response is polite then no one really has a problem. Consumerist’s stance on the altercation is correct since what the store did was not only rude (bad for business) but illegal. I would not agree that telling stores no when they ask to see your receipt is always the best policy.

    If you choose not to show the receipt and the store finds fault with that it is THEIR right to ban you from their private property. Violating store policy is not the same thing as breaking the law but banning you from the premises is not violating your rights in any way. You do not have a right to shop there.

    I offer this analogy: What if the store asked you to see your car keys before leaving the store? Obviously this is none of their business. Neither is the receipt, since it is not theirs and they have no right to read it. But if stores started banning customers for not flashing their car keys on the way out we could expect that store to fail, and quickly.

    We can hope the same would happen to a receipt-requiring store, if only more people knew their rights.

  463. kbarrett says:

    Don’t waste your time with small claims. Hire a lawyer and sue for real.

    The reason the Securitas folks are hemming and hawing is because they know their guard screwed the pooch.

    Real shoplifters will not hesitate to sue for $50k+ when some guard loses sight of them for a minute and cannot prove that the shoplift had actually happened.

    An actual case of gigging an innocent person should cost them plenty.

  464. sifr says:

    I encourage everyone who thinks that this person isn’t telling the truth, or has left things out, or otherwise embellished to exercise your right to decline the voluntary search the next time you’re in a non-membership store that conducts them.

    Remember to be calm, be polite, and be prepared to defend your choice with facts.

    And take careful note of the disproportionate behavior you’ll encounter. Also take careful note of how you’re treated.

    Remember: you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve done nothing that constitutes reasonable suspicion or probable cause. You’ve just legally declined to consent to a voluntary search.

    Then come back here and continue claiming that the OP isn’t telling the whole story, or must be lying, or must have stolen something, or is just making it all up.

    The thing about tinpot dictators, even when their realm only extends as far as the store exit, is that they get unreasonably lathered up when you refuse to submit to their every whim. And never forget the fact that it is indeed their whim, not the law, to which they’re trying to force you to submit.

  465. ViperX says:

    I always wondered what it was like to suffer from cranium-rectal inversion and now I know. I’ve been in retail most of my life and I have seen just about everything there is to see. This is a new one that even had me smiling.

    First of all, decided to make a purchase from a private company on private property. When making a purchase from a company you are creating a legal “this for that” contract. They agreed to provide you with a product for a price and under certain conditions often referred to as “Terms Of Service”.

    These “Terms of Service” are responsible for your ability to purchase or return a product. These are often not published on the door, and it is impossible to fit them on the back of a receipt. These policies often can be available at the request of the customer in some form or another expressed or implied.

    You are not obligated to make a purchase, but making a purchase binds you as the consumer to these policies.

    A receipt check is not so much to cause a problem for the customer, but a check and balance for the clerk. Most often clerks don’t ring up all products for friends and family and without a receipt check a company would stand to lose millions.

    What the manager and guard did was unreal and I would stand to be very upset. However, try to remove head from said ass and look at the big picture, not just what makes you happy at that very moment.

    We don’t do it to upset you, we do it to control the cost of doing business. Just show your receipt and move on. It’s not like you were guilty of something… right?

  466. dysthymia says:

    This is a very sensitive issue for common sense and consumer rights. I am sure if you talk to the supervisor and inform them that you disagree with their exit checking policy, they would assist you with a personal security guy that will overlook over your shoulder or simply will deny you access to the store.

    I understand your rights as consumer, I also understand the stores policy against shoplifting. I even understand the frustration of both parts, you and the store people, and I bet nobody wanted to spend the time having all this happening that day. I bet the cop left the store thinking that could have something better to do than spending time on this issue.

    it is a matter of consumer rights vs. policy implementation. If you have the time, money and health to deal with this, I applaud your effort and wish you luck. Hopefully the judge does not find this issue as ridiculous and a waste of time like the rest of us.

  467. TheMadCow says:

    DAN_M AT 01:57 PM wrote:
    Just remember a few things:
    It’s easier to beat someone with a bat instead of a lawsuit.

    But man oh man! The satisfaction index way off the chart. It’s immediate, doesn’t tie up the court system and you walk away with problem solved.


  468. ViperX says:

    @killavanilla: Very true. Way to bring out the FACTS…

  469. sifr says:

    @dysthymia: It’s not an issue of “consumer rights”. Its an issue of a citizen’s rights. Specifically the right to privacy, and the right to be secure in one’s person and possessions.

    Everyone, not just consumers, are entitled to these rights. And those rights may only be abridged in very specific circumstances. This wasn’t one of them.

  470. jwissick says:

    @sifr: “Why do you refuse to let people stop you on the street and search you if you’ve got nothing to hide?”

    My PDA was stolen last year. You don’t mind if I search you to see if you have it do you? Come on. Let’s meet somewhere so I can search you and your car and house…. After all, you have nothing to hide. I’ll bring the rubber gloves. BTW, I am going to search you every time something goes missing.

    Get it now?

  471. ikes says:

    @skrom: how are you able to survive each day with such illogic running through your brain?

    paying for gas and then receiving that gas is a far cry from paying for something and then being treated like a thief.

    i guess you don’t mind not being trusted. or maybe you are untrustworthy to begin with and had the experience of someone trusting you.

  472. sifr says:

    @jwissick: “My PDA was stolen last year. You don’t mind if I search you to see if you have it do you? “

    you missed my point entirely. I was arguing AGAINST the “you should consent if you’ve got nothing to hide” position.

    Perhaps you should read back through the discussion.

  473. joulesm says:

    Don’t you people understand?? It’s not that “oh I don’t have anything to hide”. It’s “I don’t have anything I want to show.” It’s the same reason why the police can’t search your house or your car without a warrant or reasonable suspicion.

  474. zippyglue says:

    @Hackoff: Couldn’t agree more. I’ve often wondered how a madman like Hitler managed to come into power. I now see that Germany must have been full of those “just show them the receipt” types.

  475. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I would’ve just shown the receipt and went on with my day. I go to Fry’s once in awhile and always have the receipt out. The guy slashes it with his pink highlighter and glances in the bag and I’m on my way. Takes about 5 seconds.

    Most people who steal are not going to hide it in the bag anyways.

    The manager was wrong in the way he acted toward the customer. They didn’t detain this person they just simply blocked the customers way of getting out. the customer should have tried to get out and let them then grab him and then it would be a case. Getting evidence will be hard. Did this person get phone numbers from witnesses? The video cameras, most of them only record a day or two of video and then record over that, so I bet there is no evidence of what happened. it’ll be the customers word against the store employees word.

    This person should have gone to the local newsstation and maybe they could have done a story on it. Most newsstations have a consumer help thing. Where they air the persons experience and they try to help out anyway they can.

  476. shadow_Hiei says:

    *shakes head in frustration after reading the story*

    That’s a perfectly reasonable policy put in place for loss prevention purposes. Normally, honest customers wouldn’t refuse something as quick and easy as allowing the security guard to verify that they actually bought the items that they’re leaving with by taking a quick look over the receipt and said items.

    You want to talk about rights? How are honest shopkeepers supposed to protect their property if they have charges pushed against them every time they take reasonable measures like these to make sure that shoplifters are caught and arrested? They should have the right to protect their inventory.

    I’m glad that nobody was willing to take your case. Neither the security guard nor the company did anything wrong, and it would be an injustice if you managed to exploit the law to steal money from that company.

  477. rwakelan says:

    @louballs: “I’m just simply wondering why he seems to be contradicting himself. He states he has no problem showing a receipt, but he obviously does by saying “no thanks” when asked to show it. Just wondering why the fuss in the first place. What happened after that is pretty clear.”

    Please stop responding if you aren’t going to read what the OP is saying in his comments. He says he has no problem being ASKED to show his receipt. He never said he didn’t have a problem with showing his receipt. See the important word you keep dropping off? Being ASKED to show his receipt is the entire point. Stop distorting what has been said. Also, if you would have read the comments, the OP explains why he didn’t want to show the receipt. On a previous visit, the security person in question was rude to the OP. Since the security person was rude before, the OP didn’t feel like being nice to him on the visit in question.

  478. sifr says:

    @jrdnjstn78: “They didn’t detain this person they just simply blocked the customers way of getting out”

    Preventing someone from leaving is called detaining them.

    Grabbing them is called “battery”.

  479. Jean Naimard says:

    I never fail to be astonished by the number of douchebags who will take the store’s side. Clearly, those people do not understand the the freedoms they enjoy, and much less the Historical struggles that were needed in order to secure those rights.

    The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is the very foundation of our Western civilization!

    Allowing a private entity (a store) to violate the basic principles of our civilization is totally unacceptable. The fact that many sheep will allow such raping of their unalienable rights is particularly worrysome, given that when civil rights are being eradicated, it’s a litte bit by little bit.

    Today, you have to have your receipt checked. Tomorrow, you’ll have to be strip-searched whenever you leave a store, and god knows what will be demanded next week!!!!

  480. killavanilla says:

    clever how you deduced I am a neocon when I haven’t mentioned the current administrations policies. As a matter of fact, the only political thing I mentioned was that this is a private issue between two private entities and has nothing to do with the current administration, President Bush, or the war in Iraq.
    You are wrong, by the way.
    But hey, you are the ‘great champion’ of civil liberties.
    Naturally, you would have time to spend here on the consumerist chastising anyone who finds your militant arguments objectionable.
    So far you’ve managed to call me a neo-con and a nazi (gee, I hope I’m not leaving anything out).
    Tell you what, I’ll just laugh at you and you can just laugh at me, then we can all go our seperate ways.
    I am not a nazi, nor am I a neo-con. So give it a rest.
    You ‘fight’ for civil liberties, which obviously makes you a jovial, pleasant fellow.
    Me? I’ll show my stupid receipt so I can get out of the store and on my way. That way, we can avoid involving police officers who, i’m sure, have better things they could be doing. You know, like oppressing you or fighting crime or doing whatever you think police officers do.
    You can feel free to make as big of a deal about every little insignificant perceived injustice.
    One thing is for certain – I’m WAY happier than you could possibly be, what with the weight of interpreting and defending our constitutional rights to NOT show receipts when asked by security hanging over your head.
    Me? I don’t really care. It’s a minor inconvenience. The government isn’t behind it and I don’t find it the least bit invasive.
    Spaz’s like you give websites like this a bad name.
    That’s right, I said it.
    People like you make outsiders believe that everyone who visits consumerist.com is a militant, willing to fight! fight!! fight!!! ANY perceived injustice for as long as it takes and by any means necessary.
    Especially the egregious, malicious, evil and nazi-like behavior of *gasp* asking a customer if you can see their receipt before they leave.
    Tiger direct handled it wrong, but please stop trying to pass yourself off as Captain America.
    Its truly laughable.

  481. Jean Naimard says:

    A few more comments.

    – The nazis, too, were “just doing their jobs”.

    – Policy is overhead. Customer satisfaction is pure profit.

    – A (movie, train, bus, plane, boat, theater, circus, meal) ticket is not a receipt, but proof of payment for goods/services TO BE received.

    – Freedoms wears down only when you don’t use them.

  482. crankymediaguy says:

    I’m like to be able to say that I’m laughing at those of you who say he should have showed his receipt because it’s easier. I’m saddened by you all, though, so I can’t laugh. Um, it would be “easier” to allow store security to frisk you, too, but would you go along with THAT?

    It’s ALWAYS easier to go along with unreasonable intrusions than to fight them. So what?

    When I was a boy, we were in a “Cold War” with the Soviet Union. One of the reasons given to kids in school for that “war” was that the Russians spied on their citizens; a country that didn’t trust its own people was an EVIL country. We’re rapidly turning into the same kind of nation.

    My question: Why was it “evil” for the Soviet Union to act like that but RIGHT for US to do it?

    My suggestion for this customer: Contact the ACLU to see if they will take the case.

  483. sifr says:

    @killavanilla: “People like you make outsiders believe that everyone who visits consumerist.com is a militant, willing to fight! fight!! fight!!! ANY perceived injustice for as long as it takes and by any means necessary.”

    Good. Corporations need to wake up to the fact that we’re not all pliant little sheep.

  484. Mockingbirdq says:


    “Am I the only one who noticed the tone of “entitlement” to the email? Maybe if the customer was a bit more corporative and a little less snotty, the situation wouldn’t have gotten out of hand in the first place.”

    …best typo ever

  485. glater says:

    I’ve got… questions. Firstly, I understand that the detention was a violation of rights. That’s ridiculous. At the same time, the guard was probably misinformed – I know this, having *been* a security guard before, state licensed. But what I don’t understand is how asking to see a receipt is infringing rights. Why would you not flash a receipt, specifically? Honest answer. I’m not going to judge, but I want to know. Do you feel that being asked means that you’re being singled out as a criminal suspect? Do you think it’s a hassle? What about the process bothers you? Be specific.

    In a really big store, employees really can’t see where everyone is or what they’re doing, and lots of things -do- get stolen; including particularly big, expensive items just wheeled out the door when nobody is looking. Do you promote that? Of course not. Can you come up with a better solution than making sure folks have receipts when leaving with a cartful of goods?

    I think attitudes at the door need to change on both sides. Retailers should surely consider not pestering every single person who walks 5 feet from the register to the door with a receipt check. But you know what? If you get asked, maybe the guard didn’t see you go through line with that air conditioner or big screen or whatever. Humor them. Ask for help if it’s a big item you’re holding and you don’t have your receipt handy. Retailers are asking a favor of you – don’t be a dick if you don’t want them being a dick back.

    As an aside, I’ll admit to having waltzed past receipt checks before when the line was huge or the 90 year old wallyworld receipt person is taking their geritol-loving time.

    (Also, I’m not a retailer or executive, nor do I have pecuniary interest in the matter whatsoever. just a consumer interested in rights, and not sure how i feel about situations like this yet.)

  486. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Jean Naimard: Oh for crying out loud, why don’t you take a trip to Darfur and then come back and we’ll talk about how badly we have it here in the US. Don’t ever come out swinging, talking about how our civil rights in this country are being “eradicated” when there are people in this world who have it a thousand times worse than some guy being asked to show his receipt at a fucking TigerDirect. Let’s find something else to argue about, huh?

  487. bombaxstar says:

    Wow what a fucking drama queen.

  488. cde says:

    Anyone who thinks the cops will choose to go to a simple civil disturbance over a murder, rape, fire, etc is just a fucking loon. If a cop, while at the store for potential theft or detainment, hears “Shoot out at Fifth and Main, all units report” will quickly end the detainment and leave, within seconds. Just as it happened, cops have discretion in who to arrest and what crime to investigate.

  489. aboyd says:


    Are you kidding? You really wonder “Why are we expected to show sympathy to someone who CHOSE TO violate a store’s policy?”

    REALLY? Are you that dim?

    What if the store’s policy is that they require your driver’s license to be shown, too? It’s store policy, right? What if the policy is to fingerprint customers as they leave the store? It’s a policy, so we should just go along with it? Even if it’s illegal? Even if they’re taking photos & posting them online? Even if they’re insisting that only white people can shop there (ooohh — actual historical example)? Even if the policy hurts us, slanders us, makes us late getting back from a work lunch break, and so on?

    I would ask the opposite of your question: Why is anyone showing sympathy for a STORE that CHOSE to enact a store policy that violates the LAW?

  490. aboyd says:

    @ SKROM,

    You ask, “Who says it’s voluntary?”

    The 4th amendment of the US Constitution gives us freedom from unreasonable searches:


    Some will say that only applies to the government, and others may detain at will. However, I don’t buy that, first of all. But second of all, even if it’s true, there are additional laws on the books, such as “false imprisonment” which specifically calls out using intimidation tactics to block someone’s movement:


    If it were me, I would have done the same thing as this article describes (refused to give my receipt or allow a search of my shopping bags). However, I would have concluded my business differently. I would have turned around, gone back to the register, and told the cashier to issue a refund. I have no intention of contributing to the salary of an employee who calls me a thief.

  491. Whoa says:

    @aboyd: What if? What if? What if? Blah blah blah. We’re talking about what did happen, not what might or could have.

    Aboyd, it’s because the vast majority of posters who have criticized the OP and explained why have said that they agree that the detainment was inexcusable. The policy of asking to see a receipt, however, is far from illegal. If you disagree, please cite whatever statute makes it so. And no, the Constitution and Bill of Rights do not prevent a store from asking to see your receipt. If it was that simple law schools would not pay Con Law professors to teach.

  492. Whoa says:

    @aboyd said: The 4th amendment of the US Constitution gives us freedom from unreasonable searches.

    United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109 (1984): “This Court has … consistently construed this protection as proscribing only governmental action; it is wholly inapplicable to a search or seizure, even an unreasonable one, effected by a private individual not acting as an agent of the Government or with the participation or knowledge of any governmental official.” (punctuation omitted). See this.

  493. bleachlizard says:

    The unfortunate thing is that you won’t get far with Securitas. I use to work for Securitas, and the manual clearly states that we are to not get involved (according to them, the officers are there to “observe and report” and that’s it). The handbook says the moment the security officer took matters into his own hands, he was on his own. Securitas will not back him and has nothing to do with him in the case of a lawsuit. He did sign a waiver that said that he understands that his actions outside of Securitas protocol are his own actions.

    That’s pretty typical of Securitas to give you the cold shoulder like that supervisor did. They will not tell you anything that may be incriminating. They want to keep as neutral ground as possible.

    Hope it all works out for you. I’d like to see Securitas go down. They are a no good company.

  494. TickedOff says:

    Louballs, Skrom, et al.: learn something about the US law.

    It’s called Habeas Corpus. Unless the evidence of wrongdoing is presented, you have the right (yes, a right!) to walk away/out and if anyone restrains you without being able to produce the proof of legal justification for physical restraint, they’ve broken the law and you have a right to damages and penalties, civil and criminal.

    Simply breaking a law, BTW, isn’t justification for physical restraint unless there is a specific law defining how and when restraint is allowed – which is why police can do certain things that rent-a-cops and average citizens are not allowed to, like engaging in high-speed pursuits.

    Habeas Corpus is the most basic part of common law dating back to 1306 (700 years old!). Common law is the basis of all US, UK and Commonwealth law.

  495. mhii says:

    If the State’s Attorney will not assist you with prosecution you are able to present your case directly to the grand jury. If the grand jury issues an indictment then the State’s Attorney will be obligated to prosecute the indictment. You should consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before proceeding. You are at risk for a suit for defamation and malicious prosecution by proceeding with criminal charges. Also you should know that in most states threatening an opposing party with criminal prosecution in a civil dispute constitutes extortion.

  496. icewater says:

    i searched google for security guard “malcolm melton”. the only hit i got was the following post about professional wrestler hulk hogan:

    malcolm melton said:

    June 29th, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

    at this point i have more pity for the security guard than the guy he illegally detained.

  497. phogasmic says:

    It is unbelievable to me that people are criticizing the decision to not “just show the receipt and move on”. Why should any customer who just spent they’re hard earned money in the store be treated like a thief. It is alarming, given the times we live in and that our civil liberties are already under increasing attack from our government trying to “protect us from terrorists”. What if Tiger Direct wants to pat you down and check your bag before you leave?
    If you give in to receipt checking now, what do you think the next step is going to be once thieves figure out how to circumvent this by printing receipts before they come in for teh items they would like to steal.

  498. dysthymia says:

    @sifr: yes, everyone and not only consumers are entitled to civil rights. but it seems this became a civil issue because he decided to make look like that. At the update, it seems, the customer came back a second time after a first incident where the police officer already advised him not to comeback if he was not going to comply with the store policy. and that is a consumer issue.

    he was denided of freely leave the store, the first time. he came back even when was adviced by the officer not to return if was not willing to follow the unwritten but now known policy.

    if the update is true and what the manager is saying is true, no judge will take this matter serious, because he recurrently and knowingly of the policy, came back for more.

    This is a civil rights issue, and it seems, an abuse of his part as well.

  499. smanek says:

    @dysthymia: I was never told not to come back. After the first visit, the officer told the guard I could not be detained (I was not detained the first time either, I was told I was free to leave). I was never banned/kicked out. I thought I’d give them a second chance, hopefully the guard would have learned his lesson. He didn’t.

  500. zendik says:

    What a lot of people here don’t seem to realize is that checking the receipts at the door isn’t only about checking up on customers — it’s usually not even mostly about that. Any loss prevention manager will tell you that internal (employee) theft is generally their main concern. I managed a retail video rental store for a year or so recently and my regional LP manager told us almost 3/4 of all shrink was internal. So the main reason these guys are checking you at the exit is because one dishonest cashier could do a LOT of financial damage in a short period of time. Imagine: you bring up 2 or 3 items, some of which are cheap to moderately expensive, one of which is ridiculously expensive. The cashier rings you out and takes your money but never charges you for the high-dollar item (maybe they even scan the cheapest item twice to make it look/sound good). The high-dollar item is then sold on eBay or Craigslist or whatever still in unopened packaging and the money is divided up. Repeat a few times a week or month and suddenly a low-paid cashier can make a whole lot of tax-free money on the side. Having the guy at the door should piss off the cashiers much more than it does the customers. The notion of a cashier and a door guard colluding on a scam like this must be a real nightmare scenario for places like this.

  501. StevieD says:

    I am sure everybody has heard the phrase…
    I am the dad. When you live in MY house you follow MY rules. Well guess what, I am the store owner. When you are on MY property you follow MY rules.

    There are NO privacy issues that allow you to ignore MY rules. My rules are posted. The rules are for the good of my business and to protect the interests of my customers. You have choosen to enter the store, therefore you have agreed to my rules.

    The OP should be doing jail time.

  502. Trackback says:

    The New York city cab drivers are threatening to strike for a few days. This is an interesting situation, because although I am not really a fan of unions in general, I am certainly a fan of the taxi driver’s union.

  503. smanek says:

    @louballs: I have no problem being asked to show my receipt. They can ask me whatever I want. I can say no. That’s it.

  504. Stockholder says:

    I suspect this less about shoplifting than it is is to prevent collusion with people in the checkout lanes who might ‘accidentally’ forget to ring up that $500 processor. If this prevents such collusion, and keeps my costs lower then I’m in favor of the practice. The 10 seconds it takes to show my receipt in return for not having to pay the additional costs of theft by others, yeah… sounds like a fair trade off to me. It’s not like they are searching my purse or doing a body cavity search.

    As a frequent shopper at this particular store, and as someone who has shown his receipt many times all I have to say is…Shaneal, you won’t be missed. I’ll be spending $1000 next week on a new laptop. I will be purchasing it from this store. I will be thanking them for practicing good theft protection.

  505. smanek says:

    @StevieD: I saw no sign at TigerDirect that said there was a receipt check.

    And, if I don’t follow your rules, the worst you can do is kick me off your property. You are not allowed to use force against me. If you do use force against me, you’ve just broken the law.

    I would have been happy if TD said “show your receipt or leave our store, and you are no longer welcome back.” That isn’t what happened. It was “show your receipt or you can’t leave,” which is illegal for many reasons. Basically, the only time one private citizen is allowed to use force against another is if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a crime. The TD guard had no grounds, and thus can’t legally use force.

  506. The Walking Eye says:

    @StevieD: The bag/receipt checks can only be VOLUNTARY to remain legal. Easy to read explanation

    The OP did nothing illegal, so yes let’s throw him in jail for it.

  507. g64 says:

    I can’t believe some of the twisted logic in these posts. I hope some of you people don’t procreate.

    1. Don’t pity the security guard. He broke the law and had no excuse. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. It’s also illegal for employers to fire employees who refuse to break the law.

    2. Don’t bitch at the customer for “wasting the time of the police”. The security guard is the one who decided to break the law. Police enforce laws. Police have been around for a while and I’m sure they know how to manage schedules and dispatch officers; no rapes will occur because a cop has another call.

    3. Private companies don’t get the break the law. At Costco you may sign a contract to waive some rights, but you don’t waive them just by entering a Tiger Direct. What if their policy was to murder people who didn’t show their receipt?

    4. The main goal of a business is to make money. If they don’t budget for better security that’s their own damn fault. You can bitch about “higher prices” but if you want the best prices go shop online or at Sam’s Club. You’re the paying customer and a business should cater to you; not burden you with an extra wait or treat you as guilty until proven innocent.

    5. Stop mindlessly defending the receipt checking system. People have the ability to forge priceless paintings, passports, and U.S. currency. Do you know how much work goes into developing currency that is hard to counterfeit? Yet some idiots are acting like white paper with black toner is the holy grail of security measures.

    6. It still doesn’t matter what events led up to this incident, fact of the matter is the security guard BROKE THE LAW. The customer wasn’t petty for standing up for his rights, and this mess was the guard’s fault for breaking the law, end of story.

  508. Hreshfull says:

    Here’s another thing that many of you are forgetting:

    Company policy does not apply to customers. It applies only to those who are actively working on its behalf.

    Let’s have an illustrative example:

    Most stores and restaurants have a company policy that they will deny me service if I do not wear a shirt and shoes while in their establishment.

    The company policy defines a situation (inappropriately dressed customer) and then issues a response to it (ask the offender to leave the premises until the situation is resolved. Note that the policy affects the employees’ reaction to a situation. A customer can enter without the appropriate attire all they want, but they will be refused service.

    Now let’s apply that to receipt-checking.

    A store can have a policy that states they check receipts upon a customer’s exit. That means that their agents or representatives would LIKE to check your receipt as you leave, but their policy is NOT binding upon the customer. They have no control over the individual.

    If they wish to deny future service to you for refusing to comply with their desired search, that is also the store’s prerogative, as may be dictated in their store policy.

    But do you see the difference? Even if the store policy was plastered everywhere in the building, Shaneal purchasing items did not constitute acceptance of any arbitrary store policy.

  509. NWSPMP says:

    @HungryGrrl- “Why are we expected to so sympathy to someone who CHOSE TO violate a store’s policy?

    Ridiculous. “

    Perhaps because the store itself CHOSE to violate the law. Law trumps store policy.

  510. rajasika says:

    All of the folks who are mad at OP about ‘wasting everyone’s time’..

    It was NOT the customer, but the security guard who was the time waster.

    Regardless of whether you think one *should* listen to any pseudo-authority figure no matter what the request is, the (undisputed) reality of the situation is that the customer was legally RIGHT, the security guard wrong. A store has no right to enforce a policy that conflicts with the law, even if the customer ultimately does have a choice whether or not to shop there.

    If you can truly look at a legal conflict between two people and conclude that one should avoid said conflict by giving up his legal rights, I have a question for you:

    Suppose the security guard instead asked to see the contents of your shopping bag. Still not a big deal? Your purse/pockets? Strip search? All of these things are illegal, and I’m sure you would object to some of them, but where do you draw the line? If you don’t protect even your most minor rights, you will slowly begin to lose them and before you realize it, the government will be listening to your private telephone conversations and reading your e-mail. (Oh and probably asking you to empty your pockets, pass through a metal detector, etc when you leave your local retail giant).

    In the end, if you want to show your receipt when you leave the store, by all means go ahead and do so. But please don’t hurl insults at someone trying to defend their legal rights.

  511. Hreshfull says:

    @StevieD: Let’s examine your disturbing analogy a bit more (Jail time? Really? For what?).

    The extension to the “As long as you live under my roof…” is the phrase “or you can leave.” Which makes it a perfectly valid policy. However, if someone declines to follow the policy and you do not allow them to leave, that’s the moment that the proprietor has violated the law and is now detaining the customer illegally.

    Note that just because it’s ‘your’ house or business doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Your actions must still be [legally] reasonable.

  512. markwm says:

    @killavanilla & jamesdenver: Thank you for the reasoned comments on the Nazi/Hitler/jackboot and anti-Bush comments. I agree wholeheartedly with you on that point, and while I’m on the “I don’t have to show my receipt” side, it disappoints me to see it devolve into name-calling and Nazi comparisons. Although, I am disappointed nobody said, “Illinois Nazis.” “I hate Illinois Nazis.”

    I think Hreshfull probably has made the most reasoned responses as to why this policy sticks in so many people’s craws. I have no issue with a store having this policy. I have no problem refusing to show my receipt. I also have no problem living with the consequences, should they be proportionate, ie., banned from future visits to that establishment.
    Personally, I only comply with the receipt check when it is in my best interest or convenient. If I am purchasing something that I may need to return, and know I will not be able to return it without their highlighter mark on the receipt, I will submit to the receipt check. If there is no line and I’m in a good mood and not encumbered by my recently acquired goods, I may submit. If there is a line for the receipt check, or I am carrying an awkward and unwieldy item or items, I will not submit. So far, this has worked quite well for me.

    To those saying, “But what about having to show your ticket at the movie to get in?” or other similar things. This is not a similar situation. You exchange money for the ticket as promise of entry. You then exchange the ticket, either by turning it over to the proper employee or simply displaying it to said employee, in exchange for entry to the event or service. You might as well ask, “What about converting your money to Canadian money when you’re going to go buy stuff in Canada? Why aren’t you bothered by that?” It’s the same situation. You are exchanging your federally backed currency for the private currency(the ticket) of the business with which you are transacting.

    @Stockholder: What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? If the debate were about the OP’s character, then that would be germane to mention. However, the issue at hand is the voluntary receipt check, and the OP’s actions in other aspects of his life have no bearing on this particular instance.

  513. danielkhoo says:

    I find SCOOBYDOO’s comment the most interesting, b ut it’s buried under all the other stuff.

    “To me it always seemed more like they are checking on their own clerks than the customers …”

    THAT’S EXACTLY THE POINT !!! The dishonest cashiers can let their friends pass without paying, or ringing up a $1 pencil when they’re carrying out a $2000 TV.

    Unfortunately, sometimes, the guards only checks for the presence of a receipt, and scratch a mark on it. Not even looking at what’s on the receipt. Somebody should tell them exactly what is it they’re actually supposed to be doing, not just the actions they have to go through.

  514. Nerys says:

    Once again I am dumbfounded by the responses of some of you. NOTHING is more important the your rights and freedom. No matter how small.

    Your an odd individual who does not consider being outright accused of being a shop lifter to be a grievous offense. I am not talking about the abuse I am talking about the demand to see a receipt.

    People have sued for a lot less (slander comes to mind)

    In fact I consider a receipt check to be a public offense of slander and defamation even if they do it to everyone (is it no longer murder if I kill everyone?) Your not just calling me a thief your calling me a thief publicly in front of the world.

    I will not show a receipt on exit of a store. I do not have memberships at sam’s etc.. just for this reason.

    Its not about how easy it is to show a receipt its about what is right and wrong and RIGHT is always worth fighting for no matter how small it may seem.

  515. Fairsfair says:

    Have to say, I’m surprised by the number of people that say, “just show the receipt.” Disappointing, really.

    Go with the flow, don’t make waves. That’s how I want to live my life.

    I refer you to “First they came…” by Pastor Martin Niemöller.

  516. ablestmage says:

    @Nerys: There are approximately 2.38 fillion dillion things more important than some of the hokey ideas of what you consider rights. I think you are horrendously confusing civil liberties with rights, which are obscenely different. You have a right to speak freely (regardless of whether your opinion, as it does here, has the value half a sea monkey) — but you do not have a right to purchase saltwater taffy. If someone were to deny sale of saltwater taffy to you, a constitutional clause does not protect you; it is not a right. Retailers are not, publicly or otherwise, calling you a thief since if they ask for everyone’s receipt — you’re just being a self-righteous private-property pranceabout. If you are asked for a receipt, you will show one and you will like it. You claim to know the difference between right and wrong, but yet insist that you are above security procedures applied on all customers regardless of your misperception of due process.

  517. ndustire says:

    Another route to getting redress or correction from a public company is to post on the investor boards online message boards. Place all the details exactly as they occurred and your contact information. I have made AOL, Telmex, and Prodigy cancel accounts and stop charging without reason. This hits them in their financial heart. You affect people who might invest in their company and tilt them toward not doing so. You can get their attention in this way.

  518. girly says:

    Why don’t they have you buy the stuff at the door if they can’t figure out if you bought something 20 feet away?

  519. kenviro says:

    So when we have to show our “papers” to the authorities in order to go on with our daily lives will all of you be okay with that also? Slowly our rights as Americans are being usurped by corporate laws that are just as enforceable yet not approved by the citizens. This IS important and we should all challenge these kinds of infringements on our liberties. It may sound foolish, but for those who see the bigger picture this is something we should all stand up to.

  520. mikeres says:

    I really don’t understand why the OP is making such a big deal about showing receipt.

    If only Rosa Parks just sat where she was supposed to instead of inconveniencing everyone on the bus and then making a federal case out of it – how unthoughtful and inconsiderate of her.
    What did she think the big deal was? All se had to do is sit in the back of the bus like she was supposed to. /sarcasm

    By the way, what if “store policy” required you to empty all your pockets before leaving the store in order to prove you were not stealing anything – is shouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t stealing anything – there should be no reason to refuse, right?

    what if one out of 100 (or 500, or 1000) had to totally disrobe to prove that they had not hidden anything under their clothes. That should not be a probelm unless you were really guilty. After all we all want to help stores keep their shoplifting and shrinkage costs down.
    No one want to contribute to higher prices, do we?

    Maybe we should just let the police enter our premises at will to prove that whe have not stolen anything.

    Maybe we should let the police/authorities/government examine out computers at will so they can determine that there is nothing illegal contained therein? No problem, right? We’re all honest citizens.

    Maybe we should let the government get a list of all the books we’ve checked out ot the library or all the DVD we’ve rented/purchaed from the DVD store. After all, what have you got to hide?

    So everyone that thinks the OP acted wrong or inappropriatly, tell me now, who are you to decide which one of my constitutionally protected rights is trivial enough for me to give up?

    Who among you wants to throw out the Constitution?

  521. fb1903 says:

    I agree with both sides of this agrument (so decisive I am!). I will usually show my receipt unless it is not efficient to do so – examples include a backlog at the “receipt check station” or if I have already put my receipt away and it is simply not readily available.

    I just had an experience in a local WalMart where I simply asked the checker why they needed to see my receipt. They immediately (and I mean before answering my question) called for a manager – which I actually appreciated. When I did get an answer, it was “because it is my job”. Thankfully he wasn’t told by management that his job was to bring a weapon and kill small asian customers ;-)

    Anyway, it turned into quite a commotion and one that I didn’t expect or desire. I calmly explained that they do not have a right to check any of my things, just as I don’t have a right to ask them to empty their pockets. They threatened to write down my license plate number, which I encouraged.

    I didn’t get into the fact that they were unlawfully detaining me, which probbly would have cause a real mess. The end result was me leaving the store, receipt unchecked.

    Honestly, it probably was more work than it was worth, but there are times when we should stand up for our rights… slippery slope and all that.

    I do think that WalMart should provide better training to their receipt checkers (which I hope I was able to provide) as they clearly do not know why they are checking receipts nor the legal aspects of the act.

  522. Voyou_Charmant says:


    Read some of my other posts, you will clearly see that I am no friend of big brother and am a firm believer that social conditioning is real.

    That being said, you’re talking about a receipt at the store. It’s one thing if they simply stopped him and insisted they let him search his body/car/bags/whatever, it’s another thing to say “here you go, all is on the up n up, here, thanks.” and be on your way.

    This is making a mountain out of a mole hill and is, in no way, on no level, the same as the government wiretapping your calls.

    Also, the term “sheep” is so played out. You sound ridiculous.

  523. jimmydeweasel says:

    Next time you need to piss them off so much they hit you. As in knock your teeth out. Then you can find a slim bag ambulance chaser to take your case. He’ll take over 1/2 the settlement. Also I wouldn’t do it at Tiger Direct. they’re about 1 quarter away from chapter 11. Walmart has more attorney’s than Carter’s got pills so they would be tough. I buy online, ebay mostly for my technology stuff. Often directly from China. Cut out all the middle men. Plus their postage stamps are cool.

  524. breaks11 says:

    I think one thing that is missing in these comments is regarding the stores policy. A few people noted about the stores policy (and we’re talking only TD now, no memberships involved), and the fact is I belive it doesn’t matter if the store put a giant 10ft banner outside the store that said “we have the right to check receipts”. The law of the united states says customers don’t have to show it. If the store put out a sign that said “it is store policy all employees have the right to anally rape you at anytime in the store” it wouldnt matter they put a sign up, it is against the law.
    Also somebody posted about looking at it on the flipside. This situation arose because customer did not want to listen to the stores policy. Well at the very same time, the store created this situation because they did not want to listen to the laws of the United States. They have the right to ask, but not to detain. It seems the store created this uncomfortable and unlawful situation because the avg customer looks to the store, and the store should be looking to the country. It is literally the stores business. The avg customer doesnt go to consumerist and read forever on end about these things. The store should follow the laws.

  525. billbobbins says:

    If the OP HAD shoplifted something then the police would have quickly prosecuted him for theft, so the argument that the courts are overloaded and too busy for small crimes like illegal detainment don’t hold water.

    If you believe that the store has the right to stop a customer and make him prove that he owns some of his personal property by showing a receipt, then what is to stop Walmart from saying you stole a belt and that you need to show a receipt to prove that it is yours? Do I need to carry a receipt for my entire wardrobe?

    The laws regarding shoplifting are very specific for a reason: to protect an individual from harassment and unjust detainment and prosecution. The law says that shoplifters must be observed taking an item and observed not paying for it. Neither of which was done here. For those that say the OP should just show his receipt to save time, then they should push to have the law relaxed…”your papers please?”

  526. Anonymous says:

    Now, two years later, reading these incredible comments and seeing how the vast majority of them are in favor of “get a life, do what they want”, one comes to understand the core reasons of the apparent decline of this country, and the degree it’s deserved. I think it’s time to change the anthem to something like “Land of the slave, home of the coward”.

  527. Anonymous says:

    It sounds to me as though you walked into this establishment with a firm intention to cause trouble for purposes of litigation.
    This company has every right to protect themselves against shoplifters. You have obviously gone to great pains to find a kink in the letter of the law so that you can exploit that law.
    Frankly I do not feel that you have any room to complain. I’m clearly not as educated with the letter of the law as a troublemaker such as yourself, but I’m confident that they could and should sue you for libel with the intent to hurt their business.
    Next time a security guard or a little old lady at Wal-Mart asks to see your receipt, volunteer to show it to them or expect them to protect their assets by restraining you until the police are notified. It’s your bad judgement. Not theirs.

  528. Michael Albright says:

    I’ve found the best way to deal with this situation if you’re not in a hurry, is to relax and have some fun. Allow the door keeper to look into your bag, and claim the cashier must not have given you a receipt if it’s not in the bag. This will usually bring around a manager or two, plus a trip back to the cashier to verify the sale, thus tying up a maximum of store employees. I usually make them print me out another receipt and then with a straight face, go and return the item. This is most fun at wal-mart when exiting through the garden area after paying at a different location. The above will waste many employees time, and cost a sale. Never get physical or abusive with anyone. If they say go on without a receipt, I always insist on them printing me a new one for the trouble of stopping me. They’ve no reason to stop anyone for checks unless security has witnessed the person in question shoplifting over their camera network, or a floor person has witnessed an incident. Believe me, they have ample eyes in their stores.

  529. Anonymous says:

    If you had any clue concerning the problems faced by store owners these days you would show your receipt without hesitation.
    If the simple request to show a receipt is adamantly refused, the conclusion of guilt is understandable. Get a life and remember you are not the king of the universe, too good for just a little cooperation.

  530. evelus2 says:

    Anyone think that she was just being confrontational for no reason trying to prove a point “Shaneal” if that is your real name. Yeah quotes dont exactily feel good do they. Grow up and take 2 seconds to show a reciept stop being a baby and trying to get sue happy. “10,000” eh yeah thats believeable why dont you talk to Sidekick business lady! “shaneal” “shaneal” you “went” to “tiger direct” in “Illinois” where you were “abused” for trying to force confrontation out of people. Does anyone try to get 2 sides of a story, of course not because when you get multiple accounts of a story it doesn’t seem so “outlandish” because it isn’t really that bad just a money hungry person trying to force a businesses hand but using extravagant language and hyperbole good luck with your next sue adventure. I heard Best Buy just mopped there floors why dont you try to “fall due to the excess water ‘John Smith’ used when he mopped the aisle” get a life!

  531. Jdawgjayj says:

    Good job. Don’t show it. Doesn’t matter if it only takes a few seconds. Why not the person in front of me? Why not the person behind me? I’m white and rough looking and I work hard and pay for my stuff this has nothing to do with Civil Rights. Just human rights. I turn around and return the stuff. I explain how if they can take the money from my account in less then 30 seconds via my account showing on my phone then they need to give it back as quick.
    That usually gets them.
    Like others, I have no problem with Costco, Sams, and places that make everybody do it. Its the ones who are selective and pick you not the person in front or behind you just you. Nothing to set off an an alarm, no over abundance of merchandise priced to where it would be suspicious. No open policy to check on all of a certain merchandise. One store checks all receipts on Computers. No problem. Its an item to check on always not just an individual.
    Just show it is what makes you lose rights. So go on be idiots and tolerate it.