Man On Trial For Knocking Down Walmart Receipt Checker

Details are sketchy but a Chehalis Washington man is on trial after being accused of knocking down a Wal-Mart greeter. According to the AP report, Don Lynch says the greeter demanded to see his receipt and then the greeter and another Wal-Mart employee grabbed him. Lynch says he acted in self-defense.Now, we’ve done a bunch of posts about how, unless you’ve signed a membership agreement assenting to them, stores have no right to detain you if you refuse a receipt check. However, you cannot react violently. Then you will get in trouble and look like a jerk. Go for non-violent resistance. You must be like Gandhi. If someone touches you, ask them to stop. If they don’t, call the cops and complain that this guy won’t stop touching you. They’re not allowed to touch you, or for that matter, grab you.

(Thanks to Charles!)


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  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Cue 300 comment thread…. now!

  2. chemmy says:

    Hmmm, if he lashed out at them or pushed through them (or touched them) then he is wrong.

    However, if he was trying to exit peacefully and they forcefully tried to detain him, I think he had a right to defend himself.. to an extent.

    Will be interesting to see where this goes.

    Anymore, I show a receipt everywhere…. Just not worth my time to be hassled about it.

  3. differcult says:

    WTG Charles. Hope he wins and files a civil.

  4. I’ve never understood the point of complaining or objecting to the poor sap who just happens to have the job of receipt checker. As if that person has any power, other than to get themselves fired if they don’t do their job. Seems a far better tact is to turn around and lodge your complaint with the manager, and maybe write a letter to the regional managers as well. Or maybe even just head over to customer service and return the merchandise, then go buy it somewhere else. Why on earth pic on the folks at the door…

  5. Drowner says:

    I still don’t see the big deal with this. It’s a receipt. Just show them the receipt. Is all this hassle, court dates, and legel mess really worth not letting the 75 year old woman at the front see you bought a shoe rack and some toilet paper? Come on people.

  6. Mayor McRib says:


  7. Shadowfire says:

    @chemmy: This.

    If he was “forcibly” detained, i.e. someone grabbed his arm or blocked his exit (as we read about here a bit too often), this guy has the right to defend himself. If this is something else, let him cook.

  8. differcult says:

    @Drowner: Everything has to start somewhere. Where we go next is upto us as consumers. If we let them check our property, which it is the second you pay for it, then what is next? “We need to check your coat to make sure nothing is in there” and so forth.

    Know and stand up for your rights!

  9. Parting says:

    When in Walmart, I just feel too sorry for the door ”security” not to show my receipt. In our Walmart, they are always polite, and often help with difficult to carry packages.

  10. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Assuming they did actually grab them isn’t this in violation of their rule about not getting into physical altercations with shoplifters (especially since he wasn’t seen shoplifting)?

    What about the Home Depot guy who got fired for chasing down a thief? If you’re not allowed to stop someone you’ve actually caught stealing how do you justify grabbing someone who won’t show the receipt?

    Now, if they didn’t touch him then he is (I got this one from Customers Suck) a glorious butt turban for pushing the greeter.

  11. Citizen Snips says:

    Come on dude, leave the recepit man alone. Its not like Wal-Mart greeters are American Gladiators. Theyre like 5 ft tall octogenarians.

  12. APFPilot says:

    f-that. They touch me it is ON.

  13. RIP MRHANDS says:

    This is simple. If they block your exit, tell them you either let me through or will be taking the fire door out.

  14. exkon says:

    There seems to be some sort of double-edge sword here, seems like a no-win situation for the stores.

    Consumers are saying that they don’t have to show a receipt, yet what is actually stopping anyone from just plain old stealing?

    Sure one may argue that the products are the plastic/paper bag. But I remember reading a story how some guy bought something that was too big for a bag and was just walking out of the store with.

    How is it being “treated” as criminal if they check receipts for everyone walking out of the store?

  15. APFPilot says:

    @APFPilot: and by on I mean police are called, and then Wal-Mart is sued.

  16. forgottenpassword says:

    if two guys grabbed me you better believe I will fight back! Walmart needs to train their employees on what they CAN or CANNOT do when someone refuses to show a reciept.

    Forcibly laying your hands on someone else is a serious thing.

  17. braindesign says:

    hopefully this will cause some of you ‘crusaders’ out there to rethink being an a$$hat and just show the 75 year old grandma your little receipt that you know they’re going to ask for anyway instead of being a d*ck and acting like they’re invading your privacy for making sure you aren’t a thieving d*ck…

  18. davidc says:

    If your a sheep, that shows your receipt, you should find another website to visit. REAL Consumers are not sheep.

    I don’t show receipts anywhere except costco and only because there is a written contract between myself and costco.

    Outside of that, they can either break the law and illegally detain me, or they can let me go. Asking to see your receipt is fine, illegally detaining you is AGAINST THE LAW.

  19. Conrad says:

    So i should not show my receipt and then sleep with underage girls. awesome advice!

  20. RIP MRHANDS says:

    @braindesign: Think again. If you detain me against my will, I WILL do everything in my power to break free. This is within the law.

    This case boils down to who is ultimately telling the truth and other specific details that we are not so sure about.

  21. braindesign says:

    @david.c: <<

  22. SkokieGuy says:

    @braindesign: Exactly! I’m not even going to list my personal feelings, pro or con on receipts, but some agreement here that hostility toward the lowest level employees, whether the receipt checker at Walmart or the first tier CSR support on a phone call is pointless?

    To ‘stand up’ to a clerk isn’t being a courageous consumer, it’s being a bully. Do what the earlier posts suggest and take the time to complain to a manager, corporate, etc.

    Read the interview with Ron Burley. Politeness counts. Once you become agressive or hostile , even when justified by the treatment you are receiving, you lose.

  23. JustinAche says:

    In the State of Florida, if I feel threatened, I can shoot them…well, there are some catches, but lets just say, if I break their arm, they should be lucky.

    And yes, there is a slight tone of sarcasm there…but I have been to jail before…lets guess why ;)

  24. forgottenpassword says:


    Here’s the “win” situation for the stores. Have good security, not some jamoke regular employee who doesnt know what to do when dealing with shoplifters (or someone who has just bought an item & doesnt want to show a reciept when exiting).

    Treating everyone who walks from the end of the checkout lane to the exit as a potential shoplifter is NOT how you operate a business.

  25. homerjay says:

    If I may play the part of Bens brain when he was first presented with this article: “Please don’t mention my blog! Please don’t mention my blog! Please don’t mention my blog!”

  26. Daniel-Bham says:

    I generally don’t mind showing my receipt, unless there is a receipt nazi forcing people to form a long line of buggies while they inspect each and every cart thoroughly to mentally inventory every list-item on the receipt.

    At that point, I just walk around the idiots and walk out.

  27. nursetim says:

    Just to get it out of the way; it is not a 4th Amendment violation, but you are not required to show your receipt. Now lets just concentrate of flaming each other over whether you should or not.

  28. davidc says:

    @exkon: “There seems to be some sort of double-edge sword here, seems like a no-win situation for the stores.”

    No sword here …

    @exkon: “Consumers are saying that they don’t have to show a receipt, yet what is actually stopping anyone from just plain old stealing?”

    Nothing. Then again, not producing a receipt for a product DOESN’T make you guilty of shop lifting in a court of law. 1) They have to see you take the product off the shelf. 2) They have to never lose sight of you from the moment on. 3) They have to ask you some question (of which, may I see your receipt is not one). 4) You have to exit the store with the property. (might have one of these wrong or missed one)

    Checking receipts has NOTHING to do with shop lifting.

    @exkon: “How is it being “treated” as criminal if they check receipts for everyone walking out of the store?”

    When the store *detains* you because you refuse to show your receipt, they do so with the reason that only CRIMINALS won’t show the receipt. Ergo, when you get *detained* you are being treated like a criminal.

    They can *ask* for anything they want … when they detain you *only* because you don’t show the receipt is when the store cross the line and become criminal.

  29. Drowner says:

    @differcult: Eh, I’d rather save my breath for the strip search part of purchasing items from your future totalitarian walmart.

    @david.c: REAL consumers aren’t preachy braggarts either. Don’t tell me where I should and should not blow my workday. You sound like one of those people who prays for the police to visit your house when you have a loud party just so you can deny them entry and chuckle about how clever you are.

  30. davidc says:

    @SkokieGuy: To ‘stand up’ to a clerk isn’t being a courageous consumer, it’s being a bully.

    I can’t believe you just turned the “bully” of a clerk into the “innocent” victim!

    Classic example of someone avoiding personal responsibility. If any store personell “illegally” detains an individual by means of physical force, that *is* being a bully. Sorry, you don’t get to break laws cause your employer told you to.

    Case law has already flushed out what it takes to convict a person of shoplifting and NOT *having* a receipt is NOT justification for arrest. (let alone not showing your receipt).

  31. SarcasticDwarf says:

    @alphafemale: The problem with this is that the receipt checker CHOOSES to perform that function. It is a classic “I was only following orders” defense.

  32. ecwis says:

    @braindesign: Do you really not see what’s wrong with assuming that every customer is a thieving d*ck and each and every one must prove themselves otherwise?

  33. Alexander says:

    I love these threads. Love how it progresses from “let them check your receipt” to “1984 style society”. I’d love to see a movie with that plot. Carry on.

  34. sophistiKate says:

    Thanks, @differcult. I feel like people don’t say that often enough in these conversations, and I think it’s the whole point of the great receipt argument.

  35. davidc says:

    @Drowner: “REAL consumers aren’t preachy braggarts either”

    Really? according to whom? you? Lawlz.

    I called you a sheep … if the “baaaaah” fits :-)

    You can makeup any number of fictitious unlawful things you can think of to cast dispersions on me, but that doesn’t make them true and more importantly, it doesn’t make you a non-sheep now does it?

    You want to give up your rights and show your receipt, that is YOUR business. But coming to a “Consumer Rights” forum such as this and *preaching* to people that they should give up their rights is kind of “anti-community” wouldn’t you say?

    I can and do have the *freedom* to suggest you go find a more “sheeeeepish” community to bother, as long as I abide by the forum “rules”.

  36. greensmurf says:

    Who cares, all it takes is 2-5 seconds, God forbid people were held up that long. Tell you what to combat this fear of a 5 second delay just take a Xanax 30 minutes before shopping, trust me after that everything is going to be great, no stress, you will feel at ease.
    I bet that guy feels like a dumb ass now. a 5 second delay has been coverted to a very long delay with possability of an extended stay and Bubba’s Playhouse..

  37. Kat@Work says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: No sh*t. LOL

  38. SkokieGuy says:

    @david.c: To have a discussion with a low-level clerk about what is or isn’t your legal rights is pointless. He / She has zero ability to have any impact on Walmart or any other business making any change. But it’s easy and allows the consumer to strut out the store, proud of how “I showed them! I know my rights!”.

    Writing a letter to coporate, talking to a store manager, these are the things that at least have the potential of creating change. But they take more time and effort.

    @SarcasticDwarf: Do you really think people CHOOSE to be receipt checkers? Its called needing a job and doing what you’re told. Are you gonna feed and pay the rent of a store clerk who quits because they don’t like the companies policies? This isn’t Nazi storm troopers, this is someone with a minimum wage job, that they probably hate, trying to feed and clothe themselves and have a roof over their head.

    I’m said way too much today in too many postings. Thanks as always Ben for amazing content and stories. Y’all fire away, no more responses from me. Have fun!

  39. exkon said “what is actually stopping anyone from just plain old stealing?”

    I think it should be incumbent upon the stores to design themselves in such a way as to diminish the likelyhood of theft. I mean there’s got to be some architechure company out there with the know-how to design a walmart so that they can keep track of who’s leaving with what (that be a hell of a money maker, landing a contract to redesign WalMarts)- There’s no reason for these companies to keep putting someone’s grandma in the line of fire…

    If enough people lodged complaints with – as my mother called them – “the uppity-ups and the biggity-bigs” who are in positions powerful enough to make a difference, maybe the companies in question would invest in a redesign of their stores.

  40. forgottenpassword says:

    I just want to say that I personally dont have much of a problem showing my reciept to some old lady door-greeter at the local walmart if there isnt a line. Its the big dude (watching security cameras & checking reciepts of people leaving) at places like best buy who I dont like showing my reciept to.

    Maybe its the intimidation factor that gets my goat. *shrug*

    Nice old lady that asks… sure, why not. Six foot tall dude w/attitude who asks…. sorry not gonna happen.

  41. Kat@Work says:

    I must admit that I did not see what the big deal was – until I made a purchase (that was too big for a bag) at Wal-Mart last week. There was a line for the sloooooow receipt checker, so I just walked right out the other set of doors. The receipt jockey had the nerve to start yelling (really) at me to “Wait a moment!”. I just kept walking. I was not detained nor chased after.

    Its never important until it happens to you. Apologies to all those who I argued with last time – receipt checking should not be allowed and it should not be a Wal-Mart policy that they encourge. Bad Wal-Mart.

  42. Buran says:

    What’s the problem here? Sounds like they grabbed him, and if someone grabs you you have the right to use force to escape detainment, and I sure as hell would be arguing that if grabbed by a stranger I was afraid for my life… especially if it was a man who did it. I have no desire to be kidnapped, raped, and murdered so I view grabbings by strange males as threat of such.

    Now if he had just randomly attacked the greeter, that would be another story.

  43. SkyeBlue says:

    Maybe it’s just me and someone wiser on here can explain it to me. How is it that if I am say out on the street and someone tries to grab me and hold me against my will that I can have them charged with assault or even kidnapping, or if my husband and I were to get into a fight and he grabbed my arm or tried to stop me from leaving the house that HE could be charged with assault, domestic violence or even kidnapping by holding me against my will? BUT, if I happen to go into a store and they ask me to see my receipt and I tell them “NO!” that they can stop me and try to hold me against my will without any repercussions?

    Do you lose all your constitutional rights when you walk into a Walmart?

  44. davidc says:

    @SkokieGuy: To have a discussion with a low-level clerk about what is or isn’t your legal rights is pointless.

    I don’t see how you can think that educating people on their rights is pointless?

    If the clerk didn’t know he was violating peoples rights by stopping them, he knows now.

    If he did know, that is still no reason to not to the “right thing” and refuse to show your receipt. Political Correctness or Fear of being Embarrassed are NEVER valid reasons for relinquishing your rights.

    Chances are, that clerks that physically stop you DON’T know that’s illegal and you have just taken care of that problem with that clerk.

  45. @SarcasticDwarf: I don’t really think it’s fair to compare receipt checkers with nazi war criminals. And yes, they choose to be employed, and they take the shittiest job on the totem pole and pray for a new hire to come along so they can move up to stocking shelves. Yes, they are following orders, but at what point to you decide that going after the order-follower isn’t working? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with going after the people giving the orders? Should we continue to let those order-givers slide while they offer up sacrificial lambs to deal with our anger? That’s why I said, go get a manager, if he is inconvenienced everytime you want to leave the store maybe he’ll think about the policy, but he isn’t affected at all, he just watches from behind one way glass as poor Matilda, who doesn’t even get enough social security to live on, has to deal with people getting riled up as she tries to do her job…

  46. greensmurf says:

    @Buran: ———-I have no desire to be kidnapped, raped, and murdered so I view grabbings by strange males as threat of such.———-
    You are talking about a Walmart employee, seriously besides obsessive paranoia what reason would you have to think that a walmart employee that is checking receipts would try to kidnap, rape or murder you in front of numerous shoppers and fellow walmart employees.
    I mean we all have reasoning skills right? Now if it were closing time and the walmart employee was outside in the parking lot that would be a different situation.

  47. warf0x0r says:

    If you’re being detained against your will could that be grounds for a kidnapping lawsuit?

  48. davidc says:

    @greensmurf: “You are talking about a Walmart employee, seriously besides obsessive paranoia what reason would you have to think”.

    The question was: What is the difference?

    Your answer is: Because there are a lot of people around?

    Illegal is Illegal … regardless of how many witnesses are around to see it :-p

  49. davidc says:

    @alphafemale: “Yes, they are following orders, but at what point to you decide that going after the order-follower isn’t working?”

    Nobody is going “after” the order-follower. This is not about “changing the world”.

    Not showing your receipt is about not giving up your rights. Plain and simple.

    When people try to take your rights away, whatever those rights are, you *have* a choice to make. Allow it or Don’t.

    You (et al) would advise people to *give* up their rights till they can write letters and make phone calls to try to effect change, and if the change never happens? Since you gave up your rights, you have lost them forever.

    How silly is that? You voluntarily give up your rights, till such time as walmart (et al) decide to give you back what you gave up willingly? Don’t hold your breath on that one.

  50. greensmurf says:

    @david.c: I am not referring to the detaining part, I was referring to being illegaly detained and thinking your going to be raped, murdered or kidnapped.
    How likely is it that those things are going to happen?
    Its common sense thinking, saying “I acted in self defense because I feared that I was going to be raped, murdered or kidnapped” is just an excuse, regardless if they were detaining you illegaly, You cant just go around and lay into someone and say I was acting in self defense. Thats what put this guy in court.

    Seriously if a walmart employee grabs your arm and you punch them in the face and claim self defense because you thought they were going to try to murder, rap or kidnap you the judge is going to laugh in your face.

  51. Dashrashi says:

    @Kat@Work: Awesome. Welcome to the fold.

  52. Triborough says:

    Simple, don’t shop at Wal-Mart.

  53. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @SkyeBlue: I believe that many people believe that.
    Hey guess what, it’s not my fault that stores lose money to theft. I don’t steal shit.
    You just watched me throw my receipt in the bag, now you want to see it? Excuse me, I got things to do.
    Why are those SensorMatic or CheckPoint sensors at the door? Don’t they work?

    You can see my receipt when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. :)

  54. jlayman920 says:

    I just don’t understand the big “showing your receipt” controversy that has been on The Consumerist as of late. What’s the big deal, just show them your freaking receipt. Jesus.

  55. whuffo says:

    This topic brushes upon civil and criminal laws. The various merchants may have store policies – but no matter how they arrived at those policies if they are not in compliance with the law they represent a threat not only to the consumer but to the merchant as well.

    At the basic level, the transaction between you and the merchant takes place when your offer of value is accepted in exchange for the merchandise. That happened right there at the cash register; offer and acceptance, the transaction was completed right then and there. At that point, the merchandise belongs to you and the merchant has no further claim upon it.

    Can the merchant ask to see your receipt as you leave the store? Sure, they can ask. Are you required to show it to them? No, you are not. Store policies are not laws, you are not a store employee – you have no obligation of any kind to comply with any store policy.

    Can the merchant detain you for failing to show your receipt? Absolutely not. Their employees are not law enforcement personnel, they have no right to arrest you. If they try to block your exit, go around them. If they offer any threat then they’ve committed the crime of assault. If they back up that threat with any contact, the charge becomes assault and battery. Should they actually detain you against your wishes it could be false arrest or kidnapping depending on what state you live in.

    The threat against you as a consumer should be clear; store employees pretending to be law enforcement personnel and threatening your safe passage.

    But the threat to the merchant is even greater. Some folks (like myself) don’t believe that the merchant has any right to violate my personal rights. If they want to see my receipt I may or may not show it to them. If I don’t show it to them and they threaten or touch me I can and will sue them. All you merchants out there pay attention: I may be one of your customers; threaten me at your own peril.

    The “shopkeeper’s privelege” only goes just so far. If the merchant wishes to detain me then they’ve got to be prepared to pay for their mistakes. Once they make that decision then someone’s going to pay – If I shoplifted something then I’ll pay. But if nothing was shoplifted then the shopkeeper’s privelege doesn’t apply and they’re going to have to pay for their illegal actions.

    Those who say you have to show your receipt are ill informed. Repeat after me: the store personnel are not law enforcement officers and they have no police powers. They can not search or detain you. Store policies do not apply to anyone other than store personnel. If you want to show them your receipt, go right ahead. If you don’t want to, know your rights.

  56. kelrod says:

    I’ve avoided this kind of situation for the past 6 years by not setting foot in a Wal-Mart.

  57. @david.c: Hey now! I’ve been (et al)-ed… not sure how I feel about that yet :)

    But if you read my first comment up there, and also in my comment prior to this one, I don’t say just wait to write a letter or something, I say go get the manager, right away, and hassle him or her about it instead of hassling the door jockey, or go return the items and tell the manager why you are returning them, those are actions you can take right then and there to assert your rights and to the people you really need to assert them to. What is a door jockey to say in response when a person recites the bill of rights? Basically, it seems that if you expect a door jockey to make the call, you are asking them to risk their livelyhood, as meager as it may be, for your rights, and that’s just not likely to happen. We’d really have to change the world for that to occur.

    Moreover, it’s not our right to decide a store’s policy, it’s our right to protest that policy, to the correct people, and it’s our right to shop somewhere else that doesn’t check receipts.

  58. Buran says:

    @greensmurf: I have no way of knowing the intent of anyone who grabs me and due to the abovementioned threats, ESPECIALLY if it’s near a door where they could drag me out and into a waiting car, I will treat any such incident as life-threatening.

  59. manevitch says:

    Okay, so I show a receipt. Then the clerk decides he STILL doesn’t believe I haven’t stolen something. For those of the “just show your receipt” crowd, what do I do then?

    I’ll be damned if I let some Wal-Mart employee force me to submit to a patdown, and legally I can’t be detained without probable cause. So what then? Strip naked? As I strip, what happens when the WM employee when he notices the pistol on my hip? Should I hand it over to him? Or just show a receipt for it?

  60. Buran says:

    @greensmurf: I highly doubt that they would. Strange men grabbing women IS a serious thing and a judge that laughed at a lone woman who was grabbed out of a public place would probably be in BIG trouble. It could, can, and has happened. I’ve heard of more than one case where a serial killer would find his victims by stalking them at stores and it took a number of rapes/murders for the police to catch on and even start investigating.

    It is a threat that has to be taken very seriously, and failure to realize that is failure to realize just how dangerous it is to allow yourself to at any time fall under anyone else’s control.

  61. badhatharry says:

    Seriously, just shut up and show your receipt. They are not accusing you of stealing, and I promise that this will not be the beginning of a new oppressive world order. Just show your receipt and then be on your way. I’m not saying that they were right to detain him, I’m just saying that there’s a way to handle the situation without it turning into a civil rights issue.

  62. godlyfrog says:

    @jlayman920: I agree, it only takes 5 seconds to show your receipt, and 15 seconds to hold up your papers next to your face so the police can see you are who you say you are, and 45 seconds to remove your shoes and put them back on again to make sure you’re not carrying explosives, and a couple of hours for them to take your car apart and put it back together again to make sure you’re not smuggling drugs, and a couple of years for you to collect the evidence to disprove the baseless accusation that you are a serial killer.

    As overblown as the latter examples may be, these things are all related in that they all place the burden of proof on the accused to prove innocence, rather than the accuser to prove guilt. The justice system in most civilized countries works on this principle. The easy thing is not always the right thing, and while this isn’t slavery or women’s rights, if you let others take this right away, what’s to stop them from taking other rights away?

    Personally, I always stick my receipt in a pocket, then when they ask for my receipt, I tell them I don’t have it. I have yet to be detained, and I think it’s because the examiners have been told specifically that they can’t detain us. Interestingly, it must not deter a lot of theft, because I haven’t been asked for a receipt in a long time.

  63. CharlieSeattle says:

    @braindesign: Uh no, I will just call the police. If what this guy says is true, he not only will get off, he will turn around and sit the shit out of wal-mart. BTW I’m the one that sent this article in.

  64. pattisod says:

    @badhatharry: Yeah and just shut up and empty your pockets, take off your shoes, lift your shirt up so they can check your waistband, lift up or lower your pants so they can check for stolen goods. It always starts with something harmless and then… They hire older people to generate compliance and make the consumer feel bad for refusing, just look at half the post. Slowly but surely being treated like a criminal is gonna be the norm if you don’t already think it is. How do you think the Gulag system worked?

  65. CharlieSeattle says:

    @badhatharry: Really? This article proves otherwise. Unless you don’t think illegally detaining people is oppressive. Now how about you shut up.

  66. msp123 says:

    as it has been stated before, they do have the right to ask to see your receipt. and you have the right to refuse. there are two problems: one, these employees are not trained at all in how to handle a situation where someone refuses b/c the companies believe that most people will not refuse. so the poor employee sees this act of refusal as out of the ordinary, and react by instinctually grabbing the person’s arm or something-i hardly think that they are purposely trying to detain someone, they are just probably lightly touching them and people are overreacting. then it blows up. problem two is this, people are saying things like, “you have the right to do whatever is necessary to escape a situation where you are being detained.” that is not entirely true-you have the right to use whatever force is appropriate, and usually that does not mean knocking someone down, etc. when they just grab your arm. the amount of force deemed necessary is relative. did the receipt checker use the same amount of force? things to consider….

  67. smirky says:

    @badhatharry: Seriously, just tell them “no” when the ASK.

    It will be interesting if there is any video of the confrontation. If the employees physically accosted the customer, then he had every right to defend himself. If he accosted them first then hello conviction.

    I asked before and only 1 person gave a reply so I’ll ask again. For the ‘show the receipt’ people, how far are you willing to go in order to comply with store policy?

    Would you let them check your receipt again just outside the door in case the first check was not sufficient?

    Would you let them escort you to your car to ensure you put away only the items listed on your receipt?

    Would you let them perform a physical search of you to ensure you do not have any stolen merchandise?

    At what point would you just say to them “Enough! Leave me alone.” and then refuse to follow their store policy any further?

  68. ryatziv says:

    @badhatharry: … no?

  69. SkyeBlue says:

    Also, don’t they have about 10,000 surveillance cameras situated at about 3 foot intervals inside and outside of every Walmart? I mean if there really is a question about whether a person stole an item couldn’t the store or even the customer be able to just look at the videotapes to see proof of what happened?

    But I guess if you didn’t steal something then that would be good evidence for an illegal detention case against the store.

  70. girly says:

    I don’t understand the ‘just show the receipt’ people

    You are actually requiring more than what required legally or even by Walmart itself–at least on paper!

    It may be ‘common sense’ to just show it, but it is still optional and the store has no right to force you–they can ask, but that is all.

    To say no should be no slight or attack on the checker, they have done their job simply by asking, their next job is to just let you go if you do not choose to do it.

  71. girly says:

    It is despicable that the company does not properly train people on how to deal with a voluntary request being denied.

  72. RedSonSuperDave says:

    Non-violence? Screw that. If somebody lays hands on me in a physical manner in a situation where they don’t have a right to do so, I’m gonna get them off me by whatever means necessary.

    If the story truly happened precisely as we’re being told in the original article, the receipt checker had it coming. As somebody who’s been on both sides of this discussion (I worked at Wal-Mart for a year and was once assaulted by an overzealous K-Mart security guard when I was young and ignorant), those workers not only violated Wal-Mart’s policy, but committed assault and possibly battery on the customer in question.

    He’s lucky he didn’t get maced, or seriously hurt. From the (admittedly sketchy) details in the original article, it sounds like it’s the Wal-Mart employees who should be on trial. “He didn’t show a receipt when I asked him to” is not grounds to assault somebody.

    Gandhi? Hell no! Read “The Last Article” if you want to know my feelings about Gandhi’s strategy. There’s a sickening trend towards Big-Brotherism in our society lately. Laying hands on somebody because they VIOLATED STORE POLICY? That’s like some **** out of RoboCop right there. We need a couple million more like the subject of the article, in this country. Less “Baa!”, more “kyfho”.

  73. msp123 says:

    i wouldnt go so far as to say despicable. honestly, i cant speak from experience since the company i work for does not employ “receipt checkers” and the only people we do have who do anything like that on occasion are trained in what to do. so that’s a judgment call, and perhaps something needs to be done. but i think that reason is being ignored in a lot of these situations. i just think these greeters are probably trained to get a manager and try and stop the person, if someone makes a refusal. they are not trained on how to physically detain someone, etc. b/c that’s not legal. so its not that they arent being trained on what to do, its that they are doing what they have been trained to do, and the situation gets seriously misconstrued….

  74. AMetamorphosis says:

    This guy is my new HERO !

  75. badhatharry says:

    @CharlieSeattle: I like the maturity you displayed there. And there was no contact with the customer until after they refused to show a receipt. I don’t believe that physical contact was in any way called for, but I think the subject of this entry could have shown a lot more discretion.

    @smirky: If I’m wrong, and this really is the beginning of a WalMart totalitarian regime, then I will be the first against the wall. Until then, this ain’t Selma in 1965. Your New World Order conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

  76. msp123 says:

    i will agree that if the occasional rogue receipt checker physically assaults you, you have the right to defend yourself…by whatever means appropriate or reasonable. to the people who are saying ‘i will defend myself through whatever means i deem necessary if someone literally lays a hand on me”…..seriously, you are coming off sounding like the assaulters-that sounds actually threatening to me. if i pass you in the street and place my hand on your arm to say “excuse me, sir” are you telling me you are going to knock me down and beat the hell out of me? and see how crazy that makes me sound? and this could go around and around until we all sound paranoid and, therefore, have the right to defend ourselves…..this is why we have a legal system.

  77. AMetamorphosis says:

    “Sheeple” show receipts …

    Those that think for themselves just say NO …

    Oh, and those of you that want to show your receipts are more than welcome … BUT my time is worth more than your complacency …

  78. girly says:

    @msp123: I do view it as deplorable, because they allow the employees to think they can escalate the situation to something illegal over some store items.

    If they were trained properly, they would know what to do, and that includes when to let people go.

  79. mgy says:

    I can’t wait to find out that the receipt checker he felt threatened by and was actually physically held by was an incontinent 85 year-old.

    I bet that’s not the version he tells his buddies.

  80. msp123 says:

    girly: yes it would be deplorable if companies trained their employees to escalate to violence over someone refusing to show their receipt. i dont beieve that i said otherwise.

  81. AMetamorphosis says:


    The 85 year old incontinent greeter probably needed the receipt to wipe his ass …

  82. girly says:

    @msp123: no, I’m not saying they are being trained to escalate. they are not being trained on what to do(let people go) so they may choose to escalate

    or if they are being trained to let people go, given these incidents, the company isn’t taking reinforcing this seriously enough

  83. gamehendge2000 says:

    This is the king of the douchebags.

    All other non-receipt showing douches bow down to this guy.

  84. StevieD says:

    Sounds like the criminal is going to jail.

  85. msp123 says:

    girly: if they choose to escalate, that is their personal choice, not something they are being trained to do. therefore, not a company policy. im trying to say that i have a feeling that the employees’ training on what to do if someone refuses to show their receipt might not be extensive enough(like i said, i cant speak personally) but that they are most likely trying to get the customers’ attention and trying again. i do not think that are all grabbing everyone and assaulting them, nor do i think they are being trained to do so. enough. im done.

  86. girly says:

    @msp123: I understand what you are saying. And I wouldn’t disagree with you on that.

    My point is that knowing that there are employees who take it to far, they are not doing enough to train them that this is not okay

  87. Klink says:

    Someone’s probably said it a million times above me, but if they really grabbed his arm or anything, it was self-defense. Case closed.
    But of course not with Mal-Wart’s super-lawyers.

  88. ARVash says:

    I just wave the paper and keep walking, we usually don’t have reciept checkers at our walmart. (Lives in podunk usa)

  89. msp123 says:

    girly: the point is, you just cant train people for the occasional, rare, extreme situation of an employee ‘taking it too far’. you dont train people for any job by saying ‘so when you freak out and assault a customer, here’s the best way to do that….’

    and to the self-defense people-please learn what self defense means. im not trying to sound sarcastic, im just saying that you are in no way justified to hit someone b/c they touch your arm. there is no way in hell you can turn the average receipt checker’s touch to your body(wrong though it may be) into a threat against your life. no, they cant touch you and yes, they should be trained in that very clearly(girly, yes i agree on the training topic here). but unless they hit you, you cant hit them. they touch you, you inform them that they cant and keep on going. you do not perceive this touch as an attempt on your life and hit them. am i crazy???

  90. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    I must admit that I did not see what the big deal was – until I made a purchase… at Wal-Mart last week… It’s never important until it happens to you. Apologies to all those who I argued with last time

    I can feel your anger…

    It gives you focus; makes you stronger.

    Don’t feel bad – most people don’t really care about rights until they’re affected. Just ask Reverend Niemoller.

  91. AMetamorphosis says:

    Boycott Walmart.
    Problem solved.

    6+ years here of not bowing down to Sam & shopping @ this sub-standard establishment.

    You receipt showers keep showing your receipts & keeping Chinese children working all for the sake of your low, low prices.

  92. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @gamehendge2000: All other non-receipt showing douches bow down to this guy.

    No no, you’ve got it backwards – it’s people like you who do the bowing down to any presumed “authority” figure you encounter.

  93. girly says:

    @msp123: all I mean is that they should be trained, that it is within people’s rights to say no, and they should *emphasize* not impeding someone if they refuse, that asking is enough

    nothing more complex than that

  94. EtherealStrife says:

    With the exception of police, if someone grabs me I’m sure as hell going to use force to extricate myself.

  95. mikelotus says:

    touch me and i kill you

  96. RedSonSuperDave says:

    @msp123: if i pass you in the street and place my hand on your arm to say “excuse me, sir” are you telling me you are going to knock me down and beat the hell out of me?

    I’m not saying “anybody touch me without permission and you instantly get a broken jaw”. In such a situation, I’m gonna be reasonable (unless, of course, I happen to be wearing my Punisher shirt that day, no, I keed, I keed).

    If you were passing me on the street and grabbed my sleeve and asked me for the time, I’m not instantly gonna go into all-out assault mode. I might say, “hey, don’t touch da merchandise, pal” or, “sorry, dude, I don’t have a watch” or I might even roll up my sleeve and look at my watch and tell you what time it was, depending on what kind of mood I’m in.

    However, if I refused to tell you the time for whatever reason, and then, not letting go of me, you then moved into my way and said something like, “well, that’s tough luck, pal, because my ‘policy’ is you’re not going anywhere until you tell me what time it is” I’m going to (quite reasonably, in my opinion) take that as a threat, and then maybe somebody ends up with an extra joint in their thumb or something.

    I don’t give a **** about what your personal policy is regarding strangers who don’t tell you what time it is. You don’t have a “right” to see my watch, just like Wal-Mart doesn’t have a “right” to see my receipt.

    @mgy: I can’t wait to find out that the receipt checker he felt threatened by and was actually physically held by was an incontinent 85 year-old.

    Well, the original article says that two employees grabbed him.

    “Dude, you got roughed up by an 85-year-old?”

    “Well, he needed help. From his mother.”

    And as a former Wal-Mart employee, let me point out that what those two guys did was against Wal-Mart’s policy. Even if you physically SEE somebody steal something, you’re not allowed to forcibly detain them.

  97. CaptRavis says:

    You guys just keep causing problems at the end of the store, so I can shimmy shammy my carton of eggs and fruit roll ups through the other doors unimpeded. A great decoy works. Your all tied you with the octoaged and their stern looks and I am getting away unchecked and unkempt with my Hannah Montanna playset and Yu-gi-Oh cards…….meet up later, probally after the court hearing.

  98. Oface says:

    It amazes me to see all these complaints of Nazi receipt checkers. Only time they do that here is if the buzzers go off. Me and my sis in law walked out with blinds in our hands the other night (not bagged, mind you…I was feeling dangerous) and he just waved at us.

  99. gnubian says:

    I was accosted by a receipt checker at walmart yesterday. He asked for my receipt .. I told him it was already put away in my wallet. he grabbed my cart and wouldn’t let it go (I had my 4yr old son with me as well). I told him if he wanted to verify that I had purchased my items, he could speak with the checker on register 21 .. he still insisted on seeing my receipt .. continued to hold my cart. I had 2 items, a computer game and a small knocktogether computer desk.

    I don’t think he expected that I would just pick up the box the desk was in and just walk out.

    Actually, I was on a roll yesterday .. just prior to doing to walmart, I was at the lowes next door .. they asked me for my ID on a credit card purchase …..

  100. dweebster says:

    I’ve avoided MallWart for years, so not sure about their receiptcheckdrones. But the “Best” Buys in my region seem to prefer big black linebacker types (not little old grannies) that *DEMAND* to see receipts, with an implied threat if you decline.

    Being a grouser not a fighter, I’m no match for those type of behavioral patterns, and I’d still like to leave the store unaccosted but without bubba’s illegal partial strip search. Perhaps the only “safe” way to shop at these stores is to always bring a bodyguard with a video camera (good luck getting the store video!) and/or bring tasers, mace or some other repellent that can overpower an aggressive doorchecker.

    Hell if I want to bother a lawyer about it, so best to not give those businesses any money at all. You’ll notice they never accost you if you buy NOTHING – so visiting big boxes is just for research now – check out the thing you are interested in there – then buy it online. No bag=no receipt check!!

    Like a previous poster stated, these big box stores are wired like panopticons and “real” security has a right to detain. But when a receipt checker illegally escalates their “asking” into a threatening demand, then one must have a method of leaving the store safely.

    If the defense the shopper used was reasonable for the threat, hopefully the court will find the company responsible in some way for their creation of a situation that is conducive to violence. This receipt checking crap needs to stop. The only good thing I can say about it is it has cut down on my frivilous retail jaunts, and moved me to make more and more purchases online – and definitely NOT from the receiptchecker store’s websites!

  101. Difdi says:

    Interesting fact: In a lot of places, recognizing the disparity of size, weight and strength between men and women, *any* use of force against a woman by a man is often considered to be deadly force. This means that in a legal sense, almost any level of violent response in self defense in that sort of situation is legally justified. Given the difference in strength and size, a woman might well *need* a knife or gun to simply break free of an unarmed man who grabs her.

    The rules are different when two men go at it, however. Taking a knife to a fistfight is a good way to get into jail.

    I’ve got a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to aikido, as well as what might be termed aggressive shiatsu. If someone grabs me and tries to restrain my movement, they’ll experience a practical demonstration of how to break a hold without injuring the other person. If they persist, or two or more people try to do so, I would move on to joint locks, pain submission holds and so forth. But sooner or later in such an altercation, it often comes down to a choice of who gets hurt. And I choose that the aggressor gets hurt, not the victim, if at all possible.

  102. mike says:

    This is a difficult subject. No store, no matter what you sign, has the right to detain you for no reason. Even if they think you shop lifted, unless they are making a citizen’s arrest, they can’t hold you.

    Knowing your rights is important. I openly carry a handgun not because I’m a nutjob (yeah, you read that right. :-) but because I have the right to defend myself. Especially places like Best Buy or Walmart, if they hold me, I make it clear that I can and will defend myself and my property.

    Fortunately, I’ve never had to resort to this.

  103. smirky says:

    @badhatharry: I’ve made no claim to any totalitarian regime or any sort of big brother implications. You’re making pretty big assumptions with that statement. Why don’t you answer my question? How far are you willing to go to honor their requests to satisfy their policy to ensure you are not stealing from them?

    Where I make my stand is being treated as if I’m a thief. The property is mine at that point and I don’t have to show them a receipt of purchase. I don’t get mad when they ask but I do when they think and ack as if I must abide their request.

  104. MrMold says:

    Most of the folks against receipt checks seem to believe that they are socially suuperior to the lowly WalMart clerk. “How dare they”, seems to be the MO.

    The end of store checking is just one of the shoplifting strategies employed by WalMart. That 5 second slowdown keeps grab-and-dash to a minimum and keeps lifters on notice that there is supervision. Think of teachers. Which ones seemed to always watch the troublemakers and how it kept the stupid to a lower level.

    For those who have the fantasy of pummeling a clerk or storekeeper, think again. Any judge or jury will very likely side with Granny Gooch who just touched you on the shoulder or with Storeowner Bob who grabbed you. So, you didn’t shoplift? Riiiight.
    Juries tend to be working folk who have little truck for snotty wankers crying the “it’s my right to be a jerk” blues. They’ll convict simply because you an assh@t. Especially when SB is a local figure and people have shopped there for two or more generations.

  105. braindesign says:

    @CharlieSeattle: congratulations on sending an article to someone…so you’re gonna call the police because some person that has a job to do asks to see your receipt? tax dollars at work.

    how much time does it take to show the guy a piece of paper?

    how much time does it take to call the cops, “sit the shit out of wal-mart”, and get nothing more than a public apology?

  106. braindesign says:

    @ecwis: there is no assumption that everyone is a thieving d*ck, its a scare tactic to keep people from trying to steal.

    i have no problem providing proof of the transaction that just took place less than 30 feet away from the guy at the door.

    policies like this might not be favorable or easy to get along with because of the 15 seconds it adds to the shopping experience, but if it keeps the stores numbers more in line so they don’t jack up prices to compensate…here’s my receipt, do what you need to do.

  107. darkened says:

    @sohmc: You have my props, i’ve always considered exercising my constitutional right to bear arms and my specific state right to openly bear a side arm. However I’m always concerned is what precedes those rights as many times I’ve seen signs that state no guns are allowed but how does that relate to my actual right to carry my weapon or if i had a concealed carry permit at that point? These are the questions I’ve been left with when considering open carrying.

  108. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    i have no problem providing proof of the transaction that just took

    I do. I’m under no obligation to prove ownership of my property to anyone, regardless of how trivial or inconsequential such request may be, and regardless of how fast, easy, and simple compliance might be.

    policies like this might not be favorable or easy to get along with because of the 15 seconds it adds to the shopping experience… if it keeps the stores numbers more in line so they don’t jack up prices to compensate… here’s my receipt>

    OK. If you wish to comply with a voluntary policy because you think it will help keep the stores prices low, that’s fine. Bully for you.

    … rethink being an a$$hat

    How exactly is saying “No, Thank You” being an asshat?

    instead of being a d*ck

    Again, how exactly is saying “No thank you” to a somewhat rude and completely voluntary request “being a dick”?

    just show the 75 year old grandma your little receipt

    You may deem your personal autonomy to be without value. That is your prerogative. But do not presume to lecture everyone else on what to do with theirs. Your insistence that everyone else should be as meekly submissive as you is a disturbing thing to see coming from an American.

  109. girly says:

    For people who really like to run away with this (I mean really want to dig in their heels), next time they give you a hard time and won’t let you go, don’t call the cops. Call your local TV news and then call corporate and let them know their store is gonna be on the teevee!

  110. DashTheHand says:

    If they wanted to have someone check receipts to “check to make sure you’re not stealing anything,” what in the hell is an 80 year old with scoliosis going to do when someone actually IS stealing something other than get crippled?

    Its not our fault that Wal-Mart can’t get anyone for that crappy job other than someones great-grandfather, so either put a regular security guy there, upgrade your security systems, or yea the old guy is going to get hurt when he tries to detain someone regardless of their guilt in shoplifting.

  111. braindesign says:

    @TinyBug: “I do. I’m under no obligation to prove ownership of my property to anyone, regardless of how trivial or inconsequential such request may be, and regardless of how fast, easy, and simple compliance might be.”

    then quit shopping at stores that you are fully aware of a receipt checking policy and you won’t have to worry one little bit. simple as that. you don’t like whats on the menu, you don’t have to eat.

    saying “no, thank you” is not being an asshat at all…the problem is, most people don’t say “no, thank you” they get offended and in the receipt checkers face for doing the job they are required by their employer to carry out. or in this case, they get physical with the checker and in a lot more trouble than its worth.

    how meager is your life that you find personal autonomy to be debunked because a receipt checker is holding you up for a few seconds? why is this such a big deal? was there a public outcry against metal detectors in doorways of these stores? a rebellion against prevention?

    why not get outraged and outspoken on much heavier issues that affect your idea of what it is to be an American and stop wasting your time complaining about a VOLUNTARY POLICY as you point out, and VOLUNTARILY don’t shop there.

  112. ryatziv says:

    @Sheargenius79: When the alarm goes off, I just go on my marry way. I disregard electronic voices telling me to stop.

  113. vladthepaler says:

    If someone grabbed him, that’s assault. He has the right to take reasonable measures to defend himself. Pushing his assailant is IMHO entirely reasonable.

  114. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @braindesign: then quit shopping at stores that you are fully aware of a receipt checking policy and you won’t have to worry one little bit.

    Why should I shop somewhere else? because you think I should? I shop where I please, and I show my receipt or not as I please. No hassle, no worries.

    how meager is your life that you find personal autonomy to be debunked because a receipt checker is holding you up for a few seconds?

    Because anyone who stands up for any cause that you deem “too small” or “not worthwhile” must have no life at all

  115. kaptainkk says:

    What is wrong with you people? You say it only takes 5 seconds for them to check your receipt and it is no big deal. It is a big deal. Once you purchase an item it’s not up to you to prove your innocence.

  116. manevitch says:

    @darkened: Depending on the state, the sign may or may not have any force of law. In Florida there’s no such thing as a “no guns” sign as recognized by law; in other states a sign may suffice.

    Let me be clear, though – sign or not, if a representative of any store tells you you need to leave because you’re carrying a gun, you’d better do so. If you don’t, you’re now guilty of armed trespass. Not a problem in Florida as there is no provision for open carry.

  117. braindesign says:

    @TinyBug: i don’t understand your logic.

    if you shop where you please, why does it please you to shop at a store with such a policy?

    you would rather continue to shop somewhere that you know has a policy that you politely refuse to allow yourself to be impeded by (probably expecting to be confronted sooner or later), setting yourself up for a fight that will get you nowhere and waste your time than to find somewhere else to buy the last dvd set of ‘sex and the city’ for your collection?

    i’m not telling you to shop somewhere else, logic is…i said it earlier this morning, if you don’t like the menu, you don’t have to eat

    i feel that you can make a larger statement by boycotting the store than by continuing to give them your money and making a fuss when the store asks for something you are fully aware they will ask for going in…

    there is no cause thats too small, just approaches to dealing with the problems that are small minded

  118. badhatharry says:

    @pattisod: I just saw this one. I’m sorry, showing your receipt is the first step towards a forced labor camp? I honestly have no reply for that logic.

    @smirky: I did answer your question. Your theory of a WalMart greeter following you into the communal parking lot as per store policy does sound a bit like you’re waiting for the other dictator shoe to drop. But to make it clearer, that question is irrelevant, because that will not happen on a regular basis. It does happen in isolated instances now, but that is not a result of receipt showing, just a few overzealous employees who have no idea about the laws of our land. And

    Does Costco treat you like a criminal when they check your receipt? It’s immaterial that you signed a contract allowing them to check your receipt, the same intent is there.

    There are so many real issues that this site can (and has) help effect (arbitration clauses, Best Buy, etc.), wasting effort on these cosmetic issues is stupid.

    Just show your receipt and be on your way. And I promise you, agreeing to this will not result in all of us breaking rocks in a camp in Siberia.

  119. smirky says:

    1) Does Costco treat you like a criminal when they check your receipt? It’s immaterial that you signed a contract allowing them to check your receipt, the same intent is there.
    I don’t shop there; never had and don’t expect to ever shop there. I rarely shop at Walmart even.

    2)There are so many real issues that this site can (and has) help effect (arbitration clauses, Best Buy, etc.), wasting effort on these cosmetic issues is stupid.
    We now know some of what you think is stupid. However, there are plenty of individuals who think differently. Not every one follows mindlessly. Also, I can and do speak out against many issues that I find intrusive and offensive. Issues such as the Catholic Church and their mishandleing and neglect of the sex abuse issues they have had. Issues such as Treffly Coyne’s arrest when she left her sleeping baby in her car seat while she stepped just a few feet away for less than 10 minutes. You see, I, and many, many others, are capable of addressing more than 1 thing at a time.

    3)Just show your receipt and be on your way. And I promise you, agreeing to this will not result in all of us breaking rocks in a camp in Siberia.
    Again, I never made any statement that even comes close the above scenario.

    Why are you so insistent that other people follow your rules and beliefs?

  120. girly says:

    @braindesign: I’d say his logic is probably that the receipt check which he doesn’t like is voluntary. So he feels free to shop there knowing he has the right to refuse.

    Now he does know there are numerous cases where the stores treat the policy as mandatory (illegally) and apparently he is willing to ignore that or deal with it if it escalates.

  121. girly says:

    @smirky: I agree on your last point.

    I don’t know why people are so insistent on helping walmart make a voluntary rule mandatory–it goes beyond even what walmart itself would want to do if they want to stay legal.

    Walmart has had too many instances of going beyond the law with a trivial policy. We don’t have to coddle them with it, they need to know that protecting customers from ‘rogue’ employees is important.

    Important enough to drive home to employees that the receipt check is voluntary and that people who do not comply should be allowed to move on unimpeded.

  122. rmz says:

    @Difdi: There’s some sort of Internet cliche being invoked here. “If someone tried this to me, I’d use my martial arts training to escape their grasp. If two or more assailants came after me, I’d switch to pain submission holds and joint locks.”

    Then you jump into your Ferrari and go back to your supermodel wife and seaside mansion, right?

  123. freepistol says:

    Every time i’ve been to Wal-Mart the door greeters are either over 60, pregnant, oddly fragile looking, or for lack of a better term… slow.

    Makes me wonder if theres a Wal-Mart out there with big burly men checking reciepts.

  124. badhatharry says:

    @smirky: Why are you so insistent that everyone start a revolution over receipts? I’m just telling everyone to calm down. This is hardly worth the calories it takes for the OP to even type this entry up and send it to the Consumerist.

    And as far as mindlessly following, you really do feel insanely passionate about this, don’t you? We are never going shopping together. I’m a mindless follower because I realize it’s easier to just show my receipt and be on my way, rather than spend a half an hour of my time arguing with some minimum wage employee? I stopped freaking out at every little slight towards my personal liberties when I was 21. I’ve learned to save my breath. I’ve learned the difference between sticking up for myself and just being a crybaby.

    And the Siberia comment was directed towards the person who compared showing your receipt to complacency with being transferred to a gulag.

  125. bairdwallace says:

    @chemmy: I agree. I think its silly that people don’t want to show their receipts. HOWEVER, I did pick something up at Walmart that my room mate had purchased online. An (ass’t?) manager helped me get it out to my car (it was heavy), and the old lady checking receipts chased us all the way to the parking lot, saying we *had* to show her the receipt, and insinuating that we were stealing. I couldn’t believe the manager didn’t tell her to piss off, but after we got it into my trunk, I showed her the receipt, and she left.

    If this guy just took a swing at an employee, he should be charged with assault. But I’ve had a firm hand put on my shoulder when walking out of many places engaged in a conversation with a friend. And while he may have been over-reacting, I can certainly understand feeling threatened by some overly aggressive receipt checker, and possibly feeling the need to defend myself. These checkers should be better trained to *never* lay hands on anyone. At Home Depot and Whole Foods near me, they often have their badged security guys doing the receipts. I can’t decide whether having these pseudo-authority types handling it is any better, or even worse.

  126. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    I’m a mindless follower because I realize it’s easier to just show my receipt and be on my way[?]

    Well, I certainly wouldn’t call you a mindless follower, because you’ve actually thought about it. You’ve chosen convenience over principle, because this particular principle, to you, just ain’t that important. And that’s fine.

    But when you mock those who do stand up for principle or, worse, berate them and tell them they should just give in like you do – that’s when people start to think you a mindless follower.

    I stopped freaking out at every little slight towards my personal liberties when I was 21.

    That makes me sad. What makes me even sadder is that after proudly announcing this fact, you actually have the gall to call those people who do care about all those little slights of their personal liberties “crybabies.”

    I weep for America

  127. prameta1 says:

    let’s settle receipt checking once and for all. sure, it’s your property once you paid for it. sure, they’re just trying to stop shoplifting. look, it’s a classic grey area.

    i always think of it as kind of being at an airport waiting for a connecting flight. think about it. you’re technically in the other country, but then again you’re not.

    same here, you’re out the door, but then again you’re not. just show the receipt.

    look, these companies don’t hire these loss prevention people simply “on principle”. we’re talking about many, many hourly employees. it simply must make bottom line business sense for these companies to check receipts or they wouldn’t be doing it.

    that means that in the end, on the grand scale, they’re saving you money by checking everyone’s receipt. just accept it, and participate in the process.

    by the way, i can’t stand to have my receipt checked, and hate anyone who asks.

  128. pfrey71 says:

    I don’t know how it is in any other Walmart, but here in my neck of South Jersey the receipt checkers don’t stop any of the white people, only the people of various shades of brown. And before anyone starts yelling that I’m pulling the race card, I’m a white chick. The checkers just say “Have a good night” to me when I walk by, but the brown people will be lined up waiting for their receipts to be scrutinized. What’s up with that?

  129. Difdi says:


    Then you jump into your Ferrari and go back to your supermodel wife and seaside mansion, right?

    Nope. Ride the bus home to my single bedroom apartment. Last time I checked, aikido really existed in real life, not just as something made up for the internet.