Macy's Confiscates Your Item Because "Another Customer Wants It"

Reader Dyan isn’t sure if she’s right on this one and wants to know if we think Macy’s owes her an apology. She was shopping at Macy’s last Saturday when she noticed a cast-iron pot on sale for $19.99. The display item was the last one in stock, so she asked if she could have it. An employee said she could, but before she could pay for the item the store’s manager stopped her and took the pot away because “another customer want[ed] it.”

I’m not sure if I’m right, or if Macy’s is on this one:

I visited Macy’s on Saturday, during one of their many sales. I was in housewares, checking out a Martha Stewart cast iron pot, on sale for $19.99 down from $60. The one on display was the last one available. (It’s important to note that during this next step, which took about 5 minutes, there was no one around me the entire time). I stood guard, waiting for an employee to come by. One did, and I asked if I could just take the display one to buy, since it was the last. She said “Absolutely!”. I picked it up and headed to the checkout. I’m about 5 feet away, and i’m stopped by an employee, this one all decked out in a suit (I believed him to be the manager). He tells me, “You can’t buy that, because another customer wants it”. Huh? He’d apparently been in the back looking for more, and realized that the display one was the only one left, so he was going to give that one to the customer. I haggled with the guy for a bit, but got nowhere.

Some random customer on the opposite end of the department wanted it, so I was out of luck. I an effort to not cause a scene, I handed it over. He said nothing, walked off, and I stood there confused. It’s not like I can’t find another one, but it’s the principle of the thing. I had it in hand, so it should’ve been mine, right?

I sent them an email, but haven’t heard anything back yet. I’m not looking for anything from Macy’s, except maybe the apology I didn’t get Saturday.

Dyan S.

We think it would have been appropriate for Macy’s to apologize (either to you, or to the other customer) and offer a discount on another similar item. Macy’s could have also offered to call another location to see if the pot was in stock somewhere else. To simply demand that you turn over the item and then walk away without apologizing is just rude.

What do you think? Should she have handed over the pot? Or run screaming “Stranger Danger!” to the nearest register before the manager could grab it?

(Photo:Vince B.)