The epic conflict between shoppers and receipt checkers continues! Reader Michael was unwilling to wait in line to have his cart searched, prompting Wal-Mart to threaten to file a police report as they wrote down his license place…
So, my wife & I stopped in at Wal-Mart to get a few things. I didn’t have long before I had to be at work, but we had enough time to do our shopping. So we get what we need, pay at one of their express lanes, and then went to leave the store. It’s at about this point that we notice a line of several carts waiting for the people greeter to search through their bags and check their receipts.
Since I didn’t have a lot of time to waste, I simply went around the line and started out the door. At this point the people greeter told me I had to stop and allow her to go through everything I just purchased. I politely told her that she did not in fact need to search my property, and that they lost any right to go through the items in my cart when I paid for them. I proceeded to walk out of the store.
While I was transferring everything from the cart into the car, several Wal-Mart asset protection employees approached me, and asked to see my receipt. I told them no, at which point they stated that the merchandise was stolen. I told them I paid for everything, but did not have any more time to waste with them. I started to back out of the parking spot, when one of them tried to walk behind my car, I told him to move out of the way, that I didn’t want to hit him. He said he was getting the license plate, so I waited a few seconds for him to write it down, then proceeded to back up. Another one of their employees called the local police department. I also called to give them my contact information, and let them know what happened.
Then I called the store manager to make a complaint about the way I was treated. He stated that they had just started a policy to check receipts for any unbagged items. I explained that they were going through every bag in every customer’s cart, and that the delay this created was unacceptable. He said he had not heard anything from his staff, but he would follow up with them to find out what was going on. I gave him my name and phone number, and he said he would follow up with me. I have not heard anything yet.
About thirty minutes later my wife received a call from an officer of the local police department. He asked for our side of things, and then said he would smooth things over. While I understand that most people would just show the receipt and let them poke through your things, there really is no reason to do so. If you were any where else, and someone accused you of being a thief, and then asked you to let them search through your things to prove your not, would you allow it? I wouldn’t, in fact my reaction would be to leave, quickly. Thats what I did in this case, and thats what I plan to do in the future. If enough people were willing to stand up for their rights, this would stop happening.
Other readers have had luck referring their complaints about overzealous receipt checking to the executives at Wal-Mart. Here’s some instructions on how to craft an EECB to lauch on Wal-Mart, as well as some contact information.
(Photo: Jeff Holbrook )