Zales Store Receipts Really Don't Mean Anything

Reader Taylor had purchased wedding rings from Zales with a payment plan that allows him to make payments over the course of a year. One day, Taylor went to the store to make a payment of $160 and received his receipt for the cash transaction. A few days later, he received a call from the store manager who said that she believed that Taylor had only paid $60 and cited a surveillance video which, according to the manager, shows their sales representative counting only 3 bills. Even though Taylor was certain that he paid $160 and has a receipt to prove it, he asked to see this intriguing video, but the store manager has been giving him the run-around ever since. Taylor’s letter and our advice, inside…

Long-time reader, first-time writer. Here we go:

Hello. I’m writing to let you and others know about my experience with the jewelry company Zales. I bought both mine and my wife’s wedding rings at the store located inside Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, GA. I purchased them from an old acquaintance of mine from middle school; let’s call her Jen. Jen and I had not seen each other for at least ten years and it was great having her help us pick out rings that we wanted. She was extremely helpful in the account setup process, enrolling us in the credit program with no interest for twelve months. The total for our rings was $978.36, and allowing us to pay it over a year was very helpful. I could either pay online, or just drop by the store in the mall that I both live close to and frequent, so it was no problem. The only gripe I have is, you cannot pay by debit card in the store, with is my preferred method of payment since I rarely carry much cash on my person; you can only pay in-store by cash or personal checks. I had made three cash payments in the store without any problems.

I went to the mall on June 18th because I was close by to make my payment. I stopped by the Bank of America ATM that you have to pass on the way to Zales to withdraw the cash. I tried to withdraw $150.00 from the ATM and it gave me a message saying that I needed to enter in an amount in multiples of $20.00, so I entered $160.00 and withdrew my money in the form of eight $20 bills, declining a receipt because I am always keeping track of my bank accounts online and I always end up just throwing away the receipts anyway. I walked about twenty steps to the Zales store and paid a woman behind the counter the cash that I had never seen before. I counted the money on the counter and then set it in a pile on her side of the counter while she was pulling up my account information (I didn’t have my bill on me). She verified the information and then took the money and placed it in the register and gave me my receipt for $160. Everything seemed fine at the time…

“Jen,” my middle school peer, called my house the next day, on June 19th. I was at work at the time, so my mother called me to let me know that she called and gave me the number to call her back on. I got in touch with Jen about an hour after she called and she asked me how much I had paid on the previous day. I pulled out and checked my receipt, just to be sure, and told her $160.00. I asked her why she was wondering because I thought maybe it didn’t get put into my account because I didn’t have my bill on me. She said that there was just a monetary discrepancy in the store and that everything would be fine. Ok…

I just received a call on June 20th from the store manager, Jari (real name). She said that her and the “loss prevention people” had been reviewing the tape and that I had only paid the cashier $60. WHAT!? I told her how I had just gone to the ATM to withdraw the money, and I was 100% sure that I had paid $160 towards my ring payment. She said that while viewing the tape, the cashier only counted three bills and placed them in the same place in the register. She said that she went through all of the scenarios and that if I had paid her with a $100 bill in the mix, it would have gotten put in a different place than the $20 bills, but that the three bills still didn’t add up. I told her that I would check my Bank of America account online, just to make sure that I had withdrawn the correct amount and call her back.

I checked my account online, and of course, there was the $160 withdrawal that I had made. I also checked my Zales account online, and the $160 had been subtracted from my balance, like it should have. Infuriated, but completely under control, I headed up to the Zales to talk to her personally and take care of this, showing her my receipt for the $160 payment I had made just a few days ago. I walked her over to the place I was standing when I made the payment, showed her exactly how I had fanned the cash out on the counter, counted it, put it all together, and set it on the far side of the counter closer to the cashier, for her to take after she was finished pulling up my account.

After listening to me, she said matter-of-factly, “What happened was this. The code to tell our system that you are paying in cash is [1]. You paid her $60 and then she made a mistake by pressing the [1] button twice, which made your total $160.” When I brought up again how I had counted the money out on the counter, she said that she never saw me do it in the videos. I was with my wife at the time and she remembers me counting the money on the counter. Jari kept bringing up the fact that her cashier had only counted three bills and I showed her how I could easily count “three” bills by counting out two and then taking the rest of the stack as the last “bill.” She said that this wasn’t the case. I asked to see the video myself and she said that her loss prevention people had to be present to let me view the tape. I asked her what the next step was. She said “Well, either you will pay us the $100 or we will just add it to your account balance.” I told her that nether one of those was going to happen and demanded that I see the tape with my wife. She said that she would call me “later” to set up an appointment.

I called Jari on June 24th, to see the status of the meeting we were supposed to have, and she said, “I have contacted loss prevention, but they didn’t give me a response yet. I will call you when I hear from them.”

I am so confused by the whole situation! I’m guessing that the cashier could have pocketed the money either after closing the store or sometime during her shift. I am 100% sure that I gave her the correct amount of money because I keep a strict budget for myself and everything adds up. I had no other money in my wallet at the time of the ATM withdrawal, nor did I buy anything with “extra cash” I had in my wallet in the few days in between, and I still have no cash in my wallet. Now, the question is, WHAT CAN I DO!?

A store can’t just issue you a receipt and then days later say, “Woops! Do-over!” Hang on to that receipt, it is irrefutable evidence that you paid $160 no matter what the manager’s mysterious video may reveal. It is time to escalate this matter over the head of Jari since she doesn’t seem to realize the purpose and importance of receipts. If that doesn’t work, the next steps would be filing complaints with your state’s Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau. If all else fails, take it small-claims court, we can’t see how Zales would have a legal leg on which to stand.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Bruce says:

    Wha-Wha-What?!?!? They *did’nt* ask to see his receipt (at the door)?

  2. RevRagnarok says:

    I see Jen’s real name in there once… I think.

  3. HalOfBorg says:

    “We have video PROOF that you didn’t pay – and NO – you can’t see it. Pay us.”

  4. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    $160 = $100 + $50 + $10?

    I don’t see the problem.

  5. Infe says:

    Whew, they had better be darn sure you’re a thief. Forget about the risk of lawsuit…they are never ever going to see you, any of your family, or any of the friends you can convince ever again.

    Hope that bit of publicity was worth the $100 to them. Now, if you’re really a thief, they don’t want you around anyway, but they better be darn sure.

    (Perhaps the manager is banging the thief cashier? Hehe.)

  6. sleze69 says:

    What kind of Zales only accepts cash or check? What year is this? I can understand not accepting a debit card but what about credit card?

    Besides that silly policy, it sounds like someone at Zales is skimming.

  7. dmc says:

    I am shocked… SHOCKED… that no one has blamed Bank of America for this debacle yet.

  8. JN2 says:

    I’d say so too. A jewelry store of all places that doesn’t want to accept plastic? Fishy fishy fishy.

  9. cashmerewhore says:


    Jen…Sarah, whatever.

    NOWHERE (well, department store cards) CAN YOU MAKE A CREDIT CARD PAYMENT ON ANOTHER BANKCARD. You have to use cash or check.

  10. ShariC says:

    I’m guessing the OP is right about someone pocketing the money and then claiming the shortfall on the customer. I’m sure that the store’s policies have people with itchy fingers just hoping for a shot at scamming some poor customer.

  11. Here are my thoughts:

    -Consider paying with a check from now on
    -Hold on to that receipt. The entire purpose of a receipt is proving what you paid and when
    -You’re married and still live with your mother?

  12. CRNewsom says:

    @ShariC: They are selling diamonds, after all. I mean, how honest could they be? I have seen this scenario before, as we all have. The employees are skimming the register/merchandise. It’s the number one source of loss for most retail establishments for a reason.

  13. MyTQuinn says:

    This is ridiculous. Does Zales have some affirmative action policy requiring a certain percentage of their employees to be morons? I can’t imagine the leap of logic required to go from a shortfall at the register to accusing a customer of not paying an amount for which he has a receipt.

  14. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @heavylee-again: It’s at least possible his mother lives with them, isn’t it? Mine did with me when I was first married. Nice attitude you have there.

    @ everyone: It’s just not possible to ring up $160 by entering $60 and hitting the “cash enter” button twice. That would give you only $120, or twice $60.

  15. @speedwell: It’s at least possible his mother lives with them, isn’t it? Mine did with me when I was first married. Nice attitude you have there.

    Psht, kick moms to the curb. You gots to get your honeymoon stage on!

  16. Mr_Human says:

    @Jaysyn: The cash machine only gave out multiples of $20, though.

  17. snakeskin33 says:

    So the store’s theory is that the one time their cashier accidentally hits the wrong key twice and mis-enters the amount, it happens to involve a person dishonest enough to be trying to steal a hundred bucks?

    Look, normally I take the position that every story has two sides, but when your version and the receipt say the same thing, unless the video involves the cashier saying “sixty dollars” and you saying “Yes, that’s right, sixty dollars,” the manager is way, way, WAY out of line. It sounds to me like it’s video without audio (otherwise, the manager would be telling you that she heard the cashier saying “twenty, forty, sixty”). So the store came up short at the end of the day, and rather than deal with the fact that she’s got a thieving employee on her hands (who, incidentally, isn’t necessarily your cashier), the store manager wants to pursue the unlikely (to say the least) theory that silent video showing what looks like three bills being counted can overcome the receipt AND your recollection of what happened. Idiotic, to say the least.

    That manager, I predict, is in a HEAP of trouble. Managers despise dealing with employees who steal — it probably counts against the manager’s performance if she can’t get a hold on loss prevention issues — but if the letter is accurate, this certainly looks like an unconscionable effort to avoid responsibility by shoving the problem off onto you.

    In the long run, I can’t imagine you won’t win this argument, but it’s a good thing you have the receipt.

  18. Murph1908 says:

    Does anyone read the article?

    The loss prevention guy said it couldn’t be a hundred in there, since all bills went into the same register slot. Plus the OP said he got 8 20s.

    He didn’t say the cash enter button was hit twice. He said the 1 was hit twice before the 6-0, once to enter a code, and once by accident, making the 6-0 a 1-6-0.

    Anyway. Receipt says $160, end of story. Sorry Zales. They won’t add the $100 back. They have ground to stand on, and they know it. They know they messed up, and they were either hoping you didn’t have your receipt, or they could bully you.

    Two possibilities. The cashier stole it, and was smart enough (?) to try to fool the cameras.

    Or the OP is full of it, and knows he only paid $60.

    Regardless of which, the receipt is binding.

  19. timmus says:

    Small claims court. Poster has a receipt, store has a proverbial videotape. Screw the state attorney general… they’re no good except for sending you form letters to fill out, and the BBB might work for a mom & pop business but a store as big as Zales has the BBB in their pockets.

  20. PHX602 says:

    @dmc: Because it’s not BofA’s fault, it’s American Airlines’ fault.

  21. peepytweep says:

    Here is an idea….maybe the manager is the thief. She has been able to hide her misdeeds until now and must find someone else to blame for this cash shortage. Just an idea.

  22. K-Bo says:

    @speedwell: They aren’t claiming the cashier hit cash enter twice they said she hit the 1 key (which tells the register the payment is cash) then accidentally hit 1 again, then entered the $60 that the store claims they actually paid. This would make the total be $160 because once you tell it the form of payment, all other numbers are considered the total. Having worked on old cash registers, I’ve seen this happen when someone types really fast. I don’t think it did happen this time, but I’ve seen it.

  23. peepytweep says:

    Fix the comments! I am tired of redoing my posts.

    My thought is possibly the manager is pocketing the extra cash. Until now it possible to hide the stealing but now she needs a scapegoat. Just an idea.

  24. JessicaJessica says:

    3 bills – $100 bill, $50 bill and $10 bill.

  25. strangeffect says:

    pret-ty, pret-ty much…

  26. Mr_Human says:

    @strangeffect: The ATM didn’t give out $50s, only $20s.

  27. kthxbai says:

    @RevRagnarok: Yeah Jen=Sarah

  28. Pro-Pain says:

    This is so simple. He paid the money, he has a receipt. Zales is screwed and had better back off. Call their corporate office. Call another store if you have to and get a regional managers name/number. Stir the pot just a little on this matter and it WILL get fixed, you’ll see.

  29. darb215 says:

    in the Atlanta area, go to Iroff and Son next time, they are good people.

  30. Pro-Pain says:

    I used to work loss prevention and I used to catch cashiers stealing money like this weekly, some weeks daily. It’s quite an easy scam to pull even WITH cameras.
    (Cameras are overrated in some cases)

  31. patodonnell39 says:

    Can we get a follow-up as to what is actually on the video? (Assuming he gets to see it…)

    Something weird is going on here. I agree about the manager getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and trying to find a scapegoat. If she is going to let him see the video, though, why show it to him if she’s lying about what it shows? I think there’s more to this story…

  32. Lambasted says:

    Clearly someone in the store stole the money. It didn’t jump off the counter and run away to spend itself somewhere else. Perhaps good ol’ pal Pam wasn’t such a pal after all. Maybe she had a burning heart for Taylor all those years and seeing him getting married threw her over the edge. But c’mon Pam if you are going to skim and claim you were shorted then you don’t ring up the correct amount and give a receipt for it. Crooks are so stupid. Stuff like this is why they usually get caught.

    Taylor ought not to fret. His receipt is prima facie evidence for his $160 payment. Zales is making a big legal mistakes if they keep harassing him or add $100 to his balance. Lawsuit time! Zales’ legal team must know they would get laughed out of court with the “evidence” they have.

    Taylor should call up his local TV station tell his story to the consumer investigative reporter. They love making fools out businesses that insist on doing the wrong thing. My local ABC 7 On Your Side is very good at exposing shenanigans on the evening news. Lights! Camera! Action!

  33. LionelEHutz says:

    The Zales people can’t count, but it is the customer’s fault anyway.

  34. Antediluvian says:

    @Murph1908: (couldn’t be a $100 bill since all bills went into the same slot)

    Yeah, a cashier who’s planning to steal a $100 bill would never put that bill in with the $20’s. Or make a mistake. Hell, the manager already said the cashier made a mistake by pressing the 1 key twice, so why couldn’t she have made a different mistake and put a $100 bill in with the $20’s?

    Anyone remember the nice Tiffany’s stories that ran here ages ago? Like the one about the bracelet that Tiff’s decided to comp totally for the customer because of some dinky little error? Zales, you could have had that sort of publicity but your pissant little manager decided to trash your rep and hers for an alleged $100 error. Stupid.

  35. zentec says:

    Ask the Zales store to file a police report because at this point, their demands and their explanations defy all logic.

    I’m sure they’ll leave you alone after asking for the police to get involved.

  36. PHX602 says:

    @LionelEHutz: Yeah, OP should use a $160 bill next time!


  37. BoomerFive says:

    Does anyone read the article? He got all 20$ bills, why do people keep saying 100+50+10? Let comprehension be your watchword people.

  38. smirky says:

    @Mr_Human: But that blows their theory of ‘3 bills cannot equal $160.00’

    Hang on the receipt and escalate the issue.

  39. smirky says:

    What the ATM gives out and what Zales claims are not related. They told the OP that she only handed over 3 bills so she could not have paid $160. That’s their evidence….only 3 bills and they were all placed in the same location in the cash drawer.

  40. HIV 2 Elway says:

    That’s what you get for getting married.
    /obligatory blame the victim

  41. SkokieGuy says:

    Accusing someone of being a thief without reasonble grounds, I believe is slander?

    Op – your good name has been besmirched.

    Don’t stand for besmirchment! I’m thinking your new bride is gonna end up with a free wedding ring + perhaps some benjamins for honeymoon travel (or to send your dear Mother on a trip so the two of you have the house alone).

    Zales = evil besmirchers.

  42. augiet65 says:

    I went to Zales once and only once to buy an engagment ring. They treated me like crap and spoke down to me. I was very well educated and knew what I was looking for. The people that worked at the store I went to were idiots. They kept on telling me what I could and could not afford and kept on pointing me to the cheap rings. I left and the only time I came back was to show them the recipt of another store where I bought the ring at. I will not go to Zales again

  43. JohnMc says:


    First think to be done is to make a photocopy that is signed in front of at least two witnesses w name and phone number. Few people know that register receipts will fade to white out over time. It does you little good to show up in court with a blank slip of paper.

    Want to test it? Go to Home Depot. Buy a soda at the cash register. Then place the receipt somewhere out of the way but exposed. Wait about 3 months. That receipt will be pristine white.

  44. TheBigLewinski says:

    The ATM dispensed $20 bills so they should have received 8 bills and not 3. However, I still call bullshit on Zales, the OP has a receipt and that is that.

  45. baraboo says:

    Easy on this guy about his Mom living with them. She could be disabled or free day care if they have kids.

  46. bravo369 says:

    i don’t understand why zales is pursuing this. the problem is on their end now. Just write up the employee if you say there was a mistake on the transaction. Leave the guy out of it. I know when i worked as a cashier and the register was short, we didn’t go after the consumers. we wrote up the cashier and after a few write ups, they can be fired.

  47. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    To everyone concerned about them not taking plastic. It’s a credit program, many credit programs dont allow you to pay your credit with another form of credit.

    They could still take a debit card but that’s a costly setup plan and many IT managers would rather not buy the extra equipment to do pin based debit.

  48. BaronVonHawkeye says:

    I am agreeing with Baraboo. Perhaps it is mother living with them rather than the other way around.

  49. Propaniac says:

    @JohnMc: Great advice. Every once in awhile I’ll be cleaning out my wallet and I’ll find a receipt that I saved but that is now completely blank, because all the ink has rubbed off. Thankfully it’s never been one that I needed.

    Also: I really, really want to see this videotape. I’m not holding my breath, but I sure hope Taylor at least gets to see it.

  50. I think zentec makes a good point. Tell them to file a police report. If they won’t, tell them you will if they still try to charge you the ‘missing’ $100. Call their bluff and tell them to STFU.

  51. Relax fellas, the ‘mom’ comments were in jest.

  52. FatLynn says:

    Usually $50 and $100 bills go in that little slot below the actual till, because they are never given out as change (common retail policy, please don’t respond to this post with criticisms of my math). If you were going to later skim the register, you would not put it underneath, you would put it in the slot with the $20’s. You would then grab it later while ringing a different transaction or you would give it out to an accomplice as change as though it were actually a $20.

    So the manager’s argument is that someone could not be stealing, because their behavior is EXACTLY WHAT SOMEONE WOULD DO IF THEY WERE STEALING.

    Small claims court, my friend.

  53. FixinTo says:

    As far as receipts trumping all, that is not always the case. If you make an error entering check amounts on a deposit slip, you might get a receipt for the total on your slip, even thought it’s wrong. When the bank catches the error later, it corrects the total on your account, and adds a fine.

    Receipts aren’t always proof, but you have to count on them as proof for a cash transaction since there’s no other paper trail. I think the Zales cashier was pulling some sleight of hand.

  54. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @baraboo: Yeah… it’s not necessarily even that cut-and-dried. Even though I begged Mom to live with the two of us when she was out of work and staying with a friend, she refused flatly on the grounds that she wasn’t going to pretend to condone our “shacking up together.” We had already been together for two years and basically “went official” because his parents and my mom pressured us into it. Any pretense of a “honeymoon stage,” as HeavyLee put it, was long over by then.

  55. ObtuseGoose says:

    Sounds like the manager is the thief. With all the security cameras pointed down at the counter tops and cash register, it’s very unlikely that the sales clerk could steal anything without being caught.

    1. Jari conveniently doesn’t accept credit cards for time payments.
    2. Then she refuses to show customer video proof of theft.
    3. Then she threatens customer with $100 additional charge to his account.

    I would definitely escalate this to corporate. Tell them if Jari adds $100 to your account, you’ll take her to small claims court.

  56. TheNerd says:

    That receipt is an official document from the store which certifies that you have paid them the amount shown. Do not lose it – it trumps all other “evidence” they may have against you.

  57. katylostherart says:

    you have the receipt. don’t worry too much. in the future though i recommend paying by personal check. i have a checkbook to pay anything i think i want a paper record of. then when it goes through and the bank posts a scan of the cancelled check online i download and print that as a record.

  58. foreverinbluejeans says:

    Homegirl at the cash register is skimming; I also think the manager is in on it. As someone said earlier, security cameras are overrated.

    This happened to me at D&B. After seeing my account clear for the entire tab w/tip, a few days later a charge of $8.50 showed up. Apparently, my server wasn’t happy with what I left her. Chase disputed the charge for me since D&B couldn’t produce a reciept (!) and I got D&B gift certificates for $50.00

    I blew them on booze. :)

  59. @FixinTo:

    As far as receipts trumping all, that is not always the case. If you make an error entering check amounts on a deposit slip, you might get a receipt for the total on your slip, even thought it’s wrong. When the bank catches the error later, it corrects the total on your account, and adds a fine.

    Receipts aren’t always proof, but you have to count on them as proof for a cash transaction since there’s no other paper trail. I think the Zales cashier was pulling some sleight of hand.

    I don’t think a deposit receipt from a bank and a register receipt for money paid at a store is a fair comparison.

  60. foreverinbluejeans says:


    that should be “of $50.00.”

    Coffee is not doing it’s job today.

  61. TropicalParadise says:

    @baraboo: Kids outside of marriage AND still living with his mother? THE HORROR.

    note for the angry: I’m only teasing, I don’t mind if he lives with his mother!!

    @JohnMc: I’ve noticed this too when cleaning out my purse, that’s a very very good idea.

  62. TropicalParadise says:

    Anyway say that he DID pay $60 and it was the cashiers mistake, The way that the store manager handled it was nasty.

    They should have approached him reasonably and try to be considerate and explain the situation. But that’s what all customer service should do and if they all did that consumerist editors would be out of a job.

    If the receipt says $160, even if he didn’t pay that amount, it’s still the cashier’s fault for ringing it up like that, and she has to take the hit for it.

  63. Hanke says:

    @sleze69: They accept a credit card, but NOT as payment on a store-credit plan.

  64. Phexerian says:

    At this point, I would document EVERYTHING that has happened so far in extreme detail. After every next encounter you have, have your wife there as a witness and when you get home document it in detail.

    Considering what was said so far, it sounds like the store made the mistake, not the customer. Even if the customer made the mistake of paying 60 dollars, the store put it in as 160. The transaction was final with a receipt that shows 160 dollars. I don’t think a judge in small claims court would rule with the store if it ever reaches that far.

    Further more, report Jari to corprate, file a complaint with the BBB, and file a complaint with the attorney general’s office, and possibly think about sending in your story to the local news. Further more, next time the customer talks to Jari, the customer should inform them of everything they are going to do.

    Once you grab them by the balls, they suddenly don’t want to dance anymore.

  65. _as says:

    I commend Taylor for keeping his cool. It’s just a shame this is causing him so much trouble.

    You have a receipt for $160. Why did you even go back to the store and offer to see the tape? Let them figure out how to get their $100 from someone else. It seems relatively obvious that it’s not your fault.

    It’s not like you will be going back there to shop for another pair of wedding rings anytime soon and thus have to rely on them to provide good customer service… If they are not happy with you, how much harm can they serioulsy cause?

  66. thesabre says:

    @ObtuseGoose: You can’t take her, personally, to court. As a representative of a corporation, she isn’t actually liable – the corporation would be. That’s one of the reasons people form corporations in the first place.

    Also, I’m surpised this hasn’t come up yet… but isn’t there just a teensy, itsy-bitsy chance that they are looking at the wrong footage and not the OPs transaction with the cashier? And, if they were short $100 (such a nice, round number), I find it hard to believe that they can easily pinpoint it on the OP so fast. Unless they incrementally count the register and they can narrow it down to the hour. Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark… err, Georgia.

  67. EdnaLegume says:

    I’d be framing my Zales receipt, and my statement showing the BoA ATM w/d, (which probably shows the address of said ATM or is at least easy enough to get).

    I’d then contact anyone over miss smarty pants with her “alleged” video. This is one situation I wouldn’t even bother getting my panties in a wad. Get Judge Judy.

    and just for extra points I’d transfer that balance, because unless he pays it off in the 12 month period, he’s going to get smacked with one hell of an interest charge and a nice new shiny 21% interest rate.

    And why is he paying 160 a month over a year…. interest free??? 160 times 12 is over 1900 dollars…. Either he’s paying OVER the minimum or paying some finance charge somewhere.

    Let’s say he’s paying more than the minimum…. if that’s the case, they don’t “need” him to come in to make up that $100… what they need is an excuse to cover up that stealing associate.

  68. Lodlaiden says:

    So, let me get this straight.

    1. Jewelry store has video cameras, with no audio.
    2. Camera quality is not high res enough to detail multiple bills.
    3. No Loss Prevention officer working at the time.
    (deductive logic here, From other articles)
    4. A regular employee is not allowed to chase, detain, or accuse a shoplifter.

    Plan of action:
    Can I see that big fat diamond ring there…yeah the one in platinum…Thanks, bye.

  69. BeThisWay says:

    I’m with Murph1908.

    I think it’s entirely possible the cashier double-hit the one “1-1-6-0” and the OP actually paid only $60.

    I also think it’s entirely possible that the cashier or someone in the store stole the money.

    Either way, though, Zales is out of luck. The OP has a receipt and unless Zales wants to pay someone to enhance the tape hoping it shows definitive and irrefutable evidence that the OP paid only $60 they should just eat the $100 and go about their business.

  70. jst07 says:

    “What happened was this. The code to tell our system that you are paying in cash is [1]. You paid her $60 and then she made a mistake by pressing the [1] button twice, which made your total $160.”

    This makes no sense. If that were true, hitting [1] twice should then double the tender amount, for $120. Doing something like that isnt going to tell the computer to enter a random tender.

    Either way its Zales fault. Complain.

  71. jst07 says:

    ^^^Nevermind I’m an idiot.

  72. MisterE87 says:

    I’m surprised that nobody even mentioned the fact that this was the OP’s first time meeting said manager. How does she know what he looks like? She could have viewed a completely different transaction with an entirely different customer, and just be covering her ass by not letting the OP watch the video. I call bullshit.

    I refuse to show my receipt at Wal-Mart because it makes me feel like a criminal. I always tell them I threw it in the trash. Just yesterday, I bought a 12 pack of beer and the cashier left it unbagged in my cart. The octagenarian door people were all but chasing after me as I left, telling me I had to go get my receipt out of the garbage (which was really in my wallet). Just said, “no thanks, but you feel free”, and left.

    If they had tried to tell me the cameras caught me only paying half my bill, and the cashier just made a mistake, I assure you all hell would have broken loose.

  73. ~~ I think the OP should try to contact the Loss Prevention department himself. Don’t even bother with the manager you’ve already been talking to. Loss Prevention could be thinking that the manager is the thief. You should absolutely cut the middle-woman manager out of the loop on this one, surely if there was any charge of actual theft/fraud against you (OP) the Loss Prevention department’s name would be on the complaint, and not the name of the manager du jour. Goodness knows if she’s telling Loss Prevention one thing and telling you something entirely different. If you need to threaten to get the police involved just to be able to talk to Loss Prevention go ahead and threaten, and then follow thru with the threat.

  74. OldJohnRobinson says:

    I’m still wondering how he was able to pay the lady with cash he had never seen before.

    The strange thing about all this is why the manager is going after the customer instead of the employee. It is a headache to write up an employee or dock their pay (depending on corporate policy), but why make this a customer service issue? How was Taylor’s transaction the one singled out from the whole day’s worth of business?

  75. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Your time is worth something, and they’re now costing you in time and aggravation. I’d go to the parent company immediately, and have them take some money off the top of your bill for the time, aggravation, and indignity.

  76. MonkeyMonk says:

    Zales story defies logic. So they’re saying:

    Guy goes in to pay a $160 bill with cash. Instead of paying up the actual $160 he owes, he instead hands the cashier only $60 somehow using his psychic powers of mind control to ensure that this is the one time she’ll make a mistake and enter the wrong number on the cashier, thus giving him a receipt he can use as evidence of the payment. Brilliant.

    Has anyone asked Taylor if he’s a Jedi?

  77. FatLynn says:

    George Slicho
    Senior Vice President Loss Prevention
    901 West Walnut Hill Ln.
    Irving, TX 75038-1003

  78. macinjosh says:

    @BoomerFive: Or just life experience. I’ve never gotten anything but $20s from an ATM (though $100 is probably the most I’ve ever gotten at a time).

  79. Invalid_User_Name says:

    IF Zales did a cash reconciliation and came up $100 short, I blame a Zales employee for skimming. (So obvious.)

    And just for fun today, I’m also going to blame everyone at Bank of America. :-)

  80. jenl1625 says:

    @sleze69: They probably refuse to take credit cards in order to save themselves the processing fees.

    @Jaysyn: $160 = $100 + $50 + $10? Except they said the video showed the cashier putting all three bills into the same drawer. So they’re claiming that it was 3 x $20.

    @speedwell: It’s just not possible to ring up $160 by entering $60 and hitting the “cash enter” button twice. That would give you only $120, or twice $60. But they’re saying the code for cash (entered first) is 1, and the cashier (instead of 1 . . . 60, meaning $60 cash) entered 1 . . . 160.

  81. Ein2015 says:

    My brain hurts now.

    Thanks. -.-

  82. samurailynn says:

    This is why I do not like paying any kind of bill with cash. Checks, credit cards and debit cards all leave a trail that I can go back to and say “yes, look here, I did pay the correct amount”.

  83. JennQPublic says:

    This is one cynical group of people. Maybe nobody stole anything, and it’s just a mistake. I don’t think the manager would be harassing Taylor like this unless she felt really, really sure that none of her people was stealing. Sometimes, bookkeeping errors happen.

    My employer’s bank called me once about an hour after I had cashed my paycheck with them, asking if I had gotten an extra $100. I said no, not only had the cashier counted it in front of me, but I then counted it in front of her. I went in my purse an double checked it anyway while we were on the phone. They sounded a little suspicious, but later they called and told me it was a bookkeeping error, sorry.

    It happens.

  84. johnva says:

    @JennQPublic: Or the manager is the thief herself.

  85. @speedwell: Plus, if you hit the “Cash” button twice, the receipt would show TWO transactions (one for the $60, one for the $100). That wasn’t the case. I’d scan that receipt into a .pdf (or at least have a back-up copy) in case something happens to the one you have…and I’d only bring the copy of the receipt to the store.

  86. Customer had a receipt. End of story.


    The only way the OP “owes” the extra $100 is if the OP and the clerk have conspired to defraud Zales. Fraud/theft is a police matter. The store did not contact the police, so therefore fraud/theft is not suspected.

    Boom. Done.

  87. NikonGal says:

    This is interesting. I understand a receipt is considered the end-all, be-all. But can it ever be considered a mistake? For example, what if the cashier hit the wrong button three times and the receipt was for $1,160, or even $11,600. At what point is a receipt not proof-positive?

  88. FatLynn says:

    @NikonGal: If you document someone gave you cash, it then becomes your problem, end of discussion. It is the “Rule of Best Evidence”. In this case, a receipt is better than a security camera. Employees make mistakes and the stores have to eat it.

    For example, I once keyed in a $134 check for a $143 purchase. The system then asked for a payment method (as there was $11 outstanding), and I thought it didn’t take the first entry, so I keyed in another $134 check. Oops.

    When I counted out the till at the end of the night, it actually showed a $123 overage ($134 + $134 – $143). I filled out an LP report, got another employee to verify the mistake, and closed the till. I got a written warning and the store was out $11. End of story. It’s not like we called the customer and tried to retrieve the $11.

  89. temporaryerror says:

    You can pay (at least some) dept store cards with PIN debit transactions. But not credit card transactions or signed debit card transactions. I worked for a store that issued a store card once upon a time, and we were always VERY specific that people could pay off their card in store with cash, check, or DEBIT.

  90. betatron says:

    Since everyone else has covered the keyboard issue pretty well, i’ll point out that the loss prevention tape is probably not as helpful as the manager thinks. I’m betting that it’s not full motion hi res video. It’s probably some kind of time lapse video, because if it’s in a zales in mall, the system is probably a few years old (just a guess). I suspect Reader Taylor is going to be highly annoyed when he sees the tape. IF it exists, IF there’s a “loss prevention” department involvement at all.

    More likely,, the manager is in cahoots with the cashier and is conspiring to shake him down for a $100 skim that they can’t conceal. I would recommend contacting the police and getting on the front side of this problem.

    The manager has figured out a way to steal money from the store and leave the customers holding the bag.

  91. ellastar says:

    I’m just curious, but he says, “I could either pay online, or just drop by the store in the mall that I both live close to and frequent, so it was no problem”, so why didn’t he ever pay online? I know that I prefer online payments because I can do it from the ease of my own home (and avoid waiting in lines), but I wonder if there’s a fee associated with online payments that would have made in-store payments easier.

    @JohnMc: Also, tape on the receipt is another no no. It makes the receipt fade even faster. I’ve seen a ton of receipts that are completely blank underneath the spot where it is taped, which can cause problems if the tape is over important information needed for returns (like the date of the receipt or the order number).

  92. TexasBelle says:

    @peepytweep: That’s my theory. It would explain why she can’t seem to get Loss Prevention to let him view the videotape. Going over her head to Zales corporate will probably fix things for Taylor — but maybe not for Jari.

  93. nequam says:

    @FatLynn: That’s nto what the Rule of Best Evidence means.

  94. nequam says:

    @nequam: .. and that’s not how “not” is spelled.

  95. synergy says:

    @cashmerewhore: It doesn’t say he was paying for a credit card. It does say it was a credit program. I would think he’d be able to pay at least with a bank card if not a credit card.

  96. megafly says:

    Strangely I think my wife and I bought our wedding rings from this exact same duo 4 months ago. The manager was a bitch but didn’t accuse us of theft or fraud.

  97. chrisjames says:

    @nequam: But it still applies here where Zales may attempt to use the video to supersede the receipt in case the purchaser, Taylor, doesn’t have it. The rule actually requires Zales to present their own copy of the receipt, if it exists, before they can use the video, but Taylor’s copy (non-handwritten) will work too. That is, unless Zales calls his copy into question.

    In that case, a judgement has to be made on whether the receipt is valid (unlikely Zales can prove otherwise). If it is decided to be valid, then a judgement has to be made on whether a mistake was made. Then, there would be the evidence of the video, not very convincing; versus the evidence of the ATM transaction matching the receipt amount, very convincing.

    If, even after all that, it is found that Zales made a mistake at the register, then there still must be a judgement on how much Taylor is liable for that mistake, which would hopefully be $0. But like NikonGal implies, there are limits to how much money you should keep from a mistake in your favor. $100, not so bad; $10000, sorry, you have to give it back.

  98. Difdi says:

    There are quite a few people in my family you do not want to allow to shuffle when playing cards; A knack for sleight of hand runs in the family (fast hands). Speaking from experience, it wouldn’t be impossible for someone with a little skill in the area of card tricks to pick up 8 bills, stack them in their hands, and drop them into a drawer 2-3 bills at a time.

    On a cheap security camera, it would look like 3 bills instead of 8 bills. If the person doing it knew where the camera was, they might be able to stand so as to block the camera from seeing how many bills hit the counter.

  99. mariospants says:

    “…we can’t see how Zales would have a legal leg with which to stand.”

    um, it’s “on which to stand”.


  100. thalia says:

    So…who is Sarah?

    I’d blame the cashier. Trust me, just because they’re employed doesn’t mean they’re against stealing. I had a gal at a shop ask me to leave my bag at the counter because it was ‘policy’ and when I came back to make a purchase, $200 in cash was missing. I called the owner, but he said there were no security cameras to catch the incident so there was nothing he could do. It was basically my word against hers. The best bit was that it was AGAINST their policy to ask for bags, because there are cameras in the back of the store (just not at the register) and that the girl was new because he had just fired his old employee for stealing from the till. Great…

  101. Jay Slatkin says:

    @mariospants: Hmmm…Good point! Thanks.

  102. Murph1908 says:

    Yeah, a cashier who’s planning to steal a $100 bill would never put that bill in with the $20’s. Or make a mistake.
    I get that. But the OP said he didn’t pay with a c-note. He paid with 8 20s. My point is a $100 was never part of the equation by anyone’s claim, so a “Duh, $100, $50, and $10 is $160 in three bills” is not a valid argument here. If the guy I quoted had read the article, he’d have known.

    That’s all I was saying.

  103. luz says:

    @mariospants: That is the kind of English up with which I will not put.

  104. MissAnthropist says:


    hrm … doesn’t the best evidence rule only apply when someone is trying to prove the TERMS of a writing? It doesn’t sound like Zales is trying to say that the receipt says something other than that the OP paid $160.

    Instead they are saying that he only paid a lesser amount, and that the receipt mistakenly showed that he paid $160. Thus OP would try to enter the receipt to show that he paid $160, and Zales would try to introduce other evidence to show that he did not.

  105. spunky_redhead15 says:

    i as well would blame either the employee or the manager. this christmas season, when i was working for best buy, one of our brilliant cashiers was pocketing the free gift cards that came with ipods when customers weren’t even aware they were getting them. how he managed to pull it off, i’m not sure, but questions got asked when he started paying for large purchases with all these gift cards. the kid wasn’t too bright and didn’t realize that we can look up the transaction that each gift card originated from…

  106. FrankReality says:

    It’s been said before, but the OP should contact the supervisor of the store manager.

    The OP has no idea of this, but given that crooks never steal only once, his complaint added to a history of similar previous complaints could trigger a corporate investigation of the store and its personnel.

    If that doesn’t get satifactory resolution, filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office is a good move.

    But I’ve always thought that a** h***s like this manager deserve the Consumer Investigative Unit expose on the local TV station – especially during sweeps week.

  107. Antediluvian says:

    @Murph1908: (clarified previous statement)

    Upon re-reading your comment, I see what you intended. Sorry for my previous comment directed to you, and please consider it instead directed at the idiot Loss Prevention person.

  108. cascascas says:

    That’s not really the point. Think about it – the fact that the OP knows he paid with 20s doesn’t mean the manager could have known this just from viewing the video. All the manager is claiming is that 3 bills were counted out, and that very well could amount to $160. So the fact that three bills were counted out proves absolutely nothing.

  109. Mudpuddle says:

    I think the OP knew he didnt pay 160. He says he had to check his receipt to see what he paid (Huh!) and check his bank accout withdrawl (huh! shouldnt he know without checking) whose slip is missing. He could only have gotten twenty’s out of the machine. The cashier made a mistake and he has the receipt to prove it. He can do one of two things be honest and admit he didnt pay 160 and perhaps save the job of the cashier, or pretend he did make the payment and see what happens. The story that he tells points in the direction of a 60 dollar payment.

  110. Mudpuddle says:

    What he took out of the atm proves nothing? It doesnt mean that he gave it all to the store! All the backtracking in his letter says he knows he didnt pay it. Hope he sees the video and gets caught, then it will be “oh yeah I remember now” coming from him.

  111. ogman says:

    @PHX602: No, it’s Diebold’s fault, since they probably made the ATM machine. ;o)

  112. smokinfoo says:

    To the submitter:

    I would suggest you try to recall what you were wearing that day. If the video doesn’t show you in what you were wearing and your wife is not there then it wasn’t you.

    It sounds like the loss prevention mixed you up with someone else. Check the time stamp on your atm transaction. It should be before the video timestamp of you paying.

    Three real possibilities here:

    1) You didn’t pay the whole $160.
    2) The employee pocketed the $100. (from your transaction or another and the drawer came up short)
    3) Another customer short changed them.

  113. RChris173 says:

    i love the picture

  114. heathenkitties says:

    Yeah, I’m getting married next year, and Zales is DEFINITELY not on my list for wedding rings!!

  115. xillip says:

    Has anyone suggested that the machine be audited? I worked for many years as a hotel night auditor ran across many that had glitches or programming errors and did not store information accurately. There should be an audit tape in that register and every transaction needs to be checked to see if it matches her cash in and out. I even had one machine that if you hit PAID IN FULL and the customer had a credit on their account it would issue a refund for the total amount. This resulted in having an overage at the end of the day. A mis-keyed transaction could easily cause a shortage.

  116. spunky_redhead15 says:

    for the comment you made about the missing atm receipt…if you kindly re-read the story, OP states that he declined a receipt from the atm.
    that is all.

  117. fearnofish says:

    Sounds like one of the employess i skimming the cash. Even if the tape shows three bills you got your receipt for the payment so they have to handle it internally and just ‘eat it’. I would highly recommend you pay in check from now on.

  118. caj11 says:

    Where is this particular Zales story, anyway, so I know not to shop there? It wasn’t mentioned in the original post.

    This whole story is just appalling, we all know it, and the obligatory “blame the victim” posts have been fairly minimal this time. The manager sounds extremely nasty and unfair. The guy has the receipt, end of story, even if the store’s register came up $100 short that day, do they really want to risk all the bad publicity for the sake of $100?