AutoZone Cashier Made Me Donate To Charity Against My Will

Stuart was shopping at Autozone, and stubbornly insisted on reading everything on the credit card reader screen before agreeing to it. The chain was doing a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraising push at the time, and when the screen asked whether he would like to donate a dollar, the cashier reached over and pressed “yes” for him. There was some confusion, but ultimately when Stuart complained, the store employees didn’t see why he was being so stubborn. After all, it was for charity, and only a dollar: why did he care that the store was charging him money he specifically didn’t give them permission to charge?

He sets the scene:

I made a purchase at an AutoZone store in [redacted] and saw the option to donate $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital appear on the credit card machine.

While I was reading it, the cashier impatiently instructed me to “just press YES”. I was still unclear if this was YES for approving my purchase or YES for the donation. The employee reached over and pressed YES without my approval and with me specifically telling him NO.
He made it seem like a mistake, which it may well have been. He then re-ran my order and another employee (maybe a manager, not sure) stepped in to help and she did the exact same thing, pressing YES for me.

I complained when I saw that they had just approved the donation and it charged an additional dollar to my credit card. In response, the staff was derisive and criticized me with “It’s only a dollar and it is for charity.” I continued to complain about this tactic until they offered to refund it, but they got impatient with the refund process and again said “are you going to go through this for one dollar?” When I insisted, one of them grudgingly paid me $1 out of their pocket.

I respect St. Jude very much and would have normally been happy to contribute, but charging money to my credit card without my approval and when I explicitly tell them not to is just unacceptable.

I have no idea if this whole situation was a misunderstanding or just an inadvertent press of the wrong button, but if the staff are motivated financially for each donation or if the store is rewarded for it, they have incentive to be deceptive or fraudulent.

What surprises me even more, I wrote to both St. Jude and to AutoZone about this issue. AutoZone Customer service sent form email that this would be forwarded to regional management for review. I have never heard anything from AutoZone or St. Jude since then.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    Sounds like the cashier and store manager are desperately trying
    to meet their quota/metrics and please corporate headquarters.

    • Sarek says:

      Yes, often the districts and individual stores are given quotas to make. Woe be unto the manager that fails to make his/her quota. Then at the end, they present a big donation from the company and get all the credit & publicity, when it was really the individual consumers who actually made the donations.

      • rav3 says:

        if it only was that, think about it: this is an amount of money you keep in a bank account, generating interest, at the end of the period they report the amount collected, but what happens to the interests?

    • Bob says:

      That goes double when the District Manager is involved. Some of them run their districts under the idea that fear is what will keep people in line. Complete and compelling fear for the DM is probably behind this action.

      • kelcema says:

        They dissolved the Imperial Senate, that’s the problem. So now fear, and the local governors will keep systems in line. Fear of this Battle Station as well.

      • suezahn says:

        Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      I would have demanded an immediate refund, and take my business somewhere else. I do support key charities, and in the past St. Judes has been one of them, but forcing a donation is unethical.

      • Shorebreak says:

        You are right on the mark with your advice. I wouldn’t let them badger me into a donation and I certainly wouldn’t let a cashier press “yes” on anything. I don’t shop at Auto Zone for auto parts or accessories anyway due to inconsistent sales policies and lack of knowledge by store staff. Now I have yet another reason.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          Sometimes, it’s not about “allowing” anybody to do anything. Sometimes, things happen quickly and you’re not even sure what’s going on. And sometimes people mislead you into thinking you’re doing one thing when you’re (or they’re) doing something else. It may have taken less than a second for the cashier to reach over and press that button without you realizing what they were doing until after they did it. Not enough time to get him with a left hook to the jaw, or even to stick your keys between your knuckles and punch him in the throat.

        • Steevo says:

          I really don’t like when companies make their employees panhandle for charities.

          When they ask me to donate at a cash register:

          “Would you like to donate $1 to St Judes?”

          I respond
          “No, but this is a big company, they are much more able to donate than I am, so they should. Don’t ask me though. I don’t like companies asking their employees to hassle paying customers for donations”.

          I had a cashier laugh and say “Man, am I with you on that”.

          • wade says:

            I totally sympathize with your feelings, but I don’t even bother saying something like that to give the employee a hard time. He’s just a Joe (or Josephina) doing his job, and if his boss tells him to ask the question or they’ll find someone else who will, he’ll ask that question. I’ve been there, and I hated basically pan-handling everyone who came in, and so I’m not gonna make his job any more difficult by complaining about something over which he has no control.

            • Steevo says:

              I completely disagree. If a company notices their paying customers don’t like this they will stop forcing the employees to do it.

              The more customers like me that complain the more they company will realize this is just inappropriate.

              • I look at both sides of the story says:


                “I completely disagree. If a company notices their paying customers don’t like this they will stop forcing the employees to do it.
                The more customers like me that complain the more they company will realize this is just inappropriate.”

                I so totally agree. This last year, the frequency of stores begging for money seems to have gone up astronomically. Money for the troops, the troop’s children, wounded vets, dogs, cats, abandoned dogs/cats, cancer, whooping cough, or some ambiguous charity (“Help children”). Then when I leave the food store, it’s the Boy/Girl Scouts who beg some more — no, I don’t support church affiliated groups.

                At the check-out line, I’m a pleasant person. I say please, thank you, don’t use cell phones, I bag my own groceries in my own bags. But when store after store pleads for money, then I lose it. The last time at Trader Joes (or Whole Paycheck?), I was assailed again. While I’m normally rather quiet at the check-out line I questioned why I have to be hassled for money each time I go to the store. The cashier completely understood and immediately dropped it; I’m guessing that they too were tired of that battle. I go to the store manager and tell them I’ll go elsewhere if this continues. Again, no argument. More guessing: The store is told to do this but they’re forced to and they don’t like it anymore than me.

                If enough people complain, then this nonsense will stop. I give to the charities of my choice and I won’t be shamed into giving to the store’s pet charity of the season.

                While I’m at it, what is it with the latest gimmick that nearly every product states that they give X dollars to Y charity?

                I’m more than willing if the government raised taxes (yes, really) to support social services so all of these ad hoc charity drives weren’t necessary.

                • Cheuvront says:

                  It could not have been Trader Joe’s as they have a no solicitation policy both in and out of the store.

          • baristabrawl says:

            Only 1 cashier out of the 100’s of transactions you complete a year?

    • soj4life says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised by that. When I worked for a bank we took donations for the special Olympics. We did not force people to make a donation, but we had to meet a certain amount and we spent alot to meet that goal in our branch.

  2. raydeebug says:

    A lot of these donation drives do tend to reward employees for how many donations they can get “per transaction.” Sometimes their performance metrics include it.

    “It’s just a dollar”? Really? But it was my dollar. It wasn’t your dollar.

    • IphtashuFitz says:

      Exactly. And these days I see the same solicitations at drug stores, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, etc. It seems like just about every chain in America runs these sorts of things on a regular basis. It may just be one dollar at Auto Zone, but if every chain did this then I’d likely be out $20+ a month. It could add up quickly if you don’t pay close attention to your transactions and scumbag clerks/managers like these.

      • Thespian says:

        I wait tables at Chili’s, and every September is St Jude month. We are required to solicit donations from every single table, and each server’s collected donations are tracked by management. We have a group meeting with the managers before every shift, and are asked individually what our collection goal is. There is constant pressure to set (and meet) a high goal, say 25 to 30 dollars per server, per shift. What’s more, the amount of money you collect is a factor in what kind of schedule you receive. High collectors get the best shifts (i.e., the most profitable shifts). All of this is due to the fact that the store manager is rated by his/her St Jude numbers (as they are also rated by their numbers on other promotions/drives throughout the year). No manager wants to be the bottom-performing store in their region, so whether it’s St Jude donations, alcohol sales during Margarita Madness, Chili’s Email Club memberships, or whatever the promotion of the month is, they drive the servers hard on it.

    • Portlandia says:

      I feel the same way, I live in Oregon where we have no sales tax and if I go shopping in Washington you can show your Oregon ID and they will waive the WA Sales Tax. I work on the Washington side so I do this pretty regularly. The process involves them recording your name address and ID number, about 30 seconds to do.

      I’ve had clerks get pissy or annoyed all the time because they have to do this “extra work” I’ve even had a clerk say, “the tax is only 50 cents” my usual response is well if it’s only 50 cents you wont mind paying it for me then, I would prefer not to pay it” It usually shuts them up.

      • Cacao says:

        Meanwhile, the same phukwads have no problem crossing the Columbia to do some tax free shopping. How many Washington plates can you count at the airport Costco?

    • Kate Blue says:

      I would get very upset if someone tries to horn in on what I fill out. I would probably make them invalidate the transaction and yell at them loudly and leave without purchasing. I would make them out as crooks to every other shopper in the store.

      But so far, this only happened once when a clerk grabbed my wallet to take out my license for me. She was bright red by the time I was done with her.

      • Claire says:

        Ohhhhhhh man. This happened to me once, too (clerk grabbing my wallet). Not cool, and did not end well for the clerk.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      and for all the cashier knows, it’s a dollar you don’t have. there have been times when my purchase was calculated right to the dollar and i knew anything more would put me over. what happens if the cashier adds a dollar and it causes an overdraft fee?
      and, speaking as a former low paid retail employee, that was the time of my life when i was most likely to not have an extra dollar and when i would have been most understanding about others being flat broke too!

  3. humphrmi says:

    On the broader topic, I hate it when cashiers think they have the right to press “OK” or “ACCEPT” when the POS terminal shows you the total and asks you to approve it. There’s a reason they put the POS terminals out by the customer and not in front of the cashiers, and if waiting 20 seconds for a customer to read the terminal is so hard on them, they ought to try another line of work.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      I’m wondering if this is a regional thing? Sounds like it has happened to you on multiple occassions. I’ve never had this happen to me. It would certainly rub me the wrong way.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Here in Phoenix, the cashier gives verbal prompts about what to do at the POS box. The language used for said instructions depends on your skin and hair color.

    • Coffee says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m ambivalent. There’s a local gas station here that has a really annoying terminal, on which you have to select debit or credit, then hit “yes” or “no” three or four times during the transaction. It can get pretty dicey when you’re behind an illiterate luddite who accidentally cancels the transaction once or twice.

    • Skittl1321 says:

      Our pharmacy tends to have the habit of pressing “yes” to “patient denies counseling”, which comes up right before you sign for the CC.

      UM, I didn’t deny counseling, I was never offered it!

      Now, I WOULD have denied counseling, but still it seems like that should be up to me, not the tech who is ringing up the purchase.

      • Martha Gail says:

        Funny, mine makes me say “yes, I wish to receive counseling.” He always follows through and gives me brief advice on how to take the med and asks if I have any questions. He would never hit the button for me.

        • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

          I hate that. Every once in a while I have a tech who decides I need the counseling and doesn’t bother to ask (it’s not a touch screen option at that place). I’ve had acid reflux for a decade. I know how to take my daily meds and don’t really need to waste my time waiting for a pharmacist’s counseling.

    • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

      Every time I get some self-righteous type who says something like “Why do I have to press all these buttons? Do I get a discount for checking myself out?” I want to go off on him and say “It would go a f**k of a lot faster if I got to run your card instead of standing here with my thumb up my butt waiting for you to swipe the wrong way four times, read everything aloud on the screen and ask what it means, then hit the wrong button and cancel the transaction anyway.”

      I never hit the button unless someone tells me they’re vision impaired and asks me to, but I wish you weren’t the only one who understood why stores want customers to approve their own transactions.

    • cspschofield says:

      I sympathize, but I have to say that I have been behind shoppers who clearly had no flaming idea what to do with those pads, which boggles the imagination, frankly. If the cashiers at my closest supermarket didn’t occasionally reach around and push the necessary buttons, all service would grind to a halt.

      So, I will agree that cashiers shouldn’t do this, if we can all agree that if you are in a checkout lane, you need to be ready to pay attention. Stop talking on the cell-phone. Read the instructions on the screen if there is one. Push the right buttons in a timely manner. Answer the inevitable “Would you like to” questions quickly and without causing a scene. Get through the business, so the that poor slob behind you can also get through it sometime this decade.

      • Not Given says:

        It would help if they were all the same. One place you press the cancel button, then tap credit on the screen, the next place, you press the green enter button without a pin then the yes button to approve the amount.

      • cSam says:

        When I worked behind the counter, no matter how many times I told people “hit the green button to OK the amount, then enter your pin,” 40% of the time they completely ignored me & tried to enter their pin right away. If I told them again (and again) to press the green button AND THEN their PIN and they still ignored me, that’s when I just reached over and pressed the damn OK button for them. Sorry, but nobody else in line behind you at Christmas time should suffer your idiocy. And nobody ever complained that I OK’ed their amount for them.

    • Difdi says:

      They don’t have a right to affirm a transaction for you. That is what is known as credit fraud.

  4. Coffee says:

    Ugh…this is one new thing that I’m not crazy about. I make charitable donations on my own time, and I don’t like it very much when I go to a store and am asked to piggy-back a donation onto my purchase there as well. So yeah…I feel like a cheapskate when I say no most of the time, but don’t really lose sleep over it.

    At a local Safeway, there is a sign posted at the register that tells customers they get a free two-liter of soda if the cashier forgets to ask them to donate to the current charity…I wish it just popped up and I could quietly decline, but on the other hand, asking has to be more effective – I know that if I’m on the phone with the girlfriend (she’ll be quiet during the transaction) when they ask me to donate, I’m more likely to say yes.

    As far as these cashiers are concerned, no, it’s not okay to volunteer someone in, even if it’s “only a dollar”…or fifty cents…or a penny. People have these things called principles, and they don’t like it when you take money from them without their permission.

    • AnonymousCommenter says:

      This type of solicitation is only slightly less irritating than running the gauntlet of beggars who are lined up outside the store. I think that it started out with bell ringers at xmas time and then gradually grew to include Girl Scout Cookies, Boy Scout/Cub Scouts selling stuff, youth sports associations selling candy, Firemen collecting for “Jerry’s Kids on Labor Day, the list just goes on and on. Enough already, I just want to shop in peace.

      • Coffee says:

        Yes…I listen to podcasts and music constantly on my smartphone when I’m shopping, only removing my earbuds when I reach the register. I guess you can cell my a curmudgeon, but I really don’t like having to politely shake my head at every Dick and Jane that needs money from me. Getting to the register and having to say no for a second or third time is not awesome.

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        After that I get accosted in the parking lot by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

        • HomerSimpson says:

          Wait till you’re stopped at the traffic light and accosted by charity people with their tin can.

          • incident_man says:

            In the town where I work, the city council passed a law making it illegal for the driver or passenger in a car to hand money or other items to any pedestrian at a traffic signal.

            The whole, “will work for food, ” thing dried up rather quickly.

          • CalicoGal says:

            A couple years ago they made ANY road solicitation illegal in my county. Safety issue with the morons darting thru traffic when the light turns green, or balancing on a small median while traffic whizzes by between red lights.

            Now grass again grows along the edges of intersections!

            • Not Given says:

              In the nearest big city the fire department solicits at a main intersection wanting people to fill a boot with cash.

              • Willow16 says:

                I’ve seen that a few towns over. The volunteer fire fighters stand in the middle of the street at a very busy intersection and back up traffic terribly.

          • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

            We’ve even had cheerleaders from a DIFFERENT high school at our intersections.

            Guess they didn’t realize they can’t reach up high enough to get money from someone on a tractor.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        I second that! Another reason to avoid WalMart at all costs. It seems like every single time I go there, and it’s as seldom as possible, there’s a kid with a coffee can outside begging for money for something. I give to local charities, but I rarely give anything to the people parked outside stores. I too just want to shop in peace.

      • Shadowfire says:

        Saying no isn’t a big deal. Just say no.

        Except to girl scout cookies. No one says no to girl scout cookies.

        Except terrorists…

        • frodolives35 says:

          I say no at the store but do order from coworkers children. That is the only thing I order though. When my seven children were younger we all had a standing deal at work “don’t ask me and I wont ask you” now with 10 grand children they know to leave me alone. I have to hunt them down for thin mints. The worst is that wrapping paper $2 at walmart but $5 for a school fundraiser that will make .25 cents.

        • I look at both sides of the story says:

          “Except to girl scout cookies. No one says no to girl scout cookies.”

          I say no to girl scout cookies and boy scout anything. Why? They’re associated with a CHURCH. I don’t give money to churches. It’s bad enough that there are 10 billion non-tax paying churches in my area and I absolutely won’t give them or any organization associated with them a single penny.

          Sigh, I do miss their mint cookies.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        Oh, I love getting stopped by Boy Scouts, provided there’s an adult present. Because I don’t support Boy Scouts of America (I don’t agree with some of their core principles), and I am not at all shy about telling the adults why I don’t think their organization deserves one red cent.

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          Yes because everyone knows that a children’s organization is the perfect platform for advocating a sexual lifestyle preference.

          • AtlantaCPA says:

            That’s fine, I’ll start a “Children of the KKK” club for kids. Then you have no right to object to the club’s principles because it’s a ‘children’s organization’.

            • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

              Can you say “lame-assed straw man argument”? Sure you can!

              Let’s stick to discussing this organization, mkay?

              • Bladerunner says:

                It actually isn’t a straw man argument. You’re saying that the fact that the organization is bigoted has nothing to do with the kids in it; the corollary was that then the same could be said about a KKK Kids group.

                “This organization” to which you refer won’t let you join if you’re gay or an atheist. They’ve openly said that a gay person or an atheist doesn’t have the values necessary to be a scout. Whether they do good for the kids that they do let join or not, they tell the gay kids and the atheists that they’re bad people. They deserve neither donations nor the sweet government deals they get all the time, and trying to dismiss it does those affected by their bigotry a disservice.

                • Thespian says:

                  It’s the freakin’ Boy Scouts. Calm the hell down.

                  • Bladerunner says:

                    It’s a bigoted organization, that the government supports, that went to the supreme court to defend their right to bigotry. No, I will not calm down.

                    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

                      OMG you’re right! Just look at what these bastards are teaching our kids!

                      A Scout is Trustworthy.
                      A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.

                      A Scout is Loyal.
                      A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.

                      A Scout is Helpful.
                      A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.

                      A Scout is Friendly.
                      A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

                      A Scout is Courteous.
                      A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.

                      A Scout is Kind.
                      A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.

                      A Scout is Obedient.
                      A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.

                      A Scout is Cheerful.

                      A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

                      A Scout is Thrifty.

                      A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

                      A Scout is Brave.
                      A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

                      A Scout is Clean.
                      A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.

                      A Scout is Reverent.
                      A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

                    • Bladerunner says:

                      Strangely, Maltboy, there is no reply button next to your comment, so I will reply to my own:

                      “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirements in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts. Because of these beliefs, the Boy Scouts of America does not accept homosexuals as members or as leaders, whether in volunteer or professional capacities.” Boy Scouts of America, Position Statement on Homosexuality, June 1991

                      That’s what they’re teaching our kids, too. You’ll forgive me if I think that teaching kids to be thrifty while also teaching them gays are immoral is pretty shitty.

                  • drjayphd says:

                    I’m with Bladerunner here, and that attitude is part of why the Boy Scouts have been able to skate so long on their bigotry. Personally, I’m proud of what I achieved and learned through Scouting, but I’m ashamed of their bigoted stance. Should I have sons, I sure as hell won’t push them to sign up for Boy Scouts if they insist on their right to discriminate against gay people and atheists.

                    Girl Scouts, though… that’s a different story, but that’s because they don’t discriminate. Boy Scouting of America could learn a thing or two from them.

                • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

                  Um, it is actually a textbook example of a straw man argument, and if you actually believe it isn’t then you actually don’t know what one is, actually.

                  A straw man is a fake point based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To attack a straw man is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent position, and refuting it without ever having actually refuted the original position.

                  Are you seriously going to substitute the core beliefs of BSoA with those of the KKK, draw a lame comparison, and then claim it’s not a (really egregious) straw man? LOLZ!

                  And my original point remains unchallenged: It is not okay to use a childrens organization as a platform to advocate a sexual lifestyle preference. Why is the LGBT community so hell-bent to use the Boy Scouts as such?

                  • Bladerunner says:

                    Words mean things. For example, you claim that the analogy was only “superficially similar”. You have to actually back that up, simply baldly asserting it again doesn’t make it any more true.

                    The BSoA will not allow gay or atheist kids to join, and say that they are immoral. That is a bigoted position, that actively harms both the kids they won’t let join and, in my opinion, the kids they do. Why does any of their orientation matter? Nobody should be going there to pick up dates or proselytize to them, and its not for those reasons the gays and atheists aren’t allowed in, it’s because they don’t have good enough values for the scouts. Well, that’s bigoted, and every bit as bigoted as the KKK.

                    The analogy being drawn was IF the KKK had a kids group. Obviously, they don’t, but if they did, they would still be the KKK, and no amount of good works with the white kids they let join would make up for the fact they wouldn’t let black, jewish, gay, or atheist kids in, nor would it be appropriate for the government to support them. That was the analogy being drawn, that you claim is only “superficially similar”. Obviously by “superficially similar” you mean “directly analogous”.

                    It’s worth noting that, once upon a time, sexual orientation was not an issue for the scouts. Scoutmasters weren’t asked, and the official scout handbook said it wasn’t the scoutmasters’ job to talk about sex at all, gay, straight, or otherwise. It was out of the domain of scouting. But it’s the current leadership who has decided that gays are immoral and cannot join, even if they never mention it, let alone use it as “a platform to advocate a sexual lifestyle choice” (Wait, what were we saying about straw men, again?). That makes them the ones making it an issue where it shouldn’t come up at all.

                  • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

                    I would like to point out that the use of the term “sexual lifestyle preference” would really only be appropriate in discussions of promiscuity or number of partners one chooses to have, not about sexual orientation.

                    But, that point aside, I personally am not interested in using the Boy Scouts as a platform for advocating hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality. That’s actually something that the Boy Scouts themselves do. They also advocate religious intolerance towards those who do not believe in God. I just don’t support organizations that promote intolerance and bigotry, *especially* in children.

          • kenj0418 says:

            Good, I’m glad you agree that the Boy Scouts are wrong for doing that.

            Also they don’t want anything to do with athiests (kids or leaders) either. I don’t know which intollerance Pithy was referring to.

          • kelcema says:

            Well, clearly right now they are advocating for one, so why not the other? They’re saying that heterosexual relationships are the only way to go… so the BSA has already taken a side on this. [Presuming that’s the “core principle” that InsertPithyNicknameHere was referring to…]

            Maybe if the BSA took their nose out of their member’s private lives and stopped forcing their members to not be respectful of and accepting other people’s beliefs, they’d have more respect from the public.

            • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

              Yes, that’s one of the core principles with which I disagree. And that is why I specified “when an adult is present”. I wouldn’t harangue children or even teens about something like that.
              Part of the problem is that most of the times I’ve been asked to give / buy things in support of Boy Scouts of America, the adults have been very pushy, and wouldn’t accept a simple “no, thank you.”

          • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

            Actually, I agree – a children’s organization is an inappropriate platform for advocating a particular lifestyle preference. Which is why I disagree with BSA doing so. Bigotry is never appropriate, and in an organization for children it is particularly outrageous.

          • iesika says:

            It’s the Boyscouts that are advocating a sexual lifestyle preference within the context of a children’s organization. Nickname up there is telling an adult outside a store why he doesn’t support their organization.

    • MarkFL says:

      When I worked at the bookstore, we collected for the Salvation Army during the holidays, and occasionally after a disaster. I always asked, but didn’t make judgments. For all I knew, the customer might have just dropped a large donation in the pot with the bellringer, and occasionally I would mention this so the customer wouldn’t feel pressured. One thing I did, do, however, was if someone offered a donation of a round dollar amount, I’d ask if they wanted to round up to make the purchase a whole dollar amount. (You have to be quick at math to do this.)

      While I understand about people not wanting to be pressured, these kinds of donations do make it easy. Some people want to donate but don’t want to have to bother with mailing a check or aren’t crazy about entering their credit card info on a website. In the case of the Salvation Army, you can easily find a collection spot with a bellringer, but you won’t get a receipt. We used to have one lady who came in every year and donated $100.

  5. scoutermac says:

    So.. if you chose to return your purchase could you also return the dollar to your credit card? If so I would return my purchase and make my purchase elsewhere.

  6. longfeltwant says:

    Yeah. I’ve never experienced this situation, but I’ve often been confronted by those small donation opportunities. It’s a little embarrassing to decline them, but I always do so.

    If, however, a store was ever collecting for EFF, or some other charity on my personal charity list, then I would say yes.

    • George4478 says:

      I’m going grocery shopping in an hour and I know Publix will be collecting for some group. They are ALWAYS collecting for some group.

      Since I decline them at least once-twice a week all year long, I no longer am embarrassed.

    • j2.718ff says:

      I see no embarrassment in declining to donate. I simply give a polite “no thank you.” Think of it this way – they are asking if they can provide an easy way for you to make a donation. You are declining this service.

      You are still a good person, and all that. You’d just rather donate in your own way. (Also, I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the tax benefits are more difficult to claim when you made the donation at the grocery store.)

      • JJFIII says:

        Nope, not at all. Save the receipt just as you would any other, and you are fine as far as tax ramifications. I will say, I think the fact that people need to be prodded by tax breaks to donate to something they believe in.

      • The Colonel says:

        Exactly. I work for a non-profit, and people decline to donate to us all the time. We don’t think less of you. Really, it’s okay.

    • iesika says:

      This is how I feel, too. I get asked all the time to donate to, say Komen, or some other organization whose politics I have problems with, or a charity or organization that I’m unfamiliar with, I say no. The checkout touchpad at Vons asks me “Do you want to donate $1 to fight prostate cancer?” Well, I might…if you could tell me how that money was going to be used, and by which group.

      I just donate on my own time, after researching.

      • I look at both sides of the story says:

        Komen. Now that’s a 4 letter word in my dictionary.

        After how they screwed over PP, I have nothing but utter contempt for Komen. I donate directly to PP.

  7. Marlin says:

    I worked at AZ for a while and the RM’s and Corp push this big. Some even track who sells the most and what stores do better than others.

    I hate it when stores do things like this so when I see it I don’t shop there as much unless I have to.

    • Difdi says:

      They push it because it’s an awesome deal for the corporation.

      Appeal to the customer’s sense of charity to get them to donate money to charity. Seems simple and good, right? Just one problem:

      The customer is not the one donating to charity, the corporation is. And the corporation is pocketing the tax deduction. A dollar isn’t much for any one person, but if a million people each donate $1, the corporation gets credit for donating $1,000,000 to charity, which is both awesome public relations and a really nice tax deduction.

  8. Delicious Spam is delicious says:

    actually it isn’t for charity, its for autozone, to give to the charity. so you get nothing out of it except, (if lucky) a paper cutout to stick to the wall.

    • Difdi says:

      This. Autozone gets a tax deduction, the customer gets that warm glow of altruism. If the customer tries to claim the donation on their taxes, the IRS will reject it since the customer didn’t actually donate the money to charity.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Cashier was trying to meet quota and decided to rob the customer to do it!

  10. spartan says:

    If I choose to donate to St. Jude’s I will do it on my own. And I will donate the amount that I choose, which will certainly be more than $1.00.

    And at the end of the year, I will take credit for that donation on my own 1040. Why should Auto Zone take the write off for their customers generosity?

    • Bsamm09 says:

      They don’t get a write-off. They are acting as agents for the charity. C-Corps have strict rules for contribution write-offs. They just want this money to come in, hold it in a segregated account and then write a big check at the end for the publicity.

  11. kranky says:

    Had the same thing happen at a GNC store a few months ago. They asked for a $1 donation to St. Jude’s at checkout. The clerk didn’t press “yes” for me, but made me answer “no” verbally three times before he would finish the transaction.

    First time: Do you want to donate $1 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital?
    Second time: It’s only a dollar to help sick children, OK?
    Third time: So you don’t care about helping sick kids?

    Finally I had to say “Just finish checking me out and no more questions.”

    I am happy to donate to worthy causes but I won’t be bullied into it. It will be on my terms.

    • frank64 says:

      Wow, that is terrible. I would complain to someone about that.

      • axhandler1 says:

        Seriously, I would too. That is terrible. I do like the idea of turning it on them though. “Well you’re right, it is to help sick kids, and it’s only a dollar, so ok. Incidentally, I am the treasurer for a small non-profit that is dedicated to helping “insert group that helps sick children” and we’re collecting donations. Would you be willing to donate a dollar today? No? Well why not? Don’t you want to help sick children? It’s only a dollar.”

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i would be tempted to answer “yes, i do. i have three at home. they are very sick. which is why i need to save that dollar for little johnny’s surgery”
      it’d be a lie, but i think it convince them to quit using that line

    • dks64 says:

      “No, I don’t care about sick kids at all. Now finish the transaction and get me your manager.”

    • Difdi says:

      My response to questions like that is “No thanks, I prefer to make my charity donations personally, not through a corporation.”

  12. sparc says:

    no way that would fly around here. must be your area where they think they can just steal money from money customers.

    • frank64 says:

      One person who I worked with was complain about all the businesses doing this. She said, she can’t say no, she didn’t want people to think she was selfish. The is how they get many.

      I am OK looking selfish.

      • FatLynn says:

        I usually say “not today” instead of “no”, because I think it sounds a little less heartless, but in the end, I’m certain that the cashiers hate having to ask just as much as we hate the question.

        • Jaynor says:

          I like to throw out stuff to confuse them “would you like to donate to…” “Sorry, I’m a baptist”
          *blank stare*

          • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

            I like that idea, but I don’t think I could claim to be any religion I’m not with a straight face.

            • The Beer Baron says:

              You could always profess to Discordianism. That way your confusionary tactics would fall in line with Erisian philosophy. Then you could tell us all about it.

              Or if you like,

            • Not Given says:

              It’s against my religion to give away money.
              What religion?
              It’s the “Leave me the f* alone” sect.

            • kobresia says:

              “Sorry, I’m a pacifist. I will not support your efforts in *fighting* cancer.”

        • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

          I just go into the 20+ years I volunteered in my community and at the local Boys and Girls club. I usually end with something like “Can you imagine if more people did this?”.

      • msbask v2 says:

        I am OK looking selfish, too. The cashier doesn’t know me or anything about me. Why would I care what they thought of me?

  13. mentok1982 says:

    I don’t like helping people I don’t know, so when I am asked if I want to donate to something while at the movie theatre I love saying “absolutely not!”. More often than not that phrase creates a delicious reaction from the cashier.

  14. rookie says:

    Internet Tough Guy here.
    Interfering with a transaction, electronic or otherwise, is a finger breaking offense.

    • George4478 says:


      Yeah, instead of complaining to a manager, you’d rather get arrested for assault.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        What do you think the manager is going to do about it?

        “It’s only a dollar sir. Cup of coffee at Starbucks costs more than that!”

        • George4478 says:

          “Refund my dollar or refund the entire order.” What do you think the manager would do about it then?

          If you have problems with an employee who else would you talk to? Unless you’re part of the ‘assault the employee and go to jail’ school of lucid thought.

      • StarKillerX says:

        And then you get to donate to the city court.

      • theyallhateme says:

        If I was arrested for assault as a result, I’d make sure the cashier was arrested for wire fraud.

      • matlock expressway says:

        “It was self-defense, your honour: I thought the cashier was trying to poke me with that finger!”

  15. frank64 says:

    Worse, what about United Way at work. Many places I worked practically require you to make a donation. Is the PR really worth it?

    • Remmy75 says:

      I am glad my company finally got away from United Way. I think they finally realized what a waste it was. Now we have a company run charity program that allows you to put in your own chosen charity. They have to approve it as a charitiable organization but it works nicely. Now I donate money to an oraganization in my town with people i know who tell me they recieved my money and appreciate it and used it for xyz.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      I worked at a place where there was big pressure on the department heads to get United Way participation, but there was only so much they could do because many jobs were unionized. The head of my department ended up donating $1 in the name of each person in the department so he could say he had 100% participation.

      • frank64 says:

        It seems every company that has the program has these strong arm tactics, it must be something United Way does.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I think they’ve gotten in trouble for it. There’s no way I would donate by force.

          • frank64 says:

            In order not to donate you really had to make a stance, a stance against your bosses and department heads. They had activities with food passed around, put balloons in everyone cubes. It was hard not to participate in something, and then they obligate you

            Most donated and grumbled because they nearly had too. The managers asking are the ones that decide who gets laid off and what your pay rate is going to be. Not donating is easier said than done.

            • TheMansfieldMauler says:

              Yeah, when my dad had his first job he went to orientation and they pushed the United Way stuff. He didn’t think too much about it and didn’t sign up. Then the next week everyone who hadn’t signed up had to go sit through a bunch of presentations about it and had to make a written report on what they learned, etc., and their work load was not changed so that took time away from working toward deadlines. He talked to some people and found out it only got worse if you still didn’t sign up, so he did.

              • Kate Blue says:

                Sounds like that lack of regulations on business is working for you there.

                • ChuckECheese says:

                  Indeed it is a libertarian utopian dream for the father of the crustacean. Fair play is for socialists and losers!

            • Danno23 says:

              I worked at a place similar to that. I decided one year to take a stand and not contribute. I kept getting passed up the food chain when I refused to contribute (I give 10% of my income to charity, but *I* choose what charity it goes to.” When I reached the VP level and he started talking about how I was “not being a team player” I caved in, said “You win” and handed him whatever cash I had in my wallet.

              I found another job before the next United Way campaign.

          • frank64 says:

            I don’t think they go in trouble for this, I think they still do it. I think they got in trouble fore huge salaries for the leaders. Charities aren’t much different than corporations.

      • frank64 says:

        You would think union people would want to donate, they are so out for the little guy and all.

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          I’m sure some of them did, but I guess I wasn’t clear about what I was saying. It wasn’t that the union people wouldn’t donate, but that management couldn’t do much to push United Way other than asking once. Anything else and the union would start complaining about “strongarm tactics” etc., and in this case I tend to agree.

    • redskull says:

      Ugh, the United Way. Years ago when I finally got my first real full time job, I signed up for United Way payroll deduction. Didn’t mind it and was happy to do it. Then after about 8 years I started adding up all the money I’d given them over time, and was shocked at the amount. I decided that I’d done my part and more, and wanted out.

      What an ordeal! It’s as easy as pie to sign up, but they make it extremely difficult to opt out. It took about two months of dealing with human resources and filling out endless forms before I was finally out of their clutches.

    • RandomLetters says:

      My company has a program where they match dollar for dollar donations made by employees up to a certain dollar amount. There are a few charities they won’t match and United Way is one of them.

    • Willow16 says:

      Years ago, I worked for a large company headquartered in Newark, NJ and they really strong armed you into donating to the United Way. If you didn’t, it could affect promotions, etc. No where did it say that you wouldn’t be promoted but you were told in your review meetings that you really should donate if you expected to get ahead. Quite obnoxious! I never did donate but I left the company before it could really impact me.

      • Danno23 says:

        I am really surprised to see how widespread that tactic was. I thought that it was unique to where I worked, but it seems that the United Way Mafia had long arms.

        I don’t know if they do good work or not, but the strong armed tactics that I had to endure under their banner will ensure that I will NEVER contribute to them in any way ever again.

    • I look at both sides of the story says:

      Ahhh, United Way. I had forgotten about them.

      Remember when they dropped PP and other controversial groups (always about women reproductive rights)? My mega-corporation which could buy all of Europe without blinking had this yearly PP drive. You were allowed to decline which organizations you chose not to donate to but no way to chose PP. I dutifully sent me my envelop stating that there was no box for PP so no money for UW.

  16. soxfantoo says:

    Let’s see….Auto Zone has about 4000 stores in the US. If each store does a conservative 50 transactions a day….that’s about $200,000 each day if ONLY a dollar” was added to each transaction.

    I wonder how the cashier and other store employees would like if $1.00 was deducted from their pay…each day.

  17. Shampoo Lies says:

    I get the principle and he was “wronged” here on some level. But this guy sounds like a doosh. Righteous indignation junkie.

    • Coffee says:

      He sounds like a douche because he doesn’t appreciate a cashier unilaterally donating a dollar to charity on his behalf, then acting like he’s a tightwad when he calls them on it? Doesn’t sound very douchey to me…people get taken advantage of all the time, and until someone makes a fuss about it, there’s no incentive for a business to retrain its employees.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Sure – in fact, I don’t know why they bothered asking him at all. They should have just taken a couple bucks he was never going to miss anyway.

      What kind of feminine hygiene product wouldn’t like to have a company complete financial transactions for them before they can read about them in support of charity, as long as the company supports it, and regardless of their feelings on the matter, how much tye gie to charity, and if they feel that it’s one they wish to support?

      Gawd… some people’s children…


    • msbask v2 says:

      Noooo… this guy sounds like someone who is legally entitled to know what he’s paying for.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      It is against the credit card rules for them to change the amount without your consent. File a dispute with the CC people.

  18. incident-man stole my avatar says:

    While appreciating the work that St. Jude’s does I despise that once you make a donation you get hit up every week for more money. It took 3 months to get off their list and has turned me off from ever making a donation to them again.

  19. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    If I get the hard sell on the donations, I always ask them for a brochure or something that shows more information about the charity. They never have it of course, so I tell them I will research it and decide later.

    The ones that I really hate are at PetSmart where it just says “Donate $1 for homeless pets?” You have no idea where that money is going, and it well could be for a charity you disagree with such as some animal rights group, etc.

    • RenegadePlatypus says:

      What are you trying to say, you’re against civil unions for ferrets?

    • VintageLydia says:

      That one I can answer you. It goes to PetSmart Charities which then redistributes the funds to shelters and rescues it’s partnered with. They also provide disaster relief for pets (sending truckloads of food and supplies to victims of natural disasters and stuff–pets tend to get overlooked in general disaster relief.) I’m not sure how efficient or well run it is but I did ask the rescue groups affiliated with our store if they actually got money and they said they did. It’s been 3 years since I worked there, though, so it may have changed.

  20. Shampoo Lies says:

    I still think the guy is a doosh. I think there are better ways to spend your time than sitting down and huffing and composing letters to a hospital over a dollar. I love this site but it’s hilarious what some people get fired up about.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      You’re right. How about we take a dollar out at every store you make a purchase at and better yet, we’ll send it to some charity that you LOATHE.

      • frank64 says:

        Yes, ask them if you could pay $1 less and donate it to a charity, see how they like it!

        Say, no I won’t be donating today, but would you like to donate $1 to my charity?

    • msbask v2 says:

      The ONLY part of the OP’s letter that I disagree with was writing to St Jude’s. They’re not the ones who did this, and I’m sure they have better things to worry about than this.

      Other than that, I would have returned the entire purchase and bought the items at a store who didn’t think they had the right to dictate where my money went (no matter how small the amount). That’s just AWFUL business.

      • Skittl1321 says:

        Actually, it seems like St. Jude’s SHOULD know this. They are trusting others with their name. If places continue things like this, it is St. Jude’s that gets the bad reputation.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      You’re not a douche for deciding to donate your money where and when you please and not being forced into it.

    • The Dord says:

      So you hate principles huh? Nice to know.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Is there some amount you think makes it a worthy concern?

      I mean, when it comes to people forcing you to give up money you don’t agree to, there has to be a limit, right? Let’s say $5.00.

      So add $5 to every purchase you make. You don’t get a say in it, but don’t worry its for charity. It also doesn’t matter what charity – you don’t get a say in that either. We’ll just slap a few keywords like “orphan,” “hospital,” or “research” on there and it’s all good.

      You don’t mind, right? I mean, it might be your bank account, but It’s for charity. Don’t be a douche. Think of the children/spotted owl/girl scouts/Community HS Marching Band/New Horizons Halfway House/Mother Theresa/Sally Fields….

      And do we consider every charity worthy, considering the guy

    • MarkFL says:

      He’s not a douche if he wants to be allowed to make his own decision. This is a douche:

      When we were collecting for Salvation Army after the earthquake in Haiti, we got stuck one day collecting numbers in our district. (Note: We had goals but nobody was pressuring us to meet them.) At one point late in the afternoon, when several stores were over $100, one store, which we’ll say was in Springfield, had $2 for the day. When I sent out the numbers, I said I’m sure the people in Springfield aren’t that stingy.

      My DM later told me that the people in Springfield actually are that stingy. She said when she was in the Springfield store, she heard a cashier ask a customer if she would like to donate a dollar to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. The customer said, “What have the Haitians ever done for us?”

      Now THAT is a douche.

  21. tennesseemom says:

    I f’ing hate being asked to donate to a charity at check out. It’s everywhere I shop except at the gas pump. Just because I’m buying something doesn’t mean I have extra cash.

  22. Remmy75 says:

    When asked if i want to donate a dollar to thier charity, I usually say only if you donate $5 to my charity first. That usually dumbfounds the cashier enought to stop asking.

  23. Red Cat Linux says:

    I think it has less to do with the charity, and more to do with someone completing a banking transaction without your consent.

    I’m sure that cashiers deal all day, every day, with customers who are still confused by payment screens and stand staring lost in indecision at them. Add to it that most places have different ways to choose debit or credit, or cancel an option without canceling the whole sale, so even if you are perfectly comfortable with automated checkouts, you have to read to know what to press if you have never seen that device before.

    Most terminals want you to hit cancel for credit. A handful have another option instead, and hitting cancel stops the entire sale. I’ve had an impatient cashier reach over and stab (debit) when I got charged extra at my bank for that.

    I was like, what the hell? You’re going to have to wait even longer now as I cancel this whole thing and re-do it as credit.

    • Not Given says:

      I have one bank that charges for debit and another that pays me 5¢ for every credit transaction.

  24. oldwiz65 says:

    File a dispute with your credit card company. They will deal with it. I hate the forced donations to charity. I don’t care which charity. It’s against the CC rules for them to force you to contribute.

    Don’t waste your time with Autozone or St. Jude – they don’t give a rats tushie.

    • frank64 says:

      The bank is going to ask if you tried to resovle it with the store, so you really have to try first. Since they paid him the $1, no need to talk to the bank.

  25. RenegadePlatypus says:

    I’m polite to a fault, which means I still can’t figure out how to respond to the cashier correctly – I’m one of those people who feel like it’s rude to just utter “no’ without a “thank you” attached to the end. So the convo goes like this: “Would you like to donate a dollar to St. Jude’s?” …. “No thank you”. The “thank you” obviously does not belong, kinda like the little quirk of someone saying “have a great birthday” and you absentmindedly say “thanks, you too!”

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      When presented with this “give at the register” pitch, I always say, “No, thanks – I already gave.”

      White lie, or utterly black, it makes no difference – they have no way of knowing. Think of the ‘thanks’ in this case as ‘…but, thank you for the opportunity’. Or, ‘..and thank you for understanding and moving this along’.

      “No, thanks” or “No, thank you” has become a colloquial expression that means a respectful “no” rather than a rudely stated one. No one really thinks you are thanking someone for subjecting you to a cold donation pitch.

      • daemonaquila says:

        I have a problem with the untruthful, polite approach. It’s just a no, not a “No, and quit bothering your customers,” which is the more productive thing to do. I’ve seen stores phase out this nonsense because of pushback. No pushback, no action.

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          Sure, at cost of making the cashier uncomfortable for just doing what they are required to by their employers. Don’t flog the messenger.

          If you feel that strongly about it, talk to the manager, or write the company directly. I’ve done both and gotten results. But taking aim at the cashier is less effective, and just makes them unhappy.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      I think “no, thank you” is perfectly appropriate. It’s “No, I’m not interested, but thank you for making the offer of this type of donation”.

      As an aside – I usually get caught up when I’m at the movie theater, and an employee says “enjoy your show”. About half the time, I’m not thinking and say “You too!” Yeah, I feel like an idiot.

      • frank64 says:

        Do movie they still come around in the actual theater before the movie starts asking for donations in a canister like it is a church basket? I saw them do this many yeas ago. I am sure they got people out with friends and dates that way. How cold do you want to look? Much of this is social pressure, and they know how to maximize that affect.

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          I remember those – They were often either for St. Jude, or the Will Rogers Institute.

        • axhandler1 says:

          Interesting you should mention that. I have only had that happen one time. It was recently, and at a movie theater I go to often. It was weird. Haven’t had it happen before or since.

          • Red Cat Linux says:

            I can recall about four times. And a fifth, where I was a perpetrator.

            I went with my dog and a breed adoption agency (for an entirely different breed) and their dogs to a movie about a dog. It was sponsored by the ASPCA and was to promote pet adoption.

            But my dog, a border collie, was getting a lot of questions and I wound up giving a quick talk to kids about how people see dogs in movies, and buy the breed not understanding how many of them are completely unsuitable for certain kinds of homes and the dogs wind up in adoption or euthanized.

            I don’t know how much money the ASPCA raised that day, but it was kind of cool talking to the kids and answering their questions.

        • daemonaquila says:

          I have no problem looking like a totally cold bastard. I’m loud and proud about it – often reversing the dynamic so that people nearby feel completely ok about not giving.

    • msbask v2 says:

      Just say “no”, dude!

  26. evilpete says:

    Since she pushed the button for him it’s fraud

  27. FyreGoddess says:

    There’s this idea that if it’s for charity, it’s automatically a good thing. I went to a food-related charity event where I was unable to eat. The friend I was with was aghast at the idea that I might ask for my money back because “It’s a charity”, but the truth was, I felt lied to, and two years later, they have still not addressed my issues about not marketing this event to people who won’t feel welcome.

    Apparently, I’m not even allowed to bring these things up to the organizers of the event, because the consistent response I get (from people not directly involved) is that it’s a charity and therefore, no complaints are allowed. Frankly, it has stopped me from donating and going to these sorts of events. If charities can do no wrong, simply because they are charities, then why should I spend my money to have a bad experience for a charity I may not even really want to support?

    • frodolives35 says:

      This. There was a taste of charity event a few years back I attended. It was from 6 till 9 and I got there about 7pm. The only food left was some really old dominoes pizza everyone else had already given away everything they had brought. Now I did not expect to have an endless buffet but when 30 something businesses participate you would think they would bring a little more food. I guess what really made me mad was when we left 30 minutes later they were still collecting $10 a head from people when even the dried up pizza was gone. It was a great turnout and they raised a lot of money but I wold never go to another event like that and flt ripped off in the name of charity.

  28. anime_runs_my_life says:

    AutoZone is not the only one doing this. CVS has tried to pull this on me a few times as well. I don’t care if it’s a frickin’ dollar. It’s my money. I donate enough throughout the year and I don’t need someone telling me that I’m being difficult because I don’t want to donate to some cause – maybe I already am. They don’t know and I don’t appreciate them assuming that I will because they’re being impatient or greedy.

  29. Nic715 says:

    I used to feel guilty or embarrassed when I declined, but then I realized that simply saying either ‘thanks, but I already donated’ or ‘Thanks but I make my own donations to (said charity) every year.’ usually is enough to end the conversation without sounding like a selfish jerk. Lately though, the big thing around here is to donate to the children’s hospital that just opened a few years ago. I also happen to work there, so when solicited for a donation, all I have to say is that I work there and my times worth more to the kids than my money, which always does the trick.

    These types of campaigns always seem to prey on the fact that while most people generally don’t care what strangers think of them, no one wants to look like a jerk…and declining to donate to sick kids makes you look like a jerk. That’s why campaigns like this tend to work out well..and that’s why we as consumers are encountering more and more of these in our every day lives, every where we go. As someone pointed out earlier in the comments though, there’s so many of them now that if we said yes to every $1 we were asked to donate, it could really add up. You’re far better off keeping your money and making one sizable donation to a charity of your choice once a year and getting the tax credit for it.

  30. elangomatt says:

    Back when I used to work at Kmart, they would often have weekly contests where the top 2 or 3 people who got the most charity donations each week would get some kind of store gift card reward. I don’t think there was ever any kind of quota for those, the quotas only came into play when selling the dreaded extended warranties and horrible store brand credit cards.

  31. TPA says:

    I hate these donation scams the stores run. All so they can write a $50k or $100k check to a charity and have a big PR event about it.

    If these companies actually cared about the charities they’re hawking, they’d use their OWN money and cut the check immediately. Or at least match funds.

  32. QuantumCat says:

    Once my credit card information was stolen and used to buy train tickets in Sweden. The person also donated $50 to a children’s charity using my credit card. I remember getting some flak for cancelling the charity donation in addition to the other fraudulent charges.

    I do give to charity, but I’m not okay with others spending my money without my approval, regardless of the cause.

  33. jumbojeepman says:

    I work for another retailer that also collects for St Jude, and I went to Autozone and they asked me if I wanted to donate. I said no. The clerk then asked me, “What, you don’t want to help the children?” I replied that I collect enough for them where I work.

    • daemonaquila says:

      I’ve had that happen, too. I tell them, “Nope, I don’t. We’d still have an overpopulation problem if we lost half the people in the world. I care about the earth and the critters. If your company cares about kids so much, it can make a donation and quit bugging the customers.”

    • dks64 says:

      “I’ll help your cause if you help mine. I’ve got fur kids that cost me at least $100 a month. Will you donate $10 to my cause? Don’t you want to help out animals?”

  34. some.nerd says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty douchey of the store employees. I’d have made the same fuss if they did the same to me. How do they know that $1 isn’t going to be responsible for an overdraft fee or something?
    Ass hats.

  35. Augie says:

    But Laura…why the “Tits of Erica” photo for the story?

  36. shea6408 says:

    It may be “only” a dollar, but it’s MY dollar.

    If Auto Zone caught someone attempting to shoplift an 89-cent item, and the guy says “Hey, it’s only 89 cents, what’s the big deal?”, you can bet Auto Zone is going to make it a big deal.

  37. daemonaquila says:

    I’m absolutely militant about this stuff – I will not give to any charity that a store is promoting. If it’s that important to them, they can pony up the money. I’ve had cashiers pout, whine, etc. Tough cookies. The only one I give to is the Humane Society, regardless. Kids’ charities have lots of support from lots of sources. Critters? Very little.

    • msbask v2 says:

      For me, the only charity I give to is St. Jude’s. But I do it myself and don’t need a store coming between me and them.

  38. failurate says:

    So how do these donations benefit Autozone? Do they get to claim their customer’s money as their own tax deduction? Do they profit from interest, while they pool the donations?

    These “donate at the register” requests really piss me off. Toys R Us is doing the same.

    • Hartwig says:

      They benefit by being able to advertise that Autozone raised $XXX money for the charity. I have a real problem with donating to a cause only so a corporation can look better. They make you feel bad for not donating as well.

      Seems like more and more places find this to be a good idea.

  39. Rick Sphinx says:

    IT’s your choice, no one elses. Everywhere you go, it’s “would you like to donate a dollar” or “round up”. That’s fine, but I can’t donate everytime. In this case I would be upset also. I have $200 to St. Judes this year. That is my budget. A person has to be able to pick and choose, and budget themselves. If the cashier argued with me like that, after ‘forcefully’ pressing that YES button, I would have called the cops, because that is stealing!

  40. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    What I fail to understand is why so many companies levy quotas on their employees for things as asinine as credit cards, store loyalty cards and charity donations. What makes them think that their employees have ANY control over the customer’s money? And if I chose to say no to a credit card or no to making a donation, why does my decision to say no punish the employee??

    The last time I was at WallyWorld, I was approached by no fewer than three ladies walking around the store carrying clipboards and asking if I’d like to sign up for their store credit card. I got the same spiel at the checkout. It makes me angry – not at the employees themselves, but at the idiots in their ivory towers who make their employees behave this way.

  41. A.Bursell says:

    Not the same situation, but I relate to the feelings of the OP and many here.

    A long time ago I worked for a certain package delivery company known for their brown uniforms. Every year we had a big push to donate to The United Way. I already donate to several charities on my own, and this particular year I did for The United Way as well. Normally I didn’t because of doing it through work, but for some reason I did that year. My manager asked for my donation. I informed her that I had already donated. Not good enough! She went crazy! She tried to tell me how it was a team building exercise and everyone was doing it and so on — even going so far as yelling at me. I had never seen anything like this. Everything you could think of to guilt me into donating and then some. Then her manager got involved. Even more pressure. Even telling me that maybe I should find another job if I didn’t want to be part of the team. I held my own, at that point purely on principle. I knew at that point that it was all about numbers, and not about charity. I also wrote to The United Way and informed them of the tactics being used.

    I recieved a form letter back from The United Way that they discourage companies from pressuring employees for donations and they would investigate. That was the last I heard from them.

    I left the company not long after that, and that was also the last time I ever gave to that charity.

    • Bladerunner says:

      My mother experienced a similar reaction when she worked at a warehouse store known for economy-sized foodstuffs and requiring membership.

  42. baristabrawl says:

    So let me do the math here…if you make $10/hour, you’re in the hole for the time you’ve taken to bitch about a $1.

    Vote Republican.

  43. I'd Buy That For A Dollar! says:

    I worked for a large package delivery company (based out of Memphis, TN as is Autozone) They had a $1 per paycheck campaign with the United Way going on. I told them I was not interested, and they did it anyway. I had to really pull some teeth to get this automatic draft taken off my payroll. That’s like $52 bucks a year…and they were giving me only 25 hours a week.

  44. kella says:

    That’s intentional, they’re trying to trick you into running the charge as debit, even if it’s a credit card that will charge you $$$ for a “cash advance”.

    I went to a Staple once where the local management had clearly messed with the card terminal. After swiping your card it would present a pin screen, which would normally show a “cancel” button to run as credit. The manager had ‘hidden’ the cancel button, so the cashier instructed me to press the “blank space beneath the enter key”. I never went there again (in fact I haven’t been to Staples since).

  45. RayanneGraff says:

    I can’t really blame the cashier. As a former AutoZone employee I can tell you that they bully their employees almost incessantly to meet quotas, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain dollar amount of charity donations was one of those quotas. I was threatened with termination more than once for not selling enough weekly specials and membership cards. I asked if I supposed hold a gun to their head till they buy a mini flashlight or a bottle of fuel cleaner, cause I don’t know how else to force people to buy things they don’t want, and I was told to “keep offering it until they accept”. They honestly want you to literally HARASS the customer until they agree to buy whatever corporate is pushing that week just to shut you up. The cashier shouldn’t have hit the “yes” button against the customer’s wishes like that, true, but I can definitely understand why they did it.

  46. frodolives35 says:

    This is nothing new for Autozone. I bought a set of brake pads about 8 years ago and they threw a packet of anti seize in the bag. I thought it was free but when I looked at the receipt there was a small charge for it. When I asked her to remove the charge the checker said “we include that with all brakes”. I told her “fine I will take it just remove the charge” She removed the charge and the packet while giving me a dirty look.

  47. autozone12 says:

    Please contact me concerning this issue, I would like some specific information so I can make sure it is handled. I work at the Corporate office and I will make sure there is follow-up.

  48. MJDickPhoto says:

    Personally, I stopped shopping at Auto Zone when they sold me several “refurbished” oil filters. They even accused me of trying to return used filters, and never apologized.

    Here’s the back story; I stopped at Auto Zone and bought 4 oil filters, and 4 gallons of oil, so that my mom, dad’s brother and I could all change oil that day. I then drove 60 miles to their house and started changing oil. Once the oil was drained from my car, we got out the new filter, only to see that it was dirty on the inside, and someone had used it, wiped off the outside oil, then taken it back to put on the shelf. So I had to go back, buy a new gallon of oil, and yell about the filter…..