Discussion in 'The Study' started by Bob Hubbard, Feb 25, 2009.
9. Circuit City Customer Arrested After Refusing To Show Receipt Michael writes, "I've always taken the stance that retail stores shouldn't treat their loyal customers as criminals and that customers shouldn't so willingly give up their rights along with their money."
7. Circuit City Calls The Cops On Customer Who Tried To Redeem $40 DTV Coupon Circuit City wouldn't let Larry redeem his $40 digital transition converter box coupon unless he signed a credit slip agreeing to pay $40. Larry refused, and asked to cancel the transaction.
Best Buy Calls Cops On You For Telling Fellow Customer Jawbone Headset Is Overpriced, Sucks
Best Buy called the cops on Alex because he told another shopper that the Jawbone headset he was considering was poor quality and marked up $30 from the manufacturer's price. Alex went to Best Buy to purchase a new Bluetooth headset because the...
3:03 PM on Thu Mar 27 2008,
Best Buy Calls 911 On Customer Asking For Refund
Best Buy calls 911 after Consumerist reader RJH asks for a refund on a nonworking Tony Bennet CD.
7:24 PM on Fri Dec 29 2006,
After being bullied at a few big boxes, I categorically boycott ALL businesses that check receipts. It's not hard, since I go out of my way to patronize small local businesses anyway. The last time I had no choice but to Wal-, I muscled my way past the poor little old lady who meekly asked ... I made direct eye contact with a curt "I'm not a criminal." She backed off and that was that.
It wasn't personal to her of course, but I just won't be treated that way by someone I just gave money to. Regardless of whether it's an individual or a corporation.
Not much crime here that's for sure. According to Forbes:
Metro Area Population: 420,000
Crime Rate 1
There's just no love for us shift workers, I'm tellin' ya!
If I were the responding officer I would tell the store manager the options as I saw them:
-The customer shows the receipt and leaves
-The store lets the person go
-The store returns the customers money and takes back its property
-The store then has the option of trespass baring the customer and he/she is told that they are not welcome if they refuse to follow store policy.
Any way you slice it I'm leaving it in the stores lap. Either way I think the store is loosing a customer.
But after it's been paid for and a receipt has been issued, is it still in any way the store's property? If so, when does it legally become the customer's property?
Yes, and I'm guessing this would be the outcome.
I blame this on corporate greed, a distancing of management from actual sales (and subsequent loss of people skills/face-to-face relations with customers) and a complete lack of understanding of how to fit individual stores into their communities.
Currently, there is a quiet/unspoken 'boycott' of Wal-marts in many areas. The community perception is that store workers are abused and foreign workers disadvantaged. The local response from those that can afford it is to use their purchasing power supporting other stores that are perceived as 'local'.
Add to this negative image the 'criminalization' of the employees and customers...and yet...Wal-Mart can't, or won't, make any substantive change in the way they do business.
I worked in small business for 14 years, through the early '80's 'recession', and became firmly convinced that the survival of business depended greatly on keeping loyal customers. As I saw walk-in sales drop, and regulars cut back on purchases, it was the 'regular' that kept the business afloat. And the other half of that was the personal relationships between customers, employees, and the understanding of the business as part of that small community.
As an aside, my own recent disgruntlement happened at a Barnes and Noble this week. After being treated VERY badly at the cash register by a new manager, my husband was leaving and the woman followed him. He confronted her (at this point...very angry): 'What is your problem lady?' And the response was 'Why...do you have something to hide?' The woman refused to give her name...but you can be sure I made a point of calling the company and giving details regarding the insulting behaviour of this person to good customers.
I guess in the current warped world of business (move in with a shoddy box-store, reap the dollars, and leave town after a few years after taking what could be gotten) that is shouldn't surprise people when they discover these businesses view them not as 'customers' but as 'takers'.
I remember an episode of the Andy Griffith Show where there was a rash of shoplifting going on at the main store in town... Barney stopped one old lady whom he was SURE saw lift something... Andy broke it up and apologized to the lady (IN the store) and dragged Barney on outside and told him... "you just can't be stopping customers for having something that they can say they FORGOT to pay for!".... but of course when the little old lady came OUTSIDE the store... Andy arrested her for shop-lifting. It was a fine line and a very good point that retailers need to pay attention to (not, that they have to watch that particular episode, just the principle of it).
It's only shoplifting when you're OUTSIDE the store and while their cameras may catch you in the act of pocketing something you can ALWAYS claim that you wanted a better way to carry it or some other "lame" but viable excuse. You still got to be out of their doors without paying for it to actually be called a shoplifter.
But it's nitpicking either way. Pocketing something does show intent.
There are other stores to shop at/from and extra 10-15 minutes to drive isn't going to kill anybody. Don't like their service... don't shop there. But they DO have their own investments to protect.
Still, the last time I got stop on suspect shoplifting I found the manager in the bunch and the police officer and told them before I consented to the search that IF ANYTHING they find on my person is something that I didn't pay for from their store is on my person ... they can arrest me... if not... they'll need to call their lawyers. The manager stopped at that and had to think it over. Actually found the employee who pointed the finger and asked them if they were SURE they saw me ... t'was a messy situation to be sure... the employee could only say "I think so." The manager told the cop (all of this was in the store) to let me go... the cop followed me outside and apparently wasn't afraid to be sued and asked to search me... I consented. He found... nothing that I didn't pay for on my person.
Cop said that I did the right thing.
Funny though... it's employee theft that is causing most of the damage/losses to these stores.
Wow, I do this kind of stuff all the time, never had the cops called on me. Oh, and the Jawbone does suck. :lol:
The only thing I would suggest to the "indignant customers" out there is to NOT try the "ignore the cop and go on my way" tactic. YOU may know all the details of the situation but most of these get dispatched to the police as "customer trouble". If we pull up with you walking to your car and the manager waving at us and pointing at you we will stop and identify you until we figure out what is going on. If you pull the "I did nothing wrong and you cant detain me" act...well we CAN detain you until we can determine what is going on and you could be arrested for obstructing an investigation, which is what I think has happened in some of these cases...
Actually I think in a situation like the OP, I would talk to the responding cop and tell him I'd like the greeter arrested for unlawfully detaining me, and if they (the greeter) shoved the cart in anyway while I was holding it, I might tack on assault just for fun.
I wouldn't play either sides games. Id tell the manager the options I listed above and Id tell you that if YOU were free to go (as in they didnt grab you physically) that you were not unlawfully imprisoned. And unless they rammed the cart into you and either intentionally or recklessly injured you that the assault wouldn't fly either. Your option would be to sue the store.
This whole thing is more a civil matter than a penal law matter IMO.
I'm aware of that, but it would be fun to scare the **** out of the greeter for wasting my time. :idunno:
Personally..If you are going into a store that you ALREADY KNOW checks receipts and you are causing a scene to make a point about a store policy you knew about going in..Im not going to be altogether on your side.
If they did it consistently I'd probably make less of an issue of it (see my earlier post in this thread). It's kind of like my Indian brother-in-law who seems to get snagged for a lot of "random" checks at the airport. :idunno:
I didn't pursue the link, but it puts to mind of a story I read (perhaps on MT) of a young man who was detained in the parking lot of one of these retailers, with his very young siblings in tow. He successfully fought it in the courts.
At my Best Buy, the sales staff wear blue shirts, and the door staff wear yellow shirts and have these blasted highlighters. I don't like it, because our system of justice does not require me to prove to someone I am not a thief. When they ask to check my bags and reciepts, I say, "No thank you," with a smile and walk on.
Once I was making a purchase at Future Shop. The checkout was no more than eight feet from the guy with the marker, who was watching me make the purchase. He then stopped me, saying "I need to check your reciept and purchases." I replied, "No you don't. You just watched me pay for my purchases." He insisted, and it was then I began to suspect that these guys aren't just checking on customers; they're watching their co-workers.
When I worked loss prevention it was common knowlege that most of the theft was being commited by employees.
That's wierd. Half of the time I go there the don't check me. And as Tellner knows, I can look pretty wierd sometimes.
Maybe they just don't like frogs...
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