You may not see my receipt.

I’ve been saying “no thank you” to the increasingly ubiquitous receipt checkers at the doors of (mostly) big-box stores. It’s insulting and an inconvenience. Generally, the guards are pretty nice about it. At Bed, Bath, & Beyond, they kind of shrug, and smile. At CompUSA, they actually shout after you like you are the criminal they assume you to be. I’ve even successfully said no thank you to the TSA at JFK, when they wanted to see my ticket for the third time (once before security, once going through the metal detector, and then again leaving security). Actually, in that case I would have complied if the person had been even minutely polite.

An incident at the Naperville outlet of TigerDirect somehow doesn’t surprise me. A customer said “no thank you” to guards who wanted to see her receipt, and was detained and verbally harangued. She called 911, but the police officer refused to charge the guard and manager with false imprisonment. I have to say, under the same conditions I would have walked out of the store and I doubt that a guard would be able to physically restrain me, but I’m kind of a jerk that way. Anyway, I’ve been in that store, and it feels a bit like a prison. I’ve gotten some pretty good bargains from TigerDirect in the past, it’s too bad I can’t in good conscience order from them any more.

I’m not sure that “no thank you” is enough any more, so I’ve printed up two versions of slips of paper to keep in my pocket, and to hand to guards who have this thankless job. The first one reads:

To the General Manager:

I have handed this paper to your security employee who has requested to see my receipt following a purchase, a request I politely refused. I recognize that this employee is doing the job you have assigned, and this should not be seen as an indication that this person has done anything but a fine job.

However, I am insulted by your practice of treating every customer as a potential thief. Note that this lack of goodwill results not only in my future choice of other, more customer-oriented stores over your own, it also results in significant negative word-of-mouth advertising regarding my shopping experience. Consider that you will have to spend substantial amounts of revenue in advertising for new customers with each customer you lose to this charade.

I sincerely hope you will reconsider your policy of checking receipts at the door. I recognize that shoplifting and other forms of loss are a challenge to retail establishments, and I encourage you to take measures—including increasing the number and training of sales associates—to reduce loss. Insulting your customers is the wrong approach.

I figure you can add your signature and contact information or not, as you like. Here it is in a convenient pdf, along with a less subtle version. (via Boing)

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  1. Posted 8/24/2007 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, my Dad actually complained when Sam’s Club stopped checking receipts at the door for a while. Seems that more than once the receipt to item comparison turned up the fact that he’d been overcharged, so ended up saving him money.

    I’m not saying that what TigerDirect did after the customer refused was right (far from it), but just pointing out there are people who do prefer to have their receipts checked.

  2. Shill
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    At Costco the receipt checking is done in a really half assed way. They just kind of peruse over it, look in the basket, and say ok. I could have hidden something expensive in there, or even slipped something in my pants. O well.

  3. Chris
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    In all fairness while shopping in Home Depot before I’ve seen a fellow casually stroll towards the door lugging expensive tools and when called after to verify that he’d purchase them, make a dash for his van which he’d conveniently parked in the fire lane by th exit. While checking EVERY person may seem unfriendly, from a business perspective it’s certainly safer, in our ridiculously litigious society, than leaving the decision of who to search up to the discretion of the security guard who’s sure to eventually get accused of singling someone out to be checked based on a perceived bias, no?

  4. Posted 8/24/2007 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with Costco doing it, to be honest. And the half-assery isn’t so much to keep people from stealing little things. It’s to keep the expensive items from riding out on a cart, or to prevent you from stealing 100 items when you only have two things on a receipt.

    As for a store like Fry’s, I’m not as comfortable. On the one hand, they do point out that they will ask at the door to see the receipt (which I’m not sure TigerDirect does, never having been there), but on the other hand, there is the whole ‘criminal’ aspect.

    As for a store like Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, etc, where there is no posted policy like this.. yeah, I don’t think so.

  5. martyh
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Beware of Costco, however. It is a *membership* store and if you refuse to allow your receipt to be checked, the management has the right to discontinue your membership — like, immediately, and confiscate your membership card! I have actually seen this happen! And you are correct, in that the perusal of one’s receipt at Costco is indeed half-ass. The PR says that they do an item and price check of each receipt in order to protect the employee, but when you see the staff peruse a receipt in literally a few seconds for dozens of items totaling nearly $200 — there is obviously no way an item/price check is being done.

  6. Posted 8/24/2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    with you giving the money at the cashier the purchase is complete. The stuff is yours and nobody has the right to ask to look in your bag, so yes, it’s illegal search (true, except costco and other membership stores.

    Posted 8/24/2007 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    The costco receipt check is to certify that you left the store with the items you bought. It prevents you from buying a bunch of shit, loading it into your car, walking right back into the store and loading up the same shit, and walking out with it all for a second/third/fourth time.

  8. maving the martian
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Something that’s always struck me as ridiculous about this practice is the proximity of the “checker” to the cash register you just left. It seems reasonable that if you were trying to pilfer something that the person at the register should have noticed. What changes between the register where they hand you the receipt and the exit 15 feet away?

  9. BAP
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    The true reason for checking receipts is not to detect shop lifting per-se, but to detect if a cashier is in cahoots with a customer and deliberately failing to ring up some expensive items. Spot checking for this will catch it reasonably quickly. It is the same reason movie theaters have one person sell you the ticket, and another check the ticket.

    It is hard to see how any other system could accomplish this.

  10. alex
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    BAP: That makes a lot of sense–or would if checkers every really checked :). And I recognize that shrinkage is reflected in the price I pay.

    OTOH, I think there is a system that can accomplish this to a certain degree. Paying checkers well, retaining them, and instilling a sense of pride in their work is one possibility. I know that sounds hopelessly idealistic, but I suspect that companies with high employee satisfaction (e.g., the Wegman’s supermarket chain) have less of a problem with shrinkage. Hiring practices can help here too.

    But in the end, I’m willing to pay a little more not to be treated with disrespect. There is a reason Target is holding its own against Walmart in particular market sectors. Somehow a lot of stores get by just fine without checking your receipt at the door. Never had this happen at Tiffany’s or Saks, or–for that matter–at DSW (discount shoes) or Apple stores. In other words, it’s a choice some shops are making, and I refuse to help them make it. If others are willing to accept the intrusion, fine. But particularly since anyone who is in cahoots with a checker is likely to do exactly what I do, and just walk right through, I would be surprised if the practice nabs many would-be thieves.

    Posted 8/24/2007 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, stores like Costco and virtually every other retailer will have a variety of undercover security measures that will certainly catch thieves. I know this because my dad was busted stealing a flash drive from Costco by their undercover operations (don’t ask, I don’t know why, he was just in a mid-life crisis I guess) . The door checking serves no legit purpose other than to intimidate customers consciences, you know the ones who think they can add an unpaid DVD player onto a cart with a bunch of other stuff. It is a psychological measure and should be stopped. The cameras and undercover “shoppers” should catch most of the lifters as long as the company keeps the staffing levels at what they need, which they probably don’t to cut costs.

  12. crayonbeam
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like having my receipts checked – ie I don’t like being treated like a potential criminal – however I also really don’t like having the cost of the products I buy reflect the fact that other people do steal. So if this actually helped maintain costs, then I’d be okay with ith.

  13. crayonbeam
    Posted 8/24/2007 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just about security. One time at Costco, the reciept-checker noticed that I’d been charged twice for an item.

  14. AG
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Many of the commenters at Consumerist said, “What’s the big deal? Just show the receipt. It’s easier in the end.” I agree. Also, commenters here have mentioned that one could possibly still shoplift regardless of receipt checking. Therefore, I think the only reasonable strategy is for these stores to begin implementing strip searches upon exit. Alternately, customers could opt to change into hospital gowns upon entering the store, checking clothing and bags (except credit cards, of course). Potential theft of intellectual property is also possible at many stores. I suggest only allowing customers to see the inside of books after they have paid for them lest some unscrupulous pirate with an eidetic memory chose to put books on the internet. Furthermore, children could cause millions of damage in stores while purchasing nothing. Stores are perfectly within their rights to detain these freeloaders in holding cells in the entrance/exit area of the stores. Finally, since employees account for a significant percentage of stolen inventory, I suggest store begin handcuffing them to the registers until such a time as they may be cavity searched before release. If these simple policies are implemented we can save major retailers some money – and they will pass the savings on to middle management, who will hopefully reduce prices somewhat in their afternoon stupors, drunken from supplier luncheons.

    Look, it’s simple: less than a fraction of one percent of customers are criminals, but one hundred percent are potential criminals. Frankly, we’d all be a lot safer if we were all just put in jail preemptively. It would save the trouble of tapping our phones and reading our boring emails, and we could finally say that there were no longer any criminals getting away with something. Besides, the principle of original sin works for law, too – we all probably deserve to go to jail for something, why bother trying to sort out the details of what, when, where, why, and how.

  15. Posted 8/25/2007 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    It’s all well and good to say that the bag checkers are preventing loss, and therefore reducing cost to consumers… but how much do the companies spend on the security guards? Where do you think they are getting the money do pay them? You also have to take into consideration (at least in Australia anyway) the countries illegal imprisonment laws. Here, you cannot be detained by anyone except a police officer, and even then, only when formally charged.

  16. Posted 8/25/2007 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    What if the thief, checker and receipt checker are in cahoots?

    I think we need another receipt checker to check your receipt after the first one checks. You know, to keep everyone honest.

    I agree with AG above. Strip searches is a good idea too. Like crayonbeam said … whatever keeps the cost down. That’s really what is most important.

  17. Semna
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I really don’t see what the big deal is with receipt-checking. Just show the damn thing and be done with it.

    If you don’t want to be treated like a criminal, don’t act as though the store is treating you like one.

  18. Sol
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Fun pdf. Costco doesn’t use shopping bags, which is a net plus. I always thought that was why they did the checking, b/c there is no visual evidence that the customer/member paid.

  19. Roger Kovaciny
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    A truly innovative store would have you walk over a scale on the way in and on the way out. If youhad mysteriously gained three pounds inside the store, and it didn’t have a restaurant…

  20. Gary
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    An additional reason for the receipt check is to foil the people who buy the stuff, then go back into the store and pick up the same items and take them to the returns desk to tuen in for cash, so that they get their purchases for free,

    That’s why the checkers make a mark—to show that the purchased items and receipt have actually been taken out of the store.

  21. Posted 8/25/2007 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve refused to show my receipt for years now. I consider it more than a waste of time, but a brief, but unlawful detainment of me and my merchandise – which at the time of the receipt check is not my personal property. I’ve been chased, yelled at, and come pretty close to calling the actual police as store staff has half assedly tried to illegally detain me.

    I have a Costco membership, and I let them check my receipt there. It is part of my contract with Costco, and they can and will confiscate memberships on-site for failure to comply. It’s still a stupid policy, but at least Costco’s operation is above board and doesn’t involve security staff engaging in illegal detainments or various kinds of verbal harassments.

    BAP is correct and gets at a key point of retail operations – most theft is done by employees, either directly, or in collusion with outside parties. The receipt check can address one type of employee theft, but it’s a bad policy, as it alienates and annoys hundreds of legit customers for every individual that it catches, and since the search is not a legally enforceable one, anyone with brains engaging in a register scam would just walk out anyways. If receipt checks were a bucket, it would be a bucket with massive hole in it.

  22. Mike
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I refuse to show a receipt at Fry’s and have yet to catch any flack. I walked out with a TV (I purchased, thankyouverymuch) and politely refused to produce my receipt.

    CompUSA hasn’t checked receipts in my town (Austin, TX) for years. There was a huge discussion on one of the local newgroups about their receipt-checking policy and people were vowing never to shop there again. Someone in the group contacted CompUSA’s hedquarters and forwarded the Dejanews URL so they could see what they were doing.

    I thought it quite humorous when one of CompUSA’s “guards” followed me into the parking lot demanding to see my receipt. I didn’t find it humorous when they started using off-duty cops who were still in uniform. It was shortly after this that CompUSA dropped it.

    WalMart has started checking receipts too. I simply smile and say no. They smile and tell me to have a nice day.

  23. Mike
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Having worked in retail management for a number of years, the stores are just as concerned about a cashier doing the inside job by checking out a buddy and “missing” the ring-up of items.

    It is mind boggling the number of tricks employees and non-employees will try to beat the system – especially when more than one person is involved.

    Sure, it’s an inconvenience, but this is what they do – and it’s not necessarily all about you.

  24. Gary
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I really think you could find something more important to worry about. I’m willing to spent a few seconds to show my receipt if it could possibly reduce the amount of product that walks out of the store without being paid for. Most every policy and procedure you come in contact with today is an example of the masses paying a price, monetary or otherwise, for the few who can’t seem to follow the rules. Other methods could be used to ensure that you’ve paid for the merchandise in your cart but they would a) probably raise the cost of the merchandise, and b) probably piss you off just as badly for some reason or another. Get over it.

  25. Trevor
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    You’re a bitter guy. Dude. Realize that your personal ego is not the top priority of a multi-million dollar business, when 99% of the other people don’t care a whit about showing their receipt. Businesses have long had the common law or statutory right to temporarily detain people who they suspect may be stealing something. This is a matter of judgment, and they may cross the line sometimes, but simply asking to show the receipt is not an onerous request, in my opinion. If you value the store, you should value their reasonable attempts to prevent theft. Ultimately, if you like it, go, if not, don’t. Vote with your wallet.

  26. Chainsaw
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I really DON’T understand the arguments of people who say “well, I personally find the offense outweighed by hypothetical economic benefits, so YOU SHOULD TOO. As AG so effectively (and accurately) pointed out, if you continue following the track of what’s “easier”, you inevitably conclude that fascism and slavery are “easier”.

    I am not particularly concerned with the saving or not saving of a few pennies (or a few dollars on a thousand-dollar sale). I am not particularly concerned with “easier”. I am concerned with WRONG, and my right to go through life not being obligated to do WRONG things all the time just because it’s “easier” for someone whose interest may be diametrically opposed to my interests anyways.

    It’s also striking how the pro-business arguers will simply MAKE STUFF UP, like Ronald Reagan, to help make their point (yes, this means you, Trevor).

    My own approach is to NOT KEEP THE RECEIPT (my bankers and creditors keep perfectly good records for my purposes), so when they ask, no, I do not have a reciept, it’s in the checker’s garbage bag.

    If you’re so incompetent a shopper that you let them check your receipt in order to find mischarges, you really ought to have your legal guardian do your shopping anyway (and if you don’t have a legal guardian, you ought to get one).

    In general, if corporations could just figure out the simple principle “punish wrongdoers, NOT the innocent”, they they would make more money, have better reputations, and probably get more public support for policies that are actually necessary.

  27. Chainsaw
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Per the Costco policy, it’s really aimed more at ensuring that employees ring everything up, than it is at customers trying to slip stuff by. They’re more concerned with theft involving a colluding employee than anything else.
    If RFID is ever fully deployed it will help with this sort of thing a lot.
    As per Home Depot/ Best Buy etc. doing it, I haven’t encountered it in Colorado but I would summarily refuse. I’ve walked directly from a check out counter to the door, you could see me the whole time, if you think your employees are stealing then that’s your problem not mine.

  28. Rob
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I just show the receipt. Sure, it’s just another way of telling you that you could be a thief, just like having to show your ID with your credit card, or having to pay with cash instead of an I.O.U. It’s not like they’re calling you names and kicking your ass when you leave. That really would make me not shop there again!

  29. Gerard van Schip
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Of course it is much easier to just play along…. Just like it is easier to give in to the bully in school because that is what this is!

  30. alex
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Trevor: Not bitter at all. And yes, if you think it is egotistical to spend my time the way I choose to, rather than give it to the store for free, yes, I am egotistical. Maybe you don’t value your time in the same way.

    For those of you who choose to show your receipt, go for it! I certainly won’t stand in your way. If that’s how you want to spend your time, who am I to stop you? You can also volunteer to mop the floors if you like–I really don’t care.

    I choose not to. It really isn’t a huge deal, I just don’t see any reason to comply with an asinine request.

    If you want to queue up to show the guard you haven’t stolen anything, far be it from me to stop you. I’ll be walking past you and spending my time the way I want to, not the way the store wants me to.

  31. Mike
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I (baa) have never (baa baa) been (baa) bothered by (baa baa) showing my receipts and (baa) think it’s funny (baa baa baa) that you do.

  32. Olaf McOlaf
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow, do they really do that in the US? How backward! Here, they have checkouts where you never have anyone look at your stuff at all – you just scan it all yourself, pay the money, and leave. Big saving in staff wages, big saving in queue length.

    But if some people like the checking thing, you know what would be cool?

    A shop that offered clearly-optional receipt checking with a guarantee: you get store points for doing it, and if we overcharged you, we’ll refund; if we undercharged you, you keep the money; and either way the checkout girl won’t be out of pocket or punished, other than possibly being asked to do retraining (at the same wage).

    This would be particularly cool for the automated-checkout systems you have here, where sometimes you disagree with the computer, but can’t argue with it.

    With this optional-only system, the store’s inventory system stays more accurate; they get to identify staff who need retraining; they get happy customers; they save on wages of the checkers, as they need fewer; and they identify by loyalty card those customers who always tend to be a certain amount over, and can display a warning to the cashier to watch out for them walking out with a magazine in their back pocket. They don’t identify or discourage collusion-thieves, but then the existing scheme doesn’t either as you can just walk on by anyway, or collude with the checker.

  33. smqt
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    As a European I’m a bit surprised to hear about receipt-checking like this.
    If a store where I live would want to do something like that, they would ALWAYS post their terms.
    Also, I have never encountered something so… systematical myself.

    Based on media and the podcasts I listen to, it’s my impressions that the US has become rather used to things like receipt-checking and preemptive searches.
    And more generally I think the US is gaining a reputation for accepting such practices.

    Over here something like receipt-checking would immediately generate a wide public discussion about personal liberties, and the dangers of giving up on them. I recognize that these discussions also take place in the US, but I’m not sure that US citizen’s know how used they may have already become to such means.
    Just saying: this is NOT common or acceptable practice internationally.

  34. Jim
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    “A truly innovative store would have you walk over a scale on the way in and on the way out. If youhad mysteriously gained three pounds inside the store, and it didn’t have a restaurant…”

    And it didn’t have a bathroom.

  35. Steve
    Posted 8/25/2007 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    “It is part of my contract with Costco, and they can and will confiscate memberships on-site for failure to comply.”

    Uh, exactly how are they going to get the membership card out of my wallet, which is in my pants pocket? If they thought I was rude for refusing to show a receipt, they’re really in for a surprise if they try to physically take my membership card from me.

    Also, if this is to keep the Costco checkout folks honest, why don’t they have anyone asking for a receipt at their liquor store where you’ve just paid and are rolling out hundreds of dollars worth of booze?

  36. Hal
    Posted 8/26/2007 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    I have mixed opinions about the receipt checking. I do it at Costco because, well, my membership requires compliance. One time at Costco, the cashier failed to ring me up for a few relatively inexpensive items, the receipt checker caught it, and required me to go back through the checkout line to pay for it. Fair enough, that’s the point of the system, but I felt unfairly penalized for a mistake that the cashier made. It’s not really fair for the store to eat the cost of my box of paper towels either, but some concessions should have been made.

    My biggest issue comes from Home Depot. One time, I checked out with a few items, and in between me finishing my transaction and heading for the door, I lost the receipt. It wasn’t in the bag, I didn’t leave it at the register, it was just… gone. I probably dropped it and it fell under the checkout stand, I don’t know. The security guard would not. let. me. out. He required that I go to customer service and get a receipt. (this was before I knew my rights) But fair enough, if I’d wanted to return something, it’d be helpful. So I wait in line at customer service, they take 10 minutes and two managers to look up my receipt by my credit card (apparently this isn’t easy to do), and it gets printed out. Across the store in the manager’s office. On an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. So, they go get it, I go back to the exit, and the security guard says “this don’t look like any receipt I ever seen!”. He follows me back to the manager’s office, where the manager confirms that yes, it is real, and that it was just printed. Total waste of over 45 minutes of my time. Completely avoidable by “no thanks.”

    And that’s my two cents.

  37. Seth
    Posted 8/26/2007 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    On a way out of town for a 2 day trip we realized our car CD player was on the fritz, so we stopped in Best Buy for a $12 CD player with a cassette-emulator-thingie. As we left I wouldn’t let them see my receipt (I never do). I had three extra security guards show up and I was told that I had been photographed and that I couldn’t shop at the Best Buy anymore.

    Imagine how I would have felt if I’d ever actually *wanted* to shop at Best Buy :-)

    I also get the “if we don’t mark your receipt you can’t use it for refunds” line (mostly from CompEvil). I guess I’d have to buy my own red highlighter or something to get around.

    At CostCo, though, I figure it’s part of the deal I made when I joined, so I put up with it. Oddly, they often just wave me by.

  38. Turd Blossom
    Posted 8/26/2007 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    God almighty — What is it with you people who are so willing to about your fighting to withhold a stinking receipt? I’m sure you’re all anxious to get out of Best Buy so you can go down to the Army depot and sign up to go to Iraq and fight for some actual real friggin’ freedom fighting, since you’re obviously the biggest friggin’ patriots this country has seen since Nathan Hale.

  39. armenia
    Posted 8/26/2007 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Just seems to me like more of the frog in the pot treatment. A tiny little thing, showing your reciept on the way out
    of a store, just a slight humilation, one more in a number of slight humiliations (for your own good!) that have been
    heaped upon Americans since 9/11. Soon, people will take the practice for granted so much that we will wake up one
    day and find out it has become a law and if you break it there will be serious consequences (for your own good!)

    At that very point they will turn the heat up yet another degree.

  40. Alli
    Posted 8/26/2007 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    By the time I reach the door, I have already put my credit card receipt away in my wallet so I don’t lose it. Why should I have to go digging thru my bag, and then wallet for my receipt, to show it to someone who doesn’t really check anyway? And then reverse the procedure and hope I don’t lose the receipt while my 2 1/2 yr old starts demanding my attention by chucking my new purchases onto the floor? Tis why I shop at Target. Although now that I understand it is not illegal to refuse, I may return to WallyMart.

  41. AndroidOwl
    Posted 8/27/2007 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Personally, I feel I have larger things to worry about.

  42. Ricky
    Posted 8/27/2007 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    >I can’t in good conscious order from them any more

    I can’t in good conscience allow your malapropism to slide…

  43. alex
    Posted 8/27/2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Ricky: Fixed. Won’t be the last :). Spellcheck is not always my friend.

  44. Geo
    Posted 8/27/2007 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Every time I leave Fry’s I am amazed at the line of people waiting to have their receipt checked and marked with a felt pen.

    I always walk right on by and not once has the security person so much as caught my eye.

    Seems a total waste of everyone’s time.

  45. no plunder
    Posted 8/28/2007 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m a pretty big privacy advocate and showing my receipt doesn’t bother me at all. Guess we all have different hangups. Fry’s Electronics has been checking my receipts for years so I guess I’m inured. Now if they wanted to PAT ME DOWN that would be different.

    They do a crappy job of checking the receipt too, they glance inside your bag and wave you on. They really only care if they see you walking out with a big tv or a computer. The funny thing is that you could have something equally valuable in your pocket, since electronics are so small these days.

  46. Zach
    Posted 9/2/2007 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    How much do you want to bet that the name-calling retards, telling you to just be a good boy and show your receipt, are the same people who drive around with giant pictures of flags and bald eagles on the back windows of their pickup trucks? You know, the ones who spout words like “freedom” and “patriot”? But ironically, they are the ones who cannot tolerate freedom. They gladly submit to authority at every opportunity. They act and think only as they are instructed by their party or their priest. By standing up for your rights as outlined by the law, you are fighting for Freedom. By standing up for your rights as outlined by the Constitution, you are the Patriot. The boneheads who claim those words as their own probably do so to hide their shame for not living by the principles behind the words.

  47. CABridges
    Posted 9/2/2007 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I guess I’ve worked retail too long. After you see the amazing number and variety of people who do shoplift — friendly old folks, off-duty cops, a beloved local pediatrician, as well as lots of kids and career criminals — you start thinking that checking receipts isn’t so bad. Better than following each and every customer around the store and watching over their shoulders to make sure they don’t pocket anything.

    Best Buy has a big scanner by the front door and a loss prevention agent right next to it. Week before last I stopped by when they opened to buy a Serenity DVD and was at the register when a guy walked casually by, through the scanner, which went off. He was holding a Playstation 3. Now, this is literally three feet away from me and the cashier, another couple feet away from the guard. The man had waited until the cashier was ringing my order and the guard looked to the side before strolling right through. The cashier looked up at the scanner beeping, yelled, and the guy took off. Got away, although they did get his license plate. I suppose using his license plate to track him is a violation of his rights, somehow.

    What got me was not the sheer nerve of the man, but what the cashier yelled. “Hey! That’s the guy that stole the XBox!”

    One guy got at least $600 of merchandise in a week. I’d hate to see what their actual loss is per month. But management can do the math. They wouldn’t be paying for the extra guards and security if it wasn’t ultimately cheaper than writing off losses every month. The store isn’t after your liberties. They’re trying to keep their costs down.

    Tell me, when you shop at Home Depot to buy a $40 drill bit, do you get offended when the salesman has to remove it from a case and take it to a register for you? Or do you assume he’s just tired of people stealing them?

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