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  #1  
Old 10-25-2008, 09:55 PM
hobscrk777 hobscrk777 is offline
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I Walked Out of a Grocery Store Without Paying..But Then I Turned Around

I was at a grocery store tonight and there was only one active register, which was quite backed up. I decided that I'd go to the self check-out line even though I had a fair number of things to scan. I scanned about 10 items, and then the machine informed me that an employee had been contacted. I think it's because all my groceries were backing up at the end of the conveyor belt. I saw someone come over to start scanning my items, so I started bagging them so I could get the F out of the store (I always feel like I lose a lot of time in grocery stores). As the employee scanned the last of my items, I had everything bagged and right at hand, so I (without thinking about it) just walked right out of the store. What follows was my series of thoughts.

Walking through the parking lot to the car: "Holy shit. Did I pay? I must have paid, right? Right? Oh shit, I don't think I paid."

Putting the groceries in the trunk and getting in the car: "You, sir, just made off with a week's worth of groceries like a smooth criminal."

Driving through the parking lot: "Did that store have any security cameras by the register? I can't remember. But they must have - what kind of store doesn't have security cameras?"

Pulling into the street: "Oh shit...what if their security cameras saw me? Even if they didn't get a clear shot of my face, they would be able to see my height and weight and have a general profile."

Coming up to speed on the road: "Shit, what if they did get a good look at me. Surely someone in the store would recognize me. What if I can't go back to that store ever again!! ...Is that a police siren [it was dark at this time]??"

Cruising away from the store: "Christ, what if the news has a story on a local grocery thief tonight? You'd better turn around. No! You made it off, just shop at another store for a few weeks. Dammit! I'm not going to lay low because of a grocery store! Turn around! Keep going! Back!! Forward!! GO BACK!!!"

And then I turned around and went back to the store. Oddly, when I walked back into the store, the register at the self-checkout line was still awaiting my payment, and no one seemed to be panicking or making police reports or otherwise acting as if anything was out of the ordinary.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2008, 10:40 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Many years ago I did something similar but weirder.

This was about 1970. At the time I was about 17 and earning $44 a week working as a labourer on a building site during the school holidays. We were the highest paid labourers in the industry. A packet of cigarettes cost 40 cents, I think a beer was only 30. I was paid in cash.

A friend and I went out on Friday night. We were going to the pub so I grabbed a $20 bill and off we went. He wanted to stop at a shop to look for a shirt. Nearby in the store was the tobacco counter and I went and purchased a packet of cigarettes. The shop assistant gave me $4.60 in change.

I said, "Excuse me, you've given me the wrong change. I gave you a $20."

She apologised and went back to the till, then came back to me and said, "No that is the right change. You gave me a $5."

I insisted that I hadn't had a $5 to give her and that she owed me $15. We argued back and forth for a bit and she said she would have to call the manager. I said that was OK I would wait.

The manager came and she stood at the till and recounted the story to him and showed him the contents of the till. He then approached me and asked why I was so sure I had paid with a $20.

"Because that is all I had in my pocket. Just one note," I replied.

They went back to the till and conferred and the shop assistant walked over and reluctantly gave me $15. I thanked her and left.

Now all this had taken several minutes and my friend had observed it all while looking through the shirts.

As we walked out he said, "Amazing."

I agreed that the shop assistant's stupidity was amazing, "Lucky I only had that $20 when I left the house otherwise I would have had to let her get away with it."

He replied, "Yeah you did only have that $20 'til we went to the garage and you bought petrol."

Instantly I realized he was right. I had put a few dollars worth of petrol in the car and got over $15 in change. I had given the shop assistant the $5 for my cigarettes. When I pulled the money out of my pocket I had over $30 despite having spent some. I contemplated going back to return it but I was simply too embarrassed which is odd because I reflexively correct errors in my favour when given change and give the extra back.

My friend had watched the whole thing thinking that it was some elaborate con that I was pulling which is why he didn't stop looking at shirts. He had been marvelling at my sublime acting skills, at how convincing I was.

Afterwards I couldn't work out how the manager had justified giving me the money. If there had been no $20 in the till, and I assume there wasn't, why didn't he ask me to check my pockets? Had he done that I would have found the other money, apologized for my stupidity, made a joke and got out of there.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2008, 01:02 AM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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hobscrk777, hilarious story. I'm glad you weren't pulled over to the dark side. . . especially for that small a sum.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:08 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Presumably we should be doing these types of things because they're correct and moral, not because we might get caught: no?
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:12 AM
phil417 phil417 is offline
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Please keep the stories coming. I'm learning to run a cash register at Wally world. So your stories are for the education/edification of another doper. Any other good ones?

Love, Phil
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:15 AM
Fugazi Fugazi is offline
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About a year ago I was loading my groceries into the car when I discovered 1 unpaid for item I'd left in the basket. There was zero chance of me getting caught. I took it back into the store and paid for it. Don't remember what it was, but it was only a buck or 2. The damage it would have done to my own morals wasn't worth a buck or 2.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:14 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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I once bought groceries, paid for them, and was loading them into my car when I realized that I had not paid for the case of pop on the shelf underneath the cart.

So I took my cash register receipt with me, went back inside the store, and told the checker that my case of pop hadn't been rung up on the receipt and I needed to pay for it. She told me OK, just go back in the store and get a case, and then go out through her line here. I said no, I didn't want to do that, I already had the pop. So she said oh, you don't want to go back, OK, and called over a stockboy and sent him back to bring a case of pop up for me!

So again I explained to her that I already had the pop, I just wanted to pay for it. And explained it to the stockboy, who was now back with a case of pop that he was trying to give to me. Finally, I just put a $5 bill down on the counter and walked out to my car. Being followed by the stockboy, who was still trying to give me the case of pop. I have no idea if that $5 was ever rung up, or just went into somebody's pocket.

To be fair, the store was real busy, and that checker was trying to keep ringing up customers during this. And neither she nor the stockboy spoke English as their first language -- they each spoke different languages, and I know only English.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:37 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I had the exact experience of don't ask except that I had just been to the ATM and I did only have twenties. And the clerk rang up my $8 purchase, put in $20, and then changed her mind and decided I'd only given her a ten.

I protested. She stood firm. Then she said in order to give me money back she'd have to call the manager. I said to call the manager.

The manager said they'd have to count the till and it would take awhile. I said count it.

It took 45 minutes, during which I stood there making all sorts of snide comments to other customers ("Paying by check? That's a good idea!")

In the end she was way more than $10 over the amount that should have been in the till, I got my money, and wasted my entire lunch hour.

When I worked in retail--at somewhat higher end stores--we were told in such a dispute with the customer to just give them the change they thought they should have gotten. It only ever happened to me once, and I'm pretty sure the customer was right and I had miscounted.

But, as far as owning up to unintentional dishonesty, I've given up on it. Too many times the clerk in question just looks at me like I'm the stupidest person in the world to have come back. Or, once I paid with a leftover traveler's check. I was pretty sure it was a $20 traveler's check, but I got change for $50. Since I don't pay a lot of attention I was stuffing it into my purse and then I started thinking, Gee, this is a lot of cash--what is all this? So I said something to the clerk, and she basically shooed me away so she could take the next person in line.

Before leaving the store I saw something else and was looking at it, and after a couple of minutes the clerk called me back over. She got very sniffy when she told me I was right, it had been $20. She very grudgingly took the extra change back. She made a point of saying that if I'd walked right out of her store like a sane person I'd have gotten away with it. Her whole demeanor said that obviously I was very, very stupid. So then I did walk out of her store, and I never went back.

That pretty much seemed to be the general rule when I was undercharged or overpaid with change.

These days those things don't happen because I generally pay with a check card, but if they did, whether I went back and did the right thing would depend on how easy it was. If it was really easy and just a matter of handing back money, I'd do it. If I had to go out of my way--say, get into the car and drive back to the store--then, no.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2008, 07:33 AM
Cyberhwk Cyberhwk is offline
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More (unintentional) grocery store hijinks.

So I'm making dinner for a good friend of mine in college, so we both went to the store to pick up some stuff. The lady in front of us had forgot something in the car so her bill was put on hold until she went out to the car. So we go through the line, get all our stuff and get back to her place.

So I get all my stuff ready and start cooking food. Then she says, "What should I do with your 7up."

"Uhhhhhh...no that's your 7up."

"No, I didn't get 7up."

"Well neither did I."

We look in the bag and it was full of items we didn't pay for. The checker had bagged the lady's stuff and when she went to her car, he just put our plastic bag right next to her's. We just cleared the thing of bags (assuming they were all ours) and took off. We still laught about "stealing the lady's groceries."
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2008, 07:46 AM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is online now
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A little trick my mom taught me that I use on the rare occasions I use cash: I name the amount of cash I'm handing over. So if the clerk says "$13.47" I may say "Out of $20" as I hand the bill over. It's an easy way to avoid a possible problem.
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2008, 08:05 AM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
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We generally get all our fruit and veg, plus a few other things like eggs, from the Market (I believe the American for this is "farmers market") in the city - big open air sheds with stalls for all the various stuff.

So I'm getting eggs from the Egg Place down one end - I think the Small Girl was about 3 at the time and the Smaller Girl maybe just one - at any rate, she was riding on my back. We grabbed a carton and filled it up, which is what you do, paid for the eggs, stuffed them in our basket and continued on.

Quite a number of stalls later, I realise (somehow) that the Smaller Girl is fascinatedly investigating an egg. Oops! How the hell did she manage to get that out of the shopping cart way down there?...oh, wait a minute...

So anyway, I'm still not sure at which point Shoplifting Baby managed to reach down and grab an extra egg out of the big basket we were filling our carton from, but we did go back to the Egg Place and make her give it back. I'm just glad she didn't get bored with it and drop it!
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:05 AM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
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A few years ago, I found a bag of flour that I hadn't bought in with my groceries when I got home. I checked the receipt,just in case I had been charged for it. When I found that I hadn't I took the flour back to the store a little later that afternoon. The clerk looked at me like I was crazy, but that's ok.
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2008, 08:21 AM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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It amazes me that people look at you like you're crazy when you're trying to be honest.

When I was about 16 I was dispatched to a local fast-food restaurant for a giant order; we had a house full of guests and this was the dinner decision. We lived in a sleepy little town with even sleepier workers at this joint, and it took forever to make up my order (something like 15 sandwiches of different type, fries, apple turnovers, etc.)

When everything was made up, the various sacks were shoved in my direction with a great big "thank you!" No one had asked me to pay, in all the giant-order-taking and making confusion. I of course told them and did pay.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:42 AM
Cheez_Whia Cheez_Whia is offline
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One thing I learned when I was a merchandiser for a beverage distributor and visited grocery stores as part of my job: if a food item is returned by a customer, it gets thrown away, not returned to the shelf, in case of tampering.
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2008, 08:42 AM
even sven even sven is online now
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In Cameroon I shopped at an old school open air weekly African market. The kind of place that has piles of vegetables, people in strange clothes, and haggling everywhere.

One day I was really excited to see carrots. We only got carrots a few weeks out of the year, and so they were a rare treat. I paid the guy, and then realized that I hadn't picked up my bag of carrots. So I grabbed the carrots and put them in my sack. The guy selling them gave me a funny look and we didn't speak the same language, so I pointed to the carrots, pointed to the bag, smiled broadly and went on my way. He kept looking at me funny and I just figured he wasn't expecting to see a foreigner at this backwoods market.

Of course, when I got home I discovered two bags of carrots in my purse. I'd picked up my carrots, before I paid and forgotten.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:46 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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An opposite tale:

Once. after getting off my graveyard shift job, I stopped at a McDonald's for something to eat. Paid at the first window, and then drove off without getting my food at the second window. Realized what I'd done halfway home. Luckily, they remembered me (and were having a good laugh at my expense - which I joined) when I came back for the food.
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  #17  
Old 10-26-2008, 08:49 AM
BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
A little trick my mom taught me that I use on the rare occasions I use cash: I name the amount of cash I'm handing over. So if the clerk says "$13.47" I may say "Out of $20" as I hand the bill over. It's an easy way to avoid a possible problem.
I feel like that's what the cashier's supposed to say. If nothing else, a store is stupid if they don't train their cashiers to put the given bill on top of the register or sideways on the drawer until the change is handed back. They should never be putting the customer's given money away until the change is handed back.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:52 AM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Funny, two days ago I had one of these experiences. While grocery shopping with my 8 month old, I was looking for a replacement battery for my Thermapen, which takes an odd battery size I'd never seen before. Luckily I found them, happily paid for them along with the rest of my groceries, and headed to my car.

As I was taking the baby out of her little fabric shopping cart seat cover, I found a package of AAAs that had ridden stealthily next to her thigh right out of the store. It's not what you think, though. Reconstructing events, I believe I had picked up that package thinking they looked similar to what I needed, and at that moment Claire had bitten off a piece of my grocery list, so I must have dropped the batteries right next to her as I went to sweep the paper out of her mouth - an attempt that was traumatic enough for both of us that I completely forgot I had had anything in my hand.

Given that Claire has a very narrow consciousness window, I didn't go back in right then, but the batteries are in my purse, to be put back on the rack when I shop next time.

I usually don't bother to point out small errors in my favor anymore, because every time I used to, the store would refuse to take my money, and it seemed like I was wasting people's time. Hence the decision in this case to just put the damn things back on my next visit.

Come to think of it, small children must be a great shoplifting tool. They're excellent distractions, and can easily make all employees in a mad rush to get you checked out. And in the event you get caught, you can blame the swipage on the kid (unless it's a VCR or something!)
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2008, 09:14 AM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
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I've told this story here before:

Once I stopped off at the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things, including a package of cheese; when the checker told me the total I thought it was a bit low, and asked her to double check that she'd rang up everything correctly (this was in the days before scanners, when everything had the price marked on it and the checker had to manually enter it). She looked at the receipt and the three or four items and insisted that the total was correct. I shrugged and paid. When I got home I looked at the receipt and realized that she had rung up the weight of the cheese instead of the price.
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  #20  
Old 10-26-2008, 11:09 AM
Susie Derkins Susie Derkins is offline
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Having lived in Tallahassee for years, I can safely say that with very few exceptions every fast food drive-through worker absolutely hates their job and hates your face because you chose to dine with their establishment.

So one day my mother went through the line at Wendy's and ordered a salad. When she got to the window an employee handed it to her and walked off, leaving my mom sitting there with her money in her hand. Mom sat there, looking in the window, waiting for her to come back. Finally the girl looked over at her and said to her co-worker, "Why the hell is she still sitting there?" So my mom thought to herself, "Yeah, why the hell am I still sitting here?" and drove off.

Probably would have been better to just ask for a manager, but I have seen so much bad behavior at this places (including my friend being called a bitch because she dared to sound a little testy after being asked to repeat her order for the third time) that I kind of don't blame her.

Last edited by Susie Derkins; 10-26-2008 at 11:10 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-26-2008, 12:43 PM
Athena Athena is online now
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I bought a couple office phones and an office chair at an office supply store about ten or fifteen years ago. Each item was between $60-$90, and I had several other lower priced items as well.

I don't recall the exact details, but I remember that the checker rung it up incorrectly. It was in my favor, but being the nice person I am, I pointed out her error. She looked it over, and said there was no error. I said "yes, there is, you charged me the wrong price for <item x>" or whatever it was that was wrong. It was a difference of about $50 if I remember correctly.

At that point, she started arguing with me. I didn't think it was worth it to argue with her, so I gladly took the items and left.
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  #22  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:37 PM
Jelly Roll Jelly Roll is offline
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I recently walked back into a baby store and tried to pay for something that had slipped under the baby carrier I had propped in my cart, but I coud not get the cahsier to help me, so I just turned around and walked out. I thought it was just me, but seems to just be the trend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post

Come to think of it, small children must be a great shoplifting tool. They're excellent distractions, and can easily make all employees in a mad rush to get you checked out. And in the event you get caught, you can blame the swipage on the kid (unless it's a VCR or something!)
You are correct. In high school I worked in a clothing store and I swear every other week we'd catch some "mom" walking out of the store with a mini-van sized stroller just loaded down with clothing in every nook and cranny (especially under the baby-they all loved hiding clothes under the baby). We always though it was kind of sick to use their children as accomplices.

When I managed a retail store in college I always tried to get the employees to place bills given to them on top of the till until the transaction was over (this also helps prevent falling for a short change scam) but my employees were usually high school girls who didn't give a crap if they were giving out correct change or not.
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  #23  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:09 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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We bought a couple items of furniture a few years ago. One was a mattress and boxspring set, and the other was a computer desk, which was 199$. The sales person hand-wrote the bill and put the desk price down as 99$. We didn't notice at the time, and didn't actually notice until about a month later, when we moved the bill/receipt from where we had put it to our file box. We figured it was their mistake, and if it was really a problem they would have contacted us, since they had that info for the furniture delivery. We figured it just came out of the guy's commission. We've since had some rather serious problems with that store and another purchase, for which we were never compensated, and so we just assume we've come out even!
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  #24  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:13 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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I've always wondered a bit at cashiers that are sure you're trying to scam them when you're telling them that you need to give them more money.

I once went into a convenience store to pick up a few small items, paid for them, and then indulged myself of one of their impulse purchase displays. I don't remember the exact sequence, but the cashier wound up giving me too much change back for the extra item. I tried to just give him the extra money back. Tried explaining the error and the math. Finally gave up and walked out with the parting comment, "You'll be three dollars short when you count your register down. Don't say I didn't tell you because I won't be here."
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  #25  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:31 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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[QUOTE=phil417;10361085]Please keep the stories coming. I'm learning to run a cash register at Wally world. So your stories are for the education/edification of another doper./QUOTE]It's been many years since I ran a cash register, but the best suggestion has already been mentioned: place the bill you were given on top of the ledge above the cash drawer, not inside the drawer with the other money. T

hen if there is any question about what the customer gave you, it's sitting right there, separate from the other cash. With all the other stuff going on, and so many customers one after another, it's real easy to get confused -- having their bill right there makes it easy to check that you are giving the right change. And also makes it easy to catch someone who tries to scam you.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:51 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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No money involved in this cashier story, but I, as the cashier, got the better deal.

I was working in a "big box" grocery store. We didn't have baggers, customers did it themselves. So a guy is in there, with a very young child. Said child is propped up in the back of the cart, in a cute little snowsuit. Suddenly, he leans forward and starts vomiting all down the front of the cute snowsuit. Poor dad doesn't know what he should do so I hand him a big wad of paper towels and volunteered to bag the groceries. As I said, I got the better deal!
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:08 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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I used to sell my handmade jewelry at outdoor festivals.

Last year I had a customer who bought an item; she paid with a $20, and I kept the bill out until I had given her her change, and then I put the bill away. (I'm very careful about that!)

While I was doing that, she decided she wanted another item, took out some more cash, and I made her change again, the same way.

At this point, while she was in her wallet putting the bills away, she claimed that she was short a $20, and she must have given me too much on the first sale, and she knew how much she started with because her husband had gone to the ATM and given her $X, yada yada yada.

I was certain that she was mistaken, but I offered to count my till to check. Fortunately it was early in the day and I hadn't had many sales yet, and sure enough the till came out correct (and I was careful to check for $20s stuck together). I apologized and told her there was nothing I could do, and that the time to dispute the first sale was at that time, but I was certain that she had given me the bill that she thought she hadn't. And that if I had found an error I would have been glad to give her the correct change, but my till was square.

She grumbled rather angrily and stomped off. I was a bit worried that she was going to come back with an angry husband (I was alone), but I never saw her again. And then I wondered if it was an attempted scam. I mean really, did she think I was there to make my money by ripping off my customers?
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  #28  
Old 10-26-2008, 11:02 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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We went to a rather large retailer looking for a dining room table. We were insistent that it be an item that was in stock, as we were having 25 people over for thanksgiving dinner which was about a month away.

They assured us that the table we had chosen was in stock and we opted for the delivery. They scheduled it a week out. Delivery day arrives, we get 6 chairs, no table. We call the store. No table in stock, they can have one to us in 2 weeks. Ok, that is cutting it close, but ok. I call two weeks later, no delivery, they say I cancelled the order. Nope, never did. Every day they assure me I will have a table the next day. The day before thanksgiving, we drive down there because our table is ready. We arrive, no table. They end up loaning us a table. Except we had to remove it from the showroom floor ourselves and load it into the truck. Three weeks later, they deliver my table and take back there table. A day or two later, I get a check in the mail for the amount of the table as a refund for my cancelled order. I call, they ask if I'll drive across town to bring them the check. Big Fat No. Pay the stinking fee for a stop payment, I've been on the phone with these people all day, every day for a damned month for an item that was supposed to be in stock.

Fast forward 8 years. I'm doing the found money thing on the internet. I have money due me from another large store. A store that bought one I used to work at. I'm guessing it is a lost paycheck somewhere back in the deep bowels of time. I get the check, deposit it gladly.

It was for the exact amount of the cost of my dining room table. The big store also bought the store I got my table from. I'm guessing in the balancing of the books, they saw that outstanding check dangling around 8 years.

It's a wonder my table doesn't keep food warmer. It's definitely hot.

And for the record, I ended up with a few small items when my daughter was stroller aged. Not intentionally, but invariably, the most distracted, spacey person around a baby is invariably the sleep deprived Mom.
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:32 PM
Sonnenstrahl Sonnenstrahl is offline
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I was also told to put the cash given on top of the register. I'd often forget, and at both the places where I worked retail, we were lucky if we made one sale every half hour, so I was constantly having to ring in no sales to put the money in the drawer and I probably made the managers suspicious. So that's the second piece of advice - don't close the drawer immediately after giving change!

I treated myself a few weeks ago and bought a little tub of blueberries - $4 but so good! The cashier pushed it through but it didn't beep or come up on the screen. There was even a girl bagging the groceries, not common, and she didn't notice either. Automatically I told them, and the bagger just pushed it back to the cashier and he scanned it. Neither said thank you or anything. I resented that - when I worked retail and someone caught a mistake like that, I always thanked them profusely for their honesty.
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2008, 10:45 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
It's been many years since I ran a cash register, but the best suggestion has already been mentioned: place the bill you were given on top of the ledge above the cash drawer, not inside the drawer with the other money. Then if there is any question about what the customer gave you, it's sitting right there, separate from the other cash. With all the other stuff going on, and so many customers one after another, it's real easy to get confused -- having their bill right there makes it easy to check that you are giving the right change. And also makes it easy to catch someone who tries to scam you.
That's how I was taught to do it when I worked box office at a movie theater. Of course, back then it was pretty primitive: I had a little chart in front of me with pre-calculated amounts for numbers of adult and child tickets, and I'd read that total off to the customer. When they paid, I'd set the bills aside, to my left, as I went into the cash drawer, also to my left. There was no register at the box office, and no "ringing up"; the drawer was always open, and could be locked with a key if I stepped away. After counting out their change, I'd wait until they actually left the window before putting the cash away and dealing with the next customer. In case you're wondering how we kept track of sales with no register: we manually logged the numbers on the start of each ticket roll each morning, and again in the evening, did the subtraction and multiplication, and thus knew how much money should have been in the drawer. Primitive, like I said.

Anyway, with a locking till, it would be a bit harder, I'd imagine; you'd have to leave the drawer open while you count the cash out for the customer, and practically turn your back on it, which seems kinda risky.
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  #31  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:35 AM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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When my daughter was younger, I would pick up a container of juice and a box of animal crackers to keep her occupied while I shopped in the market. One day she was finished and I threw the containers in a garbage bin in the middle of the store.

It wasn't until I got home did I realize that I didn't save the items to be scanned and paid for at check out.

Oops.
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  #32  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:39 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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This happen to us with a mirror we bought from Lowe's.

Bought mirror. Paid w/ credit card/

Got it home, discovered it was cracked. Not a huge break -- 2 or 3 months bad luck, tops -- but certainly not what we wanted. So we return the mirror and one other gizmo to the store, and get a replacement mirror and the amount of the gizmo credited on on the credit card. Get home, discover we have a new mirror and the refund on the credit card for cost of mirror AND cost of gizmo. So now we have a free mirror.

Back we go to the store. "There's a problem with this," I begin. "We exchanged a mirror and you refunded the price on my credit card."

"No problem," says the cashier. "Go get a new mirror and bring it up here."

"No, no. We already have the new mirror. We just never paid for it."

She examines the receipt. "Yes, sir, you did."

"Yes, and you refunded that money."

"Because you returned the mirror."

"Yes, we did. But we got another mirror."

"And you're returning that?"

"No! I...."

At this point I suggested to my wife that we should just stop protesting, because at this rate we could open our own mirror boutique with essentially free inventory in the span of a few short weeks, but she was not amused.

I ended up talking to the manager, who told us to not worry about it. This was a ~$100 mirror, but it was easier on her to not fix the problem.

So I went back, found the duplicate of our mirror, paid for it, and then left it in the cart just beyond the checkout line and walked away. I hoped that fixed everything.
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  #33  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:06 PM
tr0psn4j tr0psn4j is offline
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When I worked in retail--at somewhat higher end stores--we were told in such a dispute with the customer to just give them the change they thought they should have gotten. It only ever happened to me once, and I'm pretty sure the customer was right and I had miscounted.
I worked at a small store with a single regisiter. I was told to keep the larger bills outside of the register until I had given them their change. If they were to dispute it, the bill would be readily available. If everything went by fine, I'd put the bill inside the register.
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  #34  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:31 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by phil417 View Post
Please keep the stories coming. I'm learning to run a cash register at Wally world. So your stories are for the education/edification of another doper. Any other good ones?

Love, Phil
Years ago, I was shopping with my infant daughter - still in her carseat. I had set the carseat in the cart and put the few groceries I needed in the cart with her. Put 'em up on the conveyer, the cashier rang them up, and I paid.

When I went to load the bags of groceries in the car, I noticed a bottle of Pedialyte (the main reason for the trip) underneath the carseat. Not in a bag.

I checked the receipt. Nope, never paid for it.

I did go back and correct the situation of course.

A few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of spray cleaner, and 2 large laundry baskets, at the hardware store. Didn't pay too much attention to the total, just signed the credit card receipt. Stacked the baskets, plunked the cleaner in the basket, and headed home.

Got home, glanced at the receipt, went hmmmmm. Nope, 2 laundry baskets, no cleaner. I got a free bottle of cleaner!

Typo Knig had to go to the hardware store a few days later, so I had him sort it out, otherwise I'd have taken care of it the following weekend.
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  #35  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:31 PM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
A little trick my mom taught me that I use on the rare occasions I use cash: I name the amount of cash I'm handing over. So if the clerk says "$13.47" I may say "Out of $20" as I hand the bill over. It's an easy way to avoid a possible problem.
From the other side of the counter, I, as a cashier of some experience, ALWAYS announce how much money I am receiving. Someone asks for "$10 on pump 8," hand me a twenty, and I say, "Out of $20." They are often clearly not listening, and say, "No, TEN dollars." "Yes, OUT OF twenty, and ten is your change..." They're not used to people noting how much they pay with.

Joe
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  #36  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:36 PM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Originally Posted by lawoot View Post
An opposite tale:

Once. after getting off my graveyard shift job, I stopped at a McDonald's for something to eat. Paid at the first window, and then drove off without getting my food at the second window. Realized what I'd done halfway home. Luckily, they remembered me (and were having a good laugh at my expense - which I joined) when I came back for the food.
It happens fairly often that people pay me for gas, then drive off without pumping it. Usually, it's not a problem - I notice it before someone else pumps the gas. But if you're too late, you're SOL. I once had a lady give me a hundred, pump like $42.00, then drive away. She had been a regular customer, perhaps thrice weekly, but I NEVER saw her again, and worked for about 2 years after at the same store. Was she embarrassed, in prison, moved, what?

Personally, I can't imagine paying for gas and forgetting to pump, but that's just me...

Joe
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  #37  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:52 PM
Atrael Atrael is offline
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Originally Posted by phil417 View Post
Please keep the stories coming. I'm learning to run a cash register at Wally world. So your stories are for the education/edification of another doper. Any other good ones?

Love, Phil
Since you mentioned Wal Mart , I'll pass this little gem along. A few years ago my wife was pregnant with our first child. She was about 7 or 8 months along...definately at the 'huge' stage of the pregnancy, but still fairly mobile. She heads to Wal Mart one day on the weekend to do our shopping for the month. She's got this huge cart, filled with assorted items and goes through the self checkout...because Wal Mart is obviously unaware that people come to actually shop at their super stores. Anyway she gets done with it all, bagged and paid for and starts to walk out. The lady at the door stops her and asks to see the receipt and tells her "I just wanted to see if you were going to steal that ribbon or pay for it."

A $.70 roll of ribbon had fallen through the cracks and my wife didn't notice it...you know...being all huge and pregnant at the time and struggling to do the self-checkout thing. So this ladies first thought was that my wife bought over $200 worth of groceries and other items, but was trying to make off with the $.70 roll of ribbon?!?

She was almost in tears when she got home for being made to feel like she was a thief. Now I understand that stores have to keep an eye on customers. Especially as this store was located not that far away from a lower income neighborhood, but if you were watching close enough to see that the ribbon hadn't been scanned, why for the ever-lovin'-fuck didn't you figure that she just missed it and walk over and point it out to her during checkout? Rather than confront her like she's making off with a TV under her top instead of a baby?

I went back and raised hell with the manager about that. Really ticked me off.

So I guess the moral is to try and head off mis-understandings like that by pointing things out to the customers and assume they forgot, rather than assuming they meant to steal something.

Last edited by Atrael; 10-27-2008 at 01:53 PM..
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  #38  
Old 10-27-2008, 02:24 PM
Dead Cat Dead Cat is offline
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Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net
And also makes it easy to catch someone who tries to scam you.
I have one of these, which I believe I have recounted to the SDMB before...

Working as a cashier in a large supermarket. Man comes to till with just a cheap pack of butter. I ring it up, say "42 pence please" or whatever. The man starts searching pockets for change, I think it went something like:

"I'll pay with coins, and can you also change this £20 note?"

"Sure" [waits while customer fiddles with change]

"Actually, I don't have the change, I'll just pay with the £20"

"OK." [Takes £20 note, begins counting change.]

"Oh, actually, I do have the change. Put that back, give me the £20, then I'll pay with coins."

"OK, sure." [puts change back in register, hands customer £20 note, takes coins from customer] "And here's your receipt"

"Wait, what about the change for my £20?"

"No, I gave that back"

"No, you still owe me change for £20. I gave you £20."

[Customer is always right, OK, perhaps I did make a mistake, it's been a long day] "Oh yes, sorry. Here's a 10 and two 5s."

[Customer exits store speedily]

A couple of minutes later, I call my manager over.

"I think I was just conned out of £20"

"Oh no! We've just had a call from the store down the road where the same thing happened!"

Lesson: the customer is NOT always right. I didn't get in trouble for it.
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  #39  
Old 10-27-2008, 02:25 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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I would definitely go back and pay for unpaid-for items, but I did have a friend that forgot to pay for something and went back in to pay for it, only to be accused of being a repentant thief.
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  #40  
Old 10-27-2008, 02:58 PM
FallenAngel FallenAngel is offline
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I was at the grocery store this weekend and didn't notice a packet of tuna. It had gotten caught in the wires of the cart basket. The manager who was running the register filled my first (of two) bags. I loaded it into the cart and it knocked the tuna packet loose.

I reached in and picked it up. I went to hand it to him just as he hit the total button. I said, "Sorry. I didn't see the tuna pack in the cart."

He said, "It's 98 cents. Think of it as an honesty bonus."

Since he was the manager and not just a bored clerk who didn't want to retally something, I took it.
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  #41  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:01 PM
robby robby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I bought a couple office phones and an office chair at an office supply store about ten or fifteen years ago. Each item was between $60-$90, and I had several other lower priced items as well.

I don't recall the exact details, but I remember that the checker rung it up incorrectly. It was in my favor, but being the nice person I am, I pointed out her error. She looked it over, and said there was no error. I said "yes, there is, you charged me the wrong price for <item x>" or whatever it was that was wrong. It was a difference of about $50 if I remember correctly.

At that point, she started arguing with me. I didn't think it was worth it to argue with her, so I gladly took the items and left.
My wife and I once got a very nice artificial Christmas tree during the after-Christmas sales, because we were getting sick of the headaches associated with real trees (sap, needles, watering, etc.).

It was a 50% off sale, and we were buying the the display model with price tag of $160. The saleslady scanned it in, and it came up $80. She then started trying to figure out how to apply the 50% off. "That is the 50% off price," we repeatedly told her, but she replied, "No, it's supposed to be 50% off of the $80." After several rounds of arguing with her, she finally figured out how to charge us for just $40. We got tired of arguing with her, paid the $40, and left.
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  #42  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:11 PM
robby robby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
...I ended up talking to the manager, who told us to not worry about it. This was a ~$100 mirror, but it was easier on her to not fix the problem.

So I went back, found the duplicate of our mirror, paid for it, and then left it in the cart just beyond the checkout line and walked away. I hoped that fixed everything.
You win the thread for honesty. My hat is off to you.
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  #43  
Old 10-27-2008, 07:57 PM
Rack-a-Bones Rack-a-Bones is offline
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
...snip
Lesson: the customer is NOT always right. I didn't get in trouble for it.
Sign at the pub where my roomate works: The customer may always be right, but the bartender decides who is still a customer.

Along these lines I've found that about 1/2 the time I get a bar tab or restaurant tab the total is wrong and never in my favor.

Last edited by Rack-a-Bones; 10-27-2008 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: spelling
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  #44  
Old 10-27-2008, 08:27 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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I thought of this thread today.

I was buying a pair of pants that were supposed to be on sale for $16.99. The cashier rang them up and told me the total was something like $2.67.

I said, "That can't be right -- these were supposed to be on sale for $16.99."

She said, "Oh, well, there wasn't a tag on them." [OK, so then how did she arrive at that price?] "Can you go back and find one with a tag?"

OK, so I went back and found one with a tag (the department was right next to the register), and she rang it up correctly. No thanks for not walking out with a $17 pair of pants for less than $3. Or for correcting her error in surmising that a new pair of pants might cost more than $3 (this wasn't Saks, but neither was it Goodwill).
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  #45  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:53 PM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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Originally Posted by Rack-a-Bones View Post
Along these lines I've found that about 1/2 the time I get a bar tab or restaurant tab the total is wrong and never in my favor.
I've got a bunch of stories for this thread, but here's the most recent one:

I went to my college homecoming this weekend, and our rugby social was at the bar most of the college kids frequent. I was quite inebriated, and had probably run up a tab of about $100 by that point. When I got my check, it was $218. I looked at the receipt, and there must have been at least 20 Stella Artois. I didn't even know that bar -had- Stellas, so I told the bartender that wasn't my tab. He said, "what did you have, then?" I named off about half a dozen drinks I remembered ordering, and when I got the tab back it was $18.75. I wasn't going to give him my card back to run again, so I just tipped them really well.
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  #46  
Old 10-28-2008, 12:12 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
I"I'll pay with coins, and can you also change this £20 note?"
I've heard about stores being scammed like this, but this is the first time to hear how it worked.
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  #47  
Old 10-28-2008, 12:42 AM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
So I went back, found the duplicate of our mirror, paid for it, and then left it in the cart just beyond the checkout line and walked away. I hoped that fixed everything.
You win the thread for honesty. My hat is off to you.
Mine too.

Bravo to you even if you probably did throw off their books.
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  #48  
Old 10-28-2008, 06:34 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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I don't have a particularly interesting story, but I do have a question.

Here in Australia, we are just getting our first US-style "drug stores". Of all the evils the Great Satan sends our way, I think this one is fantastic. Picking up a loaf of bread and some milk at the "chemist shop" while you get your scripts filled? I like it. But I digress. I went into my local one the other day, and the cashier wasn't actually that busy (she was bagging somebody's stuff as I arrived as the second customer), but suddenly the internal phone rang, the customer ahead of me asked something just as the cashier had thought she was done with her and while she was ringing up my sale, etc.

In the end, she gave me change of a $20 when I'd actually given her a $50. I pointed this out to her, and she said, "Oh, you're joking, right?" This was not delivered in an "I don't trust you" way, but more in an "Oh, shit. A stressful shift, just what I don't need right now" way. I told her that no, I wasn't joking. At this point, I should say that we seemed to like one another (as far as you can in this sort of interaction). We'd both been happy, friendly and polite with the usual small talk. So I felt sorry for her, and also, I could tell she somehow knew I was telling the truth. She apologised and said she'd have to call the manager to get the till counted. I said that was fine.

Now the question: I was waiting for a guy to come and take the cash tray, but instead he came, heard what had happened and left. Turns out there's some new-fangled system where he can remotely weigh the entire tray (Australian banknotes are different sizes for different denominations, and it seems this system has some pretty darn sensitive scales). He came back eventually and gave me my $30. There were mondo apologies, and I did make a point of being happy and understanding, and explicitly stating that the woman had been flustered by three things happening at once (I didn't want her to get chewed out by the boss after I left - but I guess she was). My question is what would have happened if the boss - after using this none-too-transparent weird back-room weighing system, had come back and said that there was no discrepancy? I know that I would have made a scene, and would have refused to leave the store without my $30. Then I suppose the cops would come and force me to leave. THen I would have asked those cops to charge them with theft. Etc etc etc. Ugliness city.

Would I have been S.O.L.? It seems like a flawed system.
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  #49  
Old 10-28-2008, 08:22 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
Funny, two days ago I had one of these experiences. While grocery shopping with my 8 month old, I was looking for a replacement battery for my Thermapen, which takes an odd battery size I'd never seen before. Luckily I found them, happily paid for them along with the rest of my groceries, and headed to my car.

As I was taking the baby out of her little fabric shopping cart seat cover, I found a package of AAAs that had ridden stealthily next to her thigh right out of the store. It's not what you think, though. Reconstructing events, I believe I had picked up that package thinking they looked similar to what I needed, and at that moment Claire had bitten off a piece of my grocery list, so I must have dropped the batteries right next to her as I went to sweep the paper out of her mouth - an attempt that was traumatic enough for both of us that I completely forgot I had had anything in my hand.

Given that Claire has a very narrow consciousness window, I didn't go back in right then, but the batteries are in my purse, to be put back on the rack when I shop next time.

I usually don't bother to point out small errors in my favor anymore, because every time I used to, the store would refuse to take my money, and it seemed like I was wasting people's time. Hence the decision in this case to just put the damn things back on my next visit.

Come to think of it, small children must be a great shoplifting tool. They're excellent distractions, and can easily make all employees in a mad rush to get you checked out. And in the event you get caught, you can blame the swipage on the kid (unless it's a VCR or something!)
Here's some good advice. Take the batteries to the the service desk and tell them you found these with your paid for groceries. Don't try to sneak them from your purse to the retail shelf, because if your caught at that point they may conclude your currently loading it into your purse.

Yes children especially babies are used to steal much from stores. They are one of the things loss prevention will scrutinize.
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  #50  
Old 10-28-2008, 11:01 AM
Rachael Rage Rachael Rage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlett67 View Post
I was buying a pair of pants that were supposed to be on sale for $16.99. The cashier rang them up and told me the total was something like $2.67.

I said, "That can't be right -- these were supposed to be on sale for $16.99."

She said, "Oh, well, there wasn't a tag on them."
Similar thing happened to me. I decided to pick up an absurdly overpriced souvenir tank top at the team shop at a sporting event. At $25, it was the most affordable item, though I really wanted the $70 hoodie. At the register, the clerk scanned the tank top and it rang up $7. "Are you sure?" I asked. "Is there a sale or something?" She just shrugged, and clearly didn't care one iota, nor recognize that nothing in that store was under $20, so I paid cash and left.

I guess I'm not all that ethical, because I convinced my boyfriend to go back and try to buy the hoodie, in case the same error came up, but apparently by then they had fixed it. Oh well, I consider that $7 was really the right price to pay for the tank top anyway. I mean $25? Come on!
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