I am not a crook!

My first Pit thread.

I just opened a new DVD. I removed a layer of plastic wrap. And then I had to contend with three (count them) three plastic “Theft Deterrent” adhesive strips that sealed the three edges of the DVD box. As seems to happen about a third of the time, removing one of those strips started to also pull away the permanent plastic cover of the DVD. Copyright piracy is not a way of life that has any appeal to me, but now I wonder how the distributors think that this will reward customers who purchase legally. I would suggest that these would be more appropriately entitled “Purchase Deterrent” strips.

Being a homeowner, I have been known to shop at the big box home improvement stores. It’s twenty damn feet from the cash register to the exit, but I still have to show my receipt to prove that I didn’t have that 2x4 stuffed down my pants when I paid.

I have a membership with Costco. Same deal with showing a receipt at the door. Considering that I have to show a paid membership card to get in, I guess that distrust is just one of the perqs that goes with my annual fee.

I know that loss prevention is a real concern with retailers, but do these practices really do anything more than provoke honest people?

well, as long as you make it Perfectly clear that you are not a crook, okay then…

yeah, the “presumed guilty” mindset at retailers is annoying

Here’s Foamy’s rant on CD packaging, very similar to your issues with DVD’s…

When I’m leaving a store and they have one of those receipt-signers at the door, I scurry past them real fast. Rarely do they say anything.

The thing that was annoying me yesterday was CD Keys. I always buy my software legally. Recently I had to wipe my hard disk to get rid of spyware - yes, it reall was that bad - and now I’m having a hard time locating some of my CD Keys for some of my games so I can reinstall the stupid things. Very, very annoying.

I don’t know if it’s intended as anti-theft or what, but I am getting damned tired of buying stuff that requires a degree in mechanical engineering to open. I bought a new set of seat covers for the Wrangler last week, and the plastic case they were sealed into was so thick I had to use poultry scissors to cut it. And it’s sharp when cut, too!

sharpies are your friend

I tell them either to accuse me of shoplifting and call the cops or get out of the way. They move.

The sad truth about most security and copyright protection devices is that they offer virtually no deterrence against piracy, while inconveniencing the hell out of people who buy and use the products legally.

As for the whole “check the receipt” thing, it annoys the hell out of me, and i tend to walk purposefully out the door and pretend i didn’t hear the person ask to see my purchases.

I refuse to wait in a line to leave a store where I have completed my transaction, so if I find myself at a line at the exit to a Costco (or whatnot) I walk around it and out the door. Also, since I never have further use for my receipts (at least so far I haven’t), I will happily hand my receipt to the person, and saunter on out.

Hey, is that a 2X4 stuffed down your pants, or…

I have to admit that I like the door checkers at places like Costco. Twice they have found big errors that were rung up wrong at the cash register. Like 66 file folders rung up instead of just 6.

Here the local Costco is called Makro. If you do not get the door checker’s stamp on the receipt, then the receipt is invalid for warranties and returns.


Having to show your receipt is part of signing up with Costco. Nobody else around here wants to check receipts, but you don’t have to let them check it if you don’t want to.

I do agree with the DVD thing. Exact thing happened to me on my last purchase.

I think if you can successfully stuff a 2x4 down your pants, then you should be allowed to keep it. :smiley:

But those wrappers and tags on CD/DVD cases piss me off. If the DVD boxes are paper, they utterly ruin the casing. Sometimes trying to pull them off even rips the plastic jacket covers. I just paid for something, and trying to OPEN it ruins it. That’s beyond unfair. I shouldn’t have to go perform Mr. Wizard experiments to get a working solvent that will dissolve the adhesive without ruining my box after I’ve already paid 35$ for the DVD.

ISTR reading or hearing a story about those COSTCO receipt checkers. IIRC, they cannot demand that you show them your reciept unless they actually are accusing you of shoplifting. AND for that, they must have probable cause to make that accusation.

Actually, for Costco, I believe they do have a right thanks to the membership agreement you signed.

It’s Best Buy and the others that don’t.

Receipt checking is doofy anyway. Let’s say that, during a trip to StoreMart, I grab a DVD and put it in my pocket. I then get a couple cans of corn (or whatever), buy them, and head for the door, where I get stopped by the security guy. He asks to check my receipt.

I show him my receipt for two cans of corn. He checks the bag: two cans of corn. He is satisfied. I leave. I have stolen a DVD.

What the hell method of theft are they trying to prevent? Most shoplifting is done by picking something up, hiding it on your person, and walking the fuck out of the store. Nobody’s going to bring something up to the register with the rest of their stuff, ask the cashier not to ring it up, and then throw it in their bag as they’re leaving, which is the only sort of cunning thievery receipt-checking could possibly thwart. I suppose you could try something like that if you kept the item concealed until you’d bought whatever else you were buying, but in that case, why the fuck would you take the thing you were stealing OUT of concealment and put it in the bag to potentially be caught by the receipt-checking guy?

I suppose it might be of some use against UPC code-swapping scams, but even then, I can’t imagine the benefit outweighing the cost (not to mention the annoyance factor for the honest customers). If the scammer is dumb enough to make, say, a 30GB iPod cost five bucks, the cashier’s going to catch that. If he simply swapped the prices of the 30GB and 60GB units (and gets it by the cashier), the odds that a cursory glance from the security guy between the receipt and the bag is going to catch this are, to be generous, minimal.

Really, why bother?

I’d throw in a rant about the effectiveness of non-theft packaging (“Oh no! This DVD has five stickers on it! That means that, after I put it in my pocket and walk the fuck out of the store, I’ll be mildly inconvenienced when I try to open it at home! Also, this electronic item is encased in tough plastic molding! I’ll need a sharp implement to get it open after I hide it in my purse and walk the fuck out of the store! And I might even cut myself! Gee, that’s annoying! Maybe I’d better not steal these things after all!”), but I’m sure someone more pissed about that than me will come along to do the topic justice.

And as a further example of how carefully receipts are checked:

Since I don’t drive, I have to have a friend take me to shop at Sam’s Club. Usually she finds a few things she wants there too; sometimes we just include it with my purchase & she gives me the cash to pay for her stuff, and sometimes she buys it separately using my membership card. Once when she did the latter and were walking out, with both of our purchases in a single cart, I handed the cart-checker my receipt; he looked at it and the cart, marked the receipt, and waved us through. I guess he didn’t care that we were apparenty stealing the items that were not listed on my receipt, which included a 25-lb bag of dog food.

Retailers are dumb, but they ain’t THAT dumb. If they can’t point to a reduction in loss as a result of paying a guy to do nothing but stand at the door, they’ll stop paying him to stand there. If there’s anything to remember about retailers, they don’t like paying people they don’t need, they don’t even like paying the people they DO need.

Most loss prevention techniques are not designed to stop the cool as a cucumber, James Bond in training thieves. They’re designed to be a hurdle for your stupider criminals to stumble over. There is no such thing as perfect security, that’s not a reason to abandon all security measures.

Roland, if you have that DVD stuffed in your pants, the alarms at the door will go off because the DVD has a chip INSIDE the box, behind those 5 stickers. So, your brilliant plan depends on the guard believing that one of your cans of corn has a chip on it somewhere that the checker didn’t disable. :dubious: Looks like you stumbled over that hurdle.

I sometimes get a good laugh about the sheep standing at the door waiting to be allowed outside. Uhhh, no. MAYBE if there’s no-one else waiting to be checked I’ll allow them, but if there’s two or three people waiting to be let outside, just get the hell out of my way 'cuz I’m leaving. Tends to be found at Walmart, KMart sometimes at Tarzhay. Usually not in the stores in the more affluent towns. Go figger.

Other than the 66 file folders, has anyone ever had a confrontation with a exit clerk? Good, bad or stupid?

I did, once, at Costco. I had over 100 bucks in purchases (not tough to do) and the checker found out I had been charged twice for my multi-pack of Kleenex or something. Got my refund right away. Do you know how hard it owuld be to come back with a receipt for two packs of kleenex and insist you only bought one, and try to get a credit for it?