"If we fail to provide a receipt at the time of purchase we'll give you $5" - why?

Today at a card store I saw a sign saying they’d provide $5 in merchandise if they didn’t provde a receipt, and I’ve seen this elsewhere as well. Sometimes a sign says your meal will be free if they do not hand you a receipt or if the amount shown on the register is different than what you paid. I really don’t care much about a $3 food receipt from a fast food restaurant. Why do stores have these policies?

They are probably worried about employees not ringing up the purchase and putting the money in their pocket.

That sounds like a good reason, but the employee who is stealing the money would most likely be the one to whom you say “hey I didn’t get a receipt, I want my free meal/$5 in merchandise”. In this case the employee just says “ok here’s your free meal/merchandise, have a nice day” and still end up with the cash. I don’t see how the company would ever find out about it.

Exactly. You’ll usually see signs like this at small shops and stores where there are only one or two employees working. Since the owner can’t be there all the time, this a way to make sure that the employees don’t pocket any ill-gotten money.

You may occasionally see this at busier places, but that just means that they’ve had a rash of employees stealing from them and they’re trying to fix the problem.

One restaurant I worked at would charge a waiter $25 for a missing ticket not in numerical order. In other words, your wait tickets all have numbers on them & if one isn’t there, then they think you kept the money. In a store that doesn’t use numerical order receipts, that $5 ‘returned to customer’ gets the attention of the accountant I bet.

Bob55 there is documentation that follows any of these “giveaways”, whether it is cash or merchandise. With cash no documentation is required - you buy a $3 milkshake, crooked employee pockets the money, you say “I didn’t get a receipt! I want $5.” Now either the employee gives you the money out of his pocket, thus being down $2 or he takes it out of the register, thus being down $5 at the end of his shift. A few times like this and the owner/manager is going to know what’s up and the employee will be fired.

If you get a coupon, it will document when the infraction took place. When you redeem it it goes into the records, and the owner/manager can look and see who was on duty when the store gave out 15 free meals but recorded no sales. Once again, the crooked employee gets found out.

Another possible factor is the requirement at many stores that you need the original sales receipt for any exchange or return.

Having the policy of $5 if we don’t give you a receipt makes it easier to enforce your other policy of no refunds/exchanges without a receipt.

Since there are many scams connected with returns/exchanges, this policy also helps the store reduce those losses.

Very true, but I’ve also seen such signs at fast food places, where the whole exchange/return thing is a little different. :slight_smile: In that case, I figure some of the other theories from earlier in the thread apply.