No, you may not see my receipt.

So today I went to Target to buy some space saving items, such as large under-the-bed bins and a fold-up table to use as a makeshift desk. Now these were some big items, so my hands were full as I was dragging around two bins in my left, and a 5ft long table in the right. So as I go to exit the store (after paying for the goods) I get approached by Mr. Rogers in a security uniform.

“I know you have your hands full, but may I see your receipt.”
“No thanks.”
“What was that?”
“No, you may not see my receipt,” as I continued to exit the store past the metal detectors. As I did so, I could hear him reporting my description to others on his walky-talky. Nothing else further came of this, as I strolled leisurly to my car.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this; the second actually. Last time I pulled this off, the teen at the door yelled maniacally for a manager as I worked my way back to my car. It was an embarrassment…not for me, but the store. That they would create such a scene over a complete non-event is quite comical.

Frankly, I find it insulting that they assume me to be a criminal (especially in the Target case, as he singled me out, and didn’t ask anyone else). It’'s not up to me to prove my innocence, the burden is on them to provide evidence of my supposed wrong-doing. I paid for the goods, I own them. They have no right to demand that I prove what I now own, which is why I imagine they “ask” if they can see it, even though “ask” is a complete misnomer in this case. And finally, I wasn’t about to be inconvenienced by putting down my table and bins (which took some effort to find a good holding position) to dig through my pocket for proof of what I owned. What if I couldn’t find my receipt, what would he do then? I have no interest in finding out, as I will continue to blow past these receipt stalkers. It’s a minor victory, but one I feel is important to prevent the further erosion of our rights.

It sounds like a pure power trip, he saw your hands were full, and new asking you for a receipt would be maximum inconvenience. Good job calling him on it.

I worked at Wal-Mart about ten years ago, and the policy then was that you checked the receipt on any large or obviously high priced items. That her hands were full likely had nothing at all to do with it.

There is one particularly hateful old biddy at the local Wal-Mart who does this to me every single time I walk out the door and she is working. The last time, she actually grabbed my arm. I shrugged her off, but I swear, if she touches me again, I will call the police and file assault charges against her. If I set off the little alarm system as I walk through it, I will happily stop and show you my receipt, otherwise, ley the fuck off me, bitch.

Large items? I don’t understand the rational; my table was worth $34, less than most (much, much smaller) electronics.

I don’t understand it either, especially since it would make more sense to slip something small and expensive in your pocket, but that was (is?) the policy.

Hoo boy. Remember this 650+ post nightmare?
Man arrested in connection with ignoring “bag checker” at Circuit City
Good times. Good times.

Agreed. I don’t even bother acknowledging them if the alarm doesn’t go off.

If you have your hands full I understand not showing them your receipt.

Otherwise whats the big deal? It takes all of five seconds.

And it’s five seconds I don’t need to spend. I own the goods, what right is it of them to search what is now mine? I refuse to provide consent in being treated like a criminal.

If they throw you down on the ground and hand cuff you, you would have a point.

Asking to see a receipt is hardly treating you like a criminal.

Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree then. I don’t believe one has to be handcuffed in order to be treated as a criminal.

Okee dokee

This is not exactly related but it reminds me of an incident that happened at a Fry’s Electronics once. I had just bought something and was on my way out the door when I saw security stop this guy. Apparently, the checker had not scanned his item. It was the checker’s fault, because he clearly had a receipt for the rest of his stuff. They told him to go back to pay for it and he refused. He just kept walking.

So a bunch of security guards grabbed him and he started to resist. They then wrestled with him and dragged him back to the store from the parking lot and placed him in a back room. He was continuing to try to get away, so I think they stun gunned him. All I heard was the guy scream and then silence.

So I don’t know if the guy was flipped out, but I sure was. Seeing something like that sure made me feel scared, knowing how violent the measures would be if your checker makes a mistake.

That incident still bothers me sometimes.

As I read the “I’ll just walk out” posts, Fry’s is exactly the place that came to mind. They make much of the fact that by checking your receipt, they keep prices down for everyone. I didn’t figure they’d take it lying down. I wonder if any lawsuits were filed and if they were, whether they were successful.

He was told that he hadn’t paid for all of his items and he was taking the items anyway? Or am I confused?

I wondered that myself as I stood there trapped since they were scuffling in front of the only exit to the building and I didn’t want to get hit.

At that time, I really hoped he would and was successful because of the emotional distress it caused me.

No, you’re right. He was, in effect, stealing the stuff, so I’m not siding with him there.

What happened was that he put his stuff on the counter and the checker didn’t scan one of the items, so when he got to the door, the receipt didn’t match the items and that’s where the incident began.

I guess what distressed me the most was the scene of how they literally dragged him (his shirt flew over his head and his body was exposed) to the back room. And when I heard him scream, that seemed pretty scary. It seemed pretty excessive to me.

I thought they could have taken down his license plate number and called the police or something, but the police weren’t even there yet.

I hear that. I’d guess that if he managed to leave the premises they’d have a tough time prosecuting him, but that doesn’t excuse what it sounds like they did. I don’t have a solution.

What measures would you prefer to see stores take to combat shoplifting? “It’s not my problem and I don’t care” is a valid answer, but ignores the fact that, in the end, the paying customers are the ones who subsidise the non-paying criminals through higher shelf prices - retailers’ losses come out of your pocket.

I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but working in retail I find the problem of shoplifting depressing. Over here we have serious problems with organised shoplifting rings - if word gets out that a store is a soft target, they face being raided by professional shoplifters and taking huge losses. We have to maintain an appearance of being vigilant to deter these gangs without pissing off our genuine customers or making them feel like they are under constant suspicion. It’s a tough balance to maintain.

I do know that if I did this:

I’d either be facing an official warning or I’d be fired. It’s drummed into us that, even when we catch someone red-handed, we have to act like it’s all been an honest misunderstanding and never ever, by word or deed, imply that they were stealing.

Target is one of the few stores I’ve seen (aside from Fry’s) where they’ve requested to check my receipt. In fact, this is the first time they’ve ever asked me to. As such, it’s clearly not a measure every store feels the need to take.

That aside, if a store wants to ask for my receipt as a cost-saving measure, fine. I don’t have to like it, and I will deny them their request.