Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wal-Mart receipt checkers

I found this article on the internet and found it interesting. I recently went to our local Wal-Mart to get some things, a couple things were too big for bags, a very large Tide, a large bag of potatoes and I can't remember the other item. On the way out the door I was stopped and asked for my receipt. There were 4 people ahead of me getting their receipts checked.

I had no problem with it, but had just stood in line for about 15 min, it was hot in the store, there were kids everywhere crying. It was irritating, and I had just checked out at the checkout right by the door. The girl saw me check out, so I was more irritated that she asked for my receipt. I hate Wal-Mart stores anyway and have taken to going there as little as possible.

Today on MSN there is this great article about stores checking receipts. I found it interesting and am going to write to the companies that do this at their doors. It might not help, but then again it might, you never know. Color me irritated.

Can stores really ask you for that?

It has become common for retailers to request your ID, your e-mail address and even your Social Security number. Are you obligated to provide them?

[Related content: financial privacy, credit cards, retail, shopping, Liz Pulliam Weston]

By Liz Pulliam Weston

MSN Money

Retail sales haven't been spectacular lately, so you'd think stores would want to please their customers rather than trample on their rights. But many retailers seem to be adding ways to tick us off.

More stores seem to be:

Stopping customers to check their receipts before they let them out the doors.

Posting minimum-purchase requirements for credit cards.

Insisting that customers present identification when using credit cards.

Asking customers for personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses or (heaven forbid) Social Security numbers before starting transactions. The Credit Card Indicator

These behaviors are so commonplace that you might not realize there's anything wrong with them.

But there is.

1. The receipt checkers
If you've signed a membership agreement with a warehouse club such as Costco or Sam's, you've agreed to present your receipt upon exiting one of their stores. Other retailers have no such agreement with you, but some station employees at their doors to ask for your receipts anyway.

Receipt checks are supposed to be voluntary. The law varies from place to place, but U.S. retailers generally aren't allowed to detain you unless they have good reason to believe you've stolen something -- and refusing to present your receipt does not constitute probable cause.

Some people report that they're able to breeze past receipt checkers simply by saying, "No, thanks." Others say they've been harassed or even detained by overly zealous employees or security guards when they refused. (One woman in China was beaten to death for failing to turn over her Wal-Mart receipt, according to Chinese police.)

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Retailers typically try to walk a fine line between protecting their merchandise against theft and inconveniencing their customers, said Daniel Butler, the vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. Many opt for universal receipt checks, he said, rather than risk discriminating against certain customers by singling them out for checks.

Receipt-check tales
Certainly, some shoppers are happy to give up their rights in exchange for low prices. If you're not, you can:

Cause a stink and risk an incident.

Shop somewhere else.

Shop online (same stuff, no frisking involved).

Write a letter to the chains' CEOs telling them exactly what you think of their receipt-checking policies. Here are a few addresses to get you started:

Michael Duke, CEO

Wal-Mart Stores

702 S.W. Eighth St.

Bentonville, AR 72716

Brian Dunn, CEO

Best Buy

7601 Penn Ave. S.

Richfield, MN 55423

John Fry, CEO

Fry's Electronics

600 E. Brokaw Road

San Jose, CA 95112

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