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strmrdr

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kcoursolle

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Date: 12/1/2006 12:06:31 AM
Author:strmrdr
hmmmm
The irony of it all in my opinion is that if you didn''t purchase anythinig, but shoplifted something and put it in your pockets...you could just walk right by and no one would check your receipt.
 

monarch64

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Ugh...there is just no perfect answer to loss prevention meshing well with customer service, IMO. I was in retail management for a few years, before that obtained a B.S. in fashion merchandising and worked in retail the whole time, and also my family are small business owners...I''ve seen all sides, being a consumer as well and feeling the effects of certain policies.

There is a really, really fine line between treating customers like guests or like thieves. To me, it is one of those unfortunate, sometimes inconvenient (for those of us honest folks) things in life. It''s also a good reason to be an informed consumer and research on your own (much like health care--being your own best advocate) what your rights are as well as the businesses that you patronize.

I have to say that going through the Sam''s Club checkout and being stopped by the associate at the exit door sort of disarms me...most of the time we have like two or three items, usually dog food in big packages (which, btw, I''ve heard stories of people emptying out before entering the store and then concealing items in them, just like strollers with "babies" in them--I could go on and on)...I always worry that somehow something has been left in our cart accidentally and we will be accountable for it not being on our receipt! It''s totally my imagination, but it''s definitely an uncomfortable feeling, especially since I know from experience how LP operates and the lengths they go to to keep stores'' shrinkage low.

As consumers, just know that basically anytime you go into a non-Mom&Pop store who has the $ and the capacity to retain a loss prevention team or some sort of "shrink" program, that you are being watched. NO, they cannot legally watch you in fitting rooms. However, they CAN legally monitor what you take into and come out with.
 

codex57

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At the Walmart near me, the security people have told me in no uncertain terms that they are unable to search your cart. Against some rule or law. However, I let them do what they need to do (just mark something down on some clipboard) and then I'm on my way. I actually want to figure out what set off the sensor cuz I hate that sound. I think the real reason is they always have the oldest people at those positions and I can't help but feel sorry for them. They're always so sweet, too. Puts me in a cooperative mood I guess.

Costco has gotten retarded. They just glance now. I'm used to the Price Club/Costco days. Back when they didn't have bar code scanners so the checkout people had to call out the sku numbers of all the items and enter them manually. I was, and still am, in awe at that procedure. Back then, the people at the exit actually did take the time to check your items. There were a couple of times where they actually caught stuff in the customer's favor (checkout accidentally added an item or two).

I can understand how that article writer thinks the current Costco method is stupid. I agree. They don't check anymore. But they used to, and they really were helping out the customer in the past. I have such a fond memory of that time that I cheerfully follow along now.

As for any other store, I'll just ignore the horrible screeching/beeping and walk out unless I bought something that may have a sensor attached to it. Too many false alarms.
 

strmrdr

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I dropped my sam''s club membership over it and wont do business with a couple other stores over checking receipts every second extra i spend in a store is a second too many so they don''t get my money.
If I''m in a store that I didn''t know did it so I actually went there I just wave the receipt at them and keep walking.
Same with store cards they can either give me the sale price without one or I will and have just left everything and said seeya.
If I knew about the cards before hand id never shop there.

I vote with my $$.
 

jcrow

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yeh, i can''t think of one store i shop at that regularly checks receipt upon my exit...
 

Christa

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I don''t mind letting them check my receipt--it takes what? Ten seconds? And I figure anything that deters shoplifters delays price increases for the rest of us. What''s the big deal?
 

strmrdr

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Date: 12/1/2006 6:46:07 PM
Author: Christa
I don''t mind letting them check my receipt--it takes what? Ten seconds? And I figure anything that deters shoplifters delays price increases for the rest of us. What''s the big deal?
freedom from being treated like criminal or like im living in a banana republic (it is getting to be more and more like one).
YOUR PAPERS PLEASE COMRADE!!
Give an inch then the next foot becomes that much easier to accept.

Besides ten seconds is 10 seconds one can never get back, iv got better things to do with those 10 seconds like read PS :}
 

mtrb

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With memberships stores..they have the right to check your receipts because you signed a contract allowing it.


That said, any other store that you make a purchase in has NO RIGHT to check your bags. You have made a legal transaction and that property is now yours legally... regardless of what they post on the walls, that item belongs to you now and they cannot legally search your bag or check your receipt. THEY CANNOT RESERVE SUCH RIGHTS. I RESERVE THE RIGHT NOT TO HAVE MY PROPERTY SEARCHED.


I had a big issue with a hard guy security guard once, and I would not let him check my receipt or the items in my bag. They threatened to call the cops and to detain me, but ultimately I did nothing wrong and got in my car an left after I threatened to take legal action against them. In any court in this land you could sue for harassment and win. I hope someone does too.
 

cutes814

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i don''t really care if they check my receipt, only sometimes though. like for instance if i bought one or two items at costco and need to get in line for them to check my receipt when i''m in a hurry, it''s ridiculous!

also when you''re exiting the store at target and the alarm sounds so EVERYONE stares at you like you''re the theif. ugh! i hate that.
 

starryeyed

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Regarding Costco - Unfortunately there are A LOT of people who steal. I would prefer to have my receipt checked at the door than pay higher prices to compensate for a higher rate of theft. That''s the bottom line - THEFT COSTS THE HONEST CONSUMER. And it would totally stink if Costco went out of business because they couldn''t keep up with the shoplifting! This is one of those unfortunate realities. I just cooperate because Costco is a good thing.

About the store sensors - have you ever gotten home and the dimwitted salesperson forgot to take the sensors off your new clothes?? Oh man, it''s happened to me and it stinks. The thought of having to use the toolbox on my clothes or schlep everything back to the store is infuriating. Unfortunately, people steal and the sensors aren''t going away anytime soon (nor are the dimwitted salespeople). So I''m actually GLAD if they catch the sensor before I leave.

I can understand where the author of the article is coming from, that security is highly inconvenient, but he/she seems to miss the fact that we all suffer if the store has to charge higher prices or if the store can''t stay in business because of theft.
 

monarch64

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I have to say I agree with Christa: what IS the big deal about giving 10 seconds of your life to let store personnel review whether you were charged correctly, or if an associate made an error, etc.? Theft absolutely does cause pricing on the retail level to increase, and that does hurt every other honest consumer out there. BTW, employees steal as well! Those door checkers are there to check customer purchases, and typically LP associates'' positions consist of also checking employee purchases. Ever hear of "freebagging?" It''s when a cashier checks out a "friend" who may or may not be known as a friend, and pretends to scan merchandise (for the sec. camera''s sake) but doesn''t really scan it, or "voids" that line on the register so it still goes through the computer.

Then you have employees who steal directly "off the truck" when receiving shipments of merchandise. These people may or may not be on camera, and may or may not have some deal going with the delivery person (who is usually a regular).

Then you have management with keys to the store who conspire with other associates to take huge amounts of merchandise out of a store when closing it at night. I''ve witnessed several store managers in retail companies over my years in the business being fired and prosecuted over this.

But you know, 10 seconds of your life is 10 sec. you''ll never get back.
 

diamondfan

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A bit off topic but I have a friend who swears the market bagger steals from her. She will buy candy or a lip balm, see it get scanned, assume it is in the bag and then when she gets home it is not there. It has not fallen out and it is on the receipt. She has called the store and asked the checker to look around her register and see if it is on the belt or floor. It never is. It has happened more than once. It is so annoying and she won''t shop there now.

This topic reminds me a bit of what has happened in our world post 9/11. Sometimes the few spoil it for the many. You might be randomly searched at an airport. You might be profiled if you are not where you belong, according to the police. You cannot buy sudafed now in the drugstore without signing for it, and it is hidden away, because people were buying mass quantities to make some drug with it. Car insurance rates go up because of people pulling scams and committing insurance fraud. Employees pulling that just makes me sick. I would hate to own a business nowadays, it seems hard to find good loyal trustworthy employees.

Sometimes it is embarrassing when the sensor goes off, but I know I am not a shoplifter and someone is just doing their job to check. I am often in a hurry and I do not like it, but I deal. The article makes sense to me on a theoretical level but I think there is more to get spazzed out about in the world. Is this author writing letters about other major injustices that are life and death, not inconvenient but no biggie in the long run? Seems he has too much time on his hands...maybe he should do something more productive.
 

Christa

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Date: 12/1/2006 7:40:14 PM
Author: mtrb


With memberships stores..they have the right to check your receipts because you signed a contract allowing it.




That said, any other store that you make a purchase in has NO RIGHT to check your bags. You have made a legal transaction and that property is now yours legally... regardless of what they post on the walls, that item belongs to you now and they cannot legally search your bag or check your receipt. THEY CANNOT RESERVE SUCH RIGHTS. I RESERVE THE RIGHT NOT TO HAVE MY PROPERTY SEARCHED.




I had a big issue with a hard guy security guard once, and I would not let him check my receipt or the items in my bag. They threatened to call the cops and to detain me, but ultimately I did nothing wrong and got in my car an left after I threatened to take legal action against them. In any court in this land you could sue for harassment and win. I hope someone does too.
Well . . . I'm not a lawyer or anything, but I'm pretty sure stores have a right to set whatever policies they want on their own private property, just like the rights I have on my own property. And we have the right to shop elsewhere if we are bothered by their policies.
 

mtrb

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Christa,

I don't have the right to look through your pocketbook just because you are on my property. By that logic.. give me your wallet so I can check to see if you had taken any of my money... and also empty your pockets prior to leaving my house. I cannot force you to do that...lol, and I would be sueing you if this was ever tried forcefully with me.

Your property is your property. A legal transaction has been made..The only people that have the right to search you are the police and they can't just do it randomly.

These stores can set polcies, however the consumer needs to agree to them. I do not. At Costco, BJS and Sams Club however..its in the contract.
 

Jelly

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If you don''t like it...refuse to shop there anymore.
 

mtrb

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nah.. I would rather deal with the confrontation in order to make my voice heard. This wakes up other consumers around us that do not think about such "Big Brother" type things. Thats how change starts. Get people thinking.

Read George Orwell's 1984....good book.
 

justjulia

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There must be a Murphy''s law that states that the liklihood of being checked at the door is directly proportional to having deep sixed the receipt in the abyss of a purse or pocket. When I have it in my hand, waving it like I''ve just won the lottery, they do not check.
 

Curls

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This article made me laugh. It''s in the Black & White which is a local paper in Birmingham where I live. So when I read this I kept thinking...."Did my dad write this?"

It wasn''t until the author mentioned Pottery Barn that I knew it wasn''t him. I''ve seen him do this. He usually has a good point about these type of things, but in the end it always creates more of a hassle and drama for him when he spends an hour talking to management and another hour on the phone with corporate and another hour typing a letter to them. I swear every month he has a new crusade against something a business has done and there is always at least one store/restaurant that is on his boycott list. Strangely it makes him happy. I think he lives for that sort of thing.
 

nejarb

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Okay, this is only somewhat related, but does anyone know why stores ask for your full name, phone #, adress, and soemthimes even date of birth when you return something?

One day I went to return several items at the mall when I was trying to put together a work wardrobe, and I asked at each of the stores why they needed that info, what they did w/ it, etc, and at each store it was the same response--let me get my manager...then manager comes and says it''s just policy and that they need it to do the return. Right, I say, but WHY? oh, says mgr, just so that we can enter your info in the computer b/c it''s part of the return process. WHY, I ask again, is it part of the return process? mgr: it''s just policy.

I even told one of them look, if you don''t want to tell me b/c it''s some big secret, that''s okay, just tell me it''s a secret; I''m just trying to figure out how the world works, and I don''t have any alterior motives and I think your store is great. At this point this mgr was just looking at me like she really wanted me to leave the store! what''s the big deal? I swear people (myself included) take themselves way too seriously sometimes. This is as far as I could get, it was like talking to a brick wall w/ all of them. I''ve never worked in retail. what''s going on w/ this "policy"?

btw, the last time I returned something, I told the clerk "no thank you" when he asked if he could have my address, etc. He didn''t press, but if he had, I''d have told him it was MY return policy or something like that (unless he had been the one who finally gave me a good reason for them needing my info!).
 

Blenheim

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Nejarb, I think that some stores have policies about how many returns one person can make within a calendar year. Maybe that''s why? But I feel like they''d be able to say that that''s why.

Along similar lines, I hate it when stores ask for personal information, like my phone number. I paid for a purchase in cash at Linens and Things the other weekend, and the clerk asked for my phone number. I asked him why he needed it, and he said it was policy. I asked why it was their policy, and he said that they can use my phone number to figure out my address so that they can send me coupons. I asked him how they planned on using my Virginia cell phone number to find my Michigan address, and he looked a little stumped and dropped it. (We don''t have a landline, so the VA number is all I have.)
 

monarch64

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Date: 12/3/2006 1:28:43 PM
Author: nejarb
Okay, this is only somewhat related, but does anyone know why stores ask for your full name, phone #, adress, and soemthimes even date of birth when you return something?

One day I went to return several items at the mall when I was trying to put together a work wardrobe, and I asked at each of the stores why they needed that info, what they did w/ it, etc, and at each store it was the same response--let me get my manager...then manager comes and says it''s just policy and that they need it to do the return. Right, I say, but WHY? oh, says mgr, just so that we can enter your info in the computer b/c it''s part of the return process. WHY, I ask again, is it part of the return process? mgr: it''s just policy.

I even told one of them look, if you don''t want to tell me b/c it''s some big secret, that''s okay, just tell me it''s a secret; I''m just trying to figure out how the world works, and I don''t have any alterior motives and I think your store is great. At this point this mgr was just looking at me like she really wanted me to leave the store! what''s the big deal? I swear people (myself included) take themselves way too seriously sometimes. This is as far as I could get, it was like talking to a brick wall w/ all of them. I''ve never worked in retail. what''s going on w/ this ''policy''?

btw, the last time I returned something, I told the clerk ''no thank you'' when he asked if he could have my address, etc. He didn''t press, but if he had, I''d have told him it was MY return policy or something like that (unless he had been the one who finally gave me a good reason for them needing my info!).
It''s sort of a complex issue, mainly having to do with loss prevention, again. Stores try to keep track somewhat of "serial returners." There are professional thieves out there who make their living doing this. Example: customer goes to one store location, shoplifts a high dollar item, then returns it at another location for store credit without a receipt or even using a counterfeit receipt for cash back. Using a computer and a roll of receipt tape obtained through a "connection" who works for the company, these people can make their own receipt and use it in this way. Companies ask for personal info to try to keep track of things like this, so that when they do build up enough evidence they can take legal action. A manager isn''t going to tell the average customer that kind of information, not wanting to deter that person from spending money in their store... and if a customer refuses to give that information out there isn''t a lot the store can do about it, so if you''re not willing to give them your info, just be polite about it and don''t give it to them. If you do encounter a problem with store personnel, and the store manager isn''t cooperative, just ask them for the number of their district manager or the corporate office.
 

monarch64

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Also meant to add that when stores ask for your phone number or zip code, that''s marketing-related. The company is trying to track where shoppers are coming from--simply demographics. Those "preferred customer cards?" Tracks where customers come from, how often they shop, and how much they spend per visit. Personally i hate those cards...just give me the sale price and stop making me carry another card in my wallet!
 

mtrb

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Cards in general for any store are tracking what the customer is willing to pay and from what area...lol... if you think they are giving those out just for discounts then you are naive. Its funny... they up a price..it doesn't sell so well then they lower it and tout it to the world. Its all marketing. That is why so many stores require cards now to get the deals, but I am sure most informed buyers are aware of this already.. and we are quite educated here. Sorry if I offend by stating this. I know we are all educated consumers.
 

starryeyed

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Whenever I am asked for my phone number, I politely tell the person that it is unlisted. I NEVER give it out - my junkmail/catalog battle never seems to end.

What I found funny about your explanation regarding the name/address/phone requirement for returns, Monarch, is the store''s delusion that a criminal would actually give REAL information, or even repeat information. What, an honest criminal? This clearly seems like a case where a store is asking for unnecessary info!
 

strmrdr

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shopping cards are very evil.
They are used both to build a group and personal profile on you with the goal of getting you to spend the max amount of money they can get out of you and move you up to higher profit brands.
Iv worked with and written add ons for the software behind the cards and its scary how much information they can build about you.

Throw a 4th of July party for 2 years and on the 3rd your you get coupons for a couple of the items to make sure you shop there and it will often be up-branded/more expensive items from what you usualy buy.
This is often done on the manufactures dime too so it costs them nothing and they actually make more money on that item.
The goal is to get everyone at your party to start buying the more expensive items.
 

perry

Ideal_Rock
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I agree with the linked story.

Good theft prevention measures do not require someone stopping you between the cash register and the door. That is idiotic. I will wager that the % of losses at Wallmart and other stores is not that different than other stores.

The real key here is people who believe that they have a right to tell other people what to do... Its for your own good. Worse yet, are peopel who believe that people (or the government) need to tell them what to do for their own best interest. In the vast majority of cases that is hogwash. Certainly in this case.

As for discount membership cards. The only one I have is generic in that the store hands them out without asking for name and address information (a local grocery chain). Yes they are building a profile on what customer 915368 typically buys; which I think is the right way to profile your customer base. They do not need to know personal details to be able to profile their customers.

I typically buy only one thing from Wallmart. They stock dustmite proff mattress and pillow covers that need to be replaced several times a year. So I do go in a couple times a year. I have never found that they were really that good of a deal on most of my other things. They do a great job of convincing people of that - but I've done a couple market studies between a bunch of stores and options. The facts do not check out.

Perry
 

monarch64

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Date: 12/4/2006 12:07:43 AM
Author: starryeyed
Whenever I am asked for my phone number, I politely tell the person that it is unlisted. I NEVER give it out - my junkmail/catalog battle never seems to end.

What I found funny about your explanation regarding the name/address/phone requirement for returns, Monarch, is the store''s delusion that a criminal would actually give REAL information, or even repeat information. What, an honest criminal? This clearly seems like a case where a store is asking for unnecessary info!
Not only are there professional thieves out there, there are amateurs as well. And btw, I have seen plenty of cases where those people will give their (correct) personal information, OR they use an alias/aliases and companies are able to track the alias as well, which normally contains a portion of correct information. The method has been proven to be very successful in catching some of these professionals, as well as the amateurs.
 

diamondfan

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May I just point out as a separate issue that all thieves are not the brightest? In one of the dumber stories I have heard, a guy went to the cashier in an Atlantic City casino to cash a check and gave his driver''s license. The woman, new on the job, walked away and left a cash drawer out, so this guy, knowing she had his i.d. and that cameras were rolling, reached in and grabbed money, and ran. She came back, still with his i.d. in her hand, noticed the money was gone and alerted the casino security force. The cops were at his home waiting for him when he returned and arrested him.

I agree that a lot of the crime is not the petty person trying to stick something in his shopping bag, which of course happens but is more on the minor side. A Wal Mart in Philly was just cleaned out for the second or third time and they know it was an inside job. The other type of theft is annoying and wrong, but unless it is on a constant scale, is not likely what causes the most issues to the store. Still, I try to realize someone is only doing their job, albeit a stinky job, and I sort of feel, as long as I have nothing to hide, I am not going to get so worked up about this, it is minor in the scheme of life.
 

starryeyed

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Date: 12/4/2006 9:30:35 AM
Author: monarch64
Date: 12/4/2006 12:07:43 AM
Not only are there professional thieves out there, there are amateurs as well. And btw, I have seen plenty of cases where those people will give their (correct) personal information, OR they use an alias/aliases and companies are able to track the alias as well, which normally contains a portion of correct information. The method has been proven to be very successful in catching some of these professionals, as well as the amateurs.
Really? Wow, that''s very interesting. I never thought a thief would be so stupid as to give any portion of valid info. But I guess that goes along with being stupid enough to steal!

Thanks for the info.
 
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