mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sure, you can see my receipt...

This seems to be one of those things that pops up every now and then and gets people all sorts of enraged, and I don't really get what the big fuss is. Some guy in Ohio refused to show his receipt at a Circuit City in Ohio and got himself arrested. A few days earlier, some guy did the same at TigerDirect's brick and mortar store in Illinois and got "illegally detained" by the store.

Yes, the law seems to be on the side of the consumer in both of these cases - evidently, stores (with the exception of membership clubs like Costco where you have to sign an agreement that can include that they are allowed to do this) are not required to make you show a receipt or inspect packages. And yes, it does seem like the police and store management overreacted and did not behave correctly.

But I really have trouble understanding why people get their panties in a bunch over having to show their receipt. To me, it doesn't seem like a big hassle - when this kind of story gets posted on message boards, there are usually people complaining that they hate having to wait in line for half an hour. I can't say I've ever had a receipt-showing that took more than, say, 30 seconds, so I don't know what kind of hellholes they shop at.

It's fairly clear to me why stores want to see receipts and look in bags - to prevent shoplifting. It's not even so much that they catch shoplifters as the fact that they check packages discourages people from shoplifting in the first place. And I'm against shoplifting - it raises costs, which raises prices (and probably helps fund all sorts of other illegal activities). I can also see why a store would be suspicious of someone who makes a big deal out of refusing to show a receipt or stop - since most people show their receipts, it's unusual behavior and makes the store wonder if they have something to hide.

I think there are a lot of unfair things in the world. I don't think having to show your receipt on the way out of Circuit City is one of them. I can't imagine too many things that I feel strongly enough about that I would be willing to get arrested for, and I can't help wonder if there aren't better causes for people devote their energy and passion to than the right to walk out of circuit city without showing your reciept.


At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about dignity. Once you make the purchase, the products and the receipt are yours. Nobody has the right to inspect them, or waste your time by doing so.

It says a lot about what the store thinks of you and I find it insulting. I am not a shoplifter, so why am I being treated as one?

It's piss-poor customer service. There are other ways to prevent shoplifters. Just look at a casino, they have top notch security, and you don't even know they are there.

Sure 30secs may not mean much to you, but it does to other people. I am not employed by these companies, so why is my free time being wasted without being compensated?

I value my time and freedom...maybe you dont.


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