Receipt, We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Receipt

Now, I’ve been reading about a number of these incidents over the past year, where the compulsory showing of receipts at the door, of well, almost every store, as a way to prove the junk in your shopping bag you just paid for 12 feet away was, um, well paid for. One of my favorite blog haunts, Boing Boing, has posted about the latest in the consumer representing their rights not to be detained (and not to be presumed guilty of a crime) by an establishment for having done nothing wrong.

Home Depot customer detained by DC police for not showing receipt
from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin

A DC man was recently detained, in violation of his fourth amendment rights, by a DC Metropolitan Police officer who was present at the time the customer didn’t stop to show a receipt to a Home Depot security guard. He’s posted an open letter to Home Depot’s CEO (the illegal detainment was the straw that broke the camel’s back) as well as a copy of his official complaint to the police department.
Similar summaries from other cities have been posted to Boing Boing before involve Tiger Direct, and Circuit City.

Now I’ve been incited to stand up for my rights, but my wife always asks me to pipe down whenever I want to say “no thank you” to the old guy at the Costco, but, I’m sure some of you, fair readers, have stories to share about this practice (which may actually be illegal in some areas in MD, DC, and VA) to detain shoppers and force them to show a receipt. I’d be curious to see if anyone can post here from both sides of the story…

1 Comment so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on February 28th, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    Costco is one of the few places that might have some standing to give you lip over it; they’re a membership-only shopping club and they (or you) can end that relationship at any time. And the receipt checking is in the membership agreement. So you might with the individual battle and get your membership canceled as a reward.

    That aside, Costco is one of the few places where I feel like they have some hint of justification for it. There’s a huge distance between the checkout counters and the exits, complete with a lot of tables and other activity in between. It’s the places like Best Buy or the long-lost and not at all missed CompUSA where you’d go 5 steps from receiving the receipt to being asked to present it.

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