Here is a story about a guy who bought something at Circuit City, refused to show the receipt when leaving, and was physically detained by the security thug at the door and the store manager. He called the police, who showed up, and arrested him for not showing his driver’s license. Obviously the cop was wrong for arresting him, and personally, I would have complied with the cop, but I applaud the guy for having the stones to assert his rights and not show his receipt. I don’t like the store’s policy of assuming all of their customers are thieves and forcing them to prove otherwise in order to leave. If the store wants to inspect your receipt before you leave, fine, but this cannot be a condition of purchase unless they tell you this up front. None of this even addresses the fact that showing your receipt doesn’t prove you didn’t steal anything unless they strip search you at the same time.
The only store I shop at that requires this is Costco, but it’s possible that the agreement that you have to sign when you become a member includes the right to examine your receipt when you leave. I’ve never questioned this — when asked, I simply hand over the receipt and wait to be allowed out. I don’t like this practice, but I simply don’t have the aforementioned stones. If we had Circuit City in Canada, I’d boycott them, but we don’t. We do have “The Source by Circuit City”, but according to their web site, they’re owned by a company called “InterTAN”, and not by Circuit City. Perhaps they’ve just licensed the name, or Circuit City owns InterTAN, or something. Anyway, I won’t be shopping there, nor do I shop at Best Buy, because of the numerous stories I’ve heard about how badly they treat their customers, including one I blogged about last March. I’m not generally one for boycotts, as they rarely accomplish the change they are supposedly trying to bring about, but even if the store never changes their policies, I feel a little better not shopping there.
Then again, in Canada, Future Shop and Best Buy are owned by the same company, and I have no problem shopping at Future Shop. I’m not sure if that makes me a hypocrite or just naïve.