We went on a camping trip recently and the traffic getting to the property that day was brutal. Once we finally arrived, and unpacked our stuff, I drove to Walmart to stock up on supplies for a group picnic we’d planned for a community assistance organization the following day.
I was already in a foul mood, and going to Walmart was the icing on the cake, let me tell you. I really, really HATE that place. I avoid going there whenever I can. However, on this particular day, I was personally paying for the food (a donation) and I needed to buy in bulk.
I loaded up my cart with a couple dozen hot dogs, burgers, buns, soda, a 12-pack of mango tea, chips, pies, paper plates, and a few other things. And, then I stood in a line of equally agitated people waiting to check out. When it was finally my turn, the cashier was very friendly and we talked about the weather and whatnot. The very last thing she scanned was the 12-pack of mango tea. She put it on top of the turnstile and I then put it in the bottom of the cart.
Now, I don’t know if you know this but, unless Walmart has specific information to suspect you of shoplifting, they can’t stop you at the door, demand your receipt, and then stop you you from leaving the store. They’ve been sued for this. So, if they have no eyewitness stating you shoplifted, or a video showing such, they can’t stop you from leaving, nor make you show them your receipt. Of course, Walmart had nothing on me that day.
While I’m tempted to say all of that to the Receipt Nazi at Walmart each time I’m leaving, it’s honestly just not worth the trouble. Go ahead, lady. Look at my receipt. Scan a few of my items. And, make me feel like a shoplifter the whole time. Besides, they’ve never found anything in my cart that prevented me from leaving. Since I had read news stories on this practice, and had even googled if it was legal for them to detain me, I knew what I was dealing with each time they stopped me.
After checking out, I was stopped by the Receipt Nazi and she went through her ritual of scanning the receipt, and then scanning certain items in my cart. And, guess what didn’t come up? The 12-pack of mango tea. Oh, man. My day was just getting better and better!!
She twisted up her face, and said, “This item was not paid for.” Great. Now I was being accused of stealing something I did NOT, in front of other shoppers, and I knew their security cameras would show that the cashier DID scan the item, and put it on the turnstile. Whether the scan “took” or not was not my liability nor responsibility. Whether the lady’s hand-held device or their computer program had a flaw was also not my liability nor my responsibility. I could just see my afternoon drifting into a nightmare of sitting in a dark office, pleading my innocence to police officers, and my mugshot eventually being plastered everywhere.
Nope, I wasn’t going to participate in that crap! I didn’t do anything wrong and they had no legal right to hold me.
So, I put on my best bitch face, put my hands on my hips, and said, “Oh yeah? Let’s walk over to the cashier right now! She put it on the top of the bag turnstile after she scanned it! It was the last thing I put in my cart!! And, it’s all on your security cameras!!!”
The Receipt Nazi lowered her head, backed up, and said, “You can go…”
Damn right I can, lady!!
If you get detained at Walmart when you have done nothing wrong, call a lawyer, and sue them. Their “everybody’s guilty until proven innocent” actions are ludicrous and possibly criminal. From now on, if I have to go to Walmart, I’m walking right past the Receipt Nazi. If they stop me, I’ll sue ’em.
Walmart has also been accused of what I can only call extortion. Read THIS DISTURBING STORY for some truly astounding allegations.
HAVE YOU BEEN HARASSED BY WALMART? Please share your story in the comments box below.
Woman sues Walmart after being cleared of shoplifting
Walmart, Other Retailers Face Class Action From Accused Shoplifters
Finally, you should know that Sam’s Club members HAVE to show their receipts because they agreed to Sam’s Club’s terms when becoming a member. Walmart has no such agreement with its customers.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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We shouldn’t be mad about this tiny inconvenience! People shoplift all of the time, and Walmart has lost a lot of money. Maybe you should find out how much, and you might quit the crying about being checked. I work in a jail, and I see many shoplifters–it’s called “organized retail theft” booked and released out of our facility. I appreciate the prices at Walmart as an older citizen. I’ve always found the employees to be helpful.
Your position is likely shared my many other Americans who don’t like crime. However, as a former police officer who actually had to read the laws and understand them before placing people in custody and taking them to jails like yours, I know that the statutes of Florida are being violated every time a Wal Mart employee prevents someone from leaving the store and demanding a receipt. Florida Statute 812(3)(a) permits a merchant to “take the offender into custody” IF they “have probable cause to believe” that a retail theft has occurred. Without that probable cause, they do not have any authority to prevent anyone from leaving their store, nor demand proof that the merchandise they are carrying was paid for.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution exists to protect us from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Being stopped and told I must prove my innocence and good faith every time I walk out of a store is an unreasonable seizure, and in a perfect world, WalMart would be sued by every innocent person who gets stopped at the door.
Were you aware of Wal Mart’s policy of NOT prosecuting anyone who steals anything worth $25 or less? So, someone who HAS stolen something is free to go about their business, while I have to prove my innocence. That make’s their whole “Receipt Nazi” program pointless as far as I’m concerned.
Brick and mortar retail is in trouble and this type of behavior will doom it even faster. I don’t go to Walmart, but I did order a pizza at a gas station. While I waited, I bought a bottle of water. The pizza took a long time and clerk at the gas station who does not handle pizza sales at all went on a break. His replacement came up to me and asked me if I’d bought my water. Yes, I had. I showed him my receipt. I continued to wait for my pizza. He watched me the entire time. This gas station has signs all over warning shoplifters. I won’t go back there. This never used to happen in stores.
Yes, sounds like a prison. We need those Walmart people on our southern border. Wouldn’t even need a Wall.
Stopping people at Walmart is ridiculous, and it’s hit and miss.
We live on Merritt Island, Fl. They began stopping everyone in November. They don’t even look in the cart, they simply scan the receipt.
But, if you go to the Walmart in Viera, Fl., they don’t have any receipt checkers at the door.
Merritt Island, middle class. Viera, upper class.
As annoying as this is the reason is very simple. People steal all the time from virtually every store!!
As often as not the thieves just look like average shoppers; not like druggies or deralics or “Welfare” cases.
This is the same reason a 1″ square item is sealed in an 8×10″ non biodegradable plastic bubble that requires a chainsaw, bolt cutter and pet gorilla to open.
Sad but true; so can we really complain about what really amounts to minimal security efforts?
Were I on the jury nobody would ever get a penny for being asked to show a receipt and shoplifters would get 5 years hard labor for even a candybar. (Children under 12 exempted with only 6 months community service.)
What if we all got together and hit these companies with frequent social media posts constantly showing how evil they act? Would that be effective?
walmart? no. kroger, yes. kid stopped me because i carry bags of stuff (think seinfelds manwich bag. remember him finally yelling purse! at the cop when it got stolen) and waited to get a small cart abandoned at self check out. giving up i went outside to look for a small cart to use. then the kid acted like i was a thief. i dont blame kroger unless they failed to train the managers to make sure the kid watching self check out is positive something happened.
That’s shocking to hear and wasn’t aware Walmart had a problem like that. I shop at two Walmart stores here in Maryland, mostly in Germantown and sometimes in Frederick ( I use the self-checkout ). They are pleasant here and don’t look in the cart and half the time they don’t even look at the receipt but just wave me out. Glad I don’t shop at your stores.