Wal-Mart: Receipt check is voluntary

By Corey Friedman

A Wal-Mart manager admitted Tuesday that employees can’t detain a customer for declining a receipt check — even when the security alarm is activated.

Johnny Wilkins, co-manager of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 3000 E. Franklin Blvd. in Gastonia, N.C., reviewed surveillance video from last Saturday’s attempted illegal detention. A greeter stood in front of my shopping cart to prevent me from leaving the store and at least four employees followed me to my car, surrounded me and harassed me for refusing to show my receipt.

“I’m shocked to see that she [the greeter] grabbed your shopping cart in that manner,” Wilkins told me after watching video of the incident.

About an hour after being illegally prevented from leaving the store, I phoned Wal-Mart and spoke to Tina, an assistant manager. She apologized profusely and said employees are not permitted to physically restrain customers for saying “No, thanks” to the receipt checker.

I requested a signed letter of apology from the store manager, to include an acknowledgement that in North Carolina, merchants cannot detain customers without probable cause. Tina assured me the store manager or a co-manager would contact me Monday.

On Monday morning, I phoned my complaint to Wal-Mart’s customer service hotline. The operator told me my complaint would be escalated to management, and I’d be contacted within a few days.

Wilkins called me at around 5:50 p.m. on Monday and left a voicemail. I was navigating an unfamiliar road on my way back to work and was too befuddled from an afternoon of driving without air conditioning to return the call right away.

I called Wilkins at 7:42 a.m. Tuesday — he and I were both working early shifts — and he said he’d have to review the surveillance tape and call me back in a couple hours.

After hearing nothing all day, I phoned him at 4:11 p.m. He said he had watched the tape and admitted that employees aren’t supposed to restrain customers or confront them in the parking lot for refusing a receipt check.

I asked when I could expect my written apology. Wilkins said the store manager is on vacation and he wasn’t sure he had the authority (he said “jurisdiction,”) to write such a document. “We’ve never had a request like that,” he said.

Wilkins said he’ll talk to his bosses about the apology and get back to me by Thursday. He also mentioned that he still has to interview the employees involved in the Saturday night fracas to find out what happened.

I asked if he could listen to my exchange with the greeter on the surveillance tape.  He said he couldn’t tell me whether the store’s cameras record sound.

Tara Stewart, Wal-Mart’s regional communications vice president, e-mailed me Tuesday afternoon to let me know she’d forwarded my complaint to the vice president of North and South Carolina stores.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with Wal-Mart’s responsiveness. But, I insist on getting that written apology and promise that employees at the Gastonia store will be retrained.

When there are signed documents in public hands (and posted on blogs like this one), retailers will be more apt to keep their promises. Fewer customers will be cowed by the guilty-until-proven-innocent tactic of retail receipt checking.

And, I hope, no one will be illegally detained by an overzealous door monitor.



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51 Responses to Wal-Mart: Receipt check is voluntary

  1. Hi Corey…..you left a comment on a blog I wrote about the ridiculousness of the Walmart receipt checkers, and how much I detest them.
    I was unaware that showing your receipt was voluntary. Even being armed with that information from you, I knew I would never have the guts to refuse to show them my receipt. Yes, I’m that annoying person who complains about it but is too afraid to be the one to stand up to the system.
    I shared your comment with my husband too. Tonight we had to make the dreaded trip to our neighborhood Walmart. We finished paying for our groceries and spotted the hated receipt-checker. We were talking about what you had said on our way to the door, and to my surprise, rather than stopping as we normally do, my husband continued walking right out the door! I was totally in shock. However, I got a sudden boost of confidence…..and inspired by your example, simply told the lady we paid for our groceries and said she didn’t need to see our receipt. I followed my husband right out the door.
    I have to admit, my heart was racing with anticipation about what was going to happen. Was she going to send the policeman who was standing inside after us?!? We walked calmly to our car and loaded our groceries, and absolutely NOTHING happened. No flashing lights, no sirens, no one followed us. Nothing.
    Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. We would have never had the courage to stand up to the Walmart giant without your inspiration.

    Jodi Thomas
    Dallas, TX

  2. Matt

    WTF!!! Its people like ya’ll that encourage shoplifting. I can’t believe your to lazy to spend five or ten extra seconds in a store to show your receipt. If everyone showed there receipt you wouldn’t have shoplifters pushing out shopping carts full of groceries and maybe then some of the prices in the stores will go down. I mean really, what is a 100 year old person going to do to you at the exit, it’s there job anyway so let them do it and quit making life harder on people.

    • Walmart Shopper

      WTF yourself. It’s people like you that give up liberty & freedom that lessen the value of our constitution. Walmart is a business and if their target market has higher loss rate, then that’s their decision. If you really want to see lower costs, then shop elsewhere to force Walmart to lower prices to stay competitive.

      Using your own words, if walmart caters to 100 year old elders to the “receipt checker” jobs, then they are no longer equal opportunity employeers and would be sued.

      • matt

        No retard, i’m not giving up on anything. liberty and freedom comes with a price now a days and we can do nothing about it. Do you really think that you and your snotty nosed friends are going to change the world by not shopping at walmart? You really must be one dumb son of a bitch to think so. As for walmart catering to 100 year olds. it may look to be that way but do you think any high school kid looking for a part time job over the summer is going to apply for a door greeter job at walmart? Why hell no. If you really want to lessen the value of our constitution then keep complaining and looking for reasons to sue walmart.

        • Joe

          Matt, you are what is wrong with this country. If you are willING to give up rights for the sake of safety, you deserve neither.

      • none of your buzz

        You are a stupid person to say WTF about the situation. Checking you items out at the register should be good enough because i feel like if wal-mart needs to go to the extent of double checking there faithful customers, them they need to close up shop. Yes sadly people do still but thats the way of the world and if wal-mart cant deal with that then o well but i know that good people dont need to be harassed like that. Thats my reply to you stupid person.

    • Jordan

      Matt, your the only retard here. It’s sack-less tools like you who allow giant corporations to control the masses. I for one will not allow the conditioning of ‘showing my papers’, especially by wal-mart. Most of the time it’s not ‘a few seconds of your time’. The other day I saw a bunch of morons, much like yourself, wait in a long ass line for close to 2 minutes waiting for the geriatric receipt checker to perform a check. I, of course, did not wait since I went on pass that idiot festival.

      • Matt

        No Jordan, I’m not a moron and nor am I sack-less, just ask your mom. I can’t believe that there is such a large group of you cock suckers like you in the world that actually encourage shoplifting. Ill tell you what, this will be the last time that I reply to this bullshit so listen up and feel free to call me what you want but it is not going to change the truth. The reason I show my receipt at the door is not because I’m afraid of big corporations and I want to stand in yet another line for another two minutes (Jordan) that I have never done, at the most I waited thirty seconds. But if anyone is going to have to wait two minutes, by all means walk on out, someone must have hired one of theses dumb-asses that replied to me earlier and and obviously they don’t know what the hell there doing. Showing a receipt is not a big deal, and if you use any common sense at all you would realize that if everyone did it, it would cut shrink down in stores by at least a half. That means people like Jordan would get there stinking asses deodorant cheaper.
        If you idiots really can’t find something more reasonable to bitch about then just keep your ass at home and stay off the Internet or better yet, go get fixed so you can’t breed. Nobody wants to hear a bunch of whiners and complainers wasting the air we breath. So if you are a little bitch like Jordan here, do us all a favor……… Shut Up and go Fuck Yourself!!!

        • Mike Todd

          Seriously, learn the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” The word “there” is a reference to a location. For example. you might say, “the item is over there.” The word “their” implies possession. For example, you might say, “that is their item.” The word they’re is quite obviously a contraction of the words “they” and “are.” For example, “they’re going to the store.”

          You might also learn the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Seriously, learn to write in your own native language.

          The word “your” implies possession, just like the word “their” does. An example would be “that is your item.” It amazingly obvious that the word “you’re” is the contraction of the words “you” and “are.” An example of proper use of the word “you’re” would be, “You’re make an idiot out of yourself.” It should be quite clear that the statement, “your making an idiot out of yourself” is improper, because that would mean that you somehow possess a thing called “making an idiot out of yourself.” Just like it’s “your item,” somehow it’s “your making an idiot out of yourself.” Is it not amazingly obvious that this is totally incorrect?! If you want to tell someone that they are something “you are stupid,” obviously you want the contraction of “you” and “are,” not a word which implies possession. CLEARLY, the contraction of “you” and “are” is “you’re,” not “your.”

          Finally, not letting someone check your receipt is not making anything easier for shoplifters. The fact of the matter is that the law in most states does not support them forcing this practice on you. In NC, they require reasonable suspicion of shoplifting in order to detain you. Buying your goods and walking out of the store does not give them reasonable suspicion. If you don’t mind letting them check, then stop, but don’t you dare tell people that they have to give up their rights simply because you want them to. The people who don’t stop for the voluntary receipt check have the law on their side, you don’t.

          Let’s hear your logic on how these people are, in ANY way, encouraging or enabling shoplifting. Shoplifters don’t have to stop if the store does not have reasonable suspicion of shoplifting, and neither does anyone else. How does stopping actually prevent shoplifting?! No shoplifter is going to stop, lol. You would have to change the laws to allow stores to detain all shoppers in order to verify that they only have items which are on their receipt. The fact that you want such legislation is disturbing. Personally, I don’t want uneducated, non-law enforcement trained employees who are paid minimum wage to be free to detain customers for no reason whatsoever. These people are not qualified or trained enough to be put in a position where they can legally detain people for no reason, and that is the entire point of this argument.

          If you want to give untrained, unqualified, uneducated individuals that kind of power over you in order to stop a few criminals, then I would assert that you do not understand our constitution and what this country is about.

          Shoplifters don’t stop, and even if they do, they aren’t going to put the goods in their cart if they are even remotely intelligent. The receipt check wont catch an intelligent shoplifter and may even provide them extra cover because it allows them to blend in and say “you checked!” The people who stop are almost entirely composed of people who don’t need to be stopped. There is no reason for you to stop either when you’ve done nothing wrong and you don’t help shoplifters by not stopping. For one, shoplifters still don’t have to stop even if you decide to, assuming the store doesn’t see them on video (ie – doesn’t have probable cause to think they’ve been shoplifting), because NOBODY has to stop! Secondly, as I already discussed, plenty of shoplifters probably DO stop.

          It’s just like those “gun free zones.” The sign only stops people who obey the sign. A criminal who wants to rob a store could care less about such a sign. All you do is prevent law abiding citizens, the citizens who have jumped through the hoops required to obtain their concealed carry permits, from carrying in the store. The receipt check simply stops people who aren’t stealing and wastes their time and does nothing to stop shoplifters, since it is voluntary and can be easily outsmarted.

          No matter how much you want to think you’re doing something wonderful by stopping, you’re not. All you’re doing is letting the store walk all over you without probable cause and may even be providing cover to shoplifters. People who don’t stop are not breaking the law and they’re not doing anything wrong. They are not assisting shoplifters in any way, shape or form.

      • Matt, I must ask you not to attack other commenters so viciously. Your abusive remarks do not help advance your argument in favor of receipt checking.

        I’m glad you found this blog and that you decided to share your opinion. While I understand your perspective, I must challenge the highly dubious “facts” you cite. Who says store shrink would decline by 50 percent if every receipt were checked? Is this your belief, your untested hypothesis, or is this the conclusion of a recognized expert? Enlighten me.

        How can you justify such suspicion of me, the customer, when you, the employee, are statistically more likely to steal? The National Retail Security Survey for 2007 shows that employee theft accounted for 47 percent ($19.5 billion) of all retail shrinkage, while shoplifting accounted for 32 percent, or $13.3 billion. If all employees aren’t searched on their way out of the store — and believe me, I’m well aware that they aren’t — why should all shoppers be searched? Please explain, because that doesn’t make sense.


    • dwayne

      Hi matt, I don’t disagree with your opinoun on this, but you also have to look at it from all sides, we have laws to protect us from those who may go further, if they get by with one law, what is to stop them from breaking another. You and I have to obay the laws, and if we do so, we sould not be treated as if we do not. I have family who served in war to up hold our freedom, and you may have served aswell or know someone who has, and dont forget the ones who gave all. Sure some is going to steal, but they will find a way no matter what. I know this because I served as a lawenforcement officer, and if you were stoped by me in your car and I asked to search you and your car, and did not have just cause, it would be up to you to say yes or no, I could not make you let me go through your personal items, and dont feel you would want me to, because we do have freedom in the us, although it is getting less, and that means we need to keep what freedom we do have left, but this is just my opinoun.

    • Another Matt

      Matt, you are a stupid son of a bitch, the kind that would run with your tail between your legs at the sight of a situation getting hairy. For gods sakes stand up for your rights of being an American and tell Wal-Mart to fuck them selves because you have already legally purchased your items and you don’t have to prove it to anyone, unless they have REASONABLE CAUSE that you stole it!!

    • JacQuelyn DuVal Morris

      you really need to calm down. It’s not that serious… Until you get harrassed then you will see the other side… Until then YOU keep stopping and wait until they stop talking creating another line going out the door.LOL… I can see if the buzzer goes off … okay check it but just checking when you just SAW me leave the line… PLEASE!!!. I will leave that job for you…Kiddo!

    • wendy

      Last time I checked shop lifters didn’t caring 20 Walmart bags in with them and load them as they walked through the store….if I have a cart full of groceries in store bags why do u need to stop me ???? Obviosuly I paid for them

      • Jeff

        Wendy last time I checked that same situation does happen and yes people do load up carts full of merchandise and walk right out ther door. Theft is big business these days. The person that is part of an organized retail crime group will almost always bring with they need in the store with them.(bags, back packs, fake receipts). The greeter isn’t checking for theft they arte making sure that you got all your merchandise and that the cashier did they job correctly.

        • Mickey

          Then explain why the Walmart in my area will follow me to my car and record my license number and forward it to police simply because I didn’t want to show. They don’t have proof of a crime. If they just want to make sure that I have all my stuff why involve the police? Why threaten you with arrest or detain you if you would like the choice of checking it for yourself? It’s an unwarranted stop with no proof of a crime. Their alarm sounding alone isn’t proof of a crime. Proving shoplifting cases are impossible if you stop someone solely over an alarm going off. Once I pay for my property the retailer has no right to it anymore. That’s LAW. Policy DOES NOT override law.

      • wendy

        Well then sounds like stores need more security..not greeters who dont even look at ur receipt or ur stuff

    • Mickey Ekanger

      One I pay for a product it’s mine. It becomes protected under the 4th Amendment. Receipt Checks and Inventory Control Systems are not proof of shoplifting. In fact if I walk out of a Walmart and the Inventory Control System beeps, I’m not going to stop because I DON’T HAVE TO. They can’t legally detain me. The law is clear on what constitutes a good stop for shop lifting. It involves OBSERVING THE INDIVIDUAL SELECT the item, CONCEAL the item and to REMOVE IT FROM THE PREMESIS. This would mean taking it past The Last Point of Sale. The surveillance MUST BE CONSTANT. If you lose sight of them and don’t have them on video, you can’t stop them. In Minnesota that’s outside of the store. If they can’t satisfy those three basic steps they have no reason to suspect you of STEALING and they can’t even legally detain you. My Constitutional Rights are not negotiable. I don’t answer police questions without a lawyer, I don’t allow a cop to search myself, my property and my home without a warrant. I don’t consent to random ID Checks in order to satisfy a cop’s suspicion when he’s required to have reasonable suspicion that I am committing a crime. No it’s not laziness for me, it’s standing up for rights I fought for.

  3. John

    Wal-Mart might not be able to legaly hold a person if they don’t have proof that person shoplifted but they have every right to hold on to the merchandise until they know for sure it has been paid for. Your integrity is not in question when they simply ask to see your reciept. It is so the cashier that didn’t deactivate the item can be better trained. I guess if you don’t mind people thinking you are actually a thief don’t show your reciept. Just remember that’s why your being followed the next time you go into the store.

    • Under no circumstance can a store employee seize merchandise that you’ve lawfully purchased. Ownership of the goods changes as soon as the merchant accepts payment; those bagged groceries are as much your personal property as your car keys, wallet and shoes. There is no federal or state law that allows shopkeepers to inspect their former goods after they have been sold.

      A store employee who snatches a customer’s groceries away could be arrested and charged with larceny should the customer choose to prosecute. Depending on the amount of force used, the crime may even meet the legal threshold of robbery from a person or strong-arm robbery.

      Merchant’s privilege laws allow employees to detain suspected shoplifters only with probable cause, which requires evidence. Choosing not to participate in a voluntary search provides no such evidence.

      Additionally, the customer could sue the store for trespass to chattels, a tort invoked when someone unlawfully interferes with another’s property.

      You may certainly choose to show your receipt when asked and believe that all customers should do the same. But please don’t confuse your personal preference with law.

    • Jordan

      Wrong. The instances these people are talking about is when receipt checkers stop EVERYONE and check their receipt, regardless if the alarm went off or not.

      • Matt

        Wrong again Jordan. receipt checkers target shoppers with large items like dog food or beer that can’t get bagged at the register. Quit while your ahead before you really get embarrassed. You don’t know shit about anything. Keep up the good work Indieregister, I’m glad to see that there are at least few people with sense out there.

      • wendy

        I had no large items , all my stuff was in there bags and I got stopped to mark my reciept. So that’s not the case Matt , they stop everybody at our Walmart

    • 5049193594/JAZZ

      If wal-mart cashiers are not trained enough, they souldn’t be on the floor. Customers of wal-mart are the reason why wal-mart has a business to begin with. For your statement to make any sense whatsoever, they also need to check your reciept to make sure that the customers were givin the correct change back as well. If they dont now how to deactivate item they may not no how to count money either.
      I never have stolen anything in my life and i have been stop by an wal-mart employee after i purchase item from the technology department that wasn’t cheap. I check out in the technology department and on my way to leave wal-mart i saw other items i wouldnt have mind purchasing and when i was on my way to the check out line in the front of wal-mart i was stop by a wal-mart employee because she thought i was a theft. I guess she just didnt think that a black person would have a shit load of money to do all this shopping. Although i did think it was right, i tried to relate to the employee and suggest that maybe that could have been a reason to think that i was shoplifting but after i happen a second time i was done relating.

      The second time the situation was worse. After my son and i donated 5 dollars to a baseball team that was standing outside of walmart, i was stopped by a greet of walmart because the buzzer went off. ok so i show my reciept everytime anyway rather the buzzer goes off or not but this time it was i and another customer of another race that walked out at the same time when the buzzer went off and the greeter only loudly stopped my son and i. I tried to hand her my reciept before she even asked and she berely check my reciept. i was already late for church that morning, with is why i was there in the first place. i didn’t have not one item outside of my basket and showing her my receipt was good enough. i also had another basket where my 5 month old was in his car set and the greeter precided to check him also. well that wasnt good enough either, she then went through my purse. YES, SHE WENT THROUGH MY PURSE. all the children that my son and i just donated to were looking at us and so was everyone else. So Matt what do you have to say about that. I let walmart do there job and was still treated i this matter. This greeter made me miss chruch and the Lord know i need to go that morning but i didnt because of her. So I will make sure that i get back every damn dollar i have ever wasted on walmart and with that being said i have just become a person that will not allow them to check my receipt because i didnt now that they didnt have that right. wait better yet i will never go back to walmart again even if its the middle of the night and i have no toilet paper. I’ll just have to have a shity ass for the night lol.
      If anyone now what i can do about this situation please let me know

    • Mickey

      It’s about LAW. There is more law supporting my decision to say NO Thank you. As far as keeping merchandise, they have to PROVE I DIDN’T pay for it in order to keep it from leaving. Once I pay for it it’s my property. Walmart or any other retailer has no right to it. It’s not my job to prove to WALMART my Honesty. It’s their job to prove if I’m dishonest or not. The LAW is clear on what constitutes a legal shoplifting stop. Trust me if they tried to hold my merchandise while I left, I’d just continue to go. Then when they call the POLICE and falsely accuse me, they can review their own policies and state law while I am released to go on my way with my stuff and not charged with a crime. On the other hand, I will press charges against anyone who does try to physically restrain me, especially when I did pay for an item. I don’t care what store it is. Burden of proof falls on the retailer that I did in fact steal. In fact the law has upheld that just because an Inventory Control system goes off, doesn’t mean that you’ve stolen anything. I was detained by Best Buy security for simply walking into their front door and all the way through a store to a mall entrance. I did not stop and I proceeded on my path the entire way. I was accused of theft even though the Inventory Control System went off when I entered and when I left. I had an RFID access Card for work that set them off all the time. A two way radio or radio waves from a cellular phone can set those off. (I’ve seen it happen). If a poorly trained employee forgets a tag and I paid for it, and it goes off, does that mean I stole it? No it means that something set it off. Something isn’t just merchandise. Something can be anything. In my case it took me showing a cop what I had and swiping it through their detector. I had no receipt to present because I didn’t buy anything and I was accused of theft. It isn’t their business to know what I have on my person if I didn’t even stop and browse the shelves. Both the door I entered and the entrance to the mall I was going into are in full line of sight from each other. It’s not my job to prove myself innocent. It’s the retailer’s job to prove me guilty. That’s why there are employees hired to detect theft and stop people legally. If they can’t PROVE ME GUILTY they have NO BUSINESS stopping me after I pay for items. Once I pay for it, It’s mine not the retailer’s and they don’t have a right to it. It would be no different if they demanded to search a bag. It’s my property, they’re not a law enforcement officer with a warrant and they’re not looking unless they can tell me what I have. Trust me I’ve worked in loss prevention in my long security career. My stops met the criteria.

  4. forgetful

    well I am glad that Wal-Mart checks receipts.One day I went into the store and when I was leaving the door greater checked my receipt and found that I did not have all my groceries. He even went back to get them for me.I guess you could say He saved me about $5.00 in gas so I didn’t have to drive back to get them.

  5. Just a thought

    I have worked in Retail for many years and I have seen many cashiers get fired for having their friends come in and not scanning all of their items.Some old and some young. If we can just catch maybe half. do you think it might help the economy a little bit. How many people walking out of Wal-Mart has friends. Maybe They have a good ideal.

  6. Unknown

    It is the principle of the matter…. You as a customer should not be treated as A thief . Today it is show me your receipt because i said so, Next it will be I am escorting you around the store and watching what you buy. Shopping for Personal Items Is not something I like having to whip out for everone to see. If they fear shoplifting so much to break A Americans right, then they should close and go to online retail. There are Many ways to prevent theft… so dont think for 1 second that “the only way i can prevent theft is you show me your receipt bull***t” you have surveilance, employees walking the floors and of course the Checkout and so on and so on…
    you need to understand what is going on before you comment! One day when those Rights you Cherish as an american are completely gone you will look back going how did this happen.

  7. Kat

    I was just at Walmart this morning. I purchased approximately 4 small items that were in ONE BAG. The Walmart receipt checker was in the middle of checking another woman’s bought items, and as I walked passed, he quickly told me I could not leave until he saw my receipt. Mind you..he was still in the process of going over the other woman’s receipt!

    I told him my items were in a Walmart Bag..I HAD JUST BOUGHT THEM, and attempted to keep walking. He said he still needed to see my receipt, and would not let me go!

    He was not standing anywhere near the door alarms..he was standing right after the check out isles ON THE WAY out of the store.

    ps..Walmart sucks.

  8. William

    It has occurred to me that in order not to be put in the position of having my integrity questioned every time I leave a store that engages in this policy, I will from now on demand that my receipt be checked immediately at the cash register, and will refuse to move along until this has been done.
    In addition, I will require that I be personally escorted to the exit afterwards, in order that my thieving inclination not be tempted by stray merchandise in my path to the door.

    I apologize in advance to my fellow innocent shoppers in line behind me for the delay, but in order to protect against the theft of my reputation, you must all suffer this slight inconvenience.


  9. Scott

    I don’t steal so I don’t mind showing a receipt if EVERYONE is complying. But the greeters aren’t targeting any 250 pound black guys with prison tattoos and EBT cards. They size up the situation and pick average white bread, no hassle, clean cut individuals to carry on the charade of loss prevention. I’m tired of reverse racial profiling. So now I’m the pain in the ass white guy who knows the law, possesses a ccw permit and stands behind Indiana’s castle law. I dare you to detain me or attempt to separate me from my personal property while I am engaged in a lawful activity. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

  10. bubbakush

    this is an insult that i have never tolerated (when im by myself ,my wife gets embarassed so i let them slide for her sake) but i refuse them all the time and i dont wait at any crazy line at sams club. its not in the deal i pay for at sams so they have no right.
    i feel like its a search this isnt a police state yet so
    call the cops and when you do youll find that i do have proof that im no thief and you have a lawsuit on your hands if i can find a way to get some cash.

    • freemanNC

      You signed your right to refuse search in your sams / Costco / etc club contract. You may or may not have a legal right to say that is a contract of adhesion and irrelevant, but you signed it. Walmart has no such contract. It is a search – you can ask the receipt checker for $50 every time you walk out if you like, it’s just as rude… But they can say no the same way you can. I purchased 3 boxes of items too large to bag, paid, and walked out – receipt checker tried to detain me, so i told her to get her hands off the card and my merchandise, or be at legal threat of illegal detention. I walked out – they called the police. The police demanded my receipt… Walmart gave me a $50 gift card to apologize when i talked to the manager.. It’s accusing me of theft each time, and I just say no thanks… Sometimes I hand them the receipt and say thanks can you throw that away for me and keep walking… Either way, you’re not searching my property…

  11. Lucky225

    Well some old lady tried to detain me because the 24 pack of Sam’s cola wasn’t bagged today, I informed her she did not need to check my receipt, she insisted. I asked if she was a security officer, asset protection or a manager, to which she declined she was not. I then asked if she was accusing me of shoplifting, she said no. I then informed her that I had lawfully paid for these items, they are my property, I will not voluntarily allow you to detain me and I’m going on my way, goodbye. She followed me to the exit and even radioed for security. I then proceeded to bone out of the parking lot and file a formal complaint with WalMart corporate. =)

  12. Kathy

    I no longer allow the receipt checker stop me. The last time I stopped for one, proved to me it was a waste of time and didn’t prevent theft.

    I purchased a lot of items, paid the checker with my debit card. I then realized that several items were still on the conveyor belt and did not get rung up – instead of getting my debit card out of my wallet again, I paid for the items with cash. I put the cash receipt in my pocket and headed towards the door. My cart was filled with debit paid items and several cash paid items, two receipts, one which was in my pocket. The receipt checker looked at the receipt, taking some time to go down the list, comparing the cart items to the receipt..now, mind you, it was -14 in Fargo, ND and the wind was blowing in the doorway we were standing at. I was handed my receipt and told to ‘have a nice day’…. point proved – she never spotted the items, which were on the top of the pile of items in the cart and which were not on the receipt that I gave her, that receipt was in my pocket. She wasted her time and mine to look at the receipt.

    A few weeks later, in that same store, I was literally followed to my car by two employees for not showing my receipt – I offered them my cell phone to call law enforcement, they declined, I got in my car and drove out of the parking lot.

    What WalMart is saying by stopping customers to check receipts is that either their own employees are thieves or their customers are. If I am to be part of their loss prevention team, then I expect to be paid for doing the job.

  13. Michael

    Our Walmart was doing receipt checks until my dad fought it. They had him meet with the managers and offered him money, that he turned down. They don’t check receipts anymore. Just fight it!!

  14. Ann

    I know that this blog is old, but I am hoping that someone will still read it. I just left my local Walmart and was stopped at the door for a receipt check. When I questioned the greeter as to why he stopped me, he said “It’s just something we are doing”. My shopping trip was at approximately 12:45 AM and there were very few customers in the store. The greeter could see me purchase my couple bags of groceries and walk directly to the door. I was infuriated to be stopped so that he could verify that I paid for the groceries that he just watched me purchase. I showed him the receipt out of instinct but I phoned the store manger on the way home. “Mike” told me that it was a store policy and that there was nothing that he could do about now. Now tat I am home and a little less shocked, I’m thinking that the store policy is an illegal detainment. I have been researching KY laws about this but I am undecided as of yet. Any suggestions on how I could go about getting this changed? I am an advocate of the constitution and I will not allow someone to infringe on my rights just because they think that they can.

    • Robert

      Just do no stop and say that you are going to call the police and file charges for unlawful detainment and harrassment of a citizen. If he touches you, you may defend yourself and I recommend you do this with extreme predjudice. Just say no to stupidy! I usually just breeze right through and say “no, in a hurry, not today, thanks.” ha!

  15. I’ve been politely saying ‘no thank you’ and walking out of the door. No problem! I’m not about to give up my rights to Walmart.

    I doubt these policies would have any real effect on shoplifting. We’re on camera 24/7 and nearly everything has a magnetic tag — apparently those don’t work.

  16. light

    We all must understand that if Wal-Mart wants to have a store policy as such as checking paid customers receipts they should have it posted upon entering and existing the store! I recently had a situation on Sept. 18, 2011, where I refused to show my reciepts. I don’t believe that any Wal-Mart employee has the right just too see my reciept. The fourth amend.addresses law enforcement not stores such as Wal-Mart employees wanting to see your reciept. Therefore when Wal-Mart is making this request customers who disagree with their policy should return the just purchased items and not shop there anymore. Also, if Wal-Mart employee touches a customer we must look for the guidelines of battery and if the chose to detain a customer all element of “Tort must be present. Remember we all have the right to say, No and shop some place else! It Wal-Mart who makes money when they sell their inventory.

  17. R Jenkins

    I involved the police during my incident. The greeter demanded the receipt and I replied, “No thank you.” She blocked the door and called for security. I moved to the other door and pushed the cart out of the store to my vehicle. I opened my trunk and began placing the merchandise into the trunk when I was struck on the back of my head from behind and fell down. Lucky for me a police officer was passing through the lot and saw the assault. The security guard was arrested and charged with felony battery as I needed 15 stitches in the back of my head. The 7 figure law suit is pending. : D

    • Robert

      This is what I am talking about. Hit on the head? Just say no..head out, if they block, run them over with the cart. If need be, defend yourself. We are Americans, we protect our rights and freedoms. We are not responsible for stupid policies. As was stated earlier, if you agree to a Nazi-like search, you can stand in line like sheep being taken to the slaughter and be a Costco clone robot like something out of a 1984-ish nightmare. I gave up my Costco membership because of this. I work hard, pay for my stuff and expect not to be treated like a criminal. I should not have to evoke the constitution and “innocent until proven guilty” stuff for shopping! They should have those security people strolling the store, observing for shoplifting, not checking “papers” like some Communist old days brown-shirt dummy. Get with it people. The more that protest the less likely they will continue this weak show of force.

  18. Tony

    No one has mentioned this, its worse when they open your bag(s) and look at what you bought and people think this is right? No privacy for what you bought and not stolen. I see people shopping each time I go, ha funny since the “undercover” security are never at the right place at the right time to see them. Even when you tell an employee about shoplifting, they do nothing and say well its being recorded.

  19. Green Martian

    I just suffered this receipt check indignity last night despite the fact that I was certainly the only shopper in the store at the time. I try not to shop at Walmart, mostly because it’s a giant, depressing, disorganized mess, but it was late and other stores were closed.
    Walmart now officially joins Best Buy on my list of stores that can rot in hell. I haven’t returned to Best Buy since, years ago, they found it necessary to escort me and the camera chip I wanted to the cash register.
    There are no goons to harass me at Amazon.com.

  20. David M. Marchetti

    Well there are several issues here actually, the issue is not about being able to check peoples receipts, civil rights, or using old people as checkers. This issue all boils down to the letter or the law and liability exposures vs. decreasing thefts of merchandise. I would not classify myself as a lay person on the matter by any means. First once you pay for your purchases your transaction is ” legally ” finalized between the parties, thus, legally you are under no obligation to show any receipt or have your bought items inspected ( in doing so this violates an individuals rights under several areas i.e. due process of law, unlawful search and seizure, false arrest, if they had any type of competent security director this activity would not be going on at all ( checking customers receipts or goods ). Walmart does have the legal right in which to act to protect it’s self from losses, but the actions must be reasonable and fall within generally accepted practices of loss prevention. The use of in-house detectives, electronic anti-shoplifting measures, surveillance equipment is all fine. An individual going through say a magnetic sensor and tripping an alarm, provides the store or it’s employees legally with probable cause to detain legally in all states that I am aware of, the use of reasonable physical force is also allowed in most states. The probable cause status will usually disallow if a ” lawful ” detention happens meaning you can not sue, or if you do your lawsuit will not get far, if you were stealing or not because the probable cause exists. Employees that engage in such activities should have a working knowledge of the law, tho most have no clue, but one could argue that using receipt checkers are actually the store or business using in-house security personal to decrease thefts. Randomly checking or demanding to see receipts is 100% illegal under the law, if a customer knows it or not, the law is the law, and it appears they are not only breaking it, but doing so willfully a willful tort and actionable cause. They are in effect working on the basis that most Americans are unaware of their legally protected rights as Americans and their assumption is correct. In some states however if they are using security or actual police the laws change in their favor, or if it’s posted in the store. If an actual security officer or police officers stops you and asks to see your receipt I suggest you don’t resist.

    Connecticut legal definition of a Security Officer, who can also be vested as a Special Police Officer. means the licensed and registered person hired to safeguard and protect persons and property, by (A) the detection or prevention of any unlawful intrusion or entry, larceny, vandalism, abuse, arson or trespass on property such security officer is hired to protect, or (B) the prevention, observation, or detection of any unauthorized activity on property the security officer was hired to protect. Such security officer may be (i) employed by a security service, or (ii) employed by a business and is a uniformed employee who performs security work on the premises of the employer’s business when such premises are located in an area that is accessible and unrestricted to the public, or has access only by paid admission;

    • David M. Marchetti

      In some states a Security Officers arrest authority is just as lawful as a police officers tho based on common law rulings.

  21. squeakdaddy

    The walmart people have no legal authority to stop anyone to see their receipt. A shopkeeper can detainee a customer if they have reasonable grounds that that person has committed the act of shoplifting. They can hold that person for a reasonable time until a police officer can arrive and investigate.

    Walmart however is detaining people without probable cause. Which is illegal. By definition detainment is any detention (for any amount of time), which a reasonable person has a feeling that they are not free to leave. Walmart treats its customers like theives. And the worst part is that we allow them to do it.

    Walmart treats their customers like theives. Walmart..the largest corporation in the us.

  22. jim

    matt your an idiot,mommas boy . a life move out of your mamas basement. you like a lot of people hide behind a computer to try to run your mouth, in real life your a coward that hides behind police or your mama

  23. Dan Dougherty

    Here is a short article that sheds more light on those pesky receipt-checks: http://www.scribd.com/doc/255601432/Walmart-Greeters

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