Receipt Checking DenialPosted: March 13, 2011
It seems that there is a new leisure activity called ‘receipt checker denial.’ What these people do is pay for a purchase inside a store and then deny the minimum wage flunky who has to work at the door the ‘right’ to check their receipt. Proponents of this activity state that they are standing up for their rights, citing state laws in the places where they do this as stating that it is illegal for a person to be compelled to provide ‘proof of ownership’ once a purchase has been made. If you read the story above, it also sounds like it consists of giving the employee who works at the door of th rather e local Wal-Mart a hard time than just reaching into their pocket, pulling out a slip of paper and showing it to the worker.
I buy groceries at Costco. Every time I walk out of the store, someone standing at the door looks at my receipt, then looks in my cart and compares what is on the receipt to what is in the cart, then swipes the receipt with a pen and says, “Have a nice day,” or something similar. “Receipt deniers” would seemingly prefer to spend more time denying the employee a look at their receipt rather than a few seconds to just show and go. The receipt deniers cite state law and individual rights. I’ll admit I don’t enjoy having my receipt checked, but I don’t hate it either… but trying to school the Wal-Mart employee on a certain interpretation of a state law regarding whether or not you will just show them a bit of paper that says, “paid” on it seems unproductive. I suspect (correct me if I am wrong here) that some “receipt check deniers” are taking their frustrations out on the low wage employees.
If there is a law on the books in most states that states that you cannot be ‘compelled’ to prove ownership after purchase, the creators of that law probably had a very different scenario in mind when they created it. If I were to be asked to ‘prove ownership’ of my pants before I left a store, or ‘prove ownership’ of my car as I tried to drive it or ‘prove ownership’ of my home while I am in it, such demands would (naturally) become quite onerous and could even result in unprincipled individuals and organizations enriching themselves by challenging other people’s ownership of common items at every turn. If a non-employee is pushing a cart or carrying an item out of a store, I guess I can understand why the store owner would make sure they paid before leaving. I don’t steal things from stores, but I don’t think having someone ask me for a receipt as I leave means that I am being ‘treated like a criminal,’ especially if no one leaving the store is being singled out. If the ‘checker’ were to be profiling whom to ask for receipts on the basis of race or dress, for example, I would feel differently (I would also think such a method would be ineffective since shoplifters would then attempt to simply fit the profile of someone who doesn’t get asked).
(edited for snark)