Best buy bouncers. . .
Aug 15, 2002 at 2:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 54

andrzejpw

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Well, a thread on ars technica inspired me to do something today. . .

I was at best buy with my friend's today, and I decided to pick up dave matthews band's newest, "Busted Stuff." (Great CD, btw, and guess what? IT CRASHED MY COMPUTER WHEN I PUT IT IN, and I lost my post! That's for my other thread. . . grrr. Anyway, I'm sure we know the people that check your receipt at the door. Today, the fact that it was busy, and they had two registers open didn't help. And the mom with the crying baby, trying to buy about 20 things, and get her stupid credit card out of her purse(oh wait, I think it may be HERE), didn't help. So, I was in a rush to get out the door, and the ars thread inspired me. There was a large line at "bouncer's" place, so I breezed past him. He yelled "STOP!" And said that he just needed to check my receipt. I said no thanks, and walked on. He tapped me on the shoulder, and said come back. So I asked if I was being suspected of shop lifting. He said no, looked very confused, and let me pass. I'm sure he was confused by the fact that a 16 year old kid just made his life harder.

But personally, what do you guys think? I'm not going to wait in one line, only to get into ANOTHER line when I'm in a hurry. Aren't these checks suppossed to be voluntary by law? The only thing I got was a CD! And the register was 5 feet from the door! I'm not trying to be a smart-ass. Isn't the product MINE when I payed my $14.97? It becomes MINE, and if I don't want them seeing it, I don't have to show it, right? What about stores that say "We reserve the right to inspect all merchandise." Now, I've seen a couple of stores that have this sign, others that don't. The one store that had it had it at an EXIT, before you walked in the store. Doesn't it have to be posted at a visible place? Does that entitle the store to look at YOUR stuff? Look, again, I'm not trying to be an ass. But somewhere in that constitution, there's a part about search, reasonable cause, etc. Can't the store only search me if they suspect that I stole something?

Your thoughts, please.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 2:48 AM Post #2 of 54

dcg

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I've wondered about the legality of this myself, particularly when I'm shopping at Costco, and have usually just had to wait in a very damn long line to make my purchase and then have to wait again to get out of the store. While the store certainly has the right to try to protect itself from shoplifters, isn't it also up to them to construct their stores so that after I buy something I can be on my way without having to be searched on the way out? Who knows.

The fact is, stores like BestBuy lose a lot to shoplifters, and it's you and me who end up paying the price. It's the same reason that when I buy a dvd I practically need the damn jaws of life to get all of the stickers and sensors off of it before I can actually watch the movie.
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Aug 15, 2002 at 2:53 AM Post #3 of 54

andrzejpw

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Well, from what I understand, costco/sam's CLUB are different. They are members only clubs. I'm guessing buried deep down, in some obscure corner of the rule book, there's a section that you have to get your reciept checked.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 2:55 AM Post #4 of 54

carlo

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welcome to my world. as a young male who happens to be a minority and dresses out of the status quo i get checked or watched at a lot of retail establishments (not to mention airports, anywhere law enforcement is nearby, etc). does it piss me off? yes, to extremes that only people in my situation can relate to. but whatever, i try to avoid places where ******** work or reside.

even the coolest independent record store has people walking the aisles to make sure no bastards have magnets and steal cds, and each one will ask you to check a bag at the entrance. but they don't have the extra guy by the metal detectors. if you want to do something about it, don't give best buy your buisness. by supporting independent music shops you not only help retailers with legit music selection (not to mention vinyl) but you give a big giant **** you to the retailer thats trying so hard to eliminate them.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 3:22 AM Post #5 of 54

daycart1

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Why don't the sensors suffice? If the sensors don't work, why do they have them at all?
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Aug 15, 2002 at 3:35 AM Post #6 of 54

CaptBubba

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no, they have no legal power to stop you, and they know it. Each store has its own rules though.

The sensors can be defeated by doing something to those little chips you find in things...I think all that it requires is a magnet.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:12 AM Post #8 of 54

timoteus

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First of all, great thread...

If they have no legal power to stop me I'd like to know, because I hate to be treated like a criminal. If I don't have to put up with that I'll refuse them next time.

When I go to Best Buy, and I try to avoid it if possible, the first thing I have to do after the long drive to get there is piss. You have to stand in line to ask for a key which is on a ridiculously large fob. So they're treating you like a kindergartener on the way in and a criminal on the way out.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:18 AM Post #9 of 54

MirandaX

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Andrej, while you're morally totally in the right (and probably legally too, though I'm not a lawyer), I wouldn't recommend pulling that sort of stunt again. You can't be sure the guys at the door or the store managers are honest, and there are dozens of ways for them to fabricate theft accusations against you if they want to make your life difficult. e.g. Someone grabs the bag out of your hand, slips a second CD into it, thrusts it back, then accuses you of stealing it and calls the cops. It's your word against theirs, right? Yeah, but invariably some other door loser or the store manager says they were a witness too and saw the whole thing and you're making up the story that they slipped the CD in the bag. You're just a spotty, suspicious-looking teenager against two adults, so more than likely you're *******. Bottom line, unless you're wealthy, you can easily end up on the wrong side of the legal system in this country for the most trivial things. Try to stay away from this kind of situation. Just don't shop there anymore if they annoy you. Take your money elsewhere.

The door guys might even have a quota system (meaning they have to catch a certain number of people per month or they lose their job) or a cash bonus system for catching shoplifters, making this kind of dishonesty/conspiracy on their end much more likely.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:27 AM Post #10 of 54

gloco

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Alright, those censors can be bypassed with aluminum foil, which thieves tend to wrap their empty bags with to make a clean getaway.

Look at it this way, the person who checks the receipt is just making sure a bloody damn thief doesn't make it out of there, its basically their last line of defense.

If they started picking and choosing who to stop and check their receipt (like with carlo being hounded by the feds) then people could scream lawsuit.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:36 AM Post #11 of 54

sunshine

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They have no right to check your bag no matter what a sign says. Having a sign at the door saying they have a right to do such and such gives little meaning legally. Look at it this way, I have a sign at my front door which says that when you enter my house you have to give me all the money in your pocket as you leave. You didn't read the sign as you were entering my house so when you leave does that give me the legal right to take your money.

However as I understand it if you are seen pocketing goods in your pocket they have a right to stop you, make a citizens arrest, however you want to call it. I'm not a lawyer but I also think at this point you can still refuse to a search until an officer of the law arrives.

With this in mind you also have to look at it from BB's perspective. They loose quite a bit to theft and in the end this effects all of us in a way. Also I've read that there were cases where cashiers were stealing stuff by pretending to scan stuff when in fact they were working with the buyer, hence one of the reasons they check your receipt even though they can see you clearly checking out from a cashier.

Remember too that even though you can refuse them when asked to look at your receipt, BB has the right to refuse you entry to their property.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:43 AM Post #12 of 54

gloco

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Quote:

Originally posted by sunshine
Remember too that even though you can refuse them when asked to look at your receipt, BB has the right to refuse you entry to their property.


Yeah, ok. So if your on their property and want to check your receipt for merchandise you purchased from their store, why can't they?
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:49 AM Post #13 of 54

Jeff Guidry

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Quote:

Originally posted by andrzejpw
what about the stores that say "We reserve the right to. . ."


You can reserve the right to do anything. It holds ABSOLUTELY no water legally. NO ONE in the store has the legal authority to search or detain you. THE ONLY people who have that legal authority are police officers. They don't even have the legal authority to touch you, much less physically hold you to prevent you leaving the store. When you were tapped on the shoulder, that employee was, technically, assaulting you.

The ownership of the merchandise in the bag transferred to your possession when you paid for it at the cash register. According to the law, an officer of the law may search your person or possessions if he has reasonable cause to suspect that you have something illegal in your possession. It is needless to say that a Best Buy employee has NO legal authority as a officer of the law. I always, ALWAYS walk right past them at the store. I am not belligerent, insulting, or challenging in any way. I walk confidently forward, fully aware of my rights, and unwilling to give them up to give Best Buy peace of mind.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:48 AM Post #15 of 54

jlo mein

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well, i work for a canadian store like TJ Maxx, so i can see where these companies are coming from.

They lose A LOT of money to shoplifters. TJ Maxx alone loses something like 10 Billion dollars a year to Shoplifting, errors, and employee dishonesty.

It is VERY easy to defeat security tags. Where i work, we find broken security tags lying everywhere. Also, security tags are sometimes expensive. Thats why we only put them on items $20 or over. (i know CD tags are cheaper).

I know its unfair to the customer to hold them in line and check their bags, but i think stores should be allowed to do it. It immediately cuts down on shoplifting since criminals can see that the store cares about security. Also, i think stores should have the right to protect their unsold products. I mean, a customer has the right to choose to shop somewhere else if they do not like security checks.

All that said, i can still see why andrzejpw is upset. So i guess im leaning both ways right now.
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