‘I will return every item,’ Walmart shopper warns with furious response to receiving checks

A FUMING shopper threatened to return a raft of items if asked for a receipt.

Walmart has cracked down on shoplifting in many locations by locking up expensive but easy-to-hide items — and often by checking receipts at the door.

Walmart has implemented a number of anti-theft policies in recent years – and shoppers don’t like themCredit: Getty
Walmart Shoppers Are Constantly Frustrated by Random Receipt ChecksCredit: Getty

A buyer recently said on Twitter that this policy was “wrong.”

“To legally require a receipt, they must suspect theft,” the buyer tweeted.

“This is demeaning and disrespectful. Walmart absolutely does not enforce this policy consistently. They never ask me to show a receipt, and if they did, I would show my receipt and then immediately return every item.”

Many shoppers are asked to show their receipts before leaving the store, a Walmart spokesperson told ABC10.

This angry shopper was responding to a video on Twitter, now X, showing a heated encounter between a Walmart employee and a family of customers.

As the couple and their two children attempted to exit the store, a Walmart employee ran in front of them, demanding to see their receipt after they claimed they had already paid at the register.

“Show me the receipt,” the employee said, blocking the exit with his body. “That’s all I need to see.”

Yet even after the wife handed over the bill, the Walmart employee randomly rummaged through the shoppers’ cart looking for stolen items.

“You’re an idiot,” shouted the husband who recorded the confrontation and uploaded the video to X.

The video sparked a heated debate on the social media platform.

Some shoppers said they had no problem showing their receipts to employees at retail stores like Walmart, Target and Costco.

Many, meanwhile, are furious at the practice – and vow to “never” stop and show their receipts.

Random receipt checks are just one of many methods retailers now use to spot potential thieves. Other big companies like Target are implementing extra security, third-party guard services and queue limits at checkout that customers say are ruining their shopping experience.

Although employees are allowed to ask for customer receipts, shoppers aren’t legally required to stop if they don’t want to — in most states.

However, residents of New York, California, Florida, Illinois and Washington are required to comply when a store employee asks to see their receipt before leaving. These states interpret your refusal as probable cause for shoplifting.

Legality of reception and detention checks

In an effort to reduce retail crime, stores are increasingly turning to checks of receipts as shoppers exit.

Legally, stores can ask to see a customer’s receipts, and members-only stores have the right to require such checks if shoppers agree to terms and conditions that allow it.

Many legal professionals have spoken out and reached similar conclusions, emphasizing that all states have specific laws.

Generally speaking, stores have merchant privilege laws that allow them to detain a person until authorities arrive when they have reasonable suspicion that a crime, such as theft, has been committed.

Refusal to provide a receipt is not a reason in itself for a store to detain a customer; he must have additional reasons to suspect a buyer of criminal activity.

Due to the recent nature of receipt checks, there are few concrete laws on the legality of this practice, as it takes time for the law to catch up with technology.

Setliff Law, PC asserts that “there is no definitive case law specifically relating to refusal to produce a purchase receipt.”

Stores that improperly use their merchant privilege could face false imprisonment claims.

“The main law that applies to these types of wrongful detention cases is called ‘false imprisonment,'” explained local Hudson Valley attorney Alex Mainetti.

“Of course, you are not literally imprisoned, but you are detained by a person who has no legal authority to detain you and/or who is unjustly detaining a client.”

It is likely that as altercations in stores over receiving checks continue, more and more lawsuits will arise, giving clearer definitions and limits to the legality of receiving checks.

A retail expert previously told the US Sun that shoppers would likely visit competing stores if their regular retailer implemented policies that extend the shopping experience with anti-theft policies, according to a consumer survey.

Although Walmart doesn’t require shoppers to present their receipts at the door, Costco has a clause written in the membership details.

Many buyers are quick to point out this fact.

“Nowhere on the Walmart website in the policy section does it say you have to let them check your receipt,” one tweeted.

Faced with growing concerns about theft and organized shoplifting, retail chains like Walmart and Costco are cracking down on customers to deter crime despite consumer complaints.

Shoppers feel shortchanged when employees single them out for random receipt checks at the door. Many do not even know that they can refuse to comply.

Although Walmart’s spokesperson said its intention was to “verify every receipt,” that’s not always the case.

One X user said he was “never asked to leave.”

“I just say goodbye and they say goodbye, and I leave with my stuff,” the buyer said.