Handcuffs deployed successfully

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It surprises me how many people don’t realize that they don’t need to submit to a receipt check in a retail store. Why not? I’ll answer with a question. Would you let a store employee unlock your cellphone to verify that it’s actually yours and not a stolen display model? Would you let a store employee inspect your wedding ring for an engraving to make sure it’s not from the store’s jewelry department? What about your sunglasses? Your purse or wallet? Would you let someone check the clothes you’re wearing for tags? No – because it’s YOUR stuff, right? A lot of people forget that once you pay for something, it’s yours. Which means that all that stuff in your shopping bag belongs to you as well, and no store employee has the right to search your possessions without a warrant or consent.

I haven’t been asked to present a receipt in quite a long time, but I am firm in my decision that the next time it happens, I am going to simply keep walking and wish the store employee a nice day. If stores are paranoid about theft, they should ditch the self-checkouts. It already takes me longer to shop fumbling with those awful machines – I don’t have time to stop and be searched like a criminal, too. One quip I read online recently was “I never signed up for the cashier’s job so if I did it badly… oh well!”

There are so many stores – good, local stores – that don’t use self-checkout and still provide great customer service. Yes, big box retailers that treat us like criminals will always be less expensive, and for some families, there is no choice but to shop where the prices are low. This is understandable, and no judgement here. Those who can afford to spend their dollars at smaller, locally owned stores should do so to take a stand against the decline of customer service (and get a great shopping experience!).

This situation is either going to come full circle, with a return to real customer service when retailers realize it is cheaper in the long run, or more technology is going to be deployed to make customers’ lives even more miserable in the name of loss prevention. Perhaps soon, it won’t be “thank you for using self-checkout” that we hear in a robotic tone reverberating around the store, but rather “handcuffs deployed successfully” as the self-checkout detains a suspected shoplifter. Heck, maybe they could even be loaded with tasers and pepper spray. Anything to make big bucks for big corporations, all while utterly humiliating customers and violating their rights. Enough is enough. Shop small, shop local.

 

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