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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Although coffee is at the softer end of things, there's ample case law in which holding somebody's property was deemed tantamount to detention because you know that people aren't apt to abandon their property. In a more clear-cut case, that might be holding somebody's driver's license or purse, but it's not as clear cut as "you could have departed without your property."
    The store wasn't holding her property. It was acting on good faith that it was retaining an unsold product. Since she was unable to show via a reciept that the property was indeed paid for, the store had every expectation to trust its inventory management system over her words. Once she produced the reciept for the property the store returned the item. One of the reasons that customers are given reciepts is to show proof of ownership of the products purchased. The store does not have any responsability in tracking that reciept once issued. It is encumbant upon the customer to care for it.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    It's only reasonable if the equipment works. If the employee (or their employer) knew or should have known that the equipment was faulty, or that verification of a sale depended upon knowing exactly what register was used yet failed to take appropriate steps to identify the correct register, that's negligence.
    Where is the evidence that the employeed faild in her duty? The employee pulled up sales for the item and was able to state that the product wasn't sold for x amount of days according to the system. Therefore, the employee demonstrated an understanding of how the inventory system worked and how to track sales on it. If the system failed to update, etc that is not the fault of the employee.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting antrc170
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    The store wasn't holding her property. It was acting on good faith that it was retaining an unsold product.
    Wrong. Whether or not they were acting "in good faith" they were holding property that she had purchased from them - it is beyond question that the coffee she paid for was her property.
    Quote Quoting antrc170
    Since she was unable to show via a reciept that the property was indeed paid for, the store had every expectation to trust its inventory management system over her words.
    As I have already explained, the store has no business utilizing a system that it knew or should have known was not accurate. Further, the audit trail would have reflected the purchase had the employee looked in the correct place.
    Quote Quoting antrc170
    The store does not have any responsability in tracking that reciept once issued. It is encumbant upon the customer to care for it.
    Nobody argued otherwise. But that doesn't mean that the store can assume you're a thief if you cannot immediately find a receipt for something you purchased, nor does it relieve the store of its duties.
    Quote Quoting antrc170
    Where is the evidence that the employeed faild in her duty?
    The evidence is not disputed: The purchase was made, the employee was not able to verify it and, when confronted with the fact that she had made a mistake, offered silly excuses such as "You didn't tell me what check stand you bought it on so I couldn't find your receipt". That does not reflect an understanding of the system - it reflects basic ignorance of the system, and indicates that the employee should have taken the very basic step of asking.

    The employee messed up, and no matter how much time you spend trying to call that stinker a rose it will remain a stinker.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Wrong. Whether or not they were acting "in good faith" they were holding property that she had purchased from them - it is beyond question that the coffee she paid for was her property.
    Up until she produced the reciept for the item there most certainly was a question of ownership of the property. The inventory system indicated that the product was not sold and entirely reasonable that they would rely on that.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    As I have already explained, the store has no business utilizing a system that it knew or should have known was not accurate. Further, the audit trail would have reflected the purchase had the employee looked in the correct place.
    What evidence do you have that the employee knew or should have known it was not providing the correct data. It apparently was able to pull up quite a bit of information on the product. Why would the employee not trust the system?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    But that doesn't mean that the store can assume you're a thief if you cannot immediately find a receipt for something you purchased, nor does it relieve the store of its duties.
    Thats exactly what it means! The store has every right to protect its property! Sneaking product past security to claim a refund on it is a common gimmic of shoplifters. The store has every righ to assume that any property not reciepted is unpaid for.

    To what duties does the store have exaclty? To verify the purchase of the item? It did that and determined (although in error) that it was not purchased.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    The employee messed up, and no matter how much time you spend trying to call that stinker a rose it will remain a stinker.
    There is still no evidence that the employee did anything negligent, you're just making that up. Unitl the customer could show the purchase, the employee was right in assuming it was company merchandise. Once shown that the system was in error, it was turned over to the buyer. Giving a lame excuse and not owning up to a mistake is far from illegal. The employee is certainly guilty of poor customer service, but that is neither illegal nor a tort.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting antrc170
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    Up until she produced the reciept for the item there most certainly was a question of ownership of the property. The inventory system indicated that the product was not sold and entirely reasonable that they would rely on that.
    Whatever question they may have had, the fact remains - without any doubt whatsoever - that the coffee was her property. The fact that the employee didn't know how to properly check the inventory system does not change the fact that the coffee was her property.
    Quote Quoting antrc170
    What evidence do you have that the employee knew or should have known it was not providing the correct data. It apparently was able to pull up quite a bit of information on the product. Why would the employee not trust the system?
    Had the employee known what she was doing, she would have been able to determine from the register tape or other records that the product had been sold. The store had records. The employee knew or should have known how to check them. The fact that she did not is prima facie evidence of negligence.

    Are you arguing merely to avoid admitting you were wrong, because all you're doing at this point is tossing out red herrings. If you don't understand basic negligence law or basic property law, great, I get it, we can move on.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    wow, thank you guys for engaging in a worthwhile debate on the issue. I was a little disappointed that initially, the feedback I was getting was irrelevant, at least from my point of view. I'm a little unsure how to quote everyone's comments, so I will just copy and paste them below:


    "There is still no evidence that the employee did anything negligent, you're just making that up. Until the customer could show the purchase, the employee was right in assuming it was company merchandise."



    Would she have acted the same way towards a 93 year old lady? I highly doubt it. Elderly people have been known to be absent minded at times and it is quite plausible that an elderly woman might forget what she did with her receipt if she went into the restroom and maybe sat it down on the sink. I highly doubt that the store clerk would have taken the old ladies coffee from her just because she accidentally (absent-mindlessly) got decaf by mistake and wanted to exchange it for regular. I doubt the clerk would threaten the lady to leave the store without her coffee that she just paid for or she was going to call the police. And if the woman insisted on getting her coffee back or wasn't leaving, I doubt the clerk would detain her in the back office and call security. And if it was discovered the lady did in fact pay for her coffee, I am certain she would have gotten an apology. If you're going to treat one customer this way, then you should treat them all this way and I doubt this is how they treat everyone who wants to exchange and item they just bought and misplaced their receipt. Most stores allow exchanges without receipts, I'm not even sure what prompted her to question the validity of the sale. It's not like I look like some shady character that is up to no good. Maybe she was hating on me because she was jealous of me for one reason or another, who knows.



    I hadn't even left the store yet, I'm sure there were other employees around that could have saw me purchasing it, or they could have checked their surveillance after they scanned the item and it was reported as not being sold for 29 days, before coming up to me and taking extreme measures such as leave the store and don't come back or I'm calling the police. And how am I supposed to come back and resolve it later if I had been told not to come back to the store? Then I would be trespassing right? so being labeled a shoplifter and then a trespasser and probably end up in jail is not something I care to get involved in. Leaving and not standing up for my innocence, would have been saying in a round about way that I didn't pay for the item. The fact that I stood there and declined to leave the store without my item and was insistent that I paid for it should've spoke volumes and should have alerted the clerk that hey, maybe she did pay for it, and give me the benefit of the doubt.


    "What evidence do you have that the employee knew or should have known it was not providing the correct data. It apparently was able to pull up quite a bit of information on the product. Why would the employee not trust the system?"


    I am certain this isn't the first time this has happened. I cannot prove it, but I am sure they know it is not accurate. How many times have you gone into Walmart or some other store and their inventory says they have X amount of product on the shelf only to find there is less than that or none at all? Obviously it is not accurate if I just purchased something and it is showing in their system that I did not. That doesn't automatically brand me a thief. She even asked me how long ago I purchased it and I told her 10-15 minutes ago. If that device is set to only sync or upgrade it's information every hour then of course it's not going to show it was just purchased. And I am inclined to believe that is the case and if so, it should've been taken into consideration. I have a hard time believing that this device updates in real time. That should have been their first inquiry.


    "Up until she produced the receipt for the item there most certainly was a question of ownership of the property. The inventory system indicated that the product was not sold and entirely reasonable that they would rely on that."


    keep in mind, Equipment can be faulty. Especially if it has a mechanism where it needs to be calibrated periodically. If you have a blood glucose monitor that hasn't been properly calibrated, you will get a false reading. I am sure the store knows that. I am also inclined to believe that this is not the first time this happened. They should have known if the customer is insisting that they paid for it and asking the store to verify this via other means, such as the method of payment, they never even asked how I paid for it. Many stores have a mechanism in place called "receipt look-up" and if you used a debit card for your purchase they can track it, and pull up your receipt.


    "Its not the stores job to track the customers receipt?"
    Then how come most stores do? granted, they do it as a courtesy, they still do it and it can be done.


    A while back I had my phone in my back pocket as well as a $1 bill and when i went to sit down on the toilet to used the restroom, the phone slid out of my back pocket but i felt it slipping out, and i caught it before it went into the toilet, however, i didn't realize the $1 bill went into the toilet and proceeded to do my business. It wasn't until I flushed the toilet that I actually noticed the dollar bill in there and I wasn't about to reach in the toilet after I just used it and fish it out of there. There's also the possibility that I may not have even noticed the dollar bill being flushed down the toilet, so why can't the same be true if I had the receipt in my back pocket and it slipped into the toilet when I took my pants down to use the facilities? So what if I misplaced my receipt in the bathroom, whats so uncommon about that? what if i had my hands full, and reached for a paper towel to blow my nose or something and accidentally discarded my receipt along with the paper towel when i threw it in the trash can. Its not so highly unusual for that to happen and if it did, I don't expect to be called a thief when i go to exit the store or make an exchange. They should understand that and take it into consideration.


    Thank you for the positive and negative feedback. I am glad to see someone here giving me the benefit of the doubt. Thank you for understanding where i am coming from.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    I'm kind of curious. All through this ordeal I presume you had a carton of organic chocolate milk in your hand or in a bag you were carrying that you had a misplaced receipt for yet it does not appear they questioned the validity of that purchase.

    Nobody ever mentioned that since you didn't have a receipt for the coffee that you also did not have a receipt for the milk so they had just as much reason to believe you stole that as well yet said nothing about it? Something is a bit odd about that, at least to me. For you not make an issue that you had the milk and it should show up as being sold should also be checked sounds a bit odd as well.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting gettup
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    Would she have acted the same way towards a 93 year old lady? I highly doubt it. Elderly people have been known to be absent minded at times and it is quite plausible that an elderly woman might forget what she did with her receipt if she went into the restroom and maybe sat it down on the sink.
    I'm not going to make assumptions about what this person would or would not do with a different customer. This could be anything from a momentary lapse to a bad day to a general bad attitude toward customers. If you go up the corporate chain, odds are you'll get somebody to issue some sort of apology.
    Quote Quoting gettup
    "Its not the stores job to track the customers receipt?"
    Then how come most stores do? granted, they do it as a courtesy, they still do it and it can be done.
    What he means is that it's your duty to take care of the physical receipt you get when you make your purchase, not the store's.
    Quote Quoting gettup
    There's also the possibility that I may not have even noticed the dollar bill being flushed down the toilet, so why can't the same be true if I had the receipt in my back pocket and it slipped into the toilet when I took my pants down to use the facilities?
    The same could be true. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to put your phone, money or your receipt in a pocket that is apt to dump them into the toilet when you sit down, or that you won't later run into skepticism or other problems when you say, "I accidentally flushed my receipt down the toilet," even if it happens to be true. Again, the bathroom is an epicenter of theft activity.

    Beyond that, there's always a "what if." What matters is what actually happened.
    Quote Quoting gettup
    Its not so highly unusual for that to happen and if it did, I don't expect to be called a thief when i go to exit the store or make an exchange.
    It's not even slightly unusual for a store to ask you for your receipt when you attempt to make an exchange. While they should not assume that you're a thief merely because you cannot immediately find it, if you have chosen to throw it away you should not be surprised if you get a "Sorry, no receipt, no exchange," and if you tell them, "I flushed it down the toilet," you can expect a lot of skepticism. Shoplifters attempt to return items without receipts. Sad to say, they make life difficult for the rest of us.

    In terms of the "benefit of the doubt", that's not really the issue. Even the store concedes you purchased the coffee.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    I'd start putting my receipt in the bag. Or my purse/wallet.

    Next up, to answer this question: How many times have you gone into Walmart or some other store and their inventory says they have X amount of product on the shelf only to find there is less than that or none at all?

    It can be explained by stock loss. And a few other ways.

    - Customer places item in cart, decides they don't want it, abandons it elsewhere. So of course a store inventory would be off. We'll use a bottle of wine as an example. Customer A decides to pick up a bottle of XYZ Wine from the shelf. Decides in the dog food department that he really doesn't want it, ditches it on a shelf. Or it could be in a Re-Shop cart.
    - Employee theft.
    - Customer theft.
    - Damaged item sitting in the damaged area waiting to be scanned.
    - I demonstrate products. Maybe the 6 bottles of wine are at my demo table and not on the shelf. The scanner will show 6 bottles on the shelf, but not that one is open for sampling, and 5 are on my table so I can keep track of sales.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Bought an Item then Needed to Exchange It but Was Accused of Stealing It and Deta

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
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    I'd start putting my receipt in the bag. Or my purse/wallet.
    If I recall correctly, she did. The "flushing it down the toilet" stuff is hypothetical. In fairness, I've placed things into a pocket, then found myself checking every nook and cranny of my wallet, and every pocket I have, only to find it in the very last place I look. (But I don't even consider theoretically toying around with merchandise in a restroom or flushing my receipts down the toilet before leaving a store.)
    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    It can be explained by stock loss. And a few other ways.
    There are other possibilities as well. Such as a scanner error during inventory or at the point of sale, by the inventory being in the back of the store and not yet on the shelf, by a cashier being unable to get the item to scan and then entering the wrong code.... But what happened in this case is that, after seeing no sales processed, the store employee checked the wrong register - from the statement attributed to the employee, and as one would expect from a store with any sort of scanner-based cash register, the employee would have verified the sale had she checked the correct register.

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