The Controversy Surrounding Receipt Checks: Lawyer Warns Walmart and Other Retailers of Potential Risks

TORONTO, Canada – Shoppers at Walmart and other retailers have been warned about the potential risks associated with receipt checks. While these inspections are common practice in membership stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, outrage has sparked among customers as receipt checks have been implemented at non-membership stores such as Walmart.

Critics argue that these checks are intrusive and make them feel as though they are being treated like criminals. Customers have also expressed frustration over long lines that form near store exits due to greeters checking individual receipts.

Daniel Tsai, a lawyer and professor at Toronto Metropolitan University and the University of Toronto, has highlighted the risks of false imprisonment. He argues that detaining customers without their consent, despite no evidence of wrongdoing, can be considered false imprisonment.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has discussed the concept of shopkeepers’ privilege, stating that shop owners have the right to detain suspected shoplifters until law enforcement arrives only if they are certain that a theft has taken place. However, they are not authorized to search customers without their consent.

Legal experts have further joined the debate regarding receipt checks. George LaMarche, an attorney at the LaMarche Safranko Law firm, advises shoppers to comply with the policy of showing their receipts at stores like Walmart. He warns that customers who refuse to comply could risk being banned from the store and potentially face trespassing charges if they return.

The West Coast Trial Lawyers emphasize that receipt checks must be non-discriminatory. Meanwhile, lawyer Brian Waldman warns that refusing to show a receipt may lead store owners to become more suspicious, potentially implying that customers have committed a crime.

While receipt checks are common practice in membership stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, non-membership stores such as Walmart typically do not have the same policy. These checks are carried out in warehouses like Costco to ensure accuracy and that customers are being charged correctly.

Sam’s Club is currently testing new technology designed to make the receipt-checking process more convenient for both shoppers and workers. The aim is to eliminate the time it takes for a store associate to scan a shopper’s receipt at the door.

Overall, receipt checks have sparked controversy among shoppers, raising concerns about privacy rights and potential false imprisonment. Retailers continue to grapple with finding a balance between ensuring the accuracy of charges and maintaining customer trust and satisfaction.