March 21, 2007
Door checking receipts (WalMart, Costco, Best Buy, Target)
Since I’m up at this obscene hour with what seems to be my first onset of “hay fever” allergies, I may as well assault you, gentle reader, with another dose of vitriol.
For those who belong to Costco, the following scenario is commonplace and recognizable. Unfortunately, it seems to have made it to WalMart, Best Buy, and Target.
You go to the checkout with your cart full of consumerist booty. Items are scanned, bagged, and ultimately, purchased. You thank the cashier, load the bags back into your cart, and head for the door – but wait! Here to block your progress is some prepubescent teen or kindly septuagenarian brandishing a highlighter like Obi-Wan has just introduced them to the Force. And they don’t want to know how long you’ve owned these droids. Nope, they’re here to…
Mark your receipt. They will make a cursory examination of your cart, check your receipt, and then expertly apply a colored slash. As if a five second inspection is actually going to correlate the contents of my cart to my receipt?
This is a ridiculous circus of a policy. Oh, of course you’ll hear technical sounding terms like “loss prevention” and “shrinkage oversight,” but honestly, this is a feeble show that provides no actual enforcement against theft – but immeasurable big-ass boatloads of aggravation to the 99% of customers who actually paid for their purchases.
To use the same metaphor as my earlier post on customer service, this is like gun control – it mostly punishes those who obey the rules.
Now I can see posting someone at the entrance to stop would-be pilferers from leaving “out through the in door.” I can even see posting someone at the registers just to observe customers who might “accidentally” slip the latest issue of the Weekly World News into one of their shopping bags.
However, subjecting customers to TSA inspired inspections of pointlessness is an indignity and annoyance. It’s plainly obvious to both the customer and the poor sap assigned to the duty that they aren’t remotely able to actually match my receipt to what’s in my cart. And when even the Emperor notices he’s naked, it’s time to dump the policy.