>I know that store folks can’t chase down shoplifters anymore, but Whole Foods has a completely different approach, and it’s no good. Whole Foods just bans you for life, no matter what your story is. This is what happened to Lisa Portes.
I guess she was in the store, and bought a whole bunch of stuff. Then she remembered one last thing, and grabbed it. Then her kid said he had to go to the bathroom. After taking him to the john, she walked out of the store, forgetting she hadn’t paid for that last item. A security guard approached her and said she didn’t buy that bottle of vitamins. Suddenly realizing her error, she said she’d go back in and pay. But he snapped her photo, made her sign something and banned her from shopping there for life. She eventually convinced them to reinstate her, but says she probably won’t be going back.
This kind of reminds me of something that happened to the huppy’s mom. In this plaza near our house there’s a drug store next to a little convenience store. Both have some grocery items. She went into one, bought some stuff, and went into the other one and bought some stuff. Because she had different store bags, he ordered her to show him the receipt for the drug store stuff, because she’d been in the store for a half an hour and people often use strollers and other store bags to hide things they’ve stolen. Never mind that all the drug store stuff had UPC codes on it and the convenience store doesn’t use bar-code scanners, and never mind the reason she was in the store for a half an hour was because he wouldn’t get off his lazy behind and help her look for the items she was looking for. She couldn’t find the receipt, and he made a big fuss about “I should just charge you for these items again.” but he didn’t, telling her she was lucky. But he still said he would take her picture from the cameras and put it up in the store, telling others to watch her.
She was so mad that she actually came home with the items and then came back and showed him the receipt, at which point he just yelled at her and said “This is no good after the fact,” even though his times matched up with what the receipt said. Then the dork even lied about his name when we asked him what it was, and threatened to have her banned from the store. Oh well, he’s a fired dork now. But that whole experience made me mad, and I wasn’t even the one being falsely accused.
I understand that lots of shoplifters use their kids as decoys and buy some items but not others, hoping the store staff won’t notice the items they didn’t pay for, but I think the banning policy should be lifted as soon as the person says they’ll pay for the items they walked out with. I guess you could say that they’ll pay this time and just be more careful the next time, but a lifetime ban for a mistake seems a little insane.