TigerDirect Security Illegally Detains a Customer

Standing up for your rights can be a pain. It certainly takes fortitude.

Thus, the events set out in TigerDirect Unlawfully Restrains And Verbally Abuses Customer For Not Submitting To Receipt-Showing Demands.

One little warning: whether a shop can demand you show a receipt to exit is most likely a question of state law — and yours might be different from his.

I once satisfied myself that Florida law does not allow a normal merchant to prevent me from exiting a shop with goods I've paid for, even if I choose not to show a receipt, so I don't show receipts when asked to at TigerDirect or CompUSA. (As I'm not admitted to practice in Florida, you shouldn't consider that legal advice.) And I'd note that I'm not sufficiently clear what the Florida law is for stores that don't admit the general public — so I do show a receipt at Costco, which requires membership before you can shop there.

Why, one might ask, would anyone be a pain about stuff like this? Are we not sympathetic with merchants being stung by shoplifters, thieves whose actions just force higher prices on the rest of us? I am sympathetic: they have a very legitimate beef, but have chosen a bad way to deal with it.

As our good friends at the Canard Enchainé say about press freedom, La liberté de la presse ne s'use que quand on ne s'en sert pas (“Freedom of the press gets used up only when unused”), so too with other freedoms.

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3 Responses to TigerDirect Security Illegally Detains a Customer

  1. howard says:

    I had no idea that a customer was not required to show a receipt to leave a store after she purchases goods. I will forever think twice before showing a receipt again like I do before stepping through the blower machine at the airport because of reading one of your previous posts. Could you point to the relevant FL statutes or any FL cases that defines FL law on this issue? How much money do you think somebody could realistically expect to collect for being unlawfully restrained for a short period, like the one described in the story, here in FL?

  2. SEO says:

    In alot of states also showing a bag for inspection isn’t “law” but the stores still display bags/receipts must be produced before leaving the store.

    The way the stores can display such signs is it’s “store” policy and not “law”. So leaving without showing bags or receipts for checking isn’t an offence and you can’t be detained, and the most the store can do legally is refuse entry next time you visit for not obeying store policy.

    But yes it varies from state to state.

    Carly,

  3. joe says:

    I probably would have shown the receipt and got out of the store. Then again, I wouldn’t buy anything at a TigerDirect store. Their printed catalogs are filled with junk. Why bother?

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