Hunting Down The Scavengers

, , , | Right | June 17, 2019

(The mall I work in has a No Solicitation policy. They also frequently have tween and teen groups doing scavengers hunts. Ten minutes after opening on a Saturday, a group of seven girls, around age fourteen, walks in with two adults. While I know they are on a scavenger hunt, there isn’t anything I can do until they actually out themselves and/or break store policy by taking pictures. As they look around the store, I can hear them whispering to each other about what products will work for items on their list.)

Girl: *holding up a pack of tissue paper* “How much will this cost?”

Me: “$2.95”

Girl: *to group* “Well, this would work for #5, since it’s pink!”

Girl’s Mom: “That’s a lot of money for one item… Maybe you can just get one piece?”

Girl: *to me* “Do you sell single sheets?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. They only come in the pack of eight sheets.”

Girl: “Do you have any swatches or samples we could have for free?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, and we don’t participate in scavenger hunts.”

(Mind you, I haven’t actually asked them to leave at this point; I’ve just made it clear that we won’t be participating.)

Girl’s Mom: “EXCUSE ME?! What makes you think this is a scavenger hunt?!”

Me: “I can tell.”

Girl’s Mom: “No, I want to know exactly why you’re refusing service to my daughter!”

Me: “Ma’am, you brought a group of teenage girls into a specialty boutique whose typical demographic is middle-aged women. They are holding a printed-out, numbered list, and discussing what they can get to qualify for those numbers. They asked for free merchandise. All of those are tell-tale signs of a scavenger hunt, which is, by the way, in violation of the mall’s No Solicitation policy. But do correct me if I’m wrong about any of this.”

Girl’s Mom: “I want to speak to your manager!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am the store manager.”

Girl’s Mom: “Well, how do you expect to do any business if you won’t participate in community events?!”

Me: “Your daughter’s birthday party is not a community event. And I expect to make a profit by not giving away merchandise to teenagers who are never going to spend a dime in my high-end store.”

Girl’s Mom: “Come on, girls; let’s go somewhere else!”

(I promptly called my buddies in the security office, and later saw the group being escorted through the mall, I can only assume to the exit.)

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