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Not Thinking Outside The Display Box

, , , | Right | March 2, 2018

(I work in a large retail chain and part of my job is theft prevention. A customer approaches me with a trolley containing one of our most expensive MixMasters and a pillow.)

Customer: “I have just realized that I left my wallet in the car; would you mind leaving this pillow behind registers for me while I go and get it?”

(I notice that the MixMaster has one of our store’s security stickers on it with the store name clearly printed on it.)

Me: “Not a problem. I will just need to see a receipt for that MixMaster before you leave the store.”

(The customer hands me a receipt — from a different chain of stores — that has no product name on it whatsoever, only a price at the bottom which doesn’t not match the price of the product.)

Me: “Sorry, but this receipt isn’t for this product. It is also from a different store, whereas the product you have in your trolley is from our store.”

(At this point, I am well aware that the customer is attempting to steal the MixMaster. The customer knows this and begins to get very defensive.)

Customer: “No! I brought this from [Other Store], and you can’t prove I didn’t. I have given you the receipt for it, so it is mine!”

Me: “As I said before, the receipt doesn’t match the product, and this product is from [Our Store], as you can see from this sticker here. If you can’t prove that you have paid for it here, I have to take it from you.”

(This goes on for a while longer, and the customer becomes more and more difficult to deal with. It is at this point that I realize the box the customer has in her trolley is, in fact, a display box, meaning it contains nothing at all.)

Me: “Fine. Have it your way. You can keep the MixMaster if you want; however, it won’t do you much good, since what you have in your trolley is actually a display box.”

(I picked the box up to confirm it was, in fact, empty, and the customer seized it from my hands. I watched her face drop as she realized that the box contained nothing at all. She then proceeded to slam the box onto the ground and run out the front door without another word.)

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