Verify: Do stores have a legal right to check your receipts?

VERIFY: Can stores check your receipt?

While you're out shopping, you might find some stores asking to see your receipt before you leave the building.

One of our viewers asked whether stores have a legal right to make these stops.

To tackle this question, we talked to three sources: Lt. Randy Gonzalez at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, Jason Blankenship at the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and Shawn Conroy at the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection.

Big lines, bulky purchases, hot bargains -- they're all part of the shopping experience. Sometimes, so are receipt checks.

It's not just during the holidays either. At some stores, it's company policy year round.

Most people we spoke with didn't mind too much.

"I mean, I understand why they do it, so it's OK. I mean, they're just trying to protect their merchandise," said Deena Bethe.

But do stores have a legal right to check your receipt?

"Just like their returns and exchange policies, it varies store-by-store, but they absolutely do have the right to do that," said Jason Blankenship, Director of Business Services at the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia.

So it is legal for them to ask you, but do you have to comply?

Blankenship says, "You can refuse. However, you will be questioned, maybe by security, even though you're completely innocent."

Lt. Randy Gonzalez at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office says as far as he knows, there's no law forcing you to show that receipt, so as long as you didn't steal anything, you'll be allowed to go. 

Just because you can though, it doesn't mean you should. Blankenship says theft is a big risk for stores.

He says that of all the inventory that's lost at stores, "28 percent of the loss is strictly through shoplifting."

So we verified if you really don't want to, there's nothing forcing you to show your receipt, but store managers would likely appreciate the gesture. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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