Do I have to show my receipt when I leave a store?
El Paso, Texas —
Art, a KFOX14 viewer, had this question: "Do you really have to show your receipt to store staff on your way out?"
The short answer is no. A quick search of legal advice on Google revealed that if a store has no evidence that you've stolen anything, you don't have to show your receipt unless it's a membership store like Sam's Club or Costco. In those cases, you permit them to check your receipts as part of the membership agreement you sign.
In addition, if a licensed public law enforcement officer asks to see your receipt, you should show it.
The thing to keep in mind is whether it's worth your time and energy to refuse to show a receipt, because store employees could try to delay you by calling security or police. They could also ban you from the store, since it’s their property and they have the legal right to refuse service to anyone.
It probably takes less time to show your receipt than to deal with the hassle of not showing it, but if you want to make a legal case out of it, you can. For example, if store employees keep you from leaving and detain you for an extended period of time, you could claim false imprisonment. But be prepared to pay for a lawyer, and once again, spend more of your time and energy.
If you don't like showing your receipt when leaving a store, your best bet is to take your business elsewhere, to a store where employees won't ask to check your receipt.