Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Receipt please?

I've noticed a trend where I live that I do not care for.  More and more stores and restaurants are not giving customers receipts.  Hardly any restaurant does unless you use a credit card.  But the trend for stores really bothers me.  If I have a problem with goods purchased, or believe I was not charged correctly, I have no basis to contest said charges if I don't have a receipt. 

I learned the value of a receipt many year ago.  I remember when I was about 18 and still living in California. A new warehouse store opened (they were all the rage back then).  And I bought some stuff for the family as my mother just about refused to shop anywhere you had to bag your own groceries.  Well, before I even left the store, I suspected something was afoul. The receipt showed onions 22 lbs. There were only three onions--that's a big onion.  I went over to the customer service booth and claimed I was charged about 20 lbs more onions than I bought. The clerk didn't believe me and said I was lying. I  held up a small bag of three onions. I said I had not left the store. There were no other onions with my purchase. Reluctantly, the little twerp summoned the manager. I got a refund and departed. I have no idea how their scales were that far off, but I was sure glad I checked the receipt before leaving.

Now, my long held suspicion when there's no receipt has been that the employee is stealing from the company. Cash is pocketed and the transaction is never properly entered in the computer.  I used to work at a hotel where they were constantly firing bartenders for building a bank and not registering the transactions.  If you paid cash, the customer didn't get a receipt and the transaction for that beer or bottle of wine never was rung up.

I suspect that's what's happening at the stores that don't give you receipts as well.  It's so pervasive that I just took an old printer to the county run recycling place where they charge .20 cents a pound and there are two signs saying I should expect a receipt for every transaction--yet the attendant wouldn't give me a receipt.  Even a small independent grocery store won't give receipts. It's everywhere.  I've started demanding receipts even if I don't really need them. 

I do realize so many people are paying for stuff with their phones or debit cards and don't feel they need them, but it should be my option if I get one or not. 

One of my odd quirks is I always ask for receipts on bridges that collect tolls (which they're now requiring transponders for and getting rid of toll booths). I was once stopped on a trip to San Francisco to buy illegal fireworks by the highway patrol, who claimed I hadn't paid my toll.  Said officer was surprised when I produced a time stamped official receipt showing I had indeed paid my toll, and off I went. I want my receipts.

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