A Canadian shopper went viral after he claimed Costco ‘illegally’ detained him over not showing his receipt.
TikToker RakeshNDutt (@rakeshndutt) filmed an encounter he had with staff when he tried to leave the store without showing his receipt. The video has been viewed over 249,000 times as of publication.
A text overlay over the video reads: “Costco staff illegally detain us again over a receipt.”
@rakeshndutt #FYP #Foryou #Foryourpage #Vancouver #Canada #Costco #Profiling #Discrimination #Receipt #Shopping #Groceryshopping #Police #Cops #Security #Charter #HumanRights #CivilRights #Retail #Grocery ♬ original sound – RakeshNDutt
The short clip shows the TikToker wheeling his cart past a worker, who is checking people’s receipts before they exit. As he tries to leave, the worker and a manager stop him and ask for his receipt.
Costco routinely checks customers’ receipts when they leave. According to their website: “It is standard practice at all our warehouse locations to verify purchase receipts when customers exit our buildings.”
Though it’s unclear what occurred before filming started, the staffs’ behavior doesn’t seem unusual. Costco employees are searching for four markers, Business Insider reported, to ensure that payment was properly processed and customers aren’t overcharged.
Each receipt contains a code on the top and bottom to verify that the receipt was printed that day. An item count to make sure that there were no over or under charges. High end items over $300 require a supervisor’s initials on the receipt. Finally, large items like toilet paper and water have written signifiers to ensure that final checks include looking at the bottom of the basket.
The Daily Dot reached out to RakeshNDutt via TikTok comments and Costco via email for further information.
For most establishments, staff are unable to stop a customer if they fail to show their receipt. They are only able to stop someone if they have a reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.
Membership stores, like Costco, are a different matter. When someone purchases a membership they also sign a contract which, in all likelihood, contains an agreement to let the store check receipts before customers leave. Under the terms of the contract, membership stores could detain anyone who refuses to present their receipt at the door.
*First Published: Sep 7, 2023, 10:03 pm CDT
Parks Kugle is a writer and reporter based in San Antonio. His work has appeared in Lumina Literary Journal, Wicked Local Newspapers, and various publications across the U.S. He enjoys comics and gardening.