View Full Version : Damn...I think I was sucky

09-29-2008, 06:14 AM
I was shopping at Wal-Mart today, and bought a lot of stuff. (My foster daughter really needed clothes, so we did a major shopping trip for her.)

I picked up a few things for myself, including a couple of bras, because I really needed them.

Anyway, we checked out, and as we were going out, the sensors went off.
I stopped on the other side, and was waiting, but then the next person came through and they went off, and the next person after that...same thing.
The clerk started to approach the third person through, but I figured, with 3 people all setting it off, it must have been a malfunction, and I kept going. Nobody stopped us.

Now I wish I had gone back in.

I was going through my clothes, putting them away, and I decided to wear one of my new bras tomorrow, so I took it out of the box. It still has its magnetic sensor tag on it. It's one of those that won't come off without tearing the material.
Now, I will have to make a special trip back with my receipt and have to explain why I kept going with the sensor going off.

My sister says I should call them first, so they are aware of the problem, and they know I'm coming in.

09-29-2008, 06:15 AM
Nil suck.

It was an error on the part of the employee to do their job properly, if they can't respond to the alarms it's their problem.

09-29-2008, 06:23 AM
But I probably should have gone back in, don't you think? That's the part that has me feeling just a bit sucky.

It was an honest mistake on my part, because I just assumed malfunction. My BIL was driving, and he had been so patient, but we were invited to my brother's for dinner, and I hated to make him wait any longer.

I should have gone back, just to be sure. Oh well, I am the one who ended up inconvenienced, I guess. :shrug:

09-29-2008, 06:38 AM
...Oh well, I am the one who ended up inconvenienced, I guess. :shrug:

You should have, but I know that if I was in your situation I would've done the same thing as you. And after having observed a bunch of people going through, setting off the sensors, if an associate didn't come running I might also assume that they figured it was no big deal, anyway.

In the end, though, the associate was the one who caused all of the inconvenience because if s/he would have been more attentive during the transaction the sensor/tags would not have been overlooked and who knows--the others who set off the alarm may have been from the same cashier.

09-29-2008, 08:18 AM
The people who have to respond to those at my local Wal Mart all tend to be about two days younger than God, so they don't move so fast anymore. That said, rare is the day I've actually seen anyone stop because a Wal Mart sensor goes off.

09-29-2008, 09:05 AM
Not sucky at all. Heck, I even walk past the Wal-Mart folks who want to check my receipt.

09-29-2008, 10:23 AM
Not sucky in the slightest - as your sis suggested, call in first

09-29-2008, 11:33 AM
But I probably should have gone back in, don't you think? That's the part that has me feeling just a bit sucky.

It was an honest mistake on my part, because I just assumed malfunction.

I don't think you were sucky. I probably would've thought the same thing because it kept going off for different people and no one came over to check. I would've assumed that maybe they already knew it was malfunctioning and that's why no one was walking over.

09-29-2008, 02:41 PM
When I buy baby formula, it usually sets off the sensors. Nine times out of ten, I'm near enough to the clerk that checked me out that they look up, see it's me, and wave me on.

Last week at Target I bought a printer ink cartridge. When I left and the sensors went off, an employee came up and asked,"Do you know what set it off?" I said, "Probably the print cartridge." The employee said, "Oh, you got a print cartridge. Yeah, that's why. Go ahead." She didn't look in my bags. She didn't look at my receipt.

Anyway, in your situation Ree, if there was no greeter in the immediate area, they probably would have waved you on through anyway - especially with three people in a row setting it off.

Sorry you have to make another trip, but you definitely were not sucky.

Lingering Grin
09-29-2008, 02:54 PM
The only time I ever get my receipt checked is when I'm walking out with something that isn't in a bag. (Usually because it's too big to fit in one, or I only bought 1 thing).

Other than that, they never even acknowledge me :p

09-29-2008, 02:59 PM
I don't see any suck on your part. It was an honest mistake.

I'm sure you already know, but make sure you bring your receipt with you when you go back in.

09-29-2008, 03:03 PM
My mom never stops for it anymore, even when it goes off for her. The last time she did at a Walmart they freaked out on her, checked her receipt, and even though she had paid for everything she had, they called some sort of rent-a-cops on her.

If you knew you paid for everything, then you weren't sucky. If it went off for three people walking through it, then it probably was malfunctioning. Sometimes employees forget to take those tags off, and if you were reasonable in assuming that the sensor was messing up, then I don't think you were sucky.

09-29-2008, 03:03 PM
I don't think you were sucky, Ree... inattentive perhaps, but no more so than the associate who checked you out :) In the end, I bet they'll appreciate your honesty at coming back!

09-29-2008, 03:12 PM
It was an honest mistake. I mean really, I think if any of us had walked through and set off the sensor -- and then saw two more people do the exact same thing -- we all would have assumed it was a malfunction. I think as long as you go back in with the receipt and don't start yelling and blaming the store (we all know you would never do that) that no one can, in any way, think you are sucky.

I do think the "calling ahead" idea is a good one though. Especially if you call when you are on your way there (or about to be) so that someone at the Customer Service desk can know to expect you. I bet you'll be a bright moment in their day of SCs :p

09-29-2008, 03:40 PM
I don't think you were sucky.

But see, at this point, this is the time when you go on the internet and buy one of those little guns that take off the security tag without hurting the fabric.

I have one around here somewhere...

09-29-2008, 05:00 PM
I used to have something -- didn't know what it was -- in my purse that made those sensors go off. I swear, this went on for a year! Every time I entered certain stores, and every time I left. This happened at least half a dozen stores that I went to often. And how many times did I get stopped?

Not once. Ever.

Most places the employees didn't even look up. Customers would though. If the employees did look up, they'd just wave me through.

It was embarrassing, so I finally cleaned out my purse and went to the customer-service counter at Kohl's, and politely asked if they could find what was setting off the alarms. It was a little tag tucked inside a coin purse.

Evil Queen
09-29-2008, 06:05 PM
Go ahead and call them, inform them of the situation and return to the store (with recipt) to get the sensor taken off.

You weren't sucky, but next time it happens, I'd check my things. Just so it doesn't mean you have to make another trip. :)

09-29-2008, 06:45 PM
But I probably should have gone back in, don't you think?

No, I don't. The pedestals (sp?) go off so often they are pretty much ignored these days. About the only thing the tags are good for is the sound of them being ripped off (very distinctive).

cinema guy
09-29-2008, 07:10 PM
My old hearing aid used to set them off going into a certain store.

I didn't wait, going in or going out.

09-29-2008, 07:17 PM
Memory cards (Compact Flash etc.) set them off, so when I'm carrying my camera (often) I'll end up setting the things off.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
09-29-2008, 10:07 PM
The EAS pedestals at my store go off all the time. And nobody responds to them.

Every so often management will give us the "EAS response is everyone's job" talk, but it is always quickly forgotten. They go off so often and the people keep walking out to the parking lot, so what can you do if the person doesn't stop?

And half the time, when the damn things go off, it's due to an item from another store not having the EAS tag deactivated.

So in summation: No suck on Ree's part.

09-30-2008, 02:08 AM
Nope, no suck. No one was tending to you even though you waited. You had no clear reason to wait longer, given the frequency of the sensors' false alarms.

And thanks, Crazylegs. I think you just took the mystery out of why my cell phone kept setting off the Walmart sensors for the longest time - it's got a memory card.

09-30-2008, 02:22 AM
Memory cards (Compact Flash etc.) set them off, so when I'm carrying my camera (often) I'll end up setting the things off.
Interesting... I usually keep my camera in my backpack (small camera, but in my pocket it looks, well, large and square, which is fine, but sales people and LP always keep an eye on me when they see it in my pocket, and my cell phone, and my wallet and my keys, both my pockets are usually full, so they keep an eye on me in case I'm stealing, so I just keep it in my backpack, I never get any looks with a backpack)

Alarms don't usually go off, but If the camera is in a side pocket they sometimes do, not always, but sometimes. That might explain why. It's funny though, a backpack that looks like it won't close (because of a large laptop), sets off the alarm, and employees don't even care.

10-01-2008, 07:03 PM

At the Verkkokauppa here (big computer parts store, so lots of stealable stuff), they use the metal-foil stickers to tag the boxes, and for some reason they have a tag-disabler that isn't very reliable - I think it is on the edge of it's range, since it is working through a wooden desk. So while the cashiers are quite careful about disabling the tags, they do still set the detectors off quite regularly. But when that happens, they usually call the customer back and try to disable the tag properly. I've never seen the detectors set off by the actual technology being bought, so perhaps these other ones are wrongly calibrated.

It's difficult for a shoplifter to simply run away, because Verkkokauppa is on an upper floor of a small shopping centre, and the only ways out are lifts and an escalator. There are probably security staff one radio call away on the ground floor.

I should note that the big-ticket things (such as high-end graphics cards) have more sophisticated tags on them, which are a bit more like clothing tags and have to be physically detached. Smaller items, such as memory, are put in a tamper-resistant box which has a permanent tag - the box is removed by the cashier.

So I am very surprised that there are stores that don't bother to react when their LP technology goes off.

Ree's experience probably stems from that cashier simply being consistently sloppy. After you get false alarms, or a high volume of alarms, you do get a bit jaded.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
10-01-2008, 07:14 PM
So I am very surprised that there are stores that don't bother to react when their LP technology goes off.

Ree's experience probably stems from that cashier simply being consistently sloppy. After you get false alarms, or a high volume of alarms, you do get a bit jaded.

IMO, EAS does nothing more than give stores a false sense of security. At least in a big-box environment.

The only thieves it seems to deter are unbelievably stupid ones. If I were a shoplifter (and I am not one at all), I'd just remove the EAS stickers from the package or open up the packaging somehow. People have resorted to using cigarette lighters to melt plastic blister packs off locked peghooks. Then they take the package to the fitting rooms or the bathroom and remove the item. So right there EAS doesn't do a damn bit of good.

If I was stealing clothing that had the plastic two-piece tags, I'd conceal it in a big duffel bag or some other way. And when the alarm went off, I'd just keep right on walking. Unless LP has been watching me the entire time, they can't stop me or chase me. And if they have, then really what did the EAS confirm that they didn't know before?

Like I said before, the EAS pedestals go off all the time in my store, and they are always ignored. Kinda like a car alarm.

10-01-2008, 08:37 PM
I think it does raise the bar quite a lot, when it is used properly. It catches the merely forgetful, and most of the beginners. To catch the rest, you do need good old-fashioned vigilance.

Verkkokauppa are actually very careful about how they attach the stickers. It's usually somewhere inside the box, rather than on the outside. Then there aren't any fitting rooms or toilets where the tag could be removed without being noticed. I also just remembered that the big-ticket tags are an active type - if you remove them from the box without being disabled first, they'll sound an alarm themselves.

Under these or similar conditions, anyone who sets off the alarm is worth investigating. In the first instance it's usually the cashier's job to re-check the goods that he knows have been paid for (the exit being close enough to all of the lanes). If someone starts running (or just doesn't stop) after the alarm goes off, security shows up. (Never seen that happen - Finns are usually honest.)

It really is just sloppiness. If the detectors are properly adjusted, so they don't go off for the ridiculously common memory cards and suchlike, then there aren't false alarms. If the cashiers make sure to disable or remove all the tags upon sale, there are no false alarms. If the alarm *still* goes off, then it needs to be investigated by the friendly LP personnel.

As I say, it doesn't catch *all* theft. But it raises the bar enough to be worthwhile, *if* done properly.

Jay 2K Winger
10-03-2008, 04:18 AM
Ugh, I hate the EAS machines at my store. For starters, since the store has started cutting hours and forcing people to assume multiple responsibilities (Express Cashier is now in charge of manning the Self Check podium as well; Service Desk is meant to do FLS duties), nobody remembers to turn on the EAS deactivators at the registers anymore. And the Self Checks don't deactivate anything anymore either (or only half the time).

Result? The EAS pedestals at the front door go off constantly, and is no end of annoyance to the FDLPs like Yours Truly.

Customer: "Doesn't that get on your nerves?"
J2K: "What?"
Customer: "I said, doesn't that get on your nerves?"
J2K: (louder) "What?"
Customer: *laughs*