Our Readers' Opinions
January 5, 2007

Demand your receipt, stamp

EDITOR: I am very disturbed by an incident that occurred while I was shopping in Middle Street recently. I arrived at the cash desk with some curtains and asked if the store had any discounts that day. I was told there was none. I paid for the curtains and upon noticing that the cashier (who also appeared to be in charge of the store) did not immediately issue a receipt, I kindly asked for one along with a stamp. To my amazement, the cashier unleashed a barrage of angry words saying that I had no right to tell him to give me a stamp because once he gives a receipt he always gives a stamp.{{more}} I tried to explain that I have been to a number of stores in Middle Street, where receipts are either not issued or issued only on request or issued without a stamp or issued with an excuse for the missing stamp for example “We are out of stamps.”

The irate cashier only continued to declare that I was in essence “out of place” to request a stamp, and even sought to get other customers on his side. Had I not been shopping for a relative, I would have left the curtains and demanded a refund.

Instead I left and mulled over the incident. I thought about how embarrassed and hurt I was made to feel for standing up for my right and decided to do something about it. I returned to Middle Street and stood a few yards from the store and for about 20 minutes, surveyed all the people who came out of the store within that time. My question, “Did you get a receipt?” Of the five persons who made a purchase, NONE received a receipt.

I commend the Department of Trade for their efforts in trying to educate consumers about their rights. However I am afraid that too many people remain unconcerned about these matters. I also feel that the burden should be on merchants who are required by law to provide receipts with appropriate stamps, and not on consumers to request them. As for me, I will continue to request my receipts – tongue lashings by law breaking cashiers will certainly not hinder me.

Vigilant Shopper