Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Tax time headache?
Let us crunch the numbers

Bag Checks at Retail Stores

By bearlikesbeer 28 November 2008 158

Is it just me, or is anyone else in Canberra getting sick of sales staff and security guards requesting to look in their bags when when leaving a shop?  Nearly every store I frequent has adopted this policy in some form, and most of them don’t seem to understand that there is a Code of Practice for such procedures.  Instead, they seem to make up the rules as they go, calling it “store policy” or “conditions of entry”.

I have found that many ACT retail stores are unaware of, or don’t care, that they are regularly violating this code by failing to advise patrons that bag checks are conducted in the store, or failing to conduct bag check in accordance with the code.

Tags

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
158 Responses to
Bag Checks at Retail Stores
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
8
Che_elle 10:57 pm 12 Dec 08

GB the idea that we should accept that ‘”the customer is always right”, to be a bad philosophy, is terrifying. That’s what the job is: customer service. Without customers, the business has no purpose!

I do not condone any form of abuse or poor behaviour, but that cuts both ways staff and customers. This is a business transaction and negotiation needs to be undertaken.

Of course a person has a right to not be checked by a stranger and have their belongings rifled through. Such powers are reserved for only certain members of society and in limited circumstances for good policy reasons.

Equally a store owner has the right to delegate the decision to its staff to request that persons not abiding by notified conditions of entry may be asked not to return. There is no reason for this conversation to degenerate beyond that discussion. This seems to me to be the essence of the original post.

However, there is a further matter which warrants consideration: store owners need to invest in the people whom they are granting the decision to, with appropriate training to not conduct themselves in a manner likely to escalate the issue to a conflict. Skills are required in undertaking such a confronting role. I would imagine that if others involved in checks are getting 5 or 6 conflicts a day, this is some measure that they are doing a good job!

The problem as I have observed is that the reason conflicts arise is due to the inference that something has been stolen if a person is selected for a bag check. Where a refusal of the check occurs and the staff member/security guard insists on checking, the inference of theft becomes greater, as does the insult. If further words are exchanged, a sea of eyes within the store is drawn to the scene, compounding the situation.

Staff do need to understand that if the bag check is refused there are limited options, request the customer to not return if they not prepared to abide by the condition of entry, or if they believe theft has occurred to call the police. Customers who are asked not to return should respect that request also.

Irrespective of whether you walk by or allow the bag to be checked, this has nothing to do with whether as a society we should allow the standards of customer service to be diminshed by the exchange.

GB 4:56 pm 12 Dec 08

This is evil:

bearlikesbeer said :

I encouraged this philosophy among my staff – “if a customer sh*ts in your mouth, you smile, and thank them for the ice cream”.

It is from the same source, and has the same results, as the class system the UK is only now dragging itself out of, and the USA seems intent on continuing. It has nothing to do with being empathetic, and everything to do with disempowering the employee — including disempowering them to do a good job of selling your product. Unless you are actually selling s&m.

We don’t have to go there. Stop this insidious ‘the customer is always right’ nonsense. It just encourages abuse by customers, and leads to the beliefs like the OP has that they can go into someone’s shop that is clearly signposted about bag inspections, and then claim some ‘right’ to refuse when inevitably asked to do show their bag, and give the person asking grief about it.

Both the employee, and the owner, can choose when enough is enough. And the customer can choose whether to go in.

Retail jobs are hard enough without encouraging this ‘us and them’ attitude. If we want the quality of Australian service to increase, this is the last thing we should encourage.

peterh 4:23 pm 12 Dec 08

emPATHETIC??

jakez 4:20 pm 12 Dec 08

bearlikesbeer said :

I’ve worked at registers, as a retail manager, and even as a concierge. I’ve always encouraged my staff to be as empathetic as possible. Let customers yell at you, call you names, whatever. They’re customers, and they’re unhappy with the service we’re providing. Listen to them, as every complaint is valuable. Use this insight to better the service of staff and the organisaton. Whether they are right or wrong in complaining, it is a staffer’s job to listen to the customer’s complaint, and make it clear to the customer that they fully understand their frustration. We may not be able to help them in the way they would like us to, but at least we can placate them to some degree by listening to their gripe. I encouraged this philosophy among my staff – “if a customer sh*ts in your mouth, you smile, and thank them for the ice cream”.

OH HELLS NO!

peterh 3:13 pm 12 Dec 08

Jim Jones said :

bearlikesbeer said :

Jim Jones said :

All I was saying was that retail staff would highly resent being told to act like doormats. Sorry if this was not clear.

It sounds like you’ve got a problem with people expressing themselves using strident language. If this is the case, I’d strongly suggest not visiting the internet anymore.

Good Retail Management allows the staff member to make a call on whether to try to assist the client with the abuse, or send the customer to a person of authority. I never was or will be a doormat to clients. If a client is wrong, that is a fact of life. we all make mistakes. I will try to explain the cause of the error, and will suggest that perhaps the company and the client can sort out a compromise.

It is far, far worse on the phone. the client can call you any number of things – after all, they can’t see you, so it makes it OK.

I follow the frontline personnel rules:

1. advise the client that you are going to hang up – they can call back when calm.
2. advise the client that you are going to hang up – they can call back when calm.
3. advise the client that you are going to hang up – they can call back when calm.
4. deal with issue.

takes 3 hangups for them to get the message. calm = results. swearing and threatening = hang up.

shame we can’t do that face to face.

tylersmayhem 3:05 pm 12 Dec 08

I want to go to a Walmart. It would have to be quite an experience.

Trust me Jakez it’s not – disgusting mass-consumerism if ever I’ve seen it. The Star*ucks of retail.

“if a customer sh*ts in your mouth, you smile, and thank them for the ice cream”.

I’ll never agree with this statement. There is a clear line in the way you treat people. I have been on the giving and receiving end, and it’s really unacceptable. As a manager, if anyone pulls that s**t with my guys – they’ll know about it. Granted in a much more professional and tempered fashion. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly these coward’s balls shrink when a manager illustrates to them that their approach was unacceptable and will not be tolerated. No one can or should put up with any degree of this type of behavior.

I even got it as an IT contractor in London. I was working for a global organisation who’s name you’d hear on the news every night – and some of the people who worked there were unbelievable! An example that comes to mind is me walking through a large office space assisting a client, and another rude woman who was talking on the phone started clicking her fingers and pointing at me as I walked past. I had to walk back and forth several times during the 5 or so minutes of her conversation, and her behavior continued – much to the disbelief of not only me, but her colleagues too. When she eventually got off the phone, she said quite loudly “EXCUSE ME”! I calmly walked over and she went on to say “I’ve been trying to get your attention”. I said “is that what that was all about – well, I’m sorry, but I’m not a dog and don’t respond to clicking, nor indeed whistling” “you simply need to come and ask for some help”. It was amusing to hear the snorts and giggles and many a wink from the team that surrounded her, as well as the woman’s blushed head. At least I was able to help her out once she asked in a reasonable fashion, and hopefully she learned a couple of life long lessons that day. The cynicism in me doubts it though.

Jim Jones 2:50 pm 12 Dec 08

bearlikesbeer said :

Jim Jones said :

I’m guessing your staff wanted you to die.

Far out, Jim Jones! Wankers, assholes, death? You’re very emotional about this subject! Why? What do you do for a living that fosters so much hate? Was there a particular incident, or a whole bunch, or what?

All I was saying was that retail staff would highly resent being told to act like doormats. Sorry if this was not clear.

It sounds like you’ve got a problem with people expressing themselves using strident language. If this is the case, I’d strongly suggest not visiting the internet anymore.

Jim Jones 2:47 pm 12 Dec 08

\

peterh said :

Jim Jones said :

peterh said :

begs the question, who buys software from a retailer? would you like the pricing to come down?
what if there wasn’t any shop theft of software products? would the price we pay be the same?

Last time I checked, stores sold many things other than software. I don’t remember software even being mentioned in this thread.

Might be time to turn off the computer and go outside for a bit.

jim, the point i was trying to make was that the cost of software has gone up over the years, not just by profits, but also from recovery of loss. I agree, i need some fresh air.

Thanks Peter, I gotta admit, I didn’t really understand what you were getting at.

dexi 2:45 pm 12 Dec 08

I just saw a young lady named Natasher having her bag checked at the civic interchange IGA. It seemed the owners took a dislike to her walking in then out of the door. She was very loud and upset at being asked to show her bag when she hadn’t even entered the shop. It was quite a scene. She seemed to be saying she was being treated like s###. She didn’t have anything.

bearlikesbeer 2:40 pm 12 Dec 08

Jim Jones said :

I’m guessing your staff wanted you to die.

Far out, Jim Jones! Wankers, assholes, death? You’re very emotional about this subject! Why? What do you do for a living that fosters so much hate? Was there a particular incident, or a whole bunch, or what?

peterh 2:40 pm 12 Dec 08

Jim Jones said :

peterh said :

begs the question, who buys software from a retailer? would you like the pricing to come down?
what if there wasn’t any shop theft of software products? would the price we pay be the same?

Last time I checked, stores sold many things other than software. I don’t remember software even being mentioned in this thread.

Might be time to turn off the computer and go outside for a bit.

jim, the point i was trying to make was that the cost of software has gone up over the years, not just by profits, but also from recovery of loss. I agree, i need some fresh air.

Jim Jones 2:37 pm 12 Dec 08

peterh said :

begs the question, who buys software from a retailer? would you like the pricing to come down?
what if there wasn’t any shop theft of software products? would the price we pay be the same?

Last time I checked, stores sold many things other than software. I don’t remember software even being mentioned in this thread.

Might be time to turn off the computer and go outside for a bit.

Jim Jones 2:34 pm 12 Dec 08

So you’re saying that everyone in retail should act like a doormat?

Do you not think that this encourages people to act like assholes?

There’s a level of complaint that is reasonable, but if someone acts inappropriately they should be shown the door. Demonstrating lack of respect for someone is never on, regardless of their job.

If your philosophy among your staff was “if a customer sh*ts in your mouth, you smile, and thank them for the ice cream”, then I’m guessing your staff wanted you to die.

bearlikesbeer 2:30 pm 12 Dec 08

I’ve worked at registers, as a retail manager, and even as a concierge. I’ve always encouraged my staff to be as empathetic as possible. Let customers yell at you, call you names, whatever. They’re customers, and they’re unhappy with the service we’re providing. Listen to them, as every complaint is valuable. Use this insight to better the service of staff and the organisaton. Whether they are right or wrong in complaining, it is a staffer’s job to listen to the customer’s complaint, and make it clear to the customer that they fully understand their frustration. We may not be able to help them in the way they would like us to, but at least we can placate them to some degree by listening to their gripe. I encouraged this philosophy among my staff – “if a customer sh*ts in your mouth, you smile, and thank them for the ice cream”.

jakez 2:28 pm 12 Dec 08

Personally I think that if a business makes performing the chicken dance a condition of entry, then customers should have to do it or not enter.

The business would quickly go under but it would be an amusing few weeks.

peterh 2:27 pm 12 Dec 08

begs the question, who buys software from a retailer? would you like the pricing to come down?
what if there wasn’t any shop theft of software products? would the price we pay be the same?

PsydFX 2:23 pm 12 Dec 08

bearlikesbeer said :

Thanks for the info, PsydFX.

Irrespective of whether retailers have the right to ASK to look in a customer’s bag, the real issue for me is that retailers understand and respect a customer’s right to say NO.

The AFP and ACCC are very clear on this issue. Retailers can make up any conditions of entry they like. Heck, they could make it a condition of entry that customers be asked to perform the chicken dance, but if a customer refuses, then retailers have to accept that.

Retailers have the right to ask, and customers have the right to say no. End of story. Nobody should be abusing anyone over such a simple issue. Customers shouldn’t get up staff for asking, and staff shouldn’t have a go at customers for refusing. This could all be handled quite politely, but for some reason, people on both sides get nasty.

It is a stated condition of entry that you show your bag if requested, and if you have no intention of doing so, you straight up shouldn’t enter. You’re just being an arrogant wanker.

8

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site