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Walmart Shoppers Threaten Boycott Over Self-Checkout Policy

Customers are speaking out about receipt checks after bagging their own groceries.

There is no debating that self-checkouts have taken over the retail world—but shoppers certainly believe that self-checkout is up for debate. Some prefer the convenience these kiosks offer, while others don't think they should have to scan and bag their own items. Now, multiple customers are coming after a major retailer for its self-checkout policy. Read on to find out why Walmart shoppers are threatening to boycott.

RELATED: Shoppers Are Turning Away From Walmart—And Ozempic May Be to Blame.

A Walmart shopper claims she wasn't allowed to leave after her self-checkout machine didn't give her a receipt.

On Oct. 30, a TikTok user named Mary posted to her account @tateandmary to share a recent experience she had after using a self-checkout machine at Walmart. Mary recalls that there was an employee standing by the door to check receipts—which often happens at Walmart. But "normally, they don't even ask," she notes. "Like, you can just leave, and they're not worried about it."

That wasn't the case for Mary this time, even though she says she was using a machine that was so close to the receipt checker that he and another co-worker were watching her.

"I pay for everything, everything's bagged, put it in the cart. I'm walking past them, and they're like 'Ma'am, I need to see your receipt,'" she shares.

Mary says the machine she used didn't give her a receipt after she paid, which she explained to the Walmart workers. They then told her she couldn't leave without one.

"I said, 'OK, can you get me a receipt?' And she said no," Mary recalls.

According to the TikToker, she was stopped at the store for 20 minutes while the workers weren't "letting [her] leave" because she didn't have a receipt.

"They watched me pay for it," she says in the video, which has since gone viral. "It was ridiculous."

RELATED: Walmart Shoppers Threaten "Collective Boycott" Over Payment Options.

Other customers are also complaining about this self-checkout policy.


Mary isn't alone in her frustrations. A viral copy-and-paste post about the same issue is currently making the rounds on Facebook.

"Walmart is almost exclusively self-checkout now. The last time I was there the lady checking receipts at the exit was a little militant AND slow," the post reads. "I didn't choose to participate in that nonsense, so I just skipped the exit line and left. I heard her saying 'sir… SIR!!!!' as I kept walking and raised the receipt above my head, leaving the store."

Based on the comments, many customers share the same complaints about Walmart's policy of checking their receipts after they use the retailer's self-checkout machines.

"Look. You can either trust me to do self-checkout or you can put your cashiers back in place like it used to be," the post continues. "I'm not interested in proving that I did your job for you anymore."

RELATED: Walmart Worker Issues Warning to Shoppers About Self-Checkout.

Some shoppers are threatening to boycott Walmart over it.

A close up of a Walmart shopping cart in the parking lot in front of a Walmart store
Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Many customers revealed that they refuse to participate in this practice. "I no longer show receipts… just keep walking," one user commented on Mary's TikTok video.

Another person wrote, "I say NO THANK YOU, smile, and walk right past them!"

But some shoppers say simply walking away from receipt checkers isn't enough for them. Instead, they've chosen to walk away from Walmart altogether over this policy. "I no longer shop at Walmart and never will again," one person replied to Mary's TikTok.

In the Facebook comment section, a user said, "We haven't shopped at Walmart in 5 years just because of that and self check out."

Another shopper even tried to get others to join their crusade against Walmart. "A simple solution: Boycott the place, and this will change back to giving someone a job," they wrote in the comment section on Facebook.

The retailer uses this practice to prevent theft.

A self-checkout kiosk at a Walmart store

Best Life reached out to Walmart to learn more about this self-checkout and receipt-checking policy, and we will update this story with their response.

But in a 2019 interview with ABC10, a Walmart spokesperson told the news outlet that the retailer's "intent is to check every receipt." According to the spokesperson, this policy is meant to prevent theft from its stores.

Legally, on the other hand, this is more complicated. Andrew Bates, a sergeant with the Folsom Police Department in California, told ABC10 that "a person would not have to stop unless the merchant had probable cause to believe the person had taken merchandise without paying."

But a lawyer who has represented clients in cases related to these receipt checks said that while no law requires you to stop, not stopping could give the store probable cause to stop and detain you. With that in mind, most lawyers advise shoppers to just show their receipt when asked.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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