Wrongfully Accused of Shoplifting at JCPenney
by Amber S. - Posted Mon March 30, 2009 @ 12:00 PM
On March 30, 2009 myself, my 2 children, and my sister n law and her baby were shopping at the JcPenney store. We first went to the men's department were I picked out 2 pair of jeans for my husband and draped them over the top of my double stroller. I then went to the women's department were I picked out 4 pair of Capri pants and draped them over the top of the stroller as well. I then, along with my children and sister went into the handicap dressing room to try on the Capri pants. 1 pair fit, so I left it on the stroller with the men's jeans and left the other 3 pair hanging in the dressing room.
We then went to the cash register were a cashier was checking a woman in front of me. A male with a supervisor badge on approached the cash register and told me he could check me out. While I was checking out there was a woman standing behind me the entire time. I did not think anything of her because she was not wearing a name badge. I thought it strange however that as the man was checking me out, he loudly stated each item I was purchasing, as well as the cost of the items. He announced"2 pairs of men's jeans $x each, and 1 pair of Capri pants at $x". After paying for the items and sliding the bag under my daughter's feet in the stroller, I was given the receipt and he pointed out the customer satisfaction survey on the bottom and asked if I would give a satisfactory response.
My family and I then left the store out into the mall to do shopping elsewhere. We had got almost to the corner of another store and the 2 people from the cash register (the man who checked me out and the woman from behind me) stopped us, 1 in front of the stroller and 1 behind it and asked us to follow them. As I was following them, I politely asked the woman what this was all about and she said she could not tell me, I just needed to follow her. They escorted us all the way through the store to the back into a small room. At this time, the woman stated pulling my purse and diaper bag from the back of my stroller and going through them. I removed my children from the stroller at that time. She said "you don't have to remove your children" I told her that I would not leave my children in the stroller while she searched through it. Mind you, my 4 year old son was getting very upset asking what was going on. As she was going through these things, she said "you took 2 pair of men's jeans from the men's department into the dressing room and you did not come out of the dressing room with them, do you want to explain yourself?" She now had the items from my diaper bag out on the table. I then told her I just purchased the 2 pair of men's jeans, they were right there in the bag along with the receipt. She then looked to the man who checked me out and said "did she purchase those items?" He told her yes and she said "then why didn't you tell me?" He just stammered saying things like "I did...you were right there...." She shoved my things back in the bag and just said sorry and started to walk off. I turned to the man and asked for him to give me my money back for the items I had purchased. He did.
During all of this, I was extremely humiliated. They escorted me through the entire store with my children, my sister, and the entire store watching. I was wrongfully accused of shoplifting 2 items that never left the top of my stroller and which I had indeed paid for while they both stood there and watched. I was detained without any explanation as to why at first and then my personal belongings were gone through without my consent. I felt much violated and very emotional about the whole ordeal.
I called the corporate office and explained to a woman in Customer relations about what had happened. She assured me that the complaint would be turned over to the manager of that store and he would handle the problem and call me at a later time. He did indeed call me and I was told "I am sorry, there was a miscommunication between 2 employees and I have spoken with them". I don't know exactly what I was expecting him to say, but I did expect it to be more then that.
I still don't know what I am expecting by writing this letter and complaining, but I am taking this matter very seriously. This ordeal could have been handled with more dignity and respect. They could have very easily asked to see my receipt and my items instead of escorting me through the store and detaining me like they did. I understand that there are a lot of problems and troublemakers in our world today and repercussions should be made for theft. Myself and my family, unfortunately did nothing wrong, and not once did I feel like I was given a sincere apology from anyone, even after it was confirmed that there was a miscommunication between employees. My husband and I like to shop at this store very much. We spend several hundred dollars there every year, and have many friends who do the same. At this time, I do not feel like I could be comfortable returning to shop at this store. I know that my sister n law that was with me, as well as the rest of my extended family will not feel comfortable as well.