Ridiculousness at the grocery store
July 1, 2006 2:25 PM Subscribe
This afternoon my boyfriend went to our local Publix supermarket to pick up lunch. He ordered a sub, picked up two bags of chips, and started eating one bag as he walked around finishing up his shopping. When he reached the checkout line he dumped everything on the belt and started reading a magazine as he waited in line to pay the cashier. He paid and then walked out the door with his bags where he was then stopped and told to come back inside.
The guy who stopped him accused him of not paying for the bag of chips that he ate. My boyfriend apologized, said it was a mistake, that he wasn't paying attention and pulled out a dollar to cover the cost of the bag of chips. The guy said he wasn't going to let him get away with it and that he needed to come with him. They brought him to a back room where they repeatedly threatened to call the cops and made a huge deal over this .75 cent bag of chips. He was told he needed to sign some paperwork and they would let him go.
He read over the contract which basically said that he deliberately and intentionally stole the bag of chips and that Publix would be contacting him within the next three weeks to give him a fine. He asked if he could amend the contract and they refused, saying he had to sign it as is and they would then let him go. He reluctantly signed, they gave him a number to call if he didn't hear from Publix and sent him on his way.
So, yes, he is an idiot (trust me, I've told him so). He should never have signed. He should have let them call the cops and then told his side of the story. He should have changed the contract that they gave him to sign. Basically, there are a million things he should have done that he didn't do. I've already called the store, gotten the name of the general manager, spoken to the manager on duty and took the name, company and number of the loss prevention officer that initially stopped him. I asked the manager to fax me a copy of the contract that was signed and he refused, stating that it was the property of Publix. I called the police and requested an officer accompany my boyfriend back to the store when he asks for copies of the paperwork.
It was a genuine accident and my boyfriend was apologetic and offered to pay on the spot. What else can he do? Can he demand a copy of the surveillance tape? Do we really need to get a lawyer? How much weight does this document he signed hold? Can he claim it was signed under duress? The last thing we need is Publix issuing him some ridiculous $500 fine or pushing ahead with other civil or criminal charges.