Can Store Confiscate Customer's Own Goods?

I went shopping today. I saw one of the stores put up the sign on their wall as shown in the picture below. Are they allowed to confiscate customer's goods as the sign has written?

https://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/114773/67827/20190324_...

Comments

  • +17 votes

    Ha ha ha, that is hilarious. No, they can't take your belongings, they can't even touch your belongings without your permission. As a condition of entry they can ask that no bags be brought into the shop but all they can do if you enter their shop with whatever is ask you to leave or call the police. How NOT to run a business.

  • +6 votes

    Bag search policies
    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/products-and-services/busine...

    I'd suggest you advise the The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/contact-us and ask the sign be taken down.

    Also, nominate the Business/Sign in the 2019 Choice Spot a Shonky Award via community@choice.com.au

    •  

      Thanks.

      I will contact the above organisations tomorrow.

      • +1 vote

        I dont understand

        The site says

        Consumers have accepted the conditions of entry into a store if a notice asking them to display the contents of their bag is:

        clearly displayed
        visible before they enter the store.
        Consumers can say ‘no’ to a bag search. In this situation, a store employee may:

        ask them to leave. A store is private property, not a public place, so if a store employee instructs a consumer to leave, they must go
        refuse to sell the consumer any products
        call the police, if they believe the consumer has committed an offence such as theft.

        Please explain to this dummy (me?) how this sign doesnt comply to the requirements outlined in the link

        • +3 votes

          The store is wanting to confiscate your goods from outside. That doesn't comply with what you quoted.

          • -1 vote

            @Clear: O.o it neither complies nor doesn't comply, the quote doesn't say anything about confiscating spefically. However, the store complies in regards to having a sign, before entry I assume.

            • -1 vote

              @Ughhh: which part of "Goods will be CONFISCATED" is not "spefical" enough for you??

              •  

                @SlickMick:

                The site says
                Consumers have accepted the conditions of entry into a store if a notice asking them to display the contents of their bag is:
                clearly displayed
                visible before they enter the store.
                Consumers can say ‘no’ to a bag search. In this situation, a store employee may:
                ask them to leave. A store is private property, not a public place, so if a store employee instructs a consumer to leave, they must go
                refuse to sell the consumer any products
                call the police, if they believe the consumer has committed an offence such as theft.

                Where in the quote above does it even mention the word "confiscated"??
                You think I was talking about a random persons quote?

          • -1 vote

            @Clear: Are you reading more into this, the sign to me implies, that if you want to enter the store and not have your outside purchases confiscated then have the bag sealed, by the staff at counter 1. It’s commonsense to avoid issues afterwards, if you had say a 6 pack of Coca Cola how would you be able to show it wasn’t from that store.

            They then call the police saying you stole it, even if the police side with you, you still go thru the hassles. This is a storm in a tea cup by some righteous individuals. Good luck to the op wasting time following this up with consumer affairs.

            It would be obvious that they are referring to goods that are the same as what is being sold in this store. Of course confusion may arise if you have goods that you didn’t know this store sold.

            • +3 votes

              @RockyRaccoon: The goods may be the same but the reference is, specifically, to Green/recycle bag holders; this isn’t someone wandering around with the goods in their hands. They cannot confiscate other people’s property, that is theft. Just because you put up a sign saying you intend to steal something doesn’t mean they are allowed to do it. All they can ask you to do is leave or call the cops because they claim you are a shoplifter. Personally I would take one look at the sign and just not shop there. I take my own shopping bags to minimise packaging, what I don’t want is a store putting plastic packaging on goods I haven’t even bought there. Sometimes going through hassles has long term benefits; however, I doubt the store has ever enforced the sign.

            • +3 votes

              @RockyRaccoon: "if you had say a 6 pack of Coca Cola how would you be able to show it wasn’t from that store"
              you don't have to show it wasn't from the store, the store has to be able to prove you stole it from their store, innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.

            • +1 vote

              @RockyRaccoon: Yeah, that's what the rest of the world would do. But this guy threatens to confiscate your goods, which he can't.

  • +1 vote

    Lol… they are not the police, therefore, they cannot confiscate anything. The only thing they can do is ask you to leave your items at the door or right up till the “We will seal it” part. After that, it’s a joke.

  • +23 votes

    This should be posted as a deal for free sealing of goods.

    • +1 vote

      Hahaha… I didn't know there is such a deal existed.

      I take it that the plan to open the store to confiscate customer's goods can go to the bin now.

  •  

    Perhaps someone can advise whether this is commonplace overseas? Store owner is probably going off an accepted custom.

  •  

    So which store is it? What's wrong with naming it here?

  •  

    It's obvious that people are stealing by the truckload with the introduction of greenbags………go in with the bag, fill it up with goods then leave the store claiming it's from outside. If you ever visit Woolworth or Coles, it's so obvious.

  •  

    To my way of thinking this is, relatively, easy. Go back to putting your stickers on products. It is hard to argue you bought a product somewhere else with a store’s sticker on it and most people aren’t going to be scrabbling round trying to take a sticker off a product. Coles/Woollies could do a lot more about fixing the theft issue by pointing the camera at the goods, in the checkout, and using some AI to see the difference between an Avocado and a potato. At Costco they have exit door people that compare what is in your trolley to what is on you receipt. I’m happy to show door people what is in my bags. With a bit of thought there are better alternatives.

    I do wonder about the bang for buck advantages of what they are doing; however, I suspect, I’m not their target market.

  • +1 vote

    Lol, you don’t even have to show a store the contents of your bag, let alone let a store take property belonging to you.
    Most they can do is ask you to leave or call the Police if they are certain you stole something.
    What a fun store that must be for staff and customers. With customer service like that I can’t imagine they will stay in business very long.
    What city/suburb is this?

  •  

    Update: I asked ACCC. I found their answers were quite unexpected.

    1. There is no law that says the shop cannot have that kind of sign so they are not breaking any law. So I take it that any activity that is deemed illegal only when it is said so in the law book. So is it a loophole?

    2. For the confisticate part, the sign doesn't really say explicitly how they are going to keep the goods. 1 hour, 2 hours or definetely? So ACCC advised to ask the company themselves to clarify that part.

    It seems the business is doing well because they are expanding.

    For anyone interested in knowing the name of the company. Below is the picture of the full sign that I sent to Choice as suggested by holdenmg:

    https://choice.community/t/refusing-inspection-when-leaving-...

    I forgot to mention, the store also has a "Wall of Shame". They posted a few pictures of shoplifters on the windows.

    •  

      So you now understand law.

      50% of lawyers get paid to argue one side, the other 50% get to argue the other.

      Arguments occur because someone has a different opinion.

      Even the courts argue with each other. Thats why things end up on the supreme court.

      Is it worth the fight? Is the request that unreasonable. And if so is it worth pursuing

      Your choice.

    •  

      The ACCC are, basically, useless. They come up with really vague answers to almost everything. Why does the ACCC think that the amount of time they are confiscating your property is relevant? Once you clarify the time, what do they intend to do about it? Why do they think confiscating other peoples property is not illegal? What happens if you refuse to hand the goods over? Why isn't the sign considered misleading in regard to customer rights? I bet they don't have an unambiguous answer to any of them. The only thing the shop can do is ask you to leave or ask you to stay for the cops; they can use reasonable force to make you stay, but they can't take anything off you. If they do make you stay, and you have not shoplifted anything, then they open themselves up to being sued.

      https://www.cbp.com.au/insights/insights/2015/december/what-...

      It will be interesting to see what Choice makes of this. But, frankly, not going into the store seems to be the best way to avoid these guys. Although thumbing your nose at them and just wandering in with a bag and watching them try to get you to comply with their rules, or ask you to leave, would also be fun. I would just keep quietly explaining to them they don't have a right to confiscate anything I'm carrying and that if they try to detain me when I've done nothing wrong I will sue the pants off them.

      BTW - I have seen a "wall of shame" at other places. They would want to be sure the person was shoplifting because, again, they open themselves up to being sued if they have no proof the person was shop lifting.

    •  

      Is that the KFL in Springvale? There's one in Doncaster. Been there a few times, don't know why their fruits are always so average in quality. Have bought two bad salted eggs there too. And haven't been back since. Now another reason not to support businesses with such questionable policies.

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