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Another terrified Boots' 'shoplifter'


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Hello to you all. I am a newbie on this forum as well as in the world of labeled shoplifters. And I am utterly terrified.

 

Two days ago I was in a Boots store inside one large shopping centre. Amongst few other things, I have purchased a tub of sun-cream for which I have paid £10.87 (special offer, reduced from £14.50). When I left the store I was stopped by a security guard who noticed that I was holding in my hand another tube of the same cream - tester - which I hadn't paid for.

Now, I could (and i did!) go on forever how I totally forgot that I'd had it in my hand (as I was trying it on before deciding to purchase it) amongst other things like newspaper, a bottle of water, etc. - and this is the truth. However, the security would have none of it and had ignored all my appologies and pleads of innocence. Fair enough, after all I did walk out of the store with something I didn't pay for.

 

However, on taking me into the designated room, despite my more than humble behaviour - I was petrified and on the verge of tears / passing out - I found the staff's behaviour rather cruel.They refused to believe me that the item in question was a tester suggesting that i took it out of the box. I didn't. I was also half-mocked by a female member of staff (the duty manager if I understood correctly) who kept saying how the police was coming to arrest me*. Furthermore, that same (and only) female member of staff wasn't present at all times as she went to the shop floor to check the price of the item. The second security guard (employed by the shopping centre rather than Boots) actually commented on it on entering the room. On her return the price of the unpaid for item was entered into a report as £15 - ok. almost the exact price before the special offer deduction.

 

As the only means of identification I had on me were the Boots loyalty (!) card and my debit card, i gave both to the security guard who was noting down all the details provided on those. Did he have the right to do so?

 

I was shocked when they took my picture (both Boots and the shopping centre security guy, one each) and was really given no opportunity to protest, but this seems to be the regular procedure when the premises are issuing you with a ban. Am I right?

So, I was given a ban from Boots, and a three months ban from the shopping centre, both papers which I signed without objection. Perhaps I should've questioned everything they've asked me to sign / say, but at the time i was so mortified that I would've given them any information they wanted.

Finally, I was given the Notice of Intended Civil Recovery and was informed that the RLP will contact me shortly and ask me to compensate for Boots' loses.

 

I haven't slept or eaten properly since, as I am horrified that:

 

a) my husband will find out. I feel so ashamed that I'd rather sink into the ground - we are about to go on holidays and he works so hard I really don't want to ruin his long-deserved break;

 

b) the letter from RLP will arrive with request for payment much higher than the value of the item in question. I am a new mother who, due to prohibitive cost of childcare, couldn't return to work.

 

c) the RLP letter will arrive in my absence, and the demand for payment will be progressively increasing, as well as the sum of money.

 

d) as I will be away for nearly two months (visiting family), the amassing letters will arouse suspicion in my husband. Do they look rather inconspicuous, or..?

 

e) impending pollice, court orders, baylifs etc. are to come. That would kill me and destroy my family.

 

I would be very grateful for all your answers / help.:oops:

 

ps. also, does a ban from Boots mean that as soon as I enter any store I will be recognised? And is this permanent? Should I phone the store manager and appologise?

 

*police were never called

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If this was a genuine mistake why are you worried about telling hubby? I'm sure he would accept your explanation and ease your worries a little.

 

Did security ask you for ID and you voluntarily handed them your ID?

 

The photograph taking. Don't worry about that, it'll just be a photo to go in a folder, I doubt your photo will be distributed around the retail crime watch scheme for the sake of £15.

 

There's a lot of people here who know about RLP. I already know that the resounding advice you'll be given is to ignore their letters or send them a 1 line letter back telling them you don't acknowledge any debt to them.

 

Have a good read round the forums, lots of similar posts to yours and some good advice here already.

 

What I would say, as somebody who has worked in the security industry for a long while. Whilst I would never suggest you're dishonest, please don't think I disbelieve your story. Security guards have heard every excuse in the book from people who've intended on shoplifting. Sadly, everybody is treated the same if they leave store without paying for something.

 

^ that didn't mean to sound offensive or accusing in any way. Just telling you the view of a security officer. I'd personally be very careful of how I'd approach a lady walking out the door with an item clearly visible in her hand. I'd have encouraged you to pay for the item before leaving store rather then allowing you to leave and then pouncing on you x

It never rains but it pours...

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RLP cannot do anything apart from pressure you with purile lettters. Ignore the silly cow that runs that company.

 

Since the police were not involved, NOTHING will happen to you.

 

Lets look at your "questions".

 

a) Thats up to you how you deal with it. In my experience, honesty is the best policy.

 

b) they will give you random figures. None of which you have to pay. They are purely sepculative invoices dreamt up by a woman who seems to be not of sound mind.

 

c) again, they can demand what they like. You dont have to pay anything at all.

 

d) They usually come in plain envelopes. If they come with ANY markings on that identify the company, you MUST report it.

 

e) NONE of that will happen. Ever. There is absolutely NOTHING RLP can do apart from send you silly childish lettes.

 

 

as for your ban, thats up to the store. Youc ould write to the manager and apologise, but it is doubtful you will be allowed in soon afterwards. if you really want to go back to boots, i would suggest staying away from that store and find somewhere else for now.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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as for your ban, thats up to the store. Youc ould write to the manager and apologise, but it is doubtful you will be allowed in soon afterwards. if you really want to go back to boots, i would suggest staying away from that store and find somewhere else for now.

 

I must admit that it is easy to walk out of a store with something in your hand. People don't steal testers and a quick look at the security tapes would have verified that.

 

I think that to claim any money for an item not in a fit condition for sale (a tester is not) would land boots in hot water

 

Your holding tester for an item that you have bought clearly in your hand is really a training issue for the till staff as well as the security staff, all of which took the wrong action and caused a great deal of stress and embarrassment.

 

I wouldn't be apologizing to Boots in these circumstances

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The photo will most likely be stuck to the security room wall with 'Banned - Shoplifting'written on it.

 

You will undoubtedly receive letters - demanding a around 150, and these will become ever more threatening in tone, before being passed to a debt collector, who will also write to you, and RLP will then give you a last chance before they write stating that they are recommending that their client proceeds with a court claim.

 

All of the letters will be absolute drivel, but quite honestly, they will write whether you pay up or not. If you are able to ignore them, or write a simple denial of liability letter - I deny any liability to either yourselves or your clients - then at least you will save yourself an awful lot of money that they are not entitled to receive!

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Was it explained to you at the time why they were going to take a photograph and did you give them permission?

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Thank you for your swift reply Bombaymix - sorry it took me so long to acknowledge it. (This goes to renegadeimp, 2Grumpy and Sidewinder too)

 

The reason I'd rather that my husband doesn't find out is not that I am afraid that he wouldn't believe my story, but rather the issue of being scatterbrained. There were times in the past when I was occasionally locking myself out, losing keys, forgetting travel tickets etc. :oops: But not since we've had a baby. Now I am finally an organized, responsible adult. Or so I thought.

 

And yes, I did voluntarily hand over my debit card when asked for an ID as this was the only thing I had on me apart from the Boots loyalty card. I just thought that he should've returned it to me straight after my name was confirmed, while it seemed that he was writing everything down.

 

I am aware that security guards know every trick in the book when it comes to shoplifting, and that my excuse is probably the oldest one under the sun. However, these things do happen. So while he was never directly abusive towards me, he could've done more to conceal his utter contempt throughout my ordeal, despite me being tearfully appologetic at all times.

 

And yes, since he claimed that he'd been watching me all the time, he may have somehow indicated that I was holding a tester in my hand for about 20 minutes, possibly even at the check-out. But, that would've been to gentlemanly.:wink:

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RLP cannot do anything apart from pressure you with purile lettters. Ignore the silly cow that runs that company.

 

Since the police were not involved, NOTHING will happen to you.

 

Lets look at your "questions".

 

a) Thats up to you how you deal with it. In my experience, honesty is the best policy.

 

b) they will give you random figures. None of which you have to pay. They are purely sepculative invoices dreamt up by a woman who seems to be not of sound mind.

 

c) again, they can demand what they like. You dont have to pay anything at all.

 

d) They usually come in plain envelopes. If they come with ANY markings on that identify the company, you MUST report it.

 

e) NONE of that will happen. Ever. There is absolutely NOTHING RLP can do apart from send you silly childish lettes.

 

 

as for your ban, thats up to the store. Youc ould write to the manager and apologise, but it is doubtful you will be allowed in soon afterwards. if you really want to go back to boots, i would suggest staying away from that store and find somewhere else for now.

 

Thank you. This made my breathing a bit easier today.

 

And no, I wouldn't think of ever going back to that store. At least that's how I feel now. Too many members of staff seemed to have had a good joke opportunity on my account. I hate myself for my grovelling at the time, but boy, did they seem to find it amusing!

 

It's the other Boots stores that I'll miss.

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I must admit that it is easy to walk out of a store with something in your hand. People don't steal testers and a quick look at the security tapes would have verified that.

 

I think that to claim any money for an item not in a fit condition for sale (a tester is not) would land boots in hot water

 

Your holding tester for an item that you have bought clearly in your hand is really a training issue for the till staff as well as the security staff, all of which took the wrong action and caused a great deal of stress and embarrassment.

 

I wouldn't be apologizing to Boots in these circumstances

 

Thank you. The security guard claimed it was not a tester - it didn't have a "tester" sticker on but was without the box and clearly used as a tester - and that I must've removed the box. I am hoping that by reviewing the CCTV it will become obvious that the box was nonexistent. I even tried it on my face and subsequently purchased the boxed one.

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The photo will most likely be stuck to the security room wall with 'Banned - Shoplifting'written on it.

 

You will undoubtedly receive letters - demanding a around 150, and these will become ever more threatening in tone, before being passed to a debt collector, who will also write to you, and RLP will then give you a last chance before they write stating that they are recommending that their client proceeds with a court claim.

 

All of the letters will be absolute drivel, but quite honestly, they will write whether you pay up or not. If you are able to ignore them, or write a simple denial of liability letter - I deny any liability to either yourselves or your clients - then at least you will save yourself an awful lot of money that they are not entitled to receive!

 

Thank you.

But can I really write that I deny any liability...., when I have already signed what they've asked me to sign? Something along the lines that I understand why I am being banned from the store.

Is there a way they (Boots, rather than RLP) would except just a compensation for the 'stollen'/'damaged' article?

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Remember you were under duress at the time.

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Was it explained to you at the time why they were going to take a photograph and did you give them permission?

 

It was all happening very quickly - the papers, signing, taking of photographs - as it was closing time and it was obvious that the staff wanted to go home (once I was no longer entertaining enough). When I composed myself a bit I did try to question what I am actually signing and was obviously shocked when the photos were being taken (I always thought that only police ever does it), but I was informed straight away, in an irritated voice that if I didn't do it they'd just call the police. So I gave in.

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Thank you.

But can I really write that I deny any liability...., when I have already signed what they've asked me to sign? Something along the lines that I understand why I am being banned from the store.

Is there a way they (Boots, rather than RLP) would except just a compensation for the 'stollen'/'damaged' article?

 

But you have no further liability to either RLP or Boots. They recovered the item that was not paid for, and your actions cost them nothing - the security was being paid irrespective of your actions and you caused them no financial loss. In law, your only liability is for damages caused to Boots, ie nothing.

 

Boots had the opportunity to involve the police, for a prosecution to occur and for compensation to be awarded. They chose not to do so and this is an attempt to extract money that they are not entitled to!

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

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If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

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But you have no further liability to either RLP or Boots. They recovered the item that was not paid for, and your actions cost them nothing - the security was being paid irrespective of your actions and you caused them no financial loss. In law, your only liability is for damages caused to Boots, ie nothing.

 

Boots had the opportunity to involve the police, for a prosecution to occur and for compensation to be awarded. They chose not to do so and this is an attempt to extract money that they are not entitled to!

 

Thanks, I will follow your advice.

 

I haven't received anything in the post yet, and as I won't be at my address for two months from Monday I have no option but to 'ignore' a letter after letter.

I expect to find a huge pile of threatening letters when I come back.. Something to look forward to when I return.:madgrin:

I just hope not to find bayliffs on my front step. :scared:

 

I will keep you informed.

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where have you gotten this 'bailiff' thing from?

 

they CANNOT involve bailiffs

 

so put that RIGHT out of your mind

 

any stupid doorstepper or a DCA

 

ARE NOT BAILIFFS

 

and have NO SUCH LEGAL POWERS

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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