WTF? - Walmart refuses sale

Wolfhaze

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Okay, so I'm looking for a bit of legal advice here as to what my rights are; of course, I'm not expecting super accurate information because I'm not contacting a lawyer, but if someone knows something I don't, I'd gladly like to hear it.

Tonight, me and my roommate decided to go to Walmart at around 1:30am to buy groceries; we were planning to eat dinner and discovered we had eaten through our entire supply of hot dog buns and ravioli. :p We met up with a friend of ours in the parking lot of our apartment complex -- he was coming to visit, so he just jumped in the car with us. Short trip planned, right?

So, we get to Walmart and while we're there, my roommate decides that he wants to buy rum. We like our little fancy mixed drinks, we just don't have the cash to go to a restraurant. He gets rum, and I get some red wine, and we go to check out.

Mind you -- both me and my roommate are OVER 21. Our third friend, however, is 18; he did not buy anything and was not even standing in line with us. However, the cashier told us she had to card him as well before she would sell it to us. (( Now, this wouldn't have rubbed me the wrong way if she hadn't been rude about it or given me a dirty look; I also asked her to split our purchase so I would pay half and my roommate would pay half; when I told her to do this, she asked me how much did I want to pay, and I said "Half." And she got a tone and said, "You have to tell me how much you want to pay." Apparently she couldn't do simple fractions. ))

We wait and tell our friend to just leave without us and he does. So now we're alone and go back to buy our alcohol. A different guy waited for us to go through the checkout, took the alcohol from our hands, and said, "Where's the other person you were with? I'm not selling this to you." I said he was gone, and he said he still wasn't going to sell it to us.

I then asked what if we just left and came back later in the morning. He said that even if we left and came back without our friend, Walmart STILL would not sell us the alcohol.

This was in Tempe, Arizona.

Since when can a store refuse me service because I walked through the door and was talking to a minor while I was in the store? I did not see a refusal of service sign outside their store. I am legal, and I can prove it; I don't have a history, and I certainly did not intend to buy my friend the alcohol -- it definitely was just for me.
 

Anna

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I don't know about the laws over there, but here in Sweden they can actually refuse selling if they suspect that I'm buying out for someone under the age. And it's perfectly legal, the store is even obligated to do so if they suspect I'm buying for someone under the age.
 

Kayos

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The store has the right to refuse sale to anyone.
 

Livewire

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The store has the right to refuse sale to anyone.

The only restriction to this is it cannot be based on gender/race/ethnicity; given that there -was- someone who wasn't 21 who was with you during your shopping trip, they are in fact encouraged to refuse sale to prevent it from ending up in the wrong persons hands.


Seen it happen at convenience stores locally tons of times, albeit more with cigarettes than alcohol.
 
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zen-r

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Why not just go back & have a polite word with the manager? I'm sure they can clarify their position for you, & if you deal with it courteously & can prove your age, are less likely to have problems there in future.

Alternatively, come to the UK. Shops sell alcohol to 18 year-olds here, so your younger friend could have treated you to the rum ;)
 

Smith6612

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As far as I know, this is perfectly legal as well and a store is free to conduct business in a free market, however they'd like, really. If there's any suspicions going around, then they're free to deny sale.
 

dhruv227

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the store has a moral right to refuse sale if they have a doubt on some one. no one can help you. what u can do is just bring some proof for your age and shut their mouth.
 

Livewire

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the store has a moral right to refuse sale if they have a doubt on some one. no one can help you. what u can do is just bring some proof for your age and shut their mouth.

Please read original post again; the issue wasn't -his- age, the issue was the age of another person who was present with him during the shopping, but not present at checkout.
 

Wolfhaze

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Yeah, I managed to find out that walmart has a policy to card everyone in a group if one person is buying alcohol -- including parents who are brought their own children in with them; I can understand the reasons behind it, but I was more or less peeved at the way it was handled by the employees (they were exceptionally rude with their tone).
 

farscapeone

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We don't have that kind of problems where I live. Here anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can buy whatever they like. Sure there's a law against it but nobody care about it :)

For me it's kind a stupid. I mean you go to a store to buy some groceries and your minor sun comes with you. Then you remember that you have a great game on TV later tonight so you got to buy some beer. You go to checkout and they won't sell it to you so you return home and come back alone two hours latter and guess what, you still can't buy beer for the game. Tell me that's not stupid. :nuts:
 

baker86

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So, it's okay to sell alcohol to someone who has their child present :)mad:), but they refuse selling it to you just because of that? And you were buying groceries?? :nuts: That does seem pretty stupid... Although, they do have the right to refuse the sale. I work in a much smaller retail chain near my home, and we refuse selling stuff to people every now and then. Although we don't sell alcohol, so most of ours is stuff people use to make drugs (Sudafed, etc.).

lol If they did that to me, I'd probably look like this guy... -> :rant2:
 

zen-r

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If you didn't like their attitude when they spoke to you, vote with your dollar & shop elsewhere.

Money talks!
 

Livewire

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So, it's okay to sell alcohol to someone who has their child present :)mad:), but they refuse selling it to you just because of that? And you were buying groceries?? :nuts: That does seem pretty stupid... Although, they do have the right to refuse the sale. I work in a much smaller retail chain near my home, and we refuse selling stuff to people every now and then. Although we don't sell alcohol, so most of ours is stuff people use to make drugs (Sudafed, etc.).

lol If they did that to me, I'd probably look like this guy... -> :rant2:

Actually the way I read it, I read it as Walmart cards -everyone- in the group, including the children the parents brought with them.

Obviously the kids can't be carded because they don't have cards, so the sale should end up being refused (lots of parents are stupid enough to buy alcohol for their kids, which is patently stupid and should result in punishments similar to attempted homicide, at least in my opinion).



Of course if you ever notice someone being able to buy alcohol with kids in the group, I'd report it to the store manager and the local authorities - the things at the checkout do indicate everyone in the party has to be of legal age, which would basically mean the store just broke their own rule, which could be very bad if it's brought to the attention of the franchise :)
 

garrettroyce

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Having worked at Wal-mart, they did it exactly by the book. If a Wal-Mart employee has any reason to believe that you could be buying alcohol for a minor, they must deny the sale at the risk of losing their job and facing legal issues as well. Not that I thought it was a terrific policy myself, but rules are rules. I don't think it's a crime to deny a sale for any reason, even if its discriminatory.

I'm sure talking to the manager will yield nothing. Calling 1800WALMART might get you an apology for the situation, but not the clerk's actions, since he/she acted according to the rules.

Since a parent is legally responsible for their own children, I don't think it's an issue if the parent buys alcohol with a kid present, since they'd get in way more trouble than the store for giving them alcohol.

Actually, a store in my home town denied me sale because my wife was 20 and she was with me when I wanted to buy a bottle of wine. Very annoying. But, they went out of business, so I win :p
 

garrettroyce

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The Walmart I worked at lost $10,000/yr to stolen merchandise and $400,000 in inventory "shrinkage" (paperwork filled out wrong, essentially). You'd have to be one very important customer to make it on their page of losses :)
 

zen-r

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.... You'd have to be one very important customer to make it on their page of losses :)

Well, the customer you refer to just posted his experiences of Walmart's bad service on this website, for all to see! The knock-on effect of any customer's bad experience can sometimes have a much greater effect on sales/losses than you might realise - if you were in customer service you should realise that.

And anyway, just the loss of that one customer might mean the difference between Walmart being able to give you a pay rise, and not. Your choice!
 

garrettroyce

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I'm just saying they have hundreds of millions of customers across the entire world. If you and a million of your friends walked away, it'd still only be 1% of their customers.
 

farscapeone

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This is exactly why most of the people are not god businessmen. You can't think like that and expect to have a big business.
 

garrettroyce

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This is exactly why most of the people are not god businessmen. You can't think like that and expect to have a big business.

They've done worse. Remember when that video came out with managers making fun of people?
 
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