J went to Claire Accessories in Coventry, UK, after having her hair done in the afternoon - and was looking for some Spongebob hair clips to pin back her fringe (bangs) when she works. She picked up all what she wanted, and came up to the counter.
It was very busy, so another member of staff asked if she would like to come over to another area of the counter, with no flat counter space (due to products on them). She scanned and put the items in the bag, and asked if she would go to the other end of the counter to put her debit card in the machine to pay. She did, it charges and completes, and she takes her card and goes back to the staff member. As she puts her wallet in her purse, the girl serving her puts her bag of paid for merchandise on the bigger counter, where a woman is being served. J asks for her bag, no idea where it is at this point, and the girl who served for looks around the counter, the floor - it's not there. The girl who served her tells the other staff member who served the other customer that she thinks the other customer must have taken it.
So, she walks up to the door, to see if the customer is still around, but she has long gone - so the staff member calls over the manager. She does so by looking at J and hesitates before calling J a "lady" - as J is a small girl, but quite obviously in her early twenties.
The manager does not take her to one side, and stays behind the counter - and does so most of the time while J is being jostled by customers in the busy store as the other staff carry on serving. J explains what happened and the manager point blank says "If you have paid for the goods then it is your problem, and has nothing to do with us". J is shocked, and says "But, you just gave my stuff to someone else - will I be receiving a refund or some vouchers or the same goods again, surely?"
Manager says "We can't give you anything if you have already paid for your goods, it's not down to us". It does back and forth for a while, and the manager offers to take her number and ring her on the Monday to let her know if the customer brings it back. J asks for a number to complain on, and she reluctantly gives her one - but tells her there is noone working Saturday to talk to. When J says why aren't you handling this, the manager says it has never happened before so she doesn't know what to do.
J is really upset at this point, and leaves the shop to get some air, phoning her parents as she doesn't know how to handle it. She goes back into the shop, and asks for the name of the manager, who gets very surly with her and refuses to give her a full name. J says she will call the police and report it as a theft, since they are refusing to take responsibility, and the manager gets even more arsey with her and tells her the police won't do anything.
They go over the point that head office will let her know if they get the products back from the customer, but J is not happy with that.
The manager then says that it was Js responsibility to take the goods from the counter, and they are completely faultless. J is very angry at this point, and asks for her money back.
"But for all you know you could be carrying out an act of fraud" replies the manager.
"Look at your cameras, then! See your staff member giving my stuff to the other customer!"
"Oh, the cameras aren't real, they're dummies"
So at this point, J is still in the middle of the shop, with two members of staff berating her (bear in mind J is a tiny blonde girl), and shes feeling humiliated like she has done something wrong, and starts to cry.
"We can't just give you our stuff" bleats the manager.
"You hand out mine!" replies J.
"I can't call the person in charge, he is on holiday"
"So who covers him?"
"The lady that covers him wont know how to handle the situation either - it's gone 5 o clock and she wont be working."
She agrees to call the boss, and comes back, saying she has explained that J is obviously upset and since J called the police she didn't think she was a fraudster. "So as a measure of goodwill, we will let you have the stuff you paid for."
She then shadows J around the shop to pick up the things she had got before - except J had got the last of one or two of them, so had to get some less desirable clips of the same value.
Generously (Ha!) the manager said then that if the customer does return the goods then J can have them, too.
The whole time she was berated as it was all her fault apparently as she had already paid, and taking down to her. Snapping at her to listen to her - like the manager was doing her some sort of favour to even take time out to tell her it was all her fault.
The police said at this point that it was Claires problem now J accepted items to the value - and Claires was now the "victim". So, J now has clips she isn't that keen on, and is really shaken up and upset by the incident, and being treated like a common thief and trickster in a busy store of people.