Thursday, June 12, 2008

One more reason not to shop at Wal-Mart

After the delicate way they've handled this case... (my bold)
HOUSTON -- A college student’s trip to Wal-Mart last month ended with her in handcuffs and a two-day stay in the Harris County jail.

Nitra Gipson was charged with felony forgery after the Meyer Park Wal-Mart manager accused her of passing bogus money orders. Thing is, the money orders were legit and had been purchased at Wal-Mart to begin with.

The cash-strapped college student had just sold her car to pay for her last two semesters at Texas Southern University, where she is studying criminal justice. She was paid with Wal-Mart money orders, which the giant retailer advertises as “good as cash.”

In Gipson’s case, they were as good as time behind bars.

“Humiliating is not the word for it,” said Gipson. “I was horrified. I think they singled me out because of the amount of money that it was and (thought) I was trying to get over on them.”

No manner of effort by Gipson to show that the money orders were legit worked. The store manager insisted she be charged.

The district attorney’s office saw it differently. Charges were dropped after the money orders were verified when Gipson provided the purchase receipts.

But after spending 48 hours behind bars, the damage had already beeen done.

“Wal-Mart should be held responsible and accountable for letting this child go to jail for two days. All because she was doing what any customer of Wal-Mart should do,” said community activist Quannel X.

Gipson said Wal-Mart then added insult to injury when she got a letter in the mail.

“I started to read it and thought, ‘Oh my God.’ They are asking me to pay them when it was clearly their mistake,” said Gipson.

The letter demanded Gipson pay Wal-Mart $200 to settle a shoplifting charge. It is a charge that never existed, though.

When 11 News contacted Wal-Mart officials they said they were looking into the case and would provide no further details.

The spokesperson did claim that the decision to pursue charges was up to the law enforcement officials on the scene. But the copy of the criminal complaint obtained by 11 News, shows that the store manager is who pressed charges.
Lawsuit anyone?

crossposted at SteveAudio


Steve Bates said...

That's yet another reason I refuse to shop at Mall-Wart... at all, period.

I plan to forward this article to Dave Lippman, the singer/songwriter who issued the CD "I Hate Wal-Mart" a few years ago. Maybe he can work it into a new verse of the title song.

ellroon said...

I agree with you, Steve. I try really hard not to go to our local Wal-Mart, and I think it's been about a year since I've been.

Here's a comment I posted over at Bryan's place on our visit to Winslow, Arizona.

I try very hard to not shop at Wal-Mart. Luckily, there’s enough of a population to balance out Wal-Mart and the mom-and-pop stores, and there’s plenty of places to find the same items for about the same prices.

When we were taking a trip in Arizona, we stayed in a famous hotel in Winslow. The surrounding town was horrible, boarded up shops, empty streets. We stopped at a Goodwill briefly and found that a Wal-Mart had recently opened.

It had destroyed the town.

Distributorcap said...

i am so glad there are no wal marts in nyc

ellroon said...

Wow! Go NYC! Once in a community, Wal-Mart has made it a practice to leech away customers and sabotage local businesses by undercutting their prices.

The next step is shutting down that particular Wal-Mart to force customers to shop at a new Wal-Mart in another city... doing the same thing.

After the ugly insurance demands that Wal-Mart did to the brain damaged woman and now this bizarre non-shop-lifting case, Wal-Mart has truly damaged its reputation. It's truly the face of the arrogant corporation screwing America.