15 Comments Criminal law, traffic matters, DUI, assault, theft, fraud
Not sure, but you could cover yourself with a properly worded notice saying that the packages must not be opened by customers, and the help of a shop assistant should be obtained.
You could go on to state that customer opening packages will be required to purchase the goods inside. Check with your solicitor as to the best wording to cover yourselves.
I agree with Martin. There are laws in qld against tampering with goods in shops, but they only apply to poisioning of food and so on. Having a person open up your packages and leave them on the shelves would come down to criminal damage.
The offence of Unauthorised damage to property could apply. However, it would be easy for the person to claim that they believed that they were allowed to open the package and try on the clothes. Many shops for instance do allow you to try things on.
The only way around this would be to make it clear to the customers that openning the packets is not allowed. Im not sure if putting a sign up would satisfy this.
Unfortunately, under the criminal laws there is no law against this.
If you want to do something about it legally, you have to sue the individual via the small claims court.
A hungry person could walk into a shop, open a bag of lollies, eat some and leave the opened packet on the shelf and they could not be charged with stealing. Yet if they were to open the packet and reseal it they could be charged with tampering with goods. The law sucks because there is no justice...
[QUOTE=TechSpec] A hungry person could walk into a shop, open a bag of lollies, eat some and leave the opened packet on the shelf and they could not be charged with stealing. [/QUOTE]
How is that not an example of stealing? Going into a shop and consuming the food without paying is clearly against the law.
[QUOTE=SummaryOffencesAct2005] Any person who, with respect to goods in a shop of a value of $150 or lessâ€” consumes them without the consent, express or implied, of the person in lawful possession of them...is guilty of a regulatory offence and, subject to section 9,1 is liable to a fine of 6 penalty units [/QUOTE]
Thanks guys. We have the entire wall cover in signs. Every costume also has a sign on it. "Do not open costumes, if you wish to see sizing, please ask a staff member."
As, we have also been told that broken glasses DO NOT have to be paid for. Unless its a "Condition of Entry" to the store. Should the costumes be added to this?
[QUOTE=TechSpec] Do you know what a summary offence is or are you just trying to pick the sh*t out of everything someone says? [/QUOTE]
Yeah. Simply put, a summary offence is a small one. The offence I mentioned is a summary offence counterpart to the crime of stealing. I mentioned that one because it is more specific to the situation that you proposed.
Please explain how it is legal to eat food from inside a shop without paying for it. I am dying to know.
[QUOTE=caso1992] Thanks guys. We have the entire wall cover in signs. Every costume also has a sign on it. "Do not open costumes, if you wish to see sizing, please ask a staff member."
As, we have also been told that broken glasses DO NOT have to be paid for. Unless its a "Condition of Entry" to the store. Should the costumes be added to this?[/QUOTE]
I think you are in a hard position because putting up a sign is not equivilent to having the person enter into a contract or having them agree to a set of rules or conditions.
If you were to tell the person to stop opening a packet or tell them to stop touching something, and they continued, then you could make the case that they committed an offence. However, if they can argue that they were taking steps to reasonably inspect something, as they were considering buying it, then you would have trouble convincing any police that they committed an offence.
That would leave you with civil action as the only alternative. I have no idea how you could commence any civil action, as you would need the name and details of the person first. If you asked them, they might just tell you off and leave the store. Even if you were able to commence any civil action, you would need to establish your damages, which couldnt amount to much.
I think you will just need to try to be vigilant and firm with you customers. Is it possible to have the costumes on display through some glass or something like that. That way, they would need to see some staff and ask them first, if they wished to have a closer look. If they attempted to break or damage the glass or display, then you would have a clear case for them having committed an offence.
I am thinking that there must be an intention to damage. Is this correct? I think that if this was contested in court, the defendant could claim that they were intending on having a closer look at the product before purchasing. Their actions were reasonble and honest.
Unless the cusotmer had
1) continued despite being told to stop by staff; or
2) opened multiple packets without looking at what was in them; or
3) cleary had no intention of buying
----Then i think you would have a hard time finding any cop who would be willing to risk charging someone, and losing in court.