Liquor Store Complaint - Thrown Out of the Store Over dusty cola bottles

Review by TorontoDad on 2010-01-11
TORONTO, OHIO -- I was returning my bottles at my local liquor store when I dealt with a young employee who refused to take my bottles back for a deposit as they were, "dirty". I explained to him that if I bought the bottles and paid the deposit I should be honored by receiving that deposit back when returning them. Because I challenged his authority he felt that I no longer needed to be in the store.

He came around the counter, grabbed my arm and aggressively forced me out of the store. My wife came into the store to ask about what had happened and the man yelled "I'm the nephew of the owner!"

My wife and I are shaken up by this incident. I'm in my late 60's and the boy looked like he was about in his teens.

We filed a police report.

Do store employees have the right to physically remove a customer outside a store? This has never happened to me and I need to be enlightened.
Comments:16 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-01-12
Posted by memoryx57 on 2010-01-11:
I would think that if a customer is making a scene ( not saying that you were ) they could be asked to leave and if they didn't comply, the police could be called but I don't think they could legally put their hands on you. I believe this would be considered assault. I could be wrong tho. I wasn't there but it just sounds to me like this was probably a kid who felt entitled..
Posted by goduke on 2010-01-11:
I believe that the store has the right to use reasonable force to remove a customer who refuses to leave when asked. "Reasonable", of course, is the kind of word that makes lawyers lots of money.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
The Nephew was out totally of line but I'd be willing to bet that the OP was no angel in this matter either. File charges and let's see what happens.
I would think that any store has a right to refuse returned bottles for whatever reason(s) they may find reasonable. Sanitary reasons to be sure.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-11:
Yes they do, matter of fact, I've held one in handcuff's until the police arrived and shuffled several out of the store "using force".
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
I'll say it again, "LEFTIES KICK @SS!"
The police didn't consider that false imprisonment.
Citizen's arrest, right?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-11:
Nope, did not arrest, detained until help arrived.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
If it's a liquor store, then they have cameras inside. File a police report before they delete anything on the cameras
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
A little bondage going on at this store, JKT? *joking*
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
How can you be sure of that, Yaya?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-11:
yaya, While the situation could have been handled better, it is a liquor store. Don't know about yankee laws, but we can "escort" anyone outside for "behavioral" problems. Liquor stores are bound by law not to sell to someone either under the influence or causing problems.
No, I'm not going to go to the laws of each state to verify, that's how it is here.
That being said, businesses are actually private property and short of blatant discrimination, anyone can be asked to leave, turned down for service or escorted out without question.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-11:
Next time Basher runs to the liquor store for some SoCO, I'll have her look around to see if there's any cameras
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-01-11:
Apparently soft drinks are still sold in returnable deposit bottles in Canada. I haven't seen returnable bottles for pop since the early 1990's. (I think beer is still sold in returnables, but only to the bars.) Only time you see bottles and cans being returned for deposits now is in states that have recycling laws, such as Michigan and New York. (Ohio doesn't have such a law.) I do believe the OP was getting his point across, and the teen working the bottle return has an attitude problem of his own. Next time, the OP should avoid that liquor store and return his bottles elsewhere.
Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-01-12:
Lots of states still have a bottle deposit. Mine does. I worked at a grocery store that did bottle returns when I was in High School. People would try to return bottles that had cigarette butts in them and all kinds of other nasty stuff, which we could not take. While they don't have to be rinsed out or anything, they have to be somewhat clean.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-12:
Way I see it, the Op should have returned his cola bottles to a grocer. Causing a scene in a liquor store is not the same as causing a scene in a grocery store. Around here, doing such in a liquor store can get you shot. As for the law, the law would be on the kids side if this store was in TN.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-01-12:
When I was a kid, I remember working at a store and that crappy task of dealing with bottle returns. We ended up having rules. They had to be sorted, clean and no more than $5 worth at a time. It just isn't fair to employees to deal with a large bag of mixed filthy soda and beer cans/bottles.
The liquor store had the right to refuse dirty bottles. Touching you gets dicey, but you were trespassing once he told you to leave, and I'm guessing you didn't.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-01-12:
This has nothing to do with bottle returns but does with customers coming in with filthy items. I had a relative who was doing particularly nasty construction work once one summer. His clothes were so dirty when he attempted to drop them off at a laundry was told to wash them first and then bring them back.

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