Staff at a Queensland Kmart store have been slammed after falsely accusing a father of shoplifting.
Staff at a Queensland Kmart store have been slammed after falsely accusing a father of shoplifting.

Kmart slammed over ‘disgraceful’ act

A Queensland family claimed they were left mentally distressed and mortified after Kmart staff sent police around to their home after wrongly accusing them of shoplifting.

Bharathi Singh posted on Kmart Australia's Facebook page this week about a recent story that left her and her husband "sad and totally disappointed".

The post has since gone viral, with thousands of people discussing the "disgusting" act across the country.

Ms Singh said she had decided to share her story to spread awareness among shoppers to always print their receipts so they "don't go through what we went through".

Bharathi Singh and her husband who live in Queensland. Picture: Facebook/BharathiRanjitSingh
Bharathi Singh and her husband who live in Queensland. Picture: Facebook/BharathiRanjitSingh

According to the mother-of-two, her husband visited Kmart in Mount Ommaney, in Brisbane's western suburbs, last month to pick up a few things for his family.

His shopping came to a total of $21, which she claimed he paid before driving home shortly after.

Some time later, two police officers knocked on the family's door and "accused my husband of shoplifting a purchase".

 

"Surprise and shocked, we quickly apologised and said we didn't know how that could be possible," Ms Singh said.

The officers told the couple Kmart staff had lodged a complaint with Queensland Police, claiming Ms Singh's husband "made the purchase, scanned his Flybuys and just walked away to the car" without paying.

Convinced Ms Singh's husband hadn't paid for his items, Kmart staff allegedly followed his car and "took a snap photo of the car registration".

 

Kmart staff allegedly followed Ms Singh’s husband out to the carpark and photographed his car.
Kmart staff allegedly followed Ms Singh’s husband out to the carpark and photographed his car.

During what she described as an embarrassing 30-minute interrogation, police demanded the Singhs "present a receipt as a body of evidence of the purchase".

But, like many shoppers, Ms Singh's husband hadn't printed off a receipt and usually never does.

"I calmed down and took a couple of minutes to review our transactions on the card," she said.

" … lucky, we found the transaction on mobile app that proved he has paid for the purchase."

While she admitted the police officers were professional and took the issue no further, Ms Singh said she was furious at the Kmart staff for sparking such a distressing scene out the front of her home.

"It was quite embarrassing having the cops present in front of the house, interrogating and was drawing a lot attention," she said.

"I am so mad at Kmart Mt Ommaney management team for messing up my weekend and causing me unnecessary mental stress."

Ms Singh said having the police turn up at their home caused her family ‘mental stress’.
Ms Singh said having the police turn up at their home caused her family ‘mental stress’.

Kmart responded to Ms Singh's complaint the following day, saying the Customer Care team was "sorry to hear about your experience with our Mt Ommaney store".

"We can understand how disappointing this situation would have been for yourself and your husband, and we apologise for the inconvenience caused," the message said.

The team said they would like the opportunity to "follow this up" with the Singh family.

Kmart has not responded to a request for comment by news.com.au.

Kmart responded to Ms Singh's complaint the following day. Picture: Facebook/KmartAustralia
Kmart responded to Ms Singh's complaint the following day. Picture: Facebook/KmartAustralia

Ms Singh urged Kmart shoppers to keep their receipts, lest they have the police knocking at their door one day for no reason at all.

"If I didn't have smartphone with a banking app, the situation wouldn't have been favourable," she said.

Her post went viral, attracting more than 1500 likes and hundreds of comments from people who were disgusted at the brash reaction of Kmart staff.

"If you were going to steal something why would you scan your flybuys with your name on it?" one woman asked.

Another woman said the entire incident was "disgusting".

"I often don't print receipts to be more environmentally friendly but will change that now," she said.

Others claimed the behaviour was a disgrace, claiming the police must have nothing to do if they're knocking down doors over $21.

"If they had just simply looked at the register that he had just used, they would have seen that it was a finalised transaction," a commenter said.

"If he'd walked away without paying, it all would have still been on the screen."

 

Continue the conversation @Rhi_lani or email rhian.deutrom@news.com.au


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