NY: Unlawful Arrest
Posted: 2007-02-24. Categories: Kohl's, New York, Newburgh

On Feb 18,2007 at 9:35 in the morning I purchased a teakettle from Kohl’s Department Store in Newburgh, N.Y.

When I returned home and opened the teapot. I noticed that it was pitted and chipped. Since I live in Middletown, N.Y. I went to the Middletown Kohl’s Customer Service Desk. I explained to the gentleman that I had purchased the teapot in Newburgh and that it was chipped and pitted.

He asked if I had used the pot. I replied no. He gave me the refund and I proceeded to leave the store.

As I was going down the escalator he approached me and accused me of returning an old teapot. I explain that this was the condition of the teapot when I purchased it.

He then started to accuse me of fraud. He told me that returning an old teapot was a felony and that I should come with him or he would call the police and have me arrested.

In total shock and humiliation I followed him to the back office where he recharged the teapot to my credit card and told me that if I were to enter any other Kohl’s store I would be arrested on the spot. He refused to give me the teapot back and kept my receipts. Then he had me escorted out of the store.

When I returned to my car where my husband was waiting and told him the story. We went back into the store to retrieve my receipts. My husband then demanded to see the store manager. Who turned out to be the same person I had just dealt with.

When my husband asked him for his name. He refused to give it and demanded we leave the store or he would call the police. I feel that I was violated twice by Kohl’s once in Newburgh and again in Middletown.

Mike and Ellen Maresca
Middletown, N.Y.

3 Comments to "NY: Unlawful Arrest"

  1. Annette M. Hall says:

    Dear Ellen,

    I’m in total shock that a manager of Kohl’s would behave in such a manner, let alone treat a customer so horribly. If I were you I would make a great deal of noise about this situation.

    I would start by contacting the police and have them obtain a copy of the video surveillance tapes from the Newburgh store. Hardly a store exists today that doesn’t record everything, especially the checkout stands. I would be sure to file a police report and get a copy of the report.

    Then I would pay a visit to Newburgh store and talk with the person who rang you up, get a statement — a signed affidavit.

    In order to obtain the Middletown manager’s name, I would call the corporate office – obtain the name first, then log a complaint with the company. I would be certain to escallate the complaint to a supervisor. I’d be sure to mention that I had filed a police report and make sure that they understood that this was not going to just go away.

    My next step would be to contact the New York State Attorney General’s Office because it is against the law to unlawfully detain a person.

    If the police, Kohl’s corporate headquarters or the AG’s office refused to act, I would then proceed to seek out an attorney and levy charges against Kohl’s Department Store.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with our readers. I’m certain this will give Off The Shelf reasons cause for pause before shopping at Kohl’s Department Stores.

  2. Shawn K. Hall says:

    Be sure to get as much cooperation as you can from them before you inform them that you’re going to press charges, or that pressing charges is even a possibility – or else they will completely clam up, refusing to answer any questions directly, passing you off to their lawyers instead.

    Something else you’ll want to do is get a copy of your credit card statement ASAP, indicating BOTH charges for the teapot at the different stores, and bring that in with you when you discuss the problem at either location.

  3. Anonymous says:

    YOU should have called the police.