Pay us or we’ll call the cops: Many U.S. stores giving shoplifters choice of punishment
Imagine you’re browsing at Bloomingdale’s when a security guard taps you on the shoulder and accuses you of shoplifting. He takes you to a private room, sits you down, and runs your name through a database to see if you have any outstanding warrants. Then he tells you that you have two options. The first involves him calling the police, who might arrest you and take you to jail. The second allows you to walk out of the store immediately, no questions asked—right after you sign an admission of guilt and agree to pay $320 to take an online course designed to make you never want to steal again.
Which would you choose?