When the cashier at Marks & Spencer asks me if I want a receipt, I’m tempted to say no.
Do I really need a record of the actually not-so-paltry £5.99 I’ve spent on the zero-calorie, kale-only lunch substitute? All those itty-bitty scraps of paper build up in my purse. It looks like I’m a real moneybags because I can’t do up the zip.
But without a receipt, what happens when the store detective taps me on the shoulder? Imagine the scene:
‘Excuse me, Madam. I think you forgot to pay for that?’
'What, this?' Waves tin of Gordon's gin & tonic around, confused because guilty pleasure is uncovered.
'I'm sure I did.' Searches wildly in handbag: ‘Of course I did, I’ve got the … Oh.’
Maybe if I ask nicely, M&S will email the receipt to me. I’ve noticed Argos and Selfridges do this. I’ve given both of them my address so I can have the pleasure and expense of printing out my own receipt at home while they get to target my in-box with junk mail forever.
Irritating as they are, receipts are essential. Think about it: no receipt equals no record of the transaction for you if you use cash. Taking back faulty goods becomes more difficult (‘are you sure you really bought this jumper with three arms here?’). And who’s going to notice if the barman sticks a few extra for service on the tab?
You need it in black and white. Just say yes to receipts.