Report: #828196

Complaint Review: Army, Air Force Exchange Service - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Post_Promises — Oxnard California United States of America
  • Army, Air Force Exchange Service Internet United States of America

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Military-run stores have two flavors, either they are part of the Army, Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) or they belong to the Navy Exchange (NEX).  My research indicates possible due process violation by AAFES. AAFES runs itself under different regulations than NEX.  The Navy Military Exchange employs due process according to Navy regulation OPNAV 5527.2b, Offenses by patrons calls for mandatory administrative and local consideration of cases.  AAFES however sends all cases for criminal prosecution.

The only way to avoid a permanent record is to enter a juvi program or use "probation before judgment", but even with these procedures, they will always have to admit they were officially charged with shoplifting.  There is geographic anomaly in that AAFES stores in foreign countries employ only administrative procedures, it refers not one of the overseas cases to criminal prosecution.  Accepted practices in civilian stores use a range of administrative and criminal corrective actions to stop shoplifting. 

I do not condone shoplifting, but I worry that the policies of AAFES are criminalizing our youth, placing on their records citations that hamper their entire future.  The goal of jurisprudence is to stop the bad behavior, to rehabilitate, but their overly stringent policies only serve to stigmatize our youth forever even for a single mistake.  I believe that administrative action can be as effective in correcting behavior as criminal prosecution, but fairer to the person in terms of their future, especially for the non-habitual offenders.  

I know AAFES will probably defend their zero tolerance policy as an effective deterrent, but chopping off of a hand for theft is also an effective deterrent, but you do not see us using that practice.  I think their zero tolerance policy will come back to haunt AAFES, and drive away customers as families, relatives refuse to shop at AAFES stores because of the appearance of unfairness.  So they can go ahead and enjoy their stats for percentage prosecuted, decline of shoplifting, but be prepared for the downside, when sales start slipping for no apparent reason.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/25/2012 03:49 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/army-air-force-exchange-service/internet/army-air-force-exchange-service-aafes-nex-zero-tolerance-policy-as-violation-of-due-proc-828196. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#5 Consumer Comment

Sorry CYA, you're just wrong.

AUTHOR: Brian - (United States of America)

POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2012
To start with, I don't believe the OP was talking about a child.  I'm pretty confident they were referring to a teenager or young adult.  There's a big difference there.  A child may not understand what they are doing is wrong, but I guarantee you that a teenager or young adult does.  And yes, they should be prosecuted by the law.  For a first offense, they'll probably get a slap on the wrist anyway.  But, maybe they'll think twice about it before they try it again.  As for parents handling the situation better than the law, sorry, I don't buy it.  Far too often I see parents trying to be their kid's friend instead of being a parent.  If they'd taught their kid right from wrong, the situation most likely would never arise.  Too many bleeding hearts, like you, are more worried about political correctness and hurting the kid's self esteem, than teaching their kid that there are consequences for their actions. 
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#4 Consumer Comment

Zero Tolerance is Laziness

AUTHOR: CYA - (United States of America)

POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2012
Any policy that states "zero tolerance" and therefore denies the accused the possibility of defending him/herself is just plain pure laziness. I agree, if someone is legitimately guilty of shoplifting, they should be punished, but by the law? Not necessarily for a first-time offense. I stole a pack of gum when I was six. When mom found out and took me back to the store to return the gum and apologize, the store didn't have me ARRESTED. I was panicked and in tears and I never did it again, I assure you. Sometimes parents can be trusted to handle situations more effectively than the cops. Zero tolerance is just laziness and not very effective in prevention.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Missing the point.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
" I think their zero tolerance policy will come back to haunt AAFES, and drive away customers as families, relatives refuse to shop at AAFES stores because of the appearance of unfairness. "

   I think that AAFES would like to drive away the families and relatives of shoplifters, particularly those that don't seem to think that stealing from their stores is a big deal. 

" but be prepared for the downside, when sales start slipping for no apparent reason. "

  As opposed to inventory disappearing for no apparent reason? 
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#2 Consumer Comment

Congratulations to AAFES!

AUTHOR: Brian - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I may be going out on a limb, but I'm guessing that you, one of your relatives, or one of your friends was just prosecuted by AAFES for shoplifting.  Good, you/they deserved if.  As the old adage goes, don't do the crime, if you can't do the time.  Shoplifting not only costs the business, it costs consumers too.  Businesses pass their losses from shoplifting on to consumers in the form of higher prices.  I prefer paying lower prices.

I hate to inform you, but NEX has a zero tolerance policy concerning shoplifting too.  I spent 20 in the Navy, most of it in San Diego.  At the NEX there, service members caught shoplifting were turned over to their command for non-judicial punishment.  Dependants were turned over to the San Diego Police Department for prosecution.

Concerning overseas exchanges not prosecuting shoplifters, that's because they are in a foreign country.  Even then, service members are turned over to their commands for non-judicial punishment.  Now, how dependants being caught are handled, that depends on diplomatic policies and status of forces agreements with the host country.

As for our youth being stigmatized as criminals for a youthful indiscretion, that's because they are criminals.  I get so tired of bleeding hearts, such as yourself, complaining how this damages a kid's self esteem.  Try teaching the kid right from wrong.  Parents need to act like parents, not their kid's friend.  I'm happy to say that I've taught my daughters that stealing is wrong and they have gone as far as stopping their friends from shoplifting.

I, as most of my friends, applaud AAFES and other businesses for taking a hard line on shoplifting.  I seriously doubt that you would see much of a drop in sales because of this policy.  If you feel their policy is too stringent and wish to stop shopping there in protest, so be it.  You must not shop at Walmart or Target either, because they have the same zero tolerance policy.

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
When did you or someone you know get arrested for Shoplifting?'

I think their zero tolerance policy will come back to haunt AAFES, and drive away customers as families, relatives refuse to shop at AAFES stores because of the appearance of unfairness. 

- Somehow I think the only people it will "drive away" are people who were caught shoplifting, and they probably won't miss those "customers".  For the rest of the law abiding citizens I somehow really don't think they will mind this policy.

Perhaps it was the first time you or someone you knew got into trouble so you were not aware that most "civilian" stores has the same "zero tolerance" policy as well.

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