PacSun Shirts were Obscene so Mom bought them All

PacSun t-shirtsThere’s a really interesting story making news in the little town of Orem, Utah. At the local University Mall they had a bunch shirts on display made by a company called PacSun.

A woman browsing through the mall with her son found pictures on the shirts to be obscene. The shirts that Judy Cox found offensive are from a campaign called Visual by Van Styles.

Cox started off by complaining to the store manager who explained that they would have to get approval from company management to remove the shirts from the display. Not satisfied with this answer Cox purchased all nineteen shirts.

No problem, right, her money. However, her plan is to return the shirts after 59 days thus meeting the store’s return policy. There’s my issue.

She has, in my opinion, committed larceny by false pretenses. The store will be unable to sell those shirts for 59 days and this represents a loss to them even if she returns them.

If you’re a lawyer, I’d really like to hear from you about the legality of making a purchase with the intent to return it.

I do think a community has the right to determine what is obscene and if an ordinance passed by the city prohibited shirts of women with bikinis from being displayed, that is their business. The right to sell a shirt with a particular image is not protected by the Constitution of the United States.

That should have been the route Cox took rather than her approach which is, to my way of thinking, theft. If she goes through with her plan of returning the shirts she should be tried and, if found guilty, put in jail. A crime is a crime.

My major complaint here is that one person should not be allowed to make such a determination for a community. We live in a Representative Republic. If Cox wanted to protect the children of her community from such images there are legal and reasonable methods to achieve that. She could have brought a motion to her City Council and if enough people agreed with her then such displays would be banned.

Those of you who will defend Cox please keep in mind that there is someone out there who finds something that you enjoy to be offensive.

Should a vegan be allowed to purchase every wool and leather item in the store and return in 59 days later?

Should a PETA member be allowed to purchase every fur coat and return it 59 days later?

Should a devout christian be able to purchase every copy of various Harry Potter novels and return them 59 days later?

We live in this fantastic country wherein the people vote and have a voice in their government. When you resort to criminal activity to enact your own brand of justice; take a moment to consider the kind of country you would live in if everyone felt the same way.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne

3 thoughts on “PacSun Shirts were Obscene so Mom bought them All

  1. I used to own a cell phone store. More than once I had customers come into my store, waste an hour of my employees time asking detailed questions about several different phone models only to leave empty handed. Then they would return a week later with a phone they had purchased online wanting my employee to set it up for them and show them how to use it. Theft? you betcha. prosecutable? Not hardly, but I did throw a couple of them out of my store. Consumers can be unreasonable in all sorts of ways and there isn’t really much a retailer can do about it. It just becomes a “cost of doing business” that you have to build into the price of things you sell.

    • Thanks for the comment, Dale.

      Very interesting indeed. What about actually making a purchase with the intent of returning the goods? I think a retailer could say no at that point and if a pattern of doing it emerged it could be considered a crime.

      We need a lawyer to chime in!


  2. My store was an exclusive Sprint store. I was contractually tied to Sprint in a partner agreement so I had to be aware of their returns policies. I occasionally got over-ruled by the territory rep on a customer service issue. They sometimes caved in to unreasonable demands from consumers, sometimes not. I replaced a car charger returned in pieces at least once a month. I have no desire to ever be in retail again. ever!!!

    As long as the goods are returned in “like new” condition” including packaging that’s nbd. Happens all the time in every vertical.

    I had to buy phones at full cost then sell them at discounted price. If the customer kept the service active for 6 months I got refunded the difference. I was paid a commission based on the plan the customer bought. If the customer or Sprint cancelled service before 6 months I was just SOL. No refund, no commission, no phone, I just lost about $200 on the deal. I couldn’t get out of that business fast enough.

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