Retailers Are Monitoring Your Return Habits

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    With Black Friday just a few days away, you guys might want to read this article before you go shopping. :eek:

     
  2. DeathPrincess

    DeathPrincess [H]ard as it Gets

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    More reason to stay away from Xboxes and Razer. :D
     
  3. thesmelliestsock.

    thesmelliestsock. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Haha really though? The guys story is a crock of shit. Home Depot does not require a drivers license unless you are returning a product with no receipt and for store credit. More than likely, the "gift card" he was using was a VISA type card which he disposed of. If a retailer can't refund the money directly back to your card, they will usually require a drivers license to issue store credit. There is absolutely a limit to how often you can get away with that though between retailers.

    People who are bothered by this should realize that if they didn't have this sort of system in place, customers could (and do) walk into a store, grab a product off the shelf, and bring it to the service counter and ask to return it for store credit - unbeknownst to the customer service associate.

    Bottom line, and just my opinion, keep your frickin' receipt!
     
  4. stevedave

    stevedave [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is a pretty good policy. Returns are very expensive and often the customers fault for being stupid. This will only punish those who abuse the return policies.

    Its only a matter of time before we have a digital identify in which all of our transactions will be stored an online reputation management system. No more buying the latest bleeding edge tech just to return it when your done playing with it.
     
  5. sinclair-zx81

    sinclair-zx81 Limp Gawd

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    Unless these policies are documented in the store's return policy, and by doing that admit they are tracking customer returns, and having specific cut-off rules posted in the policy, I don't see how this will survive the first couple of discrimination lawsuits and the negative publicity surrounding it. I completely stopped shopping at CompUSA when they instituted a restocking fee, and their major rival, Best Buy had none. When a retailer starts treating its customers like the enemy, they will find a lack of customers and wonder what happened since the policy looked so wonderful on paper. According to Citizens United, Corporations are People... People are idiots (present company excluded of course).
     
  6. extide

    extide 2[H]4U

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    This sort of thing happens a LOT in stores like Walmart and whatnot, and it seems to me that the primary reason systems like this even exist is to stop people from doing this sort of thing. However, if you DO have a receipt, it has always been handled differently for me, it's essentially no questions asked. It's only in the case you don't have a receipt that they look you up.
     
  7. Steelgrave

    Steelgrave Limp Gawd

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    I returned my Asus Vivotab RT over the weekend, and Best Buy wouldn't do it without a valid driver's license either. That's the first time I noticed that with them, although I don't go there much either.
     
  8. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    I work retail and love the sounds of this program. I would say most returns where customers return a product saying it doesn't work usually ends up being that they were just too stupid to use it in the first place but didn't want to tell me that.
     
  9. joblo37pam

    joblo37pam [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ditto. I own a retail store, and we have very few returns because we don't sell cheap crap, and we help the customers get what they really need. The few returns that we do have are either from people that incompetent, or assholes that take something home, use it for 29 days and then bring it back.
     
  10. auspexd

    auspexd Gawd

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    This has been going on for awhile. Not that you cant get around it pretty easily saying it was a gift or having a friend return it saying the same. Retailers should suck it up as the cost of doing business. The whole point of paying more in the store is instant gratification and easy returns. If either of those things change then they will find themselves losing ground to amazon, newegg and the like a whole lot more.
     
  11. SirMaster

    SirMaster 2[H]4U

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    Last time I needed a new router I started doing some research online to find one that people seemed to like and had the functionality I wanted.

    I couldn't get a straight answer and reviews for every one were all just a big mess and so I just said whatever, Ill buy it at Best Buy. It was only $10 more than Amazon or Newegg and when I buy it from Best Buy, I know that I have 14 days to return it even if I open and use it.

    I don't have to worry that it wont be what I want or something because if it doesn't turn out to be great tin my experience I can just return it.

    I really like that convenience and I hope it doesn't change.
     
  12. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, you are asked for your ID upon cash returns. That way they can monitor your return habits.
     
  13. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    One major flaw in the "retailer equation" is they take ID's for RETURNS, but not for purchases. So if I spend thousands of dollars on products in a particular store per month (for business/etc), it's expected that my ID might pop up on a lot of returns based purely on volume.
     
  14. DeathPrincess

    DeathPrincess [H]ard as it Gets

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    I thought that was also incase the stuff was stolen?
     
  15. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Why yes sir, that's me returning this Xbox 360.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. thesmelliestsock.

    thesmelliestsock. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, I think that's normal though. It's the same as when you were buying it I'm sure - over a certain purchase amount, they will check card and ID regardless of whether or not it's signed in order to validate the purchase. For the return I'd imagine they would do the same. I'm curious though, did they just match the ID to the card the funds were being returned to? Or did they actually enter your information into their system?
     
  17. Apothesis

    Apothesis n00b

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    Hey live it every day. You should see the people that get denied, not societies best. Also the article is not correct. The only time returns need an ID is if you are doing a non receipted return for store credit, That's it.
     
  18. Apothesis

    Apothesis n00b

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    Not if you have a reciept. Then your ID will never be asked for
     
  19. Trekari

    Trekari [H]Lite

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    Those of you saying this article is bogus should probably go read some ToS. I checked both Home Depot's site and Best Buy, and found both of them to mention that they can deny any return, and that they require a valid ID.

    Best Buy's site even mentions that some information from your ID will be copied into a secure database.

    On that note, I think it's bull**** that anyone require a "valid ID" to return an item.
     
  20. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    If I was a store, I'd have a few rules with return policies.

    1. If the product is not broken, no returns.
    2. If you cannot show that the product is broken, no returns.
    3. Provide State ID or Passport for returns
    4. Provide Receipt
    5. Can't follow those 4, get out
     
  21. Rahburt-33

    Rahburt-33 Gawd

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    I work at a retail store. The way we do things, is that if the customer has the receipt, then they don't need an ID at all. If they don't have a receipt, then we use their ID. Now I don't know if our store is part of the equation, but we will disallow returns from known-fraudulent ID's.

    The real flaw is when people switch ID's or use fake ID's.
     
  22. Red Machine D

    Red Machine D Gawd

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    Mind telling us what that has to do with anything in the article?
     
  23. amdgamer

    amdgamer [H]ardness Supreme

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    For those of you who would be shocked to see such a system implemented, there are plenty of industries out there that do maintain blacklists that are used to deny certain high risk individuals service. The rental car industry is one of them.

    I think this is the way it should be as there are those who should be held accountable for abusing the system. There are plenty of people out there who are habitual returners who decide to "borrow" clothing from the department store or buy a gadget only to return it after they are done playing with it. All of this adds costs and overhead and that usually will end up getting passed down to actual ethical consumers.
     
  24. Serpent

    Serpent 2[H]4U

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    Holy shit, are you serious? WTF is wrong with people.
     
  25. DeathPrincess

    DeathPrincess [H]ard as it Gets

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    Buying products which break often is going to make you return more stuff...
     
  26. BDV

    BDV [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you shop at Lowe's there is an app that has your full purchase history so no need to keep receipts :)
     
  27. shaggy77

    shaggy77 Gawd

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    Hello,

    Sorry but the Lowes and Walmart near me will request a DL when returning a purchased item with receipt, same payment method/card, and within date limits. Lowes has gotten better if you pay with the store card. The last return I had with them, they didn't ask for my DL. Then again I rarely return things to any store because I generally have a list on paper or in the head of what I need to buy.
     
  28. Steelgrave

    Steelgrave Limp Gawd

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    I don't remember showing my ID when I purchased it a couple weeks ago. For the return they never asked to see the card I put it on when I purchased it. They took the receipt and scanned it (barcode or something on it), and swiped my DL which gave them all the information on it.

    I just checked my Credit Card and the return is listed on it now.
     
  29. summy

    summy [H]Lite

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    Best Buy was doing this many years ago with Customer Centricity (tracking purchases and returns)... They then targeted store designs based on the highest percentage of a particular type of customer in each store. They also had a particular type of segment for customers who only bought deeply discounted items or returned a large percentage of items they bought (renters). Every retailer is doing this... lol. I think Target cuts you off at a really low dollar amount per year without receipt, I remember my wife raging about it after a baby shower since how do you return multiple items without receipts!!!
     
  30. N2OInferno

    N2OInferno Limp Gawd

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    It's a quick buck. I saw it happen quite often when I was in retail.

    Yes, because we all know we will be 100% happy with our purchases, and in no way dissatisfied with an item that was in a sealed box that we couldn't try before we bought it.

    This is nothing new though. This process was in place ten years ago when I worked for The Sports Authority. It was implemented a few months after I started there, and it kept a lot of people from returning stuff all the time. After working customer service for a while, you realize that there are some customers that are habitual returners. Plenty of stuff that was obviously worn, got all sweaty, and then returned, etc. The returns bin smelled like it needed to go into the laundry quite often.
     
  31. N2OInferno

    N2OInferno Limp Gawd

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    Double quote, not sure how that one happened, lol. Damn you no edit!
     
  32. FuSoYa

    FuSoYa Lurker

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    This likely varies significantly by store. Within the past year, we purchased a house and the sellers switched out the washer for a new but lower model. I was able to return the washer to Lowe's for store credit with nothing more than a copy of the original receipt (which was a CC charge to someone else's card). I called the manager before going just to be sure, but they gave no hassle at all.
     
  33. ChedWick

    ChedWick Gawd

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    Indeed. I worked at Kohl's for 6 years and they have a pretty generous return policy. People took advantage of it ALL THE TIME.

    We'd get swim suits that were 2 years old and torn to shreds, coffee pots that were way past warranty but still broken. Suits for kids that obviously only needed it for one event and likely be outgrown by the time they needed it again.

    I love the hassle free(within reason) return policies but with the amount of jackassary out there, systems like this are necessary. Hell, my brother is one such jackass. Hes a larger man and does a lot of traveling so for a while he bough cheap air mattresses from wal-mart and would return them when they busted, which didn't take long. I think he was on his 6th or something and they told him no because they had a record of excessive returns for the same item.
     
  34. Aseras

    Aseras 2[H]4U

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    Stuff like this just makes me whip out a european passport. It usually shuts up the cashiers as they have no idea what to do with it or how to enter an address without a zip code.
     
  35. HardUp4HardWare

    HardUp4HardWare [H]ardness Supreme

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    Kohl's policy is the most insane I have seen. They will take back ANYTHING, no questions asked.
    We don't abuse it, but we use it, and they have not blinked once.

    Let us keep in mind that liberal return policies have developed as an incentive to shop at various stores. We now take them for granted. I imagine that people abuse returns like crazy.
     
  36. harmattan

    harmattan [H]ardness Supreme

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    No kidding. I have no problem with this policy as long as it is within reasonable limits. My g/f basically uses retail as a rent-to-try service: she returns more than half the stuff she buys, and often, if she's not happy with the replacement item (after some use), she'll return that too. It's ridiculous.
     
  37. Nokt

    Nokt n00b

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    I used to work for a large Electronics Retail Chain. A lady brought in a pair car speakers to return for her son. The clerk that was working with her checked the box and found the stock car speakers in the box instead of the new speakers. The lady was not amused with her son for pulling a scumbag move and having her do the return.
     
  38. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    One also has to deal any possible restocking fees when returning stuff as well. so even if a place takes the item back, you might get whacked with a 10-15%'ish restock fee.

    If I take an item back that is not defective, I charge a 15% restock fee (only if all the packaging is there, otherwise no return period) -- I can't legally sell that item again as new and have to mark it down in order to sell it.

    Never had to deal with a habitual returner or anything crazy like that though.
     
  39. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    Probably a good thing. Keep your receipt. You should on big purchases or things that may go wrong. If it's been too long and you don't have it anymore - go through the warranty/RMA process direct through the manufacturer.

    I hate restock fee's and policies. Not because I've ever had to pay one, but because they DO restock things. Sometimes, I've gotten good deals, other times when it was returned it really did not work. But, they resell it anyway. So, twice the same product gets returned. You can bitch and not have to pay the restocking fee (usually when exchanging for the same product). This has happened to me several times. Retailers don't have the resources to test all returns and when restocking they just reseal the package and put it back on the shelf. If it shows damage when opening, then they sell it at a discount.
     
  40. ravx25

    ravx25 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Really? That surprises you that someone would do that? I've work in a payroll business, and nothing surprises me the lengths people will go to to have things swing their way.

    We've accidentally deposited payroll twice before and the employee will take it out and keep it saying it was our fault we shouldn't have double deposited. Then they get all mad when their next check gets garnished for that amount.

    People take work items and never return them. They are argue time off hours...to the teeth sometimes. I mean, it used to simply amaze the lengths people would go to....but it doesn't any longer. I just accept that their are some really crappy people out there that dilute the human gene pool.