Skip to comments.ConsumerWatch: Stores Requiring ID, Tracking To Prevent Repeated Returns
Posted on 11/21/2012 9:39:31 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) When you make a return this holiday season you may have to hand over more than just your receipt, as retailers try to prevent repeated returns.
I was required to provide them a copy of my drivers license, where they actually took the information and scanned it into their database, said a shopper who asked to be identified only as Leslie.
Leslie told the sales associate at The Childrens Place that she was uncomfortable handing over her ID just to make an exchange, but she was told that the requirement is corporate policy.
In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 62 percent of retailers have a similar policy. Among those who demand ID for returns are The Finish Line, Home Depot, Target and more.
So where does your information go? Likely its being stored on The Retail Equation, a service which tracks how often you bring stuff back and identifies habitual returners.
The retail exchange has said return fraud and renting buying an item to wear and return costs the retail industry billions each year.
(Excerpt) Read more at sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com ...
Incredible!!!!!!! This country is upside down!
More required to return Chatty Cathy than to vote for president.
I can’t believe these evil retailers are suppressing the poor, elderly and minorities by requiring them to show an ID for returns.
What a racist based retail system we have.
Where are the protests, where are the democrats to defend these people that are obviously having their right to return products suppressed.
This happened to me a couple of years ago at a local Ross store. I refused to give my ID, told them I would keep the darn blouse and give it away. Also that I would not be returning to their store which I haven’t. They didn’t care.
I have no problem giving my ID to Home Depot when I return lumber or hardware I didn’t use. They often require it for store credit and cash returns, and since I generally go back to spend that money on something else in the store, it’s not really a loss for them.
The idea of storing the information to track habitual returners is a bit much though. What are they going to do, turn you away from the store or otherwise ban you from shopping there?
I don’t understand the “renting” of things though. The black community, specifically rappers, made it popular about 10 years ago to buy clothes and leave the tags on them. It became a status symbol of sorts. The fact that they were returning those items is tragic if not comical and I think a testament to society overall.
This is OK, but to vote it isn’t?
This is a country that has lost any idea of who it is. It has lost its self-esteem. It doesn’t care what happens to it.
Borders language culture. What’s left?
It does fuel the refurb market but retailers can't be happy with it.
You're still free to shop, they just want people to stop returning things they purchased but never intended to keep. There are valid reasons for returns, but some people do it habitually or to obtain use of an item for a short time.
There is a certain subset of the population which exploits generous return policies offered by retailers to make money.
Most of our returns were legitimate and smoothly performed. Without a receipt, you got trade credit instead of cash back. But, in those days, store management was relatively experienced and able to sort the legitimate customers from the grifters. These days, the store manager might be some 23 year old kid who passed a drug test and managed to keep the job for a couple years to get promoted.
We had some really weird returns back in the 1980's including obviously used merchandise and people who would steal stuff from one store in our chain to be refunded at another. My favorite manager was a black guy who looked like he could have sung for The Platters or one of those other clean cut singing groups.
One day, this seriously overweight black lady brings some obviously worn beach sandals into the store to demand a refund. Our guys says "Are you sure you bought these new?"
The lady says "yes."
Our guy says "That's not possible because we don't sell them in that condition. No way can I give you a refund or store credit."
Lady gets all huffy and screams "I don't appreciate you calling me a liar!"
Our guy points her to the door and says "And I don't appreciate being lied to."
Everybody who could hear the conversation, customers and employees alike, begin applauding as she slinked out the door.
Yes! Massive disenfranchisement of returners by evil capitalists seeking to maximize profits! We need the ACLU on this right away.
Home Defect does this all the time. I constantly see people returning power tools after a single use. I routinely buy refurb power tools from places like CPO on the web and basically receive a brand new tool for like 40% off retail. The pool of tools out there must be astronomical.
As a contractor, I’m always returning (UNUSED) items usually for store credit. The only way I return anything else is if it is defective.
Just after being released from Desert Shield/Storm, I took a part time job for the Christmas rush at a Montgomery Ward store in Indianapolis. I worked in “Electronic Avenue”. I was floored by the many returns of previously sold merchandise purchased either during the previous Christmas or during the after Christmas sales. Most were cordless phones or other small electronics. The phones looked like they had been used in a combat zone but since they had bought the “extended warranty” (a high profit item for the store), all were “entitled” to a newer, comparable phone. No doubt they would all be returned for next Christmas if they lasted that long. I often thought this was one of the reasons Wards went bankrupt.
I did get a great RCA clock radio for myself which had a wonderful radio and sound. It worked great until my cat threw up on the speaker grill. I’ve replaced the speaker but the control wires broke and I’m still trying to find a replacement.
Up here in Massachusetts, there was once a wonderful retail store from the 1970’s through the 1990’s called Lechmere that had great bargains, large selection, and treated their customers like gold. Everyone I knew went there to buy stuff, cameras, clothes, etc.
If you had a problem of any kind, you returned it and were given a replacement or a refund, no questions asked. You didn’t even need the reciept.
I remember people proudly telling me they would buy an item such as a camera for vacation, large television for a sports event, a suit for a wedding, and just return it and get a refund afterwards, no questions asked.
I was flabbergasted. It wasn’t that I didn’t know people could be so dishonest, it was that they talked about it so openly and proudly.
Lechmere went out of business in the 1990’s.
Service Merchandise was doing that back in the early 90’s.
Since when is this a news story?
I knew of a way to get $15-20 in store credit for $.01. It was very widely abused and people would literally have thousands of dollars in store electronic gift cards.
Yes, $15-20 in store credit for ONE CENT by abusing return policies. Of course this was years ago and every retailer whose return policy would allow you to do this has been gone for more than 5 years.
Do not underestimate the cost of return abuse to a retailer. Every retailer I’ve seen that didn’t clamp down on this, and we’re talking multiple big box retailers, is bankrupt.
Comp USA, Circuit City, Media Play were all great... once.
Just the other day, a FReeper who shopped at Fry's commented on how while they were in line waiting, a woman attempted to return a camera. On opening the box, the clerk discovered it was a rock and not a camera inside. Then came the tears and denial, and the woman eventually blamed it on her husband waiting in the car in the parking lot. As he watched, the woman was detained until the police arrived, then escorted outside to identify her husband waiting in the car. Both were arrested.
Such as it is, who can blame stores for monitoring against this kind of fraud?
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