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antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Bamboozled: Retailers are monitoring your return habits

»www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/20···d_1.html from »www.hardocp.com/news/2012/11/19/···_habits/ ...

"Big brother is watching you... shop.

That’s right. Businesses can contract with a service called The Retail Equation, which will keep a digital eye on your return habits..."



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Moral of the story: pay by debit, or CC. No ID is required according to the article.

Personally, I can see these tactics making people quite wary of making purchases, though. This may well backfire in their faces.

And, this should be required info as soon as you walk in. NEW POLICY for returns: You will be treated as a criminal!
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.



Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to antdude

Actually, most folks will probably not bat an eye while they present their driver's license. They're already used to doing it for checks they cash or present for purchasing, as well as for a host of other things. A tracker database somewhere else is the furthest thing from their minds...
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville



goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
reply to Juggernaut

said by Juggernaut:

Personally, I can see these tactics making people quite wary of making purchases, though. This may well backfire in their faces.

And, this should be required info as soon as you walk in.

Well, I won't be shopping Home Depot anytime soon, that's for sure.


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

2 recommendations

said by goalieskates:

Well, I won't be shopping Home Depot anytime soon, that's for sure.

It's not just Home Depot, many retailers are using this service, and it is all networked together. So if you show a pattern of sketchy returns at stores X, Y & Z, it will all be documented and at some point they will deny your returns. Returns fraud is a huge (and multi million dollar) issue.
--
The Alien in the White House

19,994 DEADLY TERROR ATTACKS SINCE 9/11

flashcore

join:2007-01-23
united state
reply to goalieskates

said by goalieskates:

Well, I won't be shopping Home Depot anytime soon, that's for sure.

I can tell you Lowes does the same thing, and theirs goes one step farther and even treats customers with a business account in the same way even when they purchase with a Lowes business account. I gave up fighting with there HQ over this bullcrap system and got to the point where we paid off the account and shredded the credit card right on the counter at the local store. This just shows that paying with a debit or credit card and even having the receipt does not guarantee you wont be treated as a criminal.

All these idiotic rules just to push a business away who spent on average $2 million a year for the last several years just because we want to return the extra materials that we did not use on a project all on the word of some 3rd party "anti"fraud system.


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
reply to La Luna

said by La Luna:

said by goalieskates:

Well, I won't be shopping Home Depot anytime soon, that's for sure.

It's not just Home Depot, many retailers are using this service, and it is all networked together. So if you show a pattern of sketchy returns at stores X, Y & Z, it will all be documented and at some point they will deny your returns. Returns fraud is a huge (and multi million dollar) issue.

Oh, I realize it's not just Home Depot. It's the networked together part that bothers me, and the idea that some Star Chamber behind the scenes demands your id like you're some criminal when the vast majority of consumers are not. Their decision is apparently final, even if it's wrong - such as the Lowe's post following yours.

Returns fraud may be a huge issue, but retailers should have to disclose this stuff up front at the time of purchase. That way you have the option of purchasing elsewhere, not finding out the hard way later.

Which I most definitely would. I rarely return anything I buy - generally only if it's broken. But this goes too far.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

said by goalieskates:

... Returns fraud may be a huge issue, but retailers should have to disclose this stuff up front at the time of purchase. That way you have the option of purchasing elsewhere, not finding out the hard way later. ...

I would also submit that there needs to be a meaningful path of info access and appeal of a 'return' ban levied on a customer. As it stands, errors or bias or misunderstanding can dominate a particular customer's record in the database and there's nothing to permit him remedy of the harm. I wonder how long it will be before the ugly specter of "discrimination" is raised in some kind of litigation by a banned customer... and if it is, you can bet the retailers will soon be compelled by the Feds to open up the process.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville


EUS
Kill cancer
Premium
join:2002-09-10
canada

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

I'm a dying breed, stores cannot even get me to disclose my Postal Code Zip code.
And they try.
--
~ Project Hope ~


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

Sounds a lot like the whole credit scoring system, where the customer has limited access if any to the data and some private firm is trusted with it.(and I bet its being sold to data mining)

Stuff like this has made me wonder who watches any of these "ratings" firms. Credit scores and ratings for example, who watches them? Their made up numbers can pretty much alter the fate of anybody but who checks them for accuracy and honesty.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Juggernaut

said by Juggernaut:

Moral of the story: pay by debit, or CC. No ID is required according to the article.

Psst.... Your debit and credit cards are already in the uber-database so they know who you are anyway. No other ID required.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Actually, I use my debit card only. I rarely use my CC anymore except for fuel, and that is non returnable. LOL. There is no name on my debit card, just a number.

Regardless, I hope this stupidity stays in the US, and doesn't come to Canada. If it does, I will take my business away from those stores.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

The number on your debit card is all that is required. That number is linked to your personal info in the great data warehouse in the cloud.



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Perhaps it is. My spending habits are pretty boring, though.

That said, I rarely return anything, as I tend to be a thoughtful consumer, and research what I buy. And, that's a good first step.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


Maggs
Life is awesome
Premium
join:2002-11-29
Woodside, NY
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

When I worked retail at Staples, they used Returns Exchange, and they pulled info via your driver's license or state ID. We had one customer try to return $8,000 worth of color laser printers after using the starter toners to print thousands of color flyers for their business. They would just shop around to each store and do it over and over. Eventually I caught them red handed so to speak and called the cops.

Fraudulent returns used to cost the store I worked at over 250k a year, multiply that by 1,500 stores and that's some nice change about $375,000,000 to estimate.
--
Yes, ladies I am single.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to HarryH3

said by HarryH3:

said by Juggernaut:

Moral of the story: pay by debit, or CC. No ID is required according to the article.

Psst.... Your debit and credit cards are already in the uber-database so they know who you are anyway. No other ID required.

I returned something I purchased with a credit card at Best Buy. They still asked for my driver's license. I gave it to them. I don't really care.


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3
reply to antdude

Just to add fuel to the fire......if you bounce a check at your supermarket, for example, Home Depot may refuse your check. That is networked together also. I'm sure other retailers participate in this too. (I used to work at Home Depot, so I know how some of these things work, I'm sure they've ramped the protection up since I worked there).



La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3
reply to Juggernaut

said by Juggernaut:

.....Regardless, I hope this stupidity stays in the US, and doesn't come to Canada. If it does, I will take my business away from those stores.

You're gonna' run out of stores.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Then, it's a good thing I'm a very careful consumer, eh?
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to La Luna

said by La Luna:

Just to add fuel to the fire......if you bounce a check at your supermarket, for example, Home Depot may refuse your check. That is networked together also. I'm sure other retailers participate in this too. (I used to work at Home Depot, so I know how some of these things work, I'm sure they've ramped the protection up since I worked there).

That is why some stores now run the check right at the register(I think walmart does this.)

Its interesting having looked into the ins and outs of supermarkets and a big reason people write checks still is they do not have the funds on hand. basically they are depending on the bank delay because they get paid a day later for example.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


Dude111
An Awesome Dude
Premium
join:2003-08-04
USA
kudos:12
reply to antdude

 

Paying by cash is the best way !!!!



La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Not if you prefer to not carry wads of cash around with you. That in it self can be risky.



goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
reply to Kearnstd

Re: Bamboozled: Retailers are monitoring your return habits

said by Kearnstd:

Its interesting having looked into the ins and outs of supermarkets and a big reason people write checks still is they do not have the funds on hand. basically they are depending on the bank delay because they get paid a day later for example.

Actually, I still write checks at the supermarket because checks are faster than a card, even though you have to write it out.

I don't know where the bottleneck is, but sometimes the wait for people using cards is ridiculous.

Secyurityet
Premium
join:2012-01-07
untied state
reply to antdude

Easy way to solve it -- shop like a pirate: Buy what you need, take nothing back.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to goalieskates

interesting I have never ever seen a check go faster than a card. people write so slow and then they write their numbers in screwy print/cursive hybrid so the cashier has to ask what they wrote to be sure its exact amount or cash back.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports



goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

said by Kearnstd:

interesting I have never ever seen a check go faster than a card. people write so slow and then they write their numbers in screwy print/cursive hybrid so the cashier has to ask what they wrote to be sure its exact amount or cash back.

One would think, but like I said ... and the register phones home to verify you have the funds to cover the check, too. The days of the float are long gone ... Even so, the check's quicker.

And that's not counting the poor old folks who are completely stymied by the buttons on the card swipe machine or the debit/credit question. Go figure. All I know is, standing in line you figure out real quick which method is going to be faster, and it's the check.


jaykaykay
4 Ever Young
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-13
USA
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·Speakeasy
reply to antdude

Most people won't be put off by this policy. This, IMHO, is to disallow for those who are serious, buy and wear people, steal and return people, etc....not normal returns, especially at holiday season. For those who are veteran returners, I think it's good something is being done to control that factor. Business looses way too much due to improper returners!


Frodo

join:2006-05-05
reply to goalieskates

said by goalieskates:

Actually, I still write checks at the supermarket because checks are faster than a card, even though you have to write it out.
I don't know where the bottleneck is, but sometimes the wait for people using cards is ridiculous.

I don't know what store you're going to, but where I go, credit is faster than cash, let alone checks. I can swipe the card while items are being rung up, and if it's under $50, no signature is required either at the grocery or Walmart. No fumbling with change, cashier just hands me the receipt and I'm on my way. (I use a true credit card).


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

1 edit

You can get out of the grocery for under $50? No way ...

And you can prewrite checks too, ya know - just leave the amount open.

I'm not anti-card. But I do think you have to pay attention and not make false assumptions that cards are always faster, etc., or only people with no money write checks to float. Cause it ain't necessarily so.


Frodo

join:2006-05-05

said by goalieskates:

You can get out of the grocery for under $50? No way ...

I can get out of there for under $50, but it didn't happen that way today, but I swiped the card while the clerk was ringing up the stuff, when ready, signed and was on my way. Way I see it, the signature trades off the dealing with change so about the same as cash, whereupon checks, well, they're running those things through a scanner, so checks are slower. But, for the card to be quick, it has to be swiped while the clerk is ringing the stuff up, not after.