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The Gifts You Can No Longer Return

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7 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    It’s just part of the pendulum, once upon a time returns were much more difficult than they are now, and the pendulum swung to make it easy as stores competed for consumers.

    As everyone adopted a very liberal returns policy some consumers have attempted to exploit the benevolence. We are now seeing the pendulum swing the other way.

    If databases are being kept about the practice of returning merchandise then consuemrs should be allowed to challenge the information, I just hope Congress doesn’t step in to force stores to accept all returns given certain criteria because the pendulum will be forever broken.

  2. Dylan says:

    Some retailers are less concerned with the “free rental” camera situation you describe than theft. Shoplifters try to return high dollar items without a receipt. This is a sizable problem at, say, drugstores.

  3. Bruce says:

    Putting aside the data-sharing issues for a second, it seems that “angel customers” such as myself (almost never return, rarely call customer service — although when I am provoked I can get tenacious about it, which I suppose makes me more of a “seraph customer”) may want to have to option to prove our angelic or semi-angelic nature and get a discount — the same way credit reports allow people with good credit to prove their creditworthiness and shed the load of bad-credit-risk free-riders. Granted, there’s a normative difference — defaulting on a debt is a breach of a promise to pay, whereas using customer service or return policies is simply invoking a promise held out by the merchant. Does that normative difference mean that there is a privacy right to mask the amount of customer service you tend to use?

  4. Nate Oman says:

    Dan, I still feel powerful ;->…

  5. Ken Arromdee says:

    If stores are classifying some customers as demon customers because of their legitimate (but expensive) use of promises made by the merchant, then the promises are false advertising, unless their policy says something like “we may refuse a return for any reason even within the 30 day period”. Even then, selling a broken item and refusing to let a customer return it is fraud.

  6. Nate says:

    Of course, there is always Costco. You can return any item (except for computers) bought there at any time, and they don’t ask questions. Or if they do ask questions, they don’t care what the answer is.

    On the other hand, Costco also has the unique ability to terminate the shopping privileges of those people who consistently abuse the policy (like, for instance, returning televisions every six months, so they constantly have the best and brightest).

  7. Mary Ann says:

    Does it not bother anyone to know that a virually unknown company “The Return Exchange” has your Drivers Licence number, date of birth and address. All this info in exchange for the privillage of returning a pair of jeans with a receipt.

    What protection do consumers have against this sensitive information not being miss used, sold or lost, now or at some unknow time in the future.

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