There are several major retailers out there discreetly tracking every return shoppers make and some also punish those they suspect are abusing their return policies. Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret, and Home Depot are some of the companies doing it.
Some have hired a third-party firm called The Retail Equation to track sales data and keep a database of returns to flag potentially problematic shoppers. Those customers could be stopped from making returns in the future. The retailers say they do it to combat fraud, but critics have privacy concerns.
Here’s a list of some stores keeping tabs on your returns:
- Home Depot - Their spokesman says the company uses The Retail Equation to fight fraud, but unlike a lot of other stores, Home Depot only tracks returns without a receipt.
- CVS Pharmacy - They partnered with The Retail Equation last year, but since then, they’ve only declined one-third of 1% of returns.Sephora - They also use The Retail Equation, but only “crack down on customers with excessive returns,” by telling them they “may limit future returns or exchanges if no proof of purchase is provided.”
- Dick's Sporting Goods - Their use of The Retail Equation has inspired customers to complain on social media.
- JCPenney - The retailer confirms that it uses The Retail Equation to help “prevent fraudulent or abusive returns.”
- Victoria's Secret - Shoppers have complained online about being banned from returning things to Victoria’s Secret.
- Best Buy - They actually apologized to anyone affected by their returns policy. "On very rare occasions — less than one tenth of one% of returns — we stop what we believe is a fraudulent return," Best Buy spokesman Jeff Haydock "Fraud is a real problem in retail, but if our systems aren't as good as they can be, we apologize to anyone inappropriately affected."Source: Business Insider