Shopping Discussion

Wonder why you got banned in stores? The Retail Equation

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 27th, 2018 8:01 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 16, 2015
1859 posts
1296 upvotes
Canada

Wonder why you got banned in stores? The Retail Equation

Your purchases are being monitored by this company, The Retail Equation

Consumer advocates are raising transparency issues about the practice of having companies collect information on consumers and create "return profiles" of customers at big-name stores such as Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Victoria's Secret, Home Depot and Nike.

RETURN DOLLARS SAVED
$1,040,505,016
Cost SavingsThe Retail Equation saves retailers costs annually by preventing fraudulent and abusive returns.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/retailer ... -1.1406337

An example of a customer banned from returning purchases at Bestbuy USA
http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-S ... d-p/969015

With the recent Bestbuy Canada ban threads, looks like Canadian are being monitored now. I'd suggest if you are making big purchases like buying that new MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Studio, and don't want to risk your "return profile" should you get defective products, buy directly from the Manufacturers' stores.
76 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 29, 2012
6076 posts
4349 upvotes
One of the dystopian examples of big data being used against consumers, which is a trend that will only grow with time.

Luckily, with the Internet, and even retailers like Aliexpress, consumers will ultimately have more and more options to tell all these retailers to **** off and make them bite the dust if they insist on pulling such moves.


http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-S ... 015/page/3
I have never returned anything to Best Buy without a receipt and 100% of the manufacturers packaging. While I was not banned I did receive a warning that any future purchases would be possibly denied. I no longer do any business with them. My returns were insignificant in the timeline of my purchase history.



Best Buy is a dying business model and they choose to alienate their more active customers instead of moving with the trending market. Stores that I do business with instead of Best Buy: Amazon, NewEgg, B&H, Adorama, MicroCenter, JET, Frys, Crutchfield, GreenToe, Dell, CDW, ect.... the list goes on. I'll tell you where you won't be going is: Circuit City, Tweeter, Ultimate Electronics, ect... because they too failed.



It'll surprise me if Best Buy is around another 5 years. If they are you'll most likely see massive store closings. They've done it to themselves. I just Googled "failed electronic stores" and Forbes has an article about Best Buy in the top 5 hits. Who would have thought?



On another note. If you are deemed a pain to deal with at Best Buy you are often referred to as a "devil patron". Google it. Since that went public Best Buy has made attempts to correct its policy but it speaks volumes to the company as a whole.
I mean, wow... it just makes me want to completely stop even stepping foot there.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
3733 posts
2983 upvotes
Poutinesauce wrote: One of the dystopian examples of big data being used against consumers, which is a trend that will only grow with time.
Luckily, with the Internet, and even retailers like Aliexpress, consumers will ultimately have more and more options to tell all these retailers to **** off and make them bite the dust if they insist on pulling such moves.
I mean, wow... it just makes me want to completely stop even stepping foot there.
Since you seem to think we should all be allowed to scam retailers with impunity, I wanted to point out that even COSTCO will ban you if you game them:

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3034015

Since they use membership cards they wouldn't need to hire TRE to keep track of you -- they already know who you are.
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Apr 9th, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Let's get this straight once and for all. The "Golden Arches" burger chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 16, 2015
1859 posts
1296 upvotes
Canada
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Since you seem to think we should all be allowed to scam retailers with impunity, i wanted to point out that even COSTCO will ban you if you game them:

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3034015

Since they use membership cards they wouldn't need to hire TRE to keep track of you -- they already know who you are.
Actually its such a great idea, combining with credit history, to track customers across the broad to determine who's worthy. I might do a startup.
Deal Addict
Jan 29, 2017
1930 posts
1376 upvotes
Poutinesauce wrote: One of the dystopian examples of big data being used against consumers, which is a trend that will only grow with time.
Used against bad/fraudulent consumers who by all means retailers should hunt and eliminate.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
32382 posts
3189 upvotes
Winnipeg
I dunno why a 3rd thread has to be made, nor people care about store banning, sometimes store pick their customers just like customers pick their stores, nothing special.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
26047 posts
11492 upvotes
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Since you seem to think we should all be allowed to scam retailers with impunity, I wanted to point out that even COSTCO will ban you if you game them:
WTF? How do you return 86% of all stuff you purchased?
What are you even keeping at this point?
Or are you "renting"

I'd ban that guy too.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 29, 2012
6076 posts
4349 upvotes
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Since you seem to think we should all be allowed to scam retailers with impunity, I wanted to point out that even COSTCO will ban you if you game them:

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3034015

Since they use membership cards they wouldn't need to hire TRE to keep track of you -- they already know who you are.
There's a really fine line between "scamming retailers", and something much more benign like the poster in the other thread who was just buying a few copies of the same console or game.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
3733 posts
2983 upvotes
Poutinesauce wrote: There's a really fine line between "scamming retailers", and something much more benign like the poster in the other thread who was just buying a few copies of the same console or game.
"A few copies". Just like it's not ok for me to buy "a few more tickets" to a concert with the intent of scalping the extras. Doing that is scamming Ticketmaster, the concert promoter, the venue, and the performer, since you're making profit you didn't deserve.
This is what BB is trying to avoid. They know the system will sell out. so why not make sure more customers get it rather than let the few flippers ruin it for them?
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Apr 10th, 2017 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Let's get this straight once and for all. The "Golden Arches" burger chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 22, 2007
8917 posts
2396 upvotes
London
divx wrote: I dunno why a 3rd thread has to be made, nor people care about store banning, sometimes store pick their customers just like customers pick their stores, nothing special.
I have a few friends with small businesses, and they regularly cull problem clients.

With the amount of data mining available to these big companies, it's not surprising they can predict unprofitable customers, the ones that will respond to special offers, the ones that like presales, shoot, they even know when your preggers.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
3733 posts
2983 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: WTF? How do you return 86% of all stuff you purchased?
What are you even keeping at this point?
Or are you "renting"

I'd ban that guy too.
I'd assume Costco uses dollar value and not number of items. First of all it doesn't surprise me that this happened in Taiwan.
Second, I'd say it's a combination of renting and those scammy returns we've discussed at length in other threads. We all know the examples:

Probably buys expensive electronics/computers and knows to return them exactly on day 89 after purchase (since the limit is 90 days). Then goes right back into the warehouse to buy the current model of the same item. 89 days, lather rinse repeat. Churn that and 86% return rate would be very easy to accomplish since that's essentially 100% returns right there. His kids must get new Beats or Bose headphones, MacBooks, and iPad Pros every 89 days...

Maybe buys expensive garden tools, exercise equipment, and other similarly heavy hardware. Use for a year, return, buy the current model to replace. 100% returns yet again.

Buys clothes for his family. Returns them all after 6 months of use... buy summer clothes in the spring, return in the fall, buy winter clothes to return in the spring, etc.. Same with shoes/flip flops/winter boots...

Then we get to the really scammy behavior. Buys those large 4-packs of ribeye steaks. Eats 3, returns the 4th, says he's "not satisfied". Return.... Buys the big multi-pack of K-cups (for the Keurig brewer he replaces every 89 days....). Finishes 3/4 of the cups, brings back the rest, says "not satisfied"... and so on.

So if he returned 86% of his purchases, what was the 14% he didn't return? here's my guess -- every time he went to Costco he brought his litter of kids, his wife, his parents, his inlaw parents.... and they feasted on those $2 hot dogs and emptied out the condiment bar. There's your 14%...

What I'm wondering is, did any manager ever decline a return (sorry buddy, that's normal wear and tear on those shoes...) and/or give him warning? It almost sounds like the store wanted to make an example out of him (good!) and waited till he did his usual 89-day return/replace visit and said "your membership is revoked. Take all that stuff home with you, it's yours for good...." They needed to have a TV crew ready to film that!
Let's get this straight once and for all. The "Golden Arches" burger chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2008
5014 posts
1771 upvotes
Toronto
LoL, your imagination is insanely flawed on many levels with that post. And your response makes it seems like you've been personally wronged by this random soul in another country.

Costco doesn't sell iPad Pros or MacBooks and specifically chooses what items they want to stock in whatever particular configuration.

Regardless, a customer should be allowed to return goods if they aren't satisfied, and if the store has stipulations, then they should make it clear on the store policy. Not pick and choose when they want to enforce a policy because their bottom line might be hurt.

I think this particular ban might have had fraud or something of that degree involved. Any returns that Costco or any other retailer takes in, they are free to sell to a third party whole seller, and I'm sure they most likey do as Costco doesn't sell open box items.

Amazon, takes in returns, however, if you aren't happy, they make you pay the return fee, and once it's received it's sold in the condition it was in through Amazon Warehouse Deals.
The very savvy and thirfty customers will scan these listings to save considerable amounts from a brand new item listing.

Best Buy fails in this regard and takes items under their different return windows and due to employment of part time employees that have no investment in the company, do a poor job of assessing returns. These are then repackaged and sold to the next consumer who is likely to return the next day after discovering food stains or missing pieces on his recent return.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2008
5014 posts
1771 upvotes
Toronto
I don't think TRE is operating in Canada, but it might change, and if it does, it might cull the behaviour of many shoppers.

That spur of the moment purchasing that comes with Hot Deals will likely disappear if folks have to question whether they might want to return an item and risk being banned for a few months from future purchases.

If Best Buy or other retailers have issues with returns, they employ properly paid employees that can teach prospective customers on what item they want to buy. This is what we lost with Futureshop, individuals on comission made it a point to be informed about products, yes, there were a rotten few that only cared about pushing out a sale for the sake of comission.

If that is too much, they downsize your stores to a pick-up/return system and migrate all your products only to an online store-front. However, due to the lower cost of overhead and staff, you should be discounting items too.

The merit that brick and mortar store had was the ease of walking in, checking out a product, maybe trying it out and then walking out with it. If you weren't happy, whether remorse or the item had issues you could walk in and return/exchange.

Best Buy should adapt or leave for the horizon. With individual brands starting their own stores (Bose, Samsung, Apple, and so forth) either buck up or leave.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
3733 posts
2983 upvotes
rebel_rfd wrote: LoL, your imagination is insanely flawed on many levels with that post. And your response makes it seems like you've been personally wronged by this random soul in another country.
death_hawk asked WTF? How do you return 86% of all stuff you purchased? What are you even keeping at this point? Or are you "renting" so I speculated on how this particular "savvy shopper" (as you probably would call him) racked up such a crazy return rate. How was I "personally wronged"? I don't own Costco...
No reasonable person returns 86% (in dollar value) of what they buy. Unless they're just some crazy shopaholic whose spouse/parent at home immediately sends them back to the store to return them (another speculation) or they are gaming the system by "renting" for 89 days (as I explained).
Let's get this straight once and for all. The "Golden Arches" burger chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10376 posts
739 upvotes
Toronto
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: I'd assume Costco uses dollar value and not number of items. First of all it doesn't surprise me that this happened in Taiwan.
Second, I'd say it's a combination of renting and those scammy returns we've discussed at length in other threads. We all know the examples:

Probably buys expensive electronics/computers and knows to return them exactly on day 89 after purchase (since the limit is 90 days). Then goes right back into the warehouse to buy the current model of the same item. 89 days, lather rinse repeat. Churn that and 86% return rate would be very easy to accomplish since that's essentially 100% returns right there. His kids must get new Beats or Bose headphones, MacBooks, and iPad Pros every 89 days...

Maybe buys expensive garden tools, exercise equipment, and other similarly heavy hardware. Use for a year, return, buy the current model to replace. 100% returns yet again.

Buys clothes for his family. Returns them all after 6 months of use... buy summer clothes in the spring, return in the fall, buy winter clothes to return in the spring, etc.. Same with shoes/flip flops/winter boots...

Then we get to the really scammy behavior. Buys those large 4-packs of ribeye steaks. Eats 3, returns the 4th, says he's "not satisfied". Return.... Buys the big multi-pack of K-cups (for the Keurig brewer he replaces every 89 days....). Finishes 3/4 of the cups, brings back the rest, says "not satisfied"... and so on.

So if he returned 86% of his purchases, what was the 14% he didn't return? here's my guess -- every time he went to Costco he brought his litter of kids, his wife, his parents, his inlaw parents.... and they feasted on those $2 hot dogs and emptied out the condiment bar. There's your 14%...

What I'm wondering is, did any manager ever decline a return (sorry buddy, that's normal wear and tear on those shoes...) and/or give him warning? It almost sounds like the store wanted to make an example out of him (good!) and waited till he did his usual 89-day return/replace visit and said "your membership is revoked. Take all that stuff home with you, it's yours for good...." They needed to have a TV crew ready to film that!
You can buy hot dogs at Costco without membership card, so it would be counted towards his total purchases. So that's not where the 14% comes from.

Top