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How Your Returns Are Used Against You At Best Buy, Other Retailers (nbcnews.com) 201

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): At Best Buy, returning too many items within a short time can hurt a person's score, as can returning high-theft items such as digital cameras. Every time shoppers returns purchases to Best Buy, they are tracked by a company which has the power to override the store's touted policy and refuse to refund their money. That is because the electronics giant is one of several chains that have hired a service called The Retail Equation to score customers' shopping behavior and impose limits on the amount of merchandise they can return. Stores have long used generous return guidelines to lure more customers, but such policies also invite abuse. Retailers estimate 11% of their sales are returned, and of those, 11% are likely fraudulent returns, according to a 2017 survey of 63 retailers by the National Retail Federation. Return fraud or abuse occurs when customers exploit the return process, such as requesting a refund for items they have used, stolen or bought somewhere else.

Amazon.com Inc. and other online players that have made it easy to return items have changed consumer expectations, adding pressure on brick-and-mortar chains. Some retailers monitor return fraud in-house, but Best Buy and others pay The Retail Equation to track and score each customer's return behavior for both in-store and online purchases. The service also works with Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Sephora and Victoria's Secret. Some retailers use the system only to assess returns made without a receipt. Best Buy uses The Retail Equation to assess all returns, even those made with a receipt.

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How Your Returns Are Used Against You At Best Buy, Other Retailers

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  • charge back when best buy fails will change there ways

    • Refusal to give a refund is not generally a valid reason for a CC chargeback. For one thing, you still have the merchandise you paid for.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:44PM (#56255963)

        A charge back because a store refused to abide by their printed and posted policies is a valid reason for a charge back. I can tell you that American Express fully supports this as long as you show what the store policy is and that you attempted to return in good faith within the terms of the store policy.

        • Except that doesn't happen.

          When you get flagged by TRE, the retailer tells you this is the last return they'll accept from you for X amount of time, and you're given a number to check on the TRE site that lists your returns and your status in the system. If you have beef with any of it, you can bitch at TRE (and they'll ignore you / laugh at you).

          Future returns will not be covered by policy, you'd have to get lucky and get a manager to approve and override. (They can't actually override the TRE piece, but

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        Pretty much ANYTHING is a valid reason for a chargeback, as long as you've made an attempt to resolve the issue, the CC company has a list and refusal to refund IS specifically listed.

        The best thing that Best Buy can do with this list, besides inserting it in their corporate rectums is actually refuse purchases using this list, they're not required to sell to everyone, although such list could also bite back (hey there's an awful lot of black people on that list, that's racism, good luck in court Best Buy).

        • Pretty much ANYTHING is a valid reason for a chargeback, as long as you've made an attempt to resolve the issue, the CC company has a list and refusal to refund IS specifically listed.

          A reason to open one, sure. A reason to prevail? Nope. Your credit card issuer will contact the payment processor on record and get in touch with an actual human at the retailer and tell them about the dispute and they have X days to respond and contest. If they contest, the credit card company won't willy-nilly side with the buyer. They look at the details of the transaction and the dispute and if it's too messy they'll wash their hands of it and you'll have to go to court. If it's not too messy, they

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I had a T-Mobil SIM card and a month's worth of service which I asked the retail associate would work with my Nexus 5 phone. They told me it would. There was no "all sales final" posted near the register or on the merchandise (there is on Verizon's stuff). It didn't work on Google Voice and the store wouldn't give me a refund.

        When I did the charge back, I explained I was "refusing acceptance of the sale" which is a specific legal criteria you can use to void a commercial sale. This is very different fro

        • It is sad you got upvoted because this is horseshit. The UCC states that the buyer must accept pay for goods when the seller had delivered, unless a contract between the buyer and seller says otherwise. It also states that the buyer has the right to inspect goods before making payment, at which time they can decide whether or not to accept delivery from the seller.

          Once the optional step of goods being inspected, delivery is accepted by the buyer and payment is made (which is understood to happen concurrent
          • All states (except Louisiana) have merchant-ability laws that override any in store policies. These state laws vary on the state, but the basics of each one are mostly the same: If a product is sold as being able to do X, then it must do X. If it doesn't do X, then the buyer is entitled to return the product, regardless of what the return policies are.

            For example, let's say there is a store selling sheets. Their return policy says "no returns on sheets once they are used", which is pretty typical. Thro

        • If you invoke the legal department in any financial company they are going to end the dispute immediately in your favor to avoid any further work or time. They will not risk exposing themselves to a regulatory finding over a transaction. I saw more than one case where a person was not able to access their money ($200 but the amount does not matter) for a day or two resulting in a settlement of $8000. The arbitration limit for the particular company at the time--a very small company.

      • If the item is defective, there is in some jurisdiction a "hidden flaw" rules that allow a complete exchange or a complete refund (up to the retailer decision). e.g. if your buy a camera and after 3 month the camera internal sensor burn out, they have in those jurisdiction to prove either the consumer misused the camera (e.g. let it drop down and broke it) or with the hidden flaw laws, give a complete replacement or a free reparation (usually not the case too labor/pieces/cost intensive compared to the othe
      • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

        Refusal to give a refund is not generally a valid reason for a CC chargeback. For one thing, you still have the merchandise you paid for.

        Most reputable credit card companies will issue the chargeback and have you send in the product to them.

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:26PM (#56255881)
      I've been on enough boards to know that there exists a significant "customer" base which is perfectly willing to unethically take maximum benefit of easy return policies for personal benefit. Like - "I know the new TV models will be out in a month, but I want a 4K now, so I'll buy one and then return it and get a new one when they're available." (or, "I'll buy one for my Superbowl party, and return it a couple weeks later" or similar)

      That's why we can't have nice things (policies). If someone's purchase doesn't meet their legitimate, reasonable expectations, fine, return it. But there are many who know up front that they'll be returning it later, or expect to go through multiple returns so they can cherry pick the best of the best. Fuck 'em. Such abuse only ends up costing everyone else more, and I have an issue with funding reprobates.
      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @09:01PM (#56256041)

        That's the problem with big companies. There is no respect from either side.
        Big companies don't care about you, and in return people don't care about the well being of the company. The gap is so large that executives forget that customers and low rank employees are people not just profit making machines. And in return, customers who abuse the system don't seem to realize that by doing that, they hurt the small people (like other customers and employees) more than executives.

        • "Big companies don't care about you, and in return people don't care about the well being of the company."
          In the age of technology and information isn't loose coupling preferred?

      • by Daralantan ( 5305713 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:42AM (#56257991)
        I used to work at Bed, Bath, and Beyond when in college. Our return policy was so insanely easy to abuse. I only ever recall one person being spoken to about their returns, and this was because they had made something like 78 returns in the past year. There were customers that would buy items with a coupon, then return without receipt (I didn't use my card, I paid cash) and get 100% store credit back for something they paid 20% off for... then just use their store credit on something with yet another 20% coupon. And they'd just do this all year. And we couldn't say anything about it ever... only the loss prevention guy was allowed to in extreme cases. But we'd have the same "super bowl party" tv situation. Except in ours, people would buy tons of outdoor furniture for summer parties - then just return it a week later scuffed up and dirty. And our policy allowed for this.
        • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

          Back in the 1970s, for a while Target had a policy that so long as it was an item Target carried, you could return it to Target for a refund -- no matter where you bought it, because they figured they could just put it on the shelf and resell it. Needless to say this didn't last very long.

      • The policies exist to reduce sales friction. Choosing a product and bringing it back because you think one of the other brands might be better--and doing this multiple times--is not an abuse. It increases customer engagement and reduces a barrier to decision making. If you want to reduce returns, educate the customer and let them use the product before they purchase. Your lambast of the cherry-picking pattern is not valid, it is exactly why the policy exists. Markets (information and competition) do no

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          BS. The same people also demand new-in-the-box units, not the ones returned by others of their ilk. That costs the rest of us real money in higher prices.
          • Not to mention many of us can barely be fucked to return an actually broken item. The hell of standing behind these assholes in line and then jumping through all the hoops put up to block their abusive behavior is just not worth it for me. Do I have the original credit card, do I have the receipt? Is the warranty card in the box? Aw jesus fuck unless you do this regularly you don't even know if you'll successfully return the piece of shit when it's finally your turn at the counter!!

            I also hate people who

  • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:09PM (#56255809) Homepage

    I always assumed this was the case? And it's not really unreasonable is it? Like, some people are going to take the piss, and it's not ridiculous that the company would keep track of customers that are causing them costs.

    I'm the last person to be an apologist for big business, but this seems fairly reasonable to me...

    • by ark1 ( 873448 )
      I support the overall concept however stores should be transparent if they are participating. You should also have the right to view your so called profile aggregated by Retail Equation to make sure the system is properly tracking your returns. Sort of like you can track your credit history.
    • I know of an outsource callcenter where they suddenly noticed one person trying to ge refunds and extra money by complaining to several unrelated companies.
      So yes, there is a difference between use and abuse. When I see a movie or tv show where they say to wear a dress, but leave the label intact so they can return it, that is abuse.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:09PM (#56255813)
    E-commerce has tons of sales, but they're all losing tons of money, too. Free returns? Free shipping. Yeah, that's not profitable for anybody, including Amazon. How long will investors tolerate losses?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In Europe returns have to be free, except for postage in cases where there is nothing wrong with the item. If there is something wrong with it then the retailer pays postage as well. It's the law.

      Overall it's a good thing. It protects consumers from being fleeced by things not matching the description or high shipping costs discouraging them from returning faulty items. Even when the item isn't faulty, the basic idea is that the consumer should have an opportunity to inspect it in person and reject it.


      • by hawk ( 1151 )

        >Another useful protection is that you don't have to return faulty items in
        >original packaging. Some retailers used to screw people that way,
        >especially with packaging that can't be opened without destroying it.

        Back in another century, I got a great deal as a developer: Ehman sold me a 17" B&W monitor, with a staggering 1024x768 resolution, for just $600 including controller, instead of $900.

        Eventually it had a problem, and I called. "Oh, just stuff it in its box and send it back."

        OK, aside f

  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:14PM (#56255831)

    So, basically, if you try to take advantage of the system, they'll call you on it. Not seeing the problem here. Sounds like someone trying to manufacture outrage as though the stores are trying to screw you over, but it sounds like they're just trying to protect themselves against a somewhat common type of fraud.

    Or am I wrong here? If so, maybe someone can explain. I rarely shop retail these days, and I rarely return items.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As anyone who has ever worked retail will tell you, there are a lot of entitled assholes who over estimate their own cleverness. People will try to return a rusty grill they've gotten years of good use out of, and then get angry when the poor schmuck at the register expresses skepticism that they bought it last week. charred burger remains and all (regrettably, that's not a made up example).

      Problem is, plan B for these societal dregs is to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the store in the hopes that

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        And what's objectively wrong with their position? If the store will give you a refund if you do a song-and-dance, why not! It's the capitalist way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It reminds me of when I used to pay for some items by check and I had a check declined. I'd never bounced a check, and I had more than enough money in my bank account to cover the purchase. I asked why and was referred to Telecheck. I didn't realize that check purchases were being tracked, and I did a bit of online searching. Then I called up the store for more information and the manager indicated I should actually call a different company who was responsible instead of Telecheck. They declined the ch

    • Well, I for one have exactly zero confidence this won't eventually (if not currently) be used to deny entirely legitimate returns as they push harder to reduce costs-- eventually that will result in increasing improper denials. "Oh sorry, you've exceeded your return quota of 1 item every 3 months, so this must be fraudulent as that's excessive."
      • If that happens, leave the item in the store (with proof if you can) and do a chargeback and let the CC company negotiate with the business as to whether they are being reasonable. If you do too many of *those*, then you'd have a problem. The CC companies already do act as a check against businesses trying to screw you and not following their own policies, I don't expect that to change as it's not in their interest.

      • Well, I for one have exactly zero confidence this won't eventually (if not currently) be used to deny entirely legitimate returns as they push harder to reduce costs-- eventually that will result in increasing improper denials. "Oh sorry, you've exceeded your return quota of 1 item every 3 months, so this must be fraudulent as that's excessive."

        I doubt that. I agree with the OP, that this is an attempt to stir up outrage for clicks. The stores have an incentive to keep fairly open return policies, as such policies are in high demand. Companies only have liberal return policies because they're attractive to customers, not because they have to. The challenge is to draw a line where the return policy doesn't make the store victimized by crime and fraud. The fact that practically no one has heard of this system reflects on how rarely it flags people (

      • Well, I for one have exactly zero confidence this won't eventually (if not currently) be used to deny entirely legitimate returns as they push harder to reduce costs-- eventually that will result in increasing improper denials. "Oh sorry, you've exceeded your return quota of 1 item every 3 months, so this must be fraudulent as that's excessive."

        Stores don't want to go too far because then they will lose customers to other stores that don't have such policies. It's a fine line stores have to walk. They want to catch people abusing the system (because they don't make a profit from them) but they want to keep customers who they do make a profit from.

        If you don't abuse returns, I doubt you'll ever have anything to worry about. Remember- 30-40 years ago a lot of stores did not have such generous return policies as they do now. Stores had to adapt b

    • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @10:22PM (#56256393) Homepage

      The problem is not taking advantage of the system, the problem is that many people are unaware of their rights and these lists are typically turned abusive rather than stopping actual 'fraud'. It's easy to end up on the list because you returned a number of high value items and you otherwise don't frequent the retailers for high value items.

      On the other hand you can always initiate a chargeback on your credit card. AutoZone once attempted to refuse me a refund. Sold me a set of wipers where one wouldn't fit and they wouldn't take it back because "store policy" (I opened the package and only then noticed that they sold me the wrong length for one side). I told the manager: sure, I'll just contact my credit card company and get the purchase voided. Instantly changed their tune.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        The problem is not taking advantage of the system, the problem is that many people are unaware of their rights and these lists are typically turned abusive rather than stopping actual 'fraud'. It's easy to end up on the list because you returned a number of high value items and you otherwise don't frequent the retailers for high value items.

        It's based on a number of factors. How much you buy, how often you buy, how often you return and what you return. If you're constantly returning stuff, yes you'll end up

        • by hawk ( 1151 )

          This has two edges, though . . .

          I have no serious doubts that Lowe's' computers have noticed my return patterns, and the frequency.

          But it's high returns in the pattern they want: buying a safety margin on products knowing I can bring back the extras.

          Frankly I suspect that I could return past the period, etc., moreso than without the history . . . they *know* I'll be back soon for another gaggle of stuff.


        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          The problem is that people have gotten on the list for returning a single item or having the clerk screw up a return on their order. This system has been going on for at least half a decade.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      well if you get stuffed with 3 bad items in a row you're stuck with it.

      despite the policy.
      despite the items actually having been bad.

      they score that or not? item actually having been bad? if yes, then sure, why not, bb could do that internally too. but they're denying returns anyways if they feel like it and their quota needs it. that's the real problem with customer service these days.. damn quotas.

      • by hawk ( 1151 )

        > well if you get stuffed with 3 bad items in a row you're stuck with it.

        The last days of the VCR . . . the things had gone *so* mass-produced that even the major brands were sketchy.

        I don't buy "product assurance", but for my last VCR, I simply accepted the price of the object +$20 as the two-year cost of having some VCR or another.

        If memory serves, it was the first one that died as the tracking failed and went out of range. The one they replaced it with died following the tracking playing the tape it

    • I read the WSJ article in the print edition this morning (work gets it delivered), and the first guy mentioned had bought a bunch of phone cases for his kids in a variety of colors, with the stated intention of letting them choose what they wanted and then returning the rest unopened. That apparently triggered the warning that he would not be able to do that again. This is a reporter who was able to find some edge cases where the algorithm was wrong in a way that would be transparent to a human (bought thre
      • by hawk ( 1151 )

        > Or -- a guy lied to the reporter about what he actually did.
        >Both are plausible.

        As a former criminal defense attorney, I can assure you that no-one *ever* lies about what they did. No sirreee.

        Prisons are full of innocent people, well over 99%. Just ask them. And the ones that pled guilty only did it because their lawyer screwed them. Really. :)


  • by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:26PM (#56255883)

    Someone who is super picky, and has a problem with everything they buy, and returns a lot of stuff is a customer to be avoided

    If I was a seller, I would blacklist them

    Someone who has real problems with stuff not working right should be able to return it

    • My kid got a laptop from her grand dad. They shorted her on 8 gigs of ram. I wasn't paying attention and neither was she. She uses it for school so it's not like it matters, but if I got that back it would go. I've returned tons of stuff like that over the years. Stuff that was functional but not what the manufacturer says it was.

      I also use a Phillips Air Floss. Works great, but the motors die like clockwork ever 12-14 months. I bought the extended warranty and return it to the store. If you don't want
      • Phillips is a company that actually is pretty easy to deal with on replacing items under warranty if you want to save yourself the extended warranty costs.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:26PM (#56255885)
    is that this is the big data folks keep talking about. I'll leave figuring out how this can (will?) be abused as an exercise for the reader, but regardless this puts more power in the hands of retailers and contributes to tipping the balance between consumer/retailer. Airlines do the same thing with rapid price changes, and yes there's a bit of an arms race [slashdot.org] on right now, but I don't expect plucky consumers to come out ahead. There was already a lopsided power imbalance before all the mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyout fueled bankruptcies.

    TL;DR. We need to consider the effects of large sets of cheaply available consumer data being easily traded among the few retailers that are left.
    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      It does put more power in the hands of the retailers, but that power is about accepting returns or not. This is a power, but it's not a particularly threatening one.

      Well, you say that figuring out how this can be abused is an exercise for the reader. So, let's see here... Worst case scenario that I can think of: they start selling defective products and refusing to accept returns for them. That's not a new power though, they can do that right now. The reason why they (mostly) don't do this right now is n
  • I would expect that you need at least a receipt and that should usually include the device serial number. Or is there some defect in the way this is done in the US?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @09:23PM (#56256159)

      you steal an item from a store. You hang around outside the store, looking for dropped receipts that have your item listed, and usually was not paid for with a credit card (as the store will either refund the card, or only offer store credit), then you take your stolen item and the receipt inside and get your refund.

      Or, you hang out in the parking lot looking for a dropped receipt with a big-ticket but small physical size item on it, you go inside, slip the item from the shelf, make your way back to the front of the store and head for the customer service desk and get a refund on the device you didn't even steal since you never left the store! (this is fraud however, still illegal of course).

      Or, you steal items at one store location, then go to another store location and try to get a refund without receipt. Then be a complete asshat when they refuse until a manager caves and gives you money cause he's a spineless coward too stupid and scared to do his job properly and call the cops. (this last one is a constant source of irritation to a friend of mine working in retail)

      Oh, and no, device serials are not always (or often) printed on purchase receipts in the US. That's why 2 of the above work yet the major US retailers still aren;t doing it.

    • The movie "Garden State" has a very nice scene where a character walks into a store, picks up a piece of merchandise, and brings it to customer service for a return - no receipt. They give him cash.
    • I knew people that would find a receipt in the parking lot/trash cans, then go steal an item on the receipt and return it. Never heard of a unique serial number being on the receipt... I'd imagine that where it exists it's limited to big ticket electronics that already have additional protection. Or maybe it's just something new, it's been years since I knew people like that.
      • by flink ( 18449 )

        Some electronics do have a window through the package where you can view/scan the serial number without opening the box. In my experience, stores usually only scan it if the customer is buying an extended warranty.

    • I'm a bit surprised they'd do that, honestly. I think the customer expectation is that you need the receipt, but it's also fairly common for stores to accept returns by crediting the credit card that was used for the purchase (after having looked up the purchase from the card number). I've never heard of a cash return without the receipt (and sometimes the receipt has to indicate the purchase was in cash, if it were a CC they'd refund that instead).

      If a store refused no-receipt returns for cash I think nobo

      • My local grocery, where there are probably only 5 people working total, has refunded me cash for bad/moldy fruit, no questions asked, no receipt. Then again, they probably remember that I bought it.
    • Without receipt you can generally get store credit, so you use the credit to buy something you can pawn.
  • by silverkniveshotmail. ( 713965 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @08:52PM (#56255991) Journal
    I wonder how they handle valid forms of ID that aren't driver licenses if their system doesn't understand them like passport cards or IDs from other countries.
  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @09:06PM (#56256075)

    It seems the retailer inputs driver's license number and address, or scans the barcode if it has one. That's how one is tracked. Retail return policies generally have a catch-all "we can refuse any refund for any or no reason at our discretion" clause, which is used in this case. It seems The Retail Equation (TRE) presumably uses machine learning fraud-detection systems, like a credit or debit card company uses, only you can't call them to force the transaction through, so you're just stuck with no way out. Given that returns are a cost-center for retailers, this is a 'feature' rather than a bug. Getting flagged means no returns to that store for 365 days, and you only find out after you've bought your merchandise; so if you bought clothes unsure if your spouse likes how they look, or if they'll be comfortable, then you're SOL if not. TRE has been around for several years, their website says 1999, and I found complaints about them online dating back to at least 2011.

    TFA gives an anecdote of a guy who was blacklisted from his first return... before he even made it. So he was allowed zero returns from Best Buy before being banned from returns. Apparently, it triggers so rarely that there haven't been enough complaints about false positives to cause retailers to ditch the system. In my experience, customer complaints can cause a company to loosen its return policies to the point of letting pretty-obvious fraud through, although larger companies are probably less likely to care. I guess the moral is, shop at smaller stores if you're not certain you want something, and check the return policy.

  • If they ask for ID, you either forgot yours, show one without an address (passport), or go to a different store where the checkers are too rushed to care.
  • Recently bought a TV at Walmart and had to return it because the screen was broken out of the box. They refunded that in case and took down zero notes of any kind about who I was. Paid with a card. They refunded me cash.

    So I got the same model TV again and eventually returned that one because I didn't like it. Again, they just gave me back my money and took no info.

    Walmart USED to ask for ID and all sorts of crap. No more.

  • TFS says

    Retailers estimate 11% of their sales are returned

    More than one out of every ten sales are returned? That's not correct.

    And, why would they need to *estimate* ?

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @06:50AM (#56257849)

    I get the outrage, like everyone else it's hard not to think of this as a blacklist designed to rip off customers and with all the Kafkaesque elements you'd expect from an opaque, privately run blacklist.

    That being said, if a big part of this is tech "rental" -- buying an item for limited use and then returning, why not approach this as a business opportunity? Create some business model where people can more or less rent these items (purchase minus restocking fee) and where each iteration of sale-return results in a declining, "open box" selling price?

    If this "problem" is big enough that it's worth the pure overhead cost of running a blacklist of abusive consumers, it sounds like there's a way to run to use that overhead instead towards basically renting these items to abusive customers.

    • Tech rental is not particularly cheap, as the goods have a very limited time frame in which they can be rented before people want the next best thing. And who wants a used laptop that has God-only-knows-what malware/keyloggers/etc on it? Or cameras and lenses that have been treated less than perfectly? I'd take that kind of stuff from family, or friends that I trust, but from Joe Blow? If I can't verifiably nuke it and start over, no way.
    • There are already a number of markets for rental of "high tech" equipment, for various meanings of "high tech". Though I've never used one, there is a long established business model for rental of high end cameras and lenses - there was an article on here just after the recent solar eclipse in America about their returns of user-damaged equipment, and the inability of users to follow usage instructions. (Which raises another part of the business cost equation.) Rental of laptops, projectors, desktops, big m
  • Companies should be free to refuse to do business with any individual as long as the reason is non-discriminatory. And if it turns out that the customer simply isn't profitable due to a high return rate, that seems pretty reasonable to me. Nobody really wants unprofitable customers. And arguably those who have high return rates drive up prices for everybody. But this should be disclosed at the time of the sale not when the return comes in the door. When the purchase is made, the retailer can use the pa
  • Seriously, Ebay needs to improve their return policies. There are too many flippers on Ebay these days.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington