RadioShack Won't Give Refund On Cash Purchase Unless You Show Your Papers

RadioShack’s whole collecting-your-personal-data nonsense is old news, but it’s not just for purchases anymore. When Pete tried to take back some potentiometers he’d paid for the day before with cash, the clerk refused to give him any sort of refund—even a store credit—without Pete’s physical address.

The clerk told Pete it was for loss prevention. Wait, what? Pete had the parts in his hand, and the receipt that showed he’d paid cash for the parts the day before. You mean there’s no way RadioShack can track its purchases more precisely than matching up mailing addresses of anyone who walks into the store?
 
Here’s Pete’s email:

Dear Consumerist,
 
I have been avoiding RadioShack for ages ever since they started asking you for your street address and phone number just to sell you something. Once they stopped that practice, I reluctantly began returning to buy the odd piece for my electronics projects when I ran out of something and didn’t want to wait for an order to be shipped from on-line retailers. At any rate, I was out running errands the other weekend and saw a RadioShack, remembering that I needed a couple of potentiometers for an amplifier I was working on, I stopped to make my purchase. Wading through the overly “helpful” employees I found the electronic components area. But, I couldn’t remember the exact values of the potentiometers I needed so I grabbed all they had, paid with cash and was on my way.
 
I went back the following day to return the un-opened potentiometers that I did not need – receipt in hand. The process went smoothly until the clerk asked for my street address. I told him that I prefer not to give that information out. They claimed that it was for “loss prevention purposes”. I say “they” because another cashier came over, presumably for moral support to his co-worker. I told them to make an address up – no dice, claiming the “system” “will kick you out”. I tried to explain that I have the receipt and the un-opened parts and that I paid with cash so they would have no way of knowing that I was the person who originally purchased them anyway, no luck. I tried for store credit, same result.
 
I suppose, I could have made up an address, or even given them my real one but i didn’t feel like it. I shouldn’t have to be put through a personal information wringer to complete a legitimate transaction that happens every day at normal stores. I felt like I was being accused of theft or had to in some way, justify my actions.
 
I will say that the employees weren’t rude and they were just carrying out what they were trained to do. In the end, I took the ~$10 worth of potentiometers home with me, where they sit waiting for a new project.
 
Is this normal business practice, or is it time for RadioShack to get with the times for its data mining?

(Photo: Brave New Films)

Comments

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  1. Dobernala says:

    Make up an address and move along. When you get your cash back, proudly proclaim that you made one up and give them the finger.

  2. photomikey says:

    Make. One. Up.

    This guy makes $6.25/hr at radio-f’ing-shack. He types values into a computer. If he can’t click “next”, no go.

    1-2-3 Seasame Street
    Anywhere, US 11111

  3. Crim Law Geek says:

    This is when lying can come in handy.
    “Where do you live?”
    “123 Whatever St.”

    “Phone number?”
    “646-559-9901″

    Always end your fake numbers with 9901. In most of the US, this is a test number at the exchange. It avoids some poor sap getting telemarketing calls meant for you.

  4. Edge23 says:

    It’s not normal practice to ask for an address in stores, but if the store has that policy – before sure to read it before you buy.

    The store may have had issues of people buying with cash and then returining damaged or incomplete products back for full refund.

    It is pretty easy for knowledgeable criminals to make packages look like they’ve never been opened or just return a fake/copied product.

    So yes, in a way the store is saying they don’t trust you if you buy with cash and are retuning an item.

    There was a story a few days ago about a guy retuning computers back to BestBuy, but he had take out components from the systems.

  5. Lucky225 says:

    @thirdgen:

    Incorrect, in most of NEW YORK 9901 is the CO exchange test number, this is NYNEX specific pre-AT&T/verizon takeovers.

  6. cheviot says:

    The correct address to give is:

    1600 Pennsylvania Ave
    Washington DC 20500

    Phone :202-456-1414

    I’ve been using the White House as my default phony address for 20+ years and even now it’s very rare that the clerk gets the joke.

  7. GothGirl says:

    A lot of times this is more to avoid internal bogus returns rather than hurt the customer… I’m afraid the customers have to deal with the company (or companies) not trusting there employees.

  8. Lucky225 says:

    @Edge23:

    This is not a written policy of RadioShack, it’s just something they do, you won’t find it on the back of the receipt or on a sign in the store. They used to ask you for this info for marketing purposes just to buy a pack of friggen batteries, apparently they’re trying to collect it on return instead.

  9. CamilleR says:

    The store I work for requires a name and address for all returns. Occassionally someone objects to giving the information, but they usually comply when I explain that the main reason is to stop employee theft. The name and address requirement makes it a bit harder for employees to do fake returns and pocket the money as well as making it a little easier for loss prevention to find internal theft if they find a bunch of returns with fake addresses done by one employee. However, our return policy signs also clearly state that we require certain information to process a return so customers shouldn’t be surprised by the requirement.
    We also used to send random comment cards to people who had returned items to make sure that the employee doing the return handled it in a professional and friendly manner.

  10. @Lucky225:
    Places outside of Metro New York have telephones!?! Since when!?!

    I kid, i kid, I thought 9901 was universal. In Westchester County, NY, dialing just 9901 reads you back your number (or at least used to).

  11. Lucky225 says:

    @thirdgen:

    I know someone in Westchester, it’s always been 958 for number read back.
    In any event I always give out test numbers as well =)

  12. celticgina says:

    You could use 1313 Mockingbird Lane
    as well.

    as for the phone…there’s always the stand by of
    867-5309

    Now, I dare you NOT to have that song in your head all day!!

    mwaaaah!!

  13. SacraBos says:

    @celticgina: Oh Herman, you jokester!

    I think you should always give the address/phone of a competitor. Like the nearest Best Buy.

  14. randombob says:

    @GothGirl:

    Precisely why my work does it. though it’s voluntary, as in if the customer doesnt’ fill it out, they still got the refund.

    But yeah, it’s not about not trusting the CONSUMER, it’s about making sure that employees aren’t scamming the system.

  15. fhic says:

    I ask them what the store address is, then parrot it back to them. Seldom to they even blink. Scary.

  16. LibertyReign says:

    The one I use is:

    123 Freedom Drive
    Liberty, California 90210

    If the man in # 123 on Freedom Drive is reading this, I apologize sincerely for the last 15 years of junk mail and soliciting phone calls.

  17. LibertyReign says:

    @randombob:

    Yeah cause an employee can’t make up fake info just as easily as a customer can.

    Again.. it never ceases to amaze me how much crap people convince themselves of in order to feel better about being a slave..

    Give your address to Tandy Corp or the TERRORISTS WIN!

  18. metaled says:

    Grab a business card off the counter or better yet just read the info off the receipt, give them the stores address and phone number+1. I doubt any regular employee (other than manager)would recognize the address, the phone no. they will comment how close it is to the stores NO.

  19. Buran says:

    @CamilleR: You can find some other way of solving your problems that don’t involve invading customers’ privacy. Zero sympathy.

  20. conjecture says:

    @Lucky225: Incorrect. It is written policy that the address is REQUIRED for returns. It’s on the back of the receipt. Unless you’re unlucky and get the store manager, you can just give any random address and the CSR won’t care.

  21. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I like this address:
    2121 W Harrison St
    Chicago, IL 60612-3705
    Phone: (312) 666-0500

    It’s the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
    Not too many people to complain there!

  22. witeowl says:

    @Buran: Yeah. Some places ask to see your ID. That’s better, right? Right? Oh, my mistake.

  23. Lucky225 says:

    @conjecture:

    Never seen it on the back of any receipt from purchases I’ve made there or on any sign in the store, but I’ll take your word for it for now.

  24. Lucky225 says:

    @witeowl:

    It only takes 5 seconds to give your address out ;)

    //sarcasm

  25. Craig says:

    PO Box 961090
    Fort Worth, TX 76161-5004
    (817) 415-3011

    That would be the address to Radio Shack corporate sales office and the number to their main switchboard.

  26. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @LibertyReign: For real.

    It’s amusing that companies like Radio Shack, Target, Best Buy, et al lie to consumers constantly about what our private info will be used for, then turn around it sell it until we’re bombarded with junk mail, SPAM, and telemarketing calls, and then have the gall to get pissy when customers refuse to disclose their info any longer.

    If these companies hadn’t abused our trust in the first place, most people probably would comply.

  27. Gorky says:

    They do this because it helps them identify serial returners and retail renters. After you return too much crap, they stop letting you return stiff. Its not just Radio Shack that does it either and quite frankly if I owned a business I would do the same thing. The problem is too many paranoid freaks think that everyone is out to get them and that by providing this info will deluge them with crap mail that they could just throw away instead of bitching about it, but most times its only used for internal purposes. FYI there is no law that a place HAS to return ANYTHING unless defective. If you want something bad enough to buy it then KEEP it instead of buying it knowing full well that you will be returning it and taking the cheap way out.

  28. CamilleR says:

    @Buran: Who’s looking for sympathy?
    As I mentioned, our posted policy is that we require names and addresses for returns. If the customer doesn’t like that policy, he or she is free to shop and do returns somewhere else.

  29. TPS Reporter says:

    I think a new rule ought to be that in order to display advertising in our homes (TV Newspaper etc) for the store they must provide the CEO’s address, phone number and SSN.

  30. Midtowner says:

    I worked there for 8.5 years. If you think giving the information is bad, consider how the person who has to ask you for it must feel. It’s demoralizing.

    Salespeople really have no control over this stuff. They’re scrapping by at, or barely above minimum wage. The store manager has to sign off on these receipts and those guys are about as interchangeable as the salespeople.

    RadioShack operates a veritable gestapo of loss prevention people. I recommend that you don’t shop there unless you have to. The prices are always higher, and since they removed all of their own brands, the quality of their products is substandard.

  31. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Gorky: It has nothing to do with paranoia and everything to do with our time and our money:

    # The average American household receives unsolicited junk mail equal to 1.5 trees every year-more than 100 million trees for all U.S. households combined.

    # 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (22 percent) is recycled.

    # Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that doesn’t get recycled.

    # On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.

    I can think of thousands of better ways our time, energy, and tax dollars can be put to use.

    Honest customers should not have to suffer because a store sells shoddy merchandise; let the store take it up with the manufacturers. And employee theft accounts for the vast majority of retailer loss, not “serial returners” as you call them.

  32. Lucky225 says:

    @Imaginary_Friend:

    Amen. I love how Wal*Mart thinks they’re so cute with ID required on returns, and only so many per month per ID. Only one problem – TX ID & DL #s are both different numbers, so you can actually get double the amount of returns just by changing which ID you choose to show them.

  33. whydidnt says:

    I worked Loss Prevention at Target 20+ years ago, and even back then Target had a similar policy. It was to make sure the returns were legitimate, and that the cashier wasn’t just taking money from the register and ringing out a cash return from some receipt found in the trash. We actually took the information in loss prevention and mailed “survey” cards to all Cash return customers asking why they maid the return and verifying they were happy with the service they received. The real purpose was to see if anyone called and said, I didn’t make a return?

    Simple as that, no desire to put you on a double secret marketing list, just wanting to prevent employee skimmage, which is where most losses occur.

    I’m pretty sure that today stores also use this information to track “serial” returners, folks that like to buy and return items they only have a short term use for.

    From a consumer’s point of view, it’s to our benefit that stores try to control their losses, as it’s difficult to offer good prices if your losing money on non-sales.

  34. Breach says:

    Id say “excuse me” and walk outside, look at their address, and give it to them. Use a phone number of an old girlfriend you dont like.

  35. Buran says:

    @witeowl: Writing it down is different from just looking at it.

  36. pigeonpenelope says:

    that is normal. old news. when i worked at pier 1 imports, we had to have customers who returned stuff fill out a little paper for returns. its dual purpose. it makes sure the employee isn’t pocketing the money and it gives a paper trail.

  37. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Midtowner: i had no problems asking people to sign a paper saying they returned an item and i didn’t pocket their money. i don’t think its demoralizing. i felt my old company’s policy for returns was a good one.

  38. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @whydidnt: Guess what? We don’t give a shit. As customers, we want to buy stuff and go home; if the product doesn’t perform as advertised, we want a quick and simple return process. If Target or Radio Shack or Best Buy have such a horrendous problem with employee theft, then they need to fix that problem on their own time and not needlessly inconvenience their paying customers.

  39. Sempera says:

    Actually, the only reason I ask anymore is because I hate people coming in and saying “I lost my receipt, can I return this? But I just bought it yesterday, why not?!” I’ve gotten to the point where I feel creepy asking for addresses, so I just don’t. Phone numbers are fine for me, and when they’re not in the system, names. Anyway, it’s not company policy to -require- them. There are ways around it.

  40. KyleOrton says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: I only use that for voting.

  41. sgtyukon says:

    The best fake phone numbers to use end in 9945, not 9901. In many telephone exchanges, 9945 is a 1000 cycle tone. Sometimes, it’s quite loud.

  42. Lucky225 says:

    @sgtyukon:

    Again, area specific, just like new york. 0002 is miliwatt 1000 cycle tone in california, other areas it’s 0020, it really just depends on where you are.

  43. glycolized says:

    Demoralizing? Wow, that’s dramatic.

    Stores have been asking for this info for returns as long as I can remember – at least 25 years. Move along.

    Besides, unless your product is defective, the transaction is over and the store doesn’t owe you a thing. You wanna return it, you play by their rules now.

  44. Televiper says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Providing an address makes returning a defective product unreasonably long and complicated? My 4 year old daughter doesn’t seem to have a problem telling me her address.

  45. avsfan123 says:

    I used to work for the shack.

    They rate you on name and address percentage.

    80% is the goal.

    You get reamed by mgt if you don’t meet it.

  46. hatrack says:

    @Imaginary_Friend:

    Very little of the junk mail I receive is actually addressed to me. Most of it is just bulk advertising that’s delivered to everyone.

    Most of the junk mail that is addressed to me is from credit card companies. I doubt that they bought my name from some retail store that I returned a package of batteries to.

  47. Flyinace2000 says:

    I used to work at the shack. Yes, they told us to take address for returns. But we had several fake address already in the “system” to use when someone didn’t want to give their name. I would ask, and if they decline, no big deal. I would use a fake entry. The system is to dumb to know its fake. Another thing. The database is location specific. If you give you name at store #1, store #2 can’t see it. Sure the names get uploaded to a main server somewhere, but the indivudal stores can’t do a nationwide search.

  48. mizmoose says:

    1059 West Addison
    Chicago, IL 60613

    p.s. I hate Illinois nazis!

  49. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Televiper: I’m sure she’s very cute too, but would you want her giving her name and address out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who demands it?

    If the product is defective and the customer paid cash, then yes, that is unreasonable. The store can return the defective merchandise to the manufacturer, so why hassle your cash-paying customers? If it was charged to a credit card, obviously, the card should be presented for a refund, but that’s it.

    As I said before, if these companies had not abused out info in the first place, this wouldn’t be an issue. A few people have pointed out that we’ve been giving out this info for years; yes, that’s true. And look where this has lead. People are bombarded at every turn with junk mail, SPAM, and annoying phone calls. Companies routinely sell, compile, and give away info on their customers to other businesses whom the customer wants no part of. There’s an entire industry built on marketing analytics and harvesting people’s info. We’re sick of it and some people are going to the extreme of paying cash for all of their purchases so they don’t have to deal with this crap.

    These nosy merchants are shooting themselves in the foot. Customers will either find somewhere else to shop or start routinely giving false info. Requiring names and addresses solves nothing; it alienates good customers and does nothing to address the real problems of employee theft and organized shoplifters. Dishonest employees will continue to cause losses and organized crime rings will always be too smart to use their real IDs.

  50. Jesterphun says:

    @mizmoose:

    That would be 1060 W. Addison. Wrigley is on the north side of the street, so it’s address must be an even number.

    I checked it on SCMODS.

  51. ellastar says:

    Like CamilleR said, it’s something we have to do. It’s designed so random employees can’t just ring up a bunch of fake returns and pocket the money. Employees have been caught when corporate did follow-ups on suspicious receipts by contacting the supposed name and address taken.

    @GothGirl: Indeed. I was told the address requirement for returns was to make sure we were returning it to an actual customer.

    @Lucky225: Wrong. It’s listed at all the terminals in the store, next to the notices about accepting checks. Asking for names and addresses for batteries/regular purchases was for marketing, which they found out didn’t do so well with customers, so they scrapped it. They still like us to catch the info when we can, but it’s not pushed as much.

    @LibertyReign: Sad to say, employees tend to be a little inept about this. It’s not just the random fake name and address that gets them caught, but a string of returns with suspicious information.

    @Buran: Store associates don’t make the rules. We just explain them. If you don’t like it, I invite you, or anyone, to contact corporate. I tell people this all the time, but few listen or act on it. Nothing will get changed if customers don’t complain. They listen to the customers more often than they do to us.

    @avsfan123: Not any more. Didn’t go over well with consumers.

  52. Dobernala says:

    @ellastar: I’ve been in numerous radio shacks and never seen these rules posted. Sorry.

    I will continue to give Radio Shack a fake address, like it or not.

  53. stuny says:

    My company was exhibiting at a trade show and the exhibit hall “required” my social security number to work our booth. When I refused they told me I couldn’t register without it. I gave them 123-45-6789 and they told me that that wasn’t real. I told them to prove to me that it wasn’t. They didn’t bother me after that.

  54. Nick1693 says:

    I use (817) 415-3011, and 300 RadioShack Circle, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. Its RadioShack Corporate.

  55. kc2idf says:

    One option is to give a foreign address. Deliver it as sincerely as you can. It may encourage them to give up, when it doesn’t fit the fields.

    On another note, though, many retailers request this info when taking an item back for a refund/credit/exchange, so that if they later find something is awry with the product, they can track you down. Hannaford does this, also, just to name one.

  56. chrisjames says:

    @Gorky: Actually, the law says that they don’t even have to take back defective items unless the defect was intentionally hidden by the seller. All purchases are final unless the seller has agreed to a return, however conditional it is.

  57. Cycledoc says:

    Fred Meyer requires picture ID with returns, even if it’s paid for with a credit card and you have receipts.

  58. Me - now with more humidity says:

    celticgina: damn you! LOL

  59. cetiel says:

    I worked at that godforsaken place for a year and had to deal with angry consumers with regard to addresses that I simply stopped asking and would always make up an address on returns unless I recognized the buyer. I eventually had the lowest percentage of names and addresses in the entire district (managers get a printout every week) and was threatened that I’d lose my job if I didn’t shape up. Thankfully I know lots of zip code/city matches so I could make up very plausible addresses. I also quit about two weeks later anyway.

    A few months later they gave up on the name & address on purchase policy. Blah.

    Don’t get me started on the rest of the crap they wanted us “sales associates” to do. I always refused, more or less. For example, I regularly told customers to buy the cheap cables rather than the $25 cables, and had lots of customers who always came to me as a result. But you can’t retain a job there while maintaining any integrity, so people like me are forced out.

    Oh, and I would regularly have to fix the display A/V systems since nobody had a damned clue how to hook things up. I used the cheap cables, of course, and things always looked great. RS sells crap anyway. This was around 2001, for the record.

  60. cetiel says:

    Oh, and I didn’t make it clear: the system -does not- accept returns without name and address. This was true at least when I worked there.

  61. Giving a bogus address is much better than having to show ID.

    There’s a huge loss prevention industry that sits behind these requests for your data. Return data gets filtered into your dossier, which companies can then access, for a fee, to see if you are or will be a “good” customer, then reserve the right not to serve you, or to serve you with a lower tier of service.

    There are legitimate reasons for some of this (habitual returners, or return fraudsters), but it’s gotten way out of hand from the consumers’ perspective.

  62. cristiana says:

    @Imaginary_Friend:
    I really have to take issue with this ‘statistic’:
    # On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.
    If you lived 80 years, that accounts for 12 minutes a day every day for your entire life. I barely spend 12 seconds a day looking at junk mail, I can’t imagine spending 60 times that amount on junk mail.

  63. beckalina says:

    @Flyinace2000: The customer database is no longer store specific. It’s centralized in Fort Worth and is accessed by phone numbers.

    To clear up something else, this is verbatim from the FRONT of an RS receipt: “Your name, address, and the original sales receipt are required for all refunds. Sales and returns are subject to the terms and conditions identified on the back.”

    Most of the time, the salesperson taking your information doesn’t really want to. They’re just doing what they’ve been told is their job. They really won’t care if you make one up.

  64. barty says:

    @GothGirl: When I worked at RS, most of the big losses were due to employee theft or an employee was instrumental in allowing outsiders to rip the store off. I believe that most theft at the retail level is usually an inside operation, so its just not a problem with Radio Shack, Target or any other place that requires a phone number or address to return something.

    @Gorky: Despite the rumors, there was never a list of “serial returners” when I worked at RS, though there were times I wish there was. Most of the folks I worked with got pretty good at spotting these people though and avoided them like the plague, usually having a manager ring them up since the manager didn’t make a commission. Generally any time someone bought a radar detector, FRS Radios (this was when they still went for $40 a pop) or one of the telephone recording devices/portable cassette recorders, there was about a 90% return rate on those items at some stores. Oddly enough, the one store I had the biggest problem with people “renting” things was in one of the more affluent areas in our district.

    As other former RS employees have chimed in, if someone refused to give a name and address, we just made something up. Since our name/address % didn’t count dupes, and would actually flag an address after it popped up more than a few times in a week, we probably had a dozen or so addresses in the system that were completely bogus or were for other businesses/government offices in the area. Or we’d just choose one at random. The only downside to the customer was if they came back to make a return and refused to give their name at a minimum, it was an absolute PITA to look up a past transaction. We couldn’t search past maybe two weeks in the computer. After that, we had to go sifting through the daily report(s) if someone wanted more than store credit.

  65. Lucky225 says:

    @barty:

    That’s because RatShack sells Rocky Mountain Radar(RMR), biggest scam on radar detectors in the world, and cobra which is prolly the 2nd worst radar detector in the world. Then these 18 year old kids get popped and don’t even get an alert, or if they do it’s right when the cop is in view. Then these kids who think RDs are a license to speed get pissed and return it to pay for their speeding ticket. FRS radios suck, advertised as if they’re CBs, go as far as 49mhz kid walkie talkies, and the recording devices suck, way too much hum, no audio isolation. And then ratshack wonders why they have a high return rate.

  66. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @cristiana: Some people open their junk mail on the can and use it when they’re done; it probably takes them a little longer.

    [environment.about.com]

  67. DrinksBreadIce says:

    I work at a retail store that requires an address and phone number for all cash returns, store credits, and returns without a receipt. The reason is to prevent fraudulent returns. I’ve seen cash receipts that looked legit, but weren’t. When I got the chance to research the original transactions (I suspected fraud for other reasons), they were not what was printed on the physical receipt. There’s no time in the moment to do this, plus we can’t accuse anyone of being part of a crime ring that has stolen receipt tape and a printer, so all I could do was process the returns, collect all the data I could, and file an LP report.

    Criminals ruin things for everyone else, and you should always read the return policy.

  68. thejoker2099 says:

    Here’s the solution:

    If the sales reciept is the only posting of the return policy, the policy wasn’t in plain view at the time of the purchase.

    Take the store to small claims court, ask for the amount of the purchase in damages, and then the remainder of the 3000/5000 dollar limit in punitive damages.

    Then, explain to the judge that if the return policy had been posted in plain sight, you would have shopped elsewhere.

    You can’t print a policy on a store reciept, since a customer doesn’t get to see the policy until AFTER the sale has been made.

  69. barty says:

    @Lucky225: This was when they sold Whistler and Bel clones actually. I left RS for another job in 1999. People returned the stuff because they really didn’t *need* it in the first place. They were going on a trip, didn’t want to keep it afterwards, and returned it, typically at a store at their destination. We’d only know about these when they showed up on the weekly chargeback reports. The recording devices actually worked quite well, we just got them back after someone finished monitoring their spouse’s or child’s phone conversations.

  70. Lucky225 says:

    @barty:

    Oh haha, the ratshack branded RadioShack Detectors, I remember getting one for $19 when the FCC told them to piss off cus it didn’t comply with part 15. That thing sucked on reception too. After 6 speeding tickets in Arkansas I switched to a real detector, Escort Passport SRX with Laser Shifters. Haven’t got a ticket since, and the thing keeps me alert when driving. As for the recording devices, my friend uses rat shack recording devices, but he has a ground loop isolator as well to get the hum out, with a ground loop isolator, they are actually okay. I liked the ones that record only when the phone is picked up, I found a way to defeat them though by attaching a resistor to the phone line — came in handy when my friend’s dad started recording his conversations and kept the equipment in a locked room, I gave him a phone cord with the resistor attached and he’d just plug his phone in that way when he had his convo’s on the D.L., and let unimportant calls get recorded, it was great.

  71. bicpen says:

    This is true. I am a current RadioShack employee and we always ask for name/address during returns. The computer system will demand input for name and address. I find it irritating that they would send people away without trying to bypass the issue. The company is supposed to be based on exceptional customer service (at least that’s what I thought), and I’m certain that customer service is providing the customer with what they WANT. At our store it is possible to enter the store address and phone number if a customer refuses. I don’t know if other stores follow the same procedure, but we would never send a customer away like that. Looking at the big picture: Is it really worth losing business over petty names and addresses? I do agree that it’s a poor policy and most definitely intrusive. It’s time for a change.

  72. skeleem_skalarm says:

    I’ve been in situations where a no-need-to-know business insists on having your address. When I’ve refused to give it, whoever I’m dealing with just inputs a phony one.