Last week, we pointed out that even with a receipt and the product in hand, and even though you purchased it with cash the day before at the same store, Radio Shack won’t give a refund unless you give them your home address first. We got a lot of insider tips from former employees in the comments section, and the next day we received the following perspective from a Radio Shack store manager. We think his explanation still doesn’t explain why you need personal ID to refund a cash transaction when you’ve got the item and the receipt in front of you, but read on if you want an unverified store manager’s point of view.
I am a current RS manager in standing, so I’ll renege on giving out my name, however, the actual reason for requiring names and addresses is very simple. First, it is listed on the back of every reciept. So it is part of official policy. Second, the rest of our return process is very I suppose lax if nothing else, our products may be returned at any of our stores, following simple rules that are spelled out.
Now the reason the N&A are needed is because it prevents a LARGE portion of theft which is both internal (as spelled out from one of your posters in the comments) and external such as a snatch and grab. If an item is taken from our store, a customer may attempt to return it at several locations around the city as there are numerous radioshacks around, but this is a very big issue, since beyond the name and address, we are liable on our end for issuing the customer credit for potentially stolen merchandise.
This of course is not saying that 99.999 % of our customers are abusing our return policy, but without this, because of our ability to go the extra step, and take care of you, we as a corporation must protect our assets. This also prevents smash and grabs from cars in mall parking lots, as thieves have stolen out of vehicles and attempt to return the items in the store.
The biggest misconception seems to be against a corporation protecting it’s items against theft. We in no sense require ID for a purchase (barring unsigned CC purchases) but it HAS to be required since we will help you with out a reciept if at all possible. Since we as a company do attempt to resolve returns in many cases without reciepts, we do have to have some basic measure of fraud protection.
That customer more than likely could have gotten cash returned if needed without the reciept, but in common sense, a store just won’t hand out money over the counter without a ticket showing why the money is leaving.
On top of that, we also need the information to verify vs the signature on the return slip, since we have dealt with people stealing from relatives it also helps during holidays where a daughter may try and return something their parents bought to the store, and if the parents come in asking, or we have some one else complaining that they were not the person returning the item, we at least have some paper work showing who did.
Oh, and as an FYI, the Name and Address is actually for warranty info since a bunch of our small parts, batteries, and such have a limited 90 warrenty. If you have like a battery blow up, we can look up your purchase and hand you a new pack. We recently started a lifetime guarentee with some of our AV cables. We have in every store on at least one register a giant 8 x 11 sign stating our name and address policy. We specifically mention the only people that have your info is the company and related parties (if you sign up for ATT it goes to ATT, if you sign up for Dish, it goes to Dish, If you sign up for Greendot prepaid, it goes to Greendot).
Once again, very basic items that have been blown out of proportion. I cannot deny that we used to years ago, but when we stopped doing it, traffic dropped due to customers no longer recieving the RS catalog (That was huge for many many parts nuts). It’s a juggling act, so now we ask for it, it’s not required for most types of purchases (contractual, prepaid, and service plans are examples of required), and the actual info just goes into a system that we can use to look up your old tickets if you have problems with your items. The last thing we want is to not be able to help our customer find a resolution.
Certain items like routers can be purchased at any electronics store, and then you run into the potential of having shoplifters hitting up one type of store and returning it at another. If we have the capability of preventing this, all in all, everyone can shop a little safer.
We’re not sure how any of this is less complicated than keeping track of store inventory and requiring a receipt for all returns. The refund-without-a-receipt policy is the sort of goodwill gesture that this writer feels mainly benefits the careless consumer at the expense of the rest of us, so by all means, do away with it if it will bring an end to ID requirements for receipt returns, particularly for items paid for with cash.