More stores are now using a program called “Retail Equation”, designed to catch fraudulent returns, but there is a backlash now, as some claim the program is banning seemingly legitimate customers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that stores like Best Buy, Sephora, and Home Depot -- among others -- are using the program to track customers’ return behavior.
BEST BUY STATEMENT REGARDING THE RETAIL EQUATION:
"Customer service is at the heart of how we've restored Best Buy over the past several years. That includes helping customers return products tens of millions of times each year. We will take a hard look at what we're doing and determine how we can make it better."
HOME DEPOT STATEMENT REGARDING THE RETAIL EQUATION:
"We only use The Retail Equation for non-receipted returns because there's such a problem with returns fraud. It's a huge issues all retailers are facing and it's often tied to the opioid epidemic or organized crime in our local communities. I think that's absolutely critical for context. So, these efforts not only protect the retailer's bottom line, but they also help protect the communities where we do business. “This is also why we like to encourage customers to sign up for e-receipts. E-receipts ensure we always have a record of purchases so customer’s don’t have to worry about losing their receipt. Or, if a customer pays with a card, we can track the purchase that way.”
SEPHORA STATEMENT REGARDING THE RETAIL EQUATION:
"Sephora is dedicated to providing all of our customers with an excellent shopping experience. We make every effort to accommodate returns, but a small fraction of customers take advantage of our policy, in many cases returning more than twice as much merchandise as they purchase. This limits product selection and unfairly impacts other clients. When we identify excessive return patterns, we notify those customers that we may limit future returns or exchanges if no proof of purchase is provided."