57 Responses

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  1. B. G.
    B. G. May 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

    NotParanid2011—- your name, and dismissive & accommodating attitude of a serious issue is disturbing. Are you sure you are not a professional blogger hired by companies to place comments online such as yours whenever they see criticism of their practices???

  2. Yes and No
    Yes and No May 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm |

    Sorry this reply is so long…

    A few things:
    First, I work in retail. I have for about 15 years. I’ve never worked at a big box store like Best Buy but I have worked for national clothing retailers. When I first started in corporate retail, we simply had a customer that was doing a return fill out a slip with their name, address and phone number. That paper was placed with the store copy of the return receipt, not entered into a computer. The purpose of that paper was not to deter external theft. It was to deter internal theft. The District Manager would conduct monthly audits of paperwork at the store, and would randomly contact between 3 and 7 customers. He would ask them how their experience at our location was, and would send them a coupon in exchange for their time. Because he would pick the names at random, employees were less likely to conduct a fraudulent return with fake information, because it would be linked directly back to them. Keep in mind that a majority of retail theft (some estimate at much as 60%) is internal. What happens when companies lose profit? They push that cost right on down to the consumer. Nobody wants that.

    As things modernized, we switched to a computerized system that allowed our Loss Prevention department to conduct the phone calls, thereby alleviating the District Manager of a non-desirable task.

    Every single retailer I have worked for has asked for customer ID to process return transactions. None of them have ever scanned the DL or taken down the DL number. However, all of them required basic customer information (name, address and phone number) be entered into the computer before the return could be initiated. The computer systems would not allow a clerk to proceed without the info. The company analyzes that data and looks for return patterns (one cashier conducting a high percentage of cash returns with “no receipt”, made up names, false addresses, etc. It also looks for people that are frequent returners.)

    I’ve been on the receiving end of many irate customers for these policies, as have my employees (many of whom are paid minimum wage, mind you). It does nothing to change the company policy. I certainly do pass along the feedback to my District Manager, but the response is always the same: the policy is in place to protect the consumer as well as the company. Loading a shopping cart full of product, letting a clerk ring it all and bag it for you and then making a big scene about the return policy does not do anything more than make some poor person have to put it all back. It doesnt change anything. It makes people hate their jobs, and start to have poor attitudes toward consumers. Despite the many comments here that suggest that clerks are paid to hear disgruntled customers and that they are “the first line of contact” with a company, the fact of the matter is that a majority of corporations do not listen to the employees. They do, however, listen to consumers. Rather than pick on the clerks, at least voice your concerns to a manager (and please, be civil when doing so. As a few folks have pointed out, they are following a company policy. Doing the job they are paid to do.) Ask for corporate contact info. Ask if there is a District or Regional Manager you can contact.

    I have to add that I too, would decline to shop at a retailer that swiped my DL or recorded the DL# for any reason. In fact, my fiance returned a pair of $15 headphones at Best Buy today and was asked for his DL, and it was swiped before he knew what happened. We will not be returning to Best Buy. But as a retail worker, my heart goes out to the employees of any retailer that incurs the wrath of the folks posting replies here. Please remember these folks are human. Take your concerns (and they are valid, I agree) to the top of the food chain. Please.

  3. Young
    Young May 21, 2012 at 11:11 am |

    Yes, if some guys intend to return stuffs again and again, I thinks it is a little reasonable to register the ID(but I am not willing to accept it). But last time the salesman said they just prevented customers returning stuffs more than twice in 90 days. How about our information after 90days. I denefitely doubt they will delate our information!

  4. Mr.Baker
    Mr.Baker August 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

    I just left “BestBuy Or PRY your personal info. I picked a dvd that was clearly marked 19.99 on the shelf, but it rang up for 34.99. Now I’m dissatisfied because I fell beguiled, for if I did not pay attention to the ring up price I would have walked out of the store foolishly paying more than expected. So never leaving the store I was instructed to go to customer service for my refund. So after 20 min in line I learn that I must allow Best buy to store my personal information from my drivers lisence on thair database in exchange for the refund of my same cash that only 20 minuites earlier I did not have to produce my ID to fork over to them. I really feel stolen from! Being forced to make a choice on the spot at customer DIS-service to pay for “MY” money with the high cost of “MY” privacy.
    How ethical and dare I say fair for Best Buy to have this policy printed on the receipt that you can not read and decline to agree to untill trick of the transaction is done. I may be just one, but best buy has lost my concideration in future shopping.

    Sincerely:
    Stolen from!

  5. g
    g August 30, 2012 at 3:07 am |

    This happened to me, My last return I got a slip saying that I am unable to do any returns for 90 days and gave me a phone number of a company who handles this for Bestbuy and gave me a list of everything, Preorders returned, when they mess up and re ring I have to give them my DL again to return it, price adjustments and when an item goes on sale and you want the difference back, they need you drivers license,m there are times i will buy 3-4 video games and ring them up separate and if I need to return all 4 of them they have to scan my license 4 separate times, This is severely bull crap, what is the point of them doing this?

  6. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price February 12, 2013 at 7:02 am |

    Hi folks,

    Quick update. Too busy to write a whole post on the situation.

    Basically, last year Best Buy won a dismissal of the class action lawsuit over this situation. The Court sided with Best Buy’s argument that a consumer is not financially harmed by handing over their Driver’s License, and that it was a valid method for tracking individuals, based on how the court interpreted existing statues.

    Obviously, the Court did not examine, let alone consider, the potential for identity theft, especially considering Best Buy’s existing track record on that matter. Unlike checks or financial verification uses, Best Buy is associating your DL with your contact information, and aggregating it in ways not (in my opinion) fully presented to the consumer in BB’s notices.

    Anyways, the case is now on appeal. The court will hear the appeal, presumably, within the next 90 days. If you know anything about the federal court system, it could be a full year before we hear any tangible updates.

  7. Best Buy Kills Reward Zone, Premier Silver – My Best Buy (Elite Plus) Replaces It | Christopher Price .net

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