Tag Archives: The Finish Line

Proof of Purchase: Some Stores Require Scanning ID for Returns or Exchanges

21 Nov

Be careful this coming Black Friday and holiday shopping season, if returning something retailers are asking to scan ID’s such as drivers licenses.

According to a report by the CBS San Francisco affiliate, certain retailers are requiring customers to hand over their ID’s to be scanned for returns or exchanges. The ID scanning is required no matter if the customer has a receipt proving they legitimately purchased an item.

One shopper, Leslie, was required to give her ID when making a return at The Children’s Place, even though she expressed her discomfort and concern to the sales associate. The response given by the associate? It was corporate policy.

The Children’s Place is not alone. In fact they are part of a growing trend in the retail industry. With margins shrinking due to retailers trying to keep the lowest possible price on products and services, the battle to keep profits up is intensifying. One way to combat profit loss is to reduce returns or exchanges of purchased items.

This is where The Retail Equation (TRE) enters the picture. They have software called Verify which, “uses statistical modeling and analytics to detect fraudulent and abusive behavior when returns are processed at retailers’ return counter.” In other words, when a customer hands over their ID to be scanned, the information is recorded by The Retail Equation and stored in their supposedly secure database. This database is then referenced each time a customers ID is scanned and a new return recorded.

How does this affect customers? According to The Retail Equation they are “contracted by retailers to gather their transaction information, store it securely, and analyze the data to develop and follow return policies for those retailers.” Essentially TRE becomes big brother tracking everyone’s return habits and patterns. On the surface the idea might be a good one. But their FAQ page leaves many questions too vague to be fully trusted.

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