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silverstaff
11-18-2011, 12:35 AM
Date: Fall 2003
Time: Saturday evening
Place: Large Department Store in a Large Urban Mall

I was working the blue jean counter on the first floor of the store, only maybe 30 or 40 feet from the side entrance. A teenage/pre-teen kid comes up to my register with two giant shopping bags in tow, the biggest bags our store makes, and they are bulging, and he's straining to carry the bags that are practically dragging behind him.

He says he wants to return some stuff. Well, that's what we're here for. Well, we'd rather sell stuff, but we're also here to process returns.

He starts throwing all the various items onto the counter, and they all have their tags with the little "proof of purchase" bar code we put on them at the time of purchase, so we could take them for return without a receipt.

It's a LOT of stuff, from around the store. Blue jeans, pants, ties, dress shirts, sneakers, high heels, lingerie, pantyhose, dresses and skirts, pajamas, tee shirts, socks, underwear. . .it was essentially an entire families wardrobe, and it was all scanning as valid returns as they all still had all the tags and proof of purchase.

Since who sells every item is tracked with those bar codes, and we were all on a quota system, these returns would count against somebodies quotas and they were going to be in deep trouble.

Well, eventually this giant pile of clothing was finished tallying out, and it came to almost $3000 worth of clothes.

Now, before I finished, I had to ask a scripted question to the young customer:

"Do you want the return in the original tender?"

His eyes lit up like Christmas Morning. "Tender?!? Yeah! I want Tender!"

Okay, "original tender" it is. I push the button for that, and the register makes that loud grinding noise it makes while it prints out a receipt as I tell him that $2950.33 (or so) was returned to the American Express card that all this stuff was purchased on.

He goes from giddy to whiny brat in 0.5 seconds flat. "But I want CASH!! Give me CASH!!!" He is got a mopey look on his face and actually stomping the floor as he says it, starting on a temper tantrum more fit for a toddler. He keeps repeating that he wants that almost $3k in cold hard cash right now for the returns.

Well, besides the fact that I don't have even close to $3k in the register, so I'd have to send him upstairs to the office for that, even if he was going to get a cash return. The bigger problems were that you can't do a cash return for an item purchased on a credit card, and the biggest problem was that the return had been completed and the items were store property again.

I explain these points to the young man, who gets a sheepish look on his face and nervously asks for all the clothes back. I remind him that he has returned the clothes, but if he wants we will sell it all back to him for the ~$3k sum.

He gets a look of shock and horror on his face and makes a run for the exit, dashing out the side entrance of the store and into the parking lot.

I wonder what his mom did a few weeks later when she saw a $3k credit on her American Express card.

LillFilly
11-18-2011, 12:49 AM
I wonder what his mom did a few weeks later when she saw a $3k credit on her American Express card.

I'm wondering what his Mom thought when she found all her clothes gone! But wow, that's a lot of clothes to buy all at once.

Lyse
11-18-2011, 12:51 AM
I'm thinking more like the family that had all their shopping stolen from their car. But I'm cynical that way.

Redbeard
11-18-2011, 01:30 AM
I'm thinking more like the family that had all their shopping stolen from their car. But I'm cynical that way.

Yup. Sounds like that was a pint sized mule right there.

EricKei
11-18-2011, 01:34 AM
I'm thinking more like the family that had all their shopping stolen from their car. But I'm realistic that way.
Fixed that for ya ^_^ I find it suspicious, myself, that he had a TON of stuff to return all at once, tags intact, and that he freaked when he was denied cash.

PS :welcome: to :cs: !

Teskeria
11-18-2011, 01:37 AM
I'm thinking your company is smart to word it that way. As it will catch thieves like that one who think tender means cash.

Hawaiian Eskimo
11-18-2011, 01:41 AM
Wait, $3,000, in clothes?

:jawdrop:

Who buys that much... wait, forgot where I was for a minute.

EricKei
11-18-2011, 02:07 AM
Wait, $3,000, in clothes?
Sounds like one of Gravekeeper's customers -- Including the shipping and inevitable other charges, I can see someone racking up a bill like that quite easily. After all, those 3AM callers just gotta have those pink camo pants NOW NOW NOW >_>

Mystic
11-18-2011, 02:50 AM
I suppose at least if a family had them stolen, they had a nice surprise waiting for them a few days later which probably made their lives a lot better.

Moosenogger
11-18-2011, 03:00 AM
That situation just screams "theft." I was thinking that he had perhaps pilfered it all from around the store, then brought it up in bags as though he'd actually purchased it. You'd think someone with $3k worth of clothing would have kept a receipt or two. :/

MoonCat
11-18-2011, 04:10 AM
That situation just screams "theft." I was thinking that he had perhaps pilfered it all from around the store, then brought it up in bags as though he'd actually purchased it. You'd think someone with $3k worth of clothing would have kept a receipt or two. :/

Yes, this is what puzzles me. If those clothes actually were purchased - and they must have been, because you had "proof of purchase" and a record in the system of an American Express card - then whose card was it? It does sound more like he stole stuff from somebody's car or house. In which case they just got back what they originally spent, not a windfall....

Opalin
11-18-2011, 01:37 PM
Sounds a lot like he did steal them, saw the proof of purchase on them and wanted to make off like a king when he saw how much. I'd report it with almost 3k worth.

Sapphire Silk
11-18-2011, 02:23 PM
Here's my theory.

Punk kid swipes someone's American Express Card, comes to the store, and buys 3K worth of clothes. Then he waits a bit, and brings the stuff back, assuming he'll get a nice cash return.

It explains his shock and why he took off running.

How much of a gap was there between purchase and return? My bet is less than 24 hours. :)

mharbourgirl
11-18-2011, 02:26 PM
My thought is that the CARD was stolen. American Express takes a dim view of stores asking for ID to use the AE card - businesses have had their license to accept that card withdrawn because of it. It's not that hard to fake a signature that looks pretty much like the one on the card, either.

So someone went on a shopping spree with a stolen card with the plan to return it all for cash. Most places won't do that - around here even if you purchase with a debit card they will return it to that debit card, not give you cash. But dude didn't realize that. Gotta love ignorant thieves. :p

Catwoman2965
11-18-2011, 05:09 PM
It's very strange that you posted this as I had a return of just about the same amount last night! without going into details, my store is a kind of upscale women's store, think Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, ilke that.

So customer comes in with two huge boxes and husband in tow. Comes to the register, and has stuff just stuffed into the boxes along with a bag of receipts. Do you think anything was matched up? Nope. So my CW and I had to spend close to an hour checking and matching up items with the various receipts. All the while she's hovering and yamming about why she's brining back so much (ordered multiple items in multiple sizes) and also how she bought some, then they went on sale, so she bought them again, and she wanted the highest price paid. well sweetie, you'll get what you get, if i find something matched on a receipt, that's what your'e getting as we don't have time to look for each item and see if you paid more for one than another.

Now I can see if you're unsure and need to order online, but order two sizes and bring back the one that didn't fit. She must have had 6 of each item, in different sizes and in some case,s differnt colors. There's something wrong with that.

This isn't the first time she's done this, but we all think there's something fishy going on, we just don't know what. she buys a metric fuckton, using her store charge, and then returns most of it. But its HER card, so we can't figure out how she's scamming us, if she is at all. Since all she gets is a credit for what she already put on her card.

And in her customer history, this year alone (not sure if it was from jan-now or the last 12 months) she has spent 30K, yes, that's right, and returned 22K. we think her account may be flagged, but sadly, as long as she still spends quite a bit, which she does, corporate probably won't do squat. But we report her to CS every time she does this, as a CYA manuaver, so hopefully it will stop.

thehuckster
11-18-2011, 05:38 PM
The problem with the "stolen credit card" theory is nobody would ever have granted him the purchase if he's some preteen kid, unless they were overtly stupid and/or in on the scam. I mean, sure, someone else could have made the purchase on the card and had the kid return them, but I don't see what kind of benefit that would really have to the CC thief except for fear that said thief would get caught.

My thought is he's returning his family's wardrobe out of spite towards his parents or simply to steal from them in order to go on a cash shopping spree. The clothes weren't all paid for at once, he's just returning, say, a year's worth of purchases, all of which were paid for on the same card.

The only oddity is, in my experience, you can't credit the a credit or debit card without having the card itself. The register explicitly required me to swipe the card it was returned on because the credit card information that's stored in the system is encrypted in a manner that prevents you from ever recovering it, and you can only verify that the card info you've swiped matches the encrypted value. Also, I'd immediately find it very suspicious that a kid is making such a large return, especially if the clothes are all obviously adult sizes and not his own.

Rapscallion
11-18-2011, 06:31 PM
This isn't the first time she's done this, but we all think there's something fishy going on, we just don't know what. she buys a metric fuckton, using her store charge, and then returns most of it. But its HER card, so we can't figure out how she's scamming us, if she is at all. Since all she gets is a credit for what she already put on her card.

Hmm, does using the store card confer any other benefits? Air miles or similar? If so, do they get returned if goods are returned?

Only thing I could see working.

Rapscallion

taxguykarl
11-18-2011, 07:09 PM
That situation just screams "theft." I was thinking that he had perhaps pilfered it all from around the store, then brought it up in bags as though he'd actually purchased it. You'd think someone with $3k worth of clothing would have kept a receipt or two. :/I have a cousin who tried that sort of scam--he got a short jail stay to show for it.:rolleyes:
In the case of the OP, I get the feeling that the kid was simply unfamiliar with the credit card process. My ex-GF tried to return some stuff I gave her (she had the receipt--I paid on a credit card). She was quite disappointed to learn she wouldn't get cash for her return.:D

Catwoman2965
11-18-2011, 07:19 PM
Hmm, does using the store card confer any other benefits? Air miles or similar? If so, do they get returned if goods are returned?

Only thing I could see working.

Rapscallion

Yes, and we think that might be it. You get a certificate for a certain amount wen you accumulate so many points. and if you purchase and use that cert, and return, they credit that amount to your charge. But they also deduct points so not quite sure how it all works. other than that, she may just be a serial shopper and returner.

Andara Bledin
11-18-2011, 07:24 PM
Hmm, does using the store card confer any other benefits? Air miles or similar? If so, do they get returned if goods are returned?
This is actually a very good question. I hadn't thought of points fraud, but it does happen.

^-.-^

sirwired
11-18-2011, 07:40 PM
The only oddity is, in my experience, you can't credit the a credit or debit card without having the card itself. The register explicitly required me to swipe the card it was returned on because the credit card information that's stored in the system is encrypted in a manner that prevents you from ever recovering it, and you can only verify that the card info you've swiped matches the encrypted value. Also, I'd immediately find it very suspicious that a kid is making such a large return, especially if the clothes are all obviously adult sizes and not his own.

Many stores now keep the credit card information tied to the transaction. On return, the computer already knows what card the purchase came from and processes the credit without the card needing to be present. I know Wal-Mart and Target, and I presume other retailers, do this.

EricKei
11-18-2011, 08:58 PM
They technically don't even need to expressly keep the CC info per se -- Just the Authorization info (which would at least include the last 4 digits and name on the card, e.g. the data that shows up in plaintext when swiping -- If you have a swiper, you can see exactly what this is by Swiping your card within Notepad; you should get a bunch of garbage/X's with FIRSTNAME LASTNAME and LAST4 mixed in there somewhere).

re: Debit: When I've dealt with these, most places seem to offer a refund to the card if it was used as Credit, but cash if it was used as Debit. I don't think you can technically run a Chargeback on a Debit Card txn, tho it may vary by state/country.

Teskeria
11-18-2011, 09:17 PM
My thought is that the CARD was stolen. American Express takes a dim view of stores asking for ID to use the AE card - businesses have had their license to accept that card withdrawn because of it. It's not that hard to fake a signature that looks pretty much like the one on the card, either.

So someone went on a shopping spree with a stolen card with the plan to return it all for cash. Most places won't do that - around here even if you purchase with a debit card they will return it to that debit card, not give you cash. But dude didn't realize that. Gotta love ignorant thieves. :p

Actually they have no objection to ID being requested and REQUIRE the CM to sign the card. It is even in the CMA (Card Member Agreement) that the CM is required to sign the card. (Yes I have worked for them - a couple years ago). I've never heard of Am ex withdrawing a license from a merchant because they require ID. However, if they required ID ONLY from Am ex cardholders, that would be a different matter. Discrimination between their card and other cards will cause them to withdraw the license.

Nijiero
11-20-2011, 07:55 AM
A thought that amuses me, and another possible explination... if these were clothes that might have been his sizes and things, I mean... is that perhaps parents/family bought this kid an entire new wardrobe, gift or something, and he though he'd rather have a Cash Payout for whatever HE wanted to do with it... which leads me to laugh at his horror, when the buyer see's their generous gift returned to the store... and gets to face the music when said parent asks him why he returned all that stuff.

El Pollo Guerrera
11-20-2011, 08:21 AM
A thought that amuses me, and another possible explination...

I was thinking that as well... then I looked at the original post again and saw that lingerie was in with the returns.

Hawaiian Eskimo
11-20-2011, 08:22 AM
Hey, maybe the kid liked that :rolleyes:

Rapscallion
11-20-2011, 08:36 AM
Hey, maybe the kid liked that :rolleyes:

Well, we do try to be non-judgemental here...

Rapscallion