questionswhat constitutes "gaming the system," and is it…

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vote-for10vote-against

i'll just put this out there for people to discuss, though i haven't really thought this through.

mabe "gaming the system" would be taking advantage of the rules (or any leeway or loopholes allowed by the rules) further than the average, reasonable person would. where a person plays to defeat others to win, rather than live cooperatively (not really the rite word, but i am blanking on a better one) with others.

no1 no1
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Your "friend" would be no friend of mine. There would never be an acceptable level of trust.

vote-for20vote-against

I used to work in Customer Service at a National Retail Chain that sounds suspiciously like the one you are describing. Nothing was more frustrating than having a "customer" return a pair of Chacos that are so worn out that the straps are frayed, there is a permanent curl in the toe, and the sole is worn to the midsole. Clearly this "customer" got their money's worth out of the shoe and the shoe has simply worn out. We had to look the item up in the "customer's" history (even more frustrating when they were not a member and had no history) and refund them the original purchase price. We bought the worn out shoes at 1996 prices and threw them immediately into the trash.
That being said, it's supposed to work that the majority of customers are good, honest people and the gamers are a small percentage. I certainly remember seeing the same people month after month there, returning worn-out junk.
There were a few slow days when returns would outpace sales. That was also frustrating.

vote-for20vote-against

We did have some tactics to discourage these people. If they did not have a receipt, and the item is not in their purchase history, we give them the current price in the system, usually between $0.23 and $1.83 (must end in 3). They would fight for a minute, then keep their item. That was always satisfying.
Also, we would not return items if they CLEARLY did not come from our store. I saw Galyean's (predecessor of Dick's) tags on things and got to refuse them. People would try to return branded items from our Canadian counterpart, and they would also get refused. Those were also satisfying.

vote-for15vote-against

Your friend is more taking advantage of a courtesy than "gaming" the system. I bet she was a leech on her parents also.
If she ever complains that the price of things has gotten ridiculous at that store, feel free to kick her in the mommy parts. Hell kick her in the mommy parts anyway.

j5 j5
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I'm fairly sure I know which store you're talking about, and I hate it when people abuse that awesome rule they have. My mom bought some hiking boots from there, and when they destroyed her feet when she first used them for any length of time, even though they'd been worn outside in mud and whatnot, they gave her a full refund. That's what that rule is for-not so people can be jerks and return stuff they have just worn out through use over the years. Shame on your friend. Shame I say!

vote-for14vote-against

Unlike others, I'm not sure at all which chain this is. Perhaps it's my basic unwillingness to give something up once I've bought it. I've returned a few things over the years, almost always because I'd bought the wrong item, or sometimes because the item wasn't the quality I'd paid for.

I do know the type of person you're talking about though. Nordstrom's has always had this policy, and I took great pleasure in being there when a "friend" brought back yet another "buy it on Friday, wear it on the weekend, take it back on Monday) item, and they told her she was now on a special list, and they would not take any returns from her. In addition, they asked her to consider shopping elsewhere. I didn't laugh (although it was VERY hard not to), but I did remain behind after she'd stalked off in an absolute fury with threats of "LAWYERS" and "writing a letter to the newspaper" and so on.

I congratulated them for their wisdom, and completed my purchase. Stores should blacklist more often.

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I think it's dishonest. I have a "friend" who is the kind to buy things and not remove the tag, wear for one occasion and return it. I was shocked. I think it is the equivalent of stealing. I would not trust this person for anything. Anyone who can justify such practices will lie and/or take advantage of you and your friendship.

vote-for8vote-against

My post was actually about Kohl's. And now I will make a mental note to keep my friend far, far away from REI.

vote-for7vote-against

@jjkehoe: Oh wow, really? I didn't know Kohl's had a similar policy! I assumed it was REI...

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I thought they were talking about a certain warehouse store.

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I thought they where talking about Sears hardware department

vote-for7vote-against

Wow! Kohls?
How in the hell can they have such cheap prices with a policy like that?
REI I can see, they are not a "discount" store.
Warehouses make most of their money off of membership fees.
Kohls?
Dang.

j5 j5
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I was thinking LLBean. Years ago I had read about a fisherman who had been returning boots every time they wore out for over 45 years. Now that was certainly abuse, but the store knew about it and accepted it. I wonder if they have this same policy today

vote-for14vote-against

Your friend is a thief. She feels her theft is justified by the store having a generous policy, but that is simply the store trying to have a customer-friendly policy - it doesn't mean they want people to get their money's worth out of a product and then return it. She is stealing the value of each item. The more people there are who share your friend's lack of ethics, the more the store has to charge for everything to support the leeches.

My company has an amazing return policy. In our 10 years of business we have never refused a single return - ever. But we do track the returns, and we notice when somebody starts repeatedly taking advantage of us. And then we confront them and let them know that thieves are unwelcome and that they will never be allowed to buy from us again. In doing this, we are able to maintain our amazing return policy while also not letting leeches drive our prices up for everybody else. (We still take their last return, but then never hear from them again.)

vote-for3vote-against

Your example is what's wrong in retail today. If someone wears something out and gets full value out of it they shouldn't expect a free replacement. People like that are ruining our country.

vote-for3vote-against

My first job out of college was as assistant manager of a national chain dress shop with pretty liberal return policies. We kept a list of habitual returners, but we were not allowed to deny returns. I remember one woman who would come into the store, buy something, wear it on her next trip, then return it the next day saying that she had bought it without trying it on and it didn't fit. (sigh) The one who made me the angriest was a woman who tried to return a blouse because it had shrunk in the wash. The HUGE label in the collar clearly said DRY CLEAN ONLY, which I pointed out. She tried to tear me a new one because, according to her, she felt safe in ignoring the label since the blouse was not expensive. The store manager allowed her to return it anyway, because of that dratted policy. The store (and the chain) folded a few years later. I know it's not fair to blame that a few jerks abusing the policy, but it couldn't have helped.