Archived Coupon Returns

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Anyone else absolutely hate doing a return for a coupon scammer? What a waste of time these people are.
 

TeeBee

Service and Engagement Team Lead
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Its funny you post this b/c I was also gonna ask about it. I just had to deal with it last night on my shift...it makes crazy. And I can't seem to get any clear answer from the leaders in the building. STL, ETL-AP, ETL-GE all say something different and none of them actually have to deal with the guests. Did I mention it makes me crazy....
 

TeeBee

Service and Engagement Team Lead
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Nov 12, 2013
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We don't do it. We started telling them they needed to go back to the store they purchased the stuff from. That fixes most of the problem.

Retail Girl I personally love this idea!!
What about the rest of you? How do you guys deal with coupon returns? Like I said in a previous post the leadership at my store all have a different response as to how to deal with it. I'd like to get an idea of how other stores handle it.
 

GrumpyAP

Go To Six
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Jun 12, 2012
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Ours is one of a few stores that is approved to deny the return. There was an urgent news/communication a while back to stores that are approved for the denial which included a script for LODs who don't know how to confront worth a hoot.
 
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I know our store was part of a group about 6 months or more ago that was given permission from HQ to stop doing returns (if we knew that they were doing this couponing deal) I'm not sure if it has rolled out company wide yet or not.

This is how our store looks at it and deals with it (as far as AP goes).

Manufacturer coupons work by giving a $ value or % off an item, but in return that retail store gets that money back from the manufacturer (So think of the coupon as a currency). So it costs Target no money, it actually earns us money by whatever the % of markup is on that product. When people come and return items that they used a coupon on, they would get the full price back because that is what target received for that product, partly paid for by the manufacturer and partly paid for by the guest. The guest does come out ahead, BUT Target is not at any loss, the manufacturer is. So in a AP standpoint There is no loss to Target. The only thing we do when we see these groups roll through our store is to get a GSTL or LOD to the lane they are checking out at to make sure the coupons have not expired and they are legit.

Now for returns they will usually do a gift card look up or cc look up to do the return because they "forgot their receipt" They will get the money back on a gift card. This is where HQ has given a group of stores (maybe all by now) permission for a ETL to deny the return, they have a write up on what to say when they deny the return, but basically because target does not condone this behavior and product is for guests to use and enjoy not for your shenanigans. (in a nutshell) We (AP) at our store has also told our service desk team members this neat little trick, which 9 times out of 10 will get them to leave without having to call an ETL up there. The TM will start processing the return, then void or suspend the transaction, and tell the guest that they will have to look up the original receipt (since they never bring it with them). If the guest asks why, and we tell them they better be dang sure that its these couponers before they say this, (which is easy because its generally bags of razors, or batteries)that "there has been a lot of fraudulent returns with _______ product so we just have to see the original receipt first". So when the TM suspends the transaction it allows us to go into the system to get the original receipt ID and look up the original receipt to see if they used coupons. Usually they will bag back up their items and leave right away without another word being said.

Eventually, after they get enough gift cards from returns, they go buy some big electronics items with at least 51% cash and the remainder using gift-cards, then they will return those expensive items and receive all cash back because they paid mostly with cash. Again from AP standpoint, No Loss to Target has occurred.

If they are faked coupons, that's a whole different story because we will not receive money from those manufacturers and that would be a loss to target.


Now from a GE standpoint, I see that it is unfair to take every razor from the shelf and leave none for guests that actually want to use them. So our store will see these people and limit them. If its a big $ coupon maybe we will just say you can have 1, if its a bunch of throw away razors we say 3, and none of this breaking it into 4 transactions so they can get a cart full. Every store has a right to limit quantity of our products.


So don't get mad at AP or anyone else when we say we can't really do anything, because we can't,, they are not causing a loss to Target.
At our store we understand that if it happens its not the end of the world, Target is not really out any money, but we do try to make it as hard as possible and as slow and difficult as possible for these people that it is not worth it to come to our stores anymore.
 

FrontEndFirecracker

Vibe Machine
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Dec 25, 2011
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135
How does it even work if they come up to the SD after the transaction and the cashier does a "Fix mistake, missed coupon" transaction? Will that coupon show up if the original receipt is scanned at the same store?
 
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we deny most of them and some of them we put back on a giftcard. 99% of the time when we say it's going on a giftcard they leave to try and go to another store to get them to give it back in cash.
 
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We don't do it. We started telling them they needed to go back to the store they purchased the stuff from. That fixes most of the problem.

Well what about your own store.

You can't spit without hitting a Spot store around here. They NEVER come back to the same store with a receipt. And if they have a gift card or credit/debit card look up, we explain that we can't do the return without the receipt.
 

CodeBanana

Sr GSTL
Joined
May 6, 2013
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We started denying our coupon fraud group in September 2012. Corporate finally realized there was a group of people hitting stores in TN, NC, KY, and GA with this scam for close to $1000 each time. Our APTL partnered with other stores, checked cameras, and they collectively petitioned corporate. We can now deny returns that are "detrimental to our business". A lot of the stuff they were buying, like Zyrtec and other healthcare items, have to be defected when they're returned, so it was a giant pain and the reshop took forever once they'd left. They'd always come in at the very end of the night and come back the next morning to do the return. When we told them we couldn't do the return they'd accuse us of profiling and threaten to sue, but let's face it, it's not exactly smart to run a scam when you have extremely recognizable hair.

Fast forward to last week: Guest is denied a return that would have netted him and his friends (from IN this time) $400. GSA calls the LOD up to the front to handle the situation, one LOD gets shoved and the other steps in only to get punched in the face. They got away, cops were called, LOD had a concussion and a black eye, and the guys were arrested this week.

Talk about out of control!
 
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Argh. They had one last night. The guy brought back a ton of sonic tooth brush heads that he had used $25 coupons on. The GSTM said no. The GSA said no. The LOD said no. AP said no. The guy then called corporate (who he had on speed dial on his phone) and corporate made the GSTM do the return. He was even cocky enough to tell the GSTM how to do the transaction, down to what K keys to hit. He got back over $2000 on a gift card. Everyone in my store was livid.

Worse yet, at the same time, three of his buddies were off trying to buy more of the sonic toothbrush heads with more coupons for their next time through. Luckily the GSA caught two out of the three and refused to do sell them to them (they weren't the right product for the coupon, anyway).

So the ETLs and SrTLs are trying to rethink the strategy when friggin' corporate is helping the fraudsters.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
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Argh. They had one last night. The guy brought back a ton of sonic tooth brush heads that he had used $25 coupons on. The GSTM said no. The GSA said no. The LOD said no. AP said no. The guy then called corporate (who he had on speed dial on his phone) and corporate made the GSTM do the return. He was even cocky enough to tell the GSTM how to do the transaction, down to what K keys to hit. He got back over $2000 on a gift card. Everyone in my store was livid.

Worse yet, at the same time, three of his buddies were off trying to buy more of the sonic toothbrush heads with more coupons for their next time through. Luckily the GSA caught two out of the three and refused to do sell them to them (they weren't the right product for the coupon, anyway).

So the ETLs and SrTLs are trying to rethink the strategy when friggin' corporate is helping the fraudsters.

Why the frell would corporate not let the people on the ground make the decisions in a case like this?
'
What earthly reason could they have for overriding what are the best people to judge the situation on hand?

I understand that sometimes there might be situations where the main office would have to step in to iron out a problem where the store has been acting like an idiot but I think it would be pretty clear to anyone that this wasn't one of them.
 
Joined
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Argh. They had one last night. The guy brought back a ton of sonic tooth brush heads that he had used $25 coupons on. The GSTM said no. The GSA said no. The LOD said no. AP said no. The guy then called corporate (who he had on speed dial on his phone) and corporate made the GSTM do the return. He was even cocky enough to tell the GSTM how to do the transaction, down to what K keys to hit. He got back over $2000 on a gift card. Everyone in my store was livid.

Worse yet, at the same time, three of his buddies were off trying to buy more of the sonic toothbrush heads with more coupons for their next time through. Luckily the GSA caught two out of the three and refused to do sell them to them (they weren't the right product for the coupon, anyway).

So the ETLs and SrTLs are trying to rethink the strategy when friggin' corporate is helping the fraudsters.

Why the frell would corporate not let the people on the ground make the decisions in a case like this?
'
What earthly reason could they have for overriding what are the best people to judge the situation on hand?

I understand that sometimes there might be situations where the main office would have to step in to iron out a problem where the store has been acting like an idiot but I think it would be pretty clear to anyone that this wasn't one of them.

Exactly. Especially when I've seen us do some pretty bizarre things to make things right for an honest guest when corporate won't help. But when the guest is dishonest? Then the store is the one at fault.
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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At my store, we put the money on gift cards as it states in the coupon policy. The stores are a pretty big distance apart so itdoes cost them some $$$$ to play this stupid game. At least the 4 coupon limit slowed down a bunch of the returns of body wash and such at my store. I wish target would require a supervisor override for coupons $5 & up. Then you would have at least 2 sets of eyes on these transactions & it would slow the fraud down.
 
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
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Argh. They had one last night. The guy brought back a ton of sonic tooth brush heads that he had used $25 coupons on. The GSTM said no. The GSA said no. The LOD said no. AP said no.

It should have ended right there. AP should have nicely asked him to leave the store, and issued a trespass notice. Solves the problem very quickly.

Yeah, apparently that doesn't work anymore. Now, if the "guest" calls the hotline, we have to attempt the return.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
Argh. They had one last night. The guy brought back a ton of sonic tooth brush heads that he had used $25 coupons on. The GSTM said no. The GSA said no. The LOD said no. AP said no. The guy then called corporate (who he had on speed dial on his phone) and corporate made the GSTM do the return. He was even cocky enough to tell the GSTM how to do the transaction, down to what K keys to hit. He got back over $2000 on a gift card. Everyone in my store was livid.

Worse yet, at the same time, three of his buddies were off trying to buy more of the sonic toothbrush heads with more coupons for their next time through. Luckily the GSA caught two out of the three and refused to do sell them to them (they weren't the right product for the coupon, anyway).

So the ETLs and SrTLs are trying to rethink the strategy when friggin' corporate is helping the fraudsters.

RG, I had corporate (guest relations yes?) call me before... I just had them talk to the LOD lol. I don't think they can "Force" us to do the transaction if LOD & AP says no.
 
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