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Lowes policy to refund online purchases made with gift card to in-store merchandise credit

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Today I tried to return to Lowes some unused, unopened merchandise left over from a recent project and purchased with gift cards I'd purchased in my name from Discover with my cashback bonus. To my surprise, the Lowe's returns desk employee told me it's "policy" to refund online purchases made with gift cards as in-store merchandise credit, meaning that I wouldn't be able to use those funds for online purchases anymore. I've never heard of this before.

I did manage to get an actual gift card after asking for a manager, but I suspect this was only because the manager asked what the amount was and made his decision after seeing it was in the $20 range.

Has anyone else seen this? Perhaps it varies by store and I should look for another one nearby?
Created 09-16-2017 at 07:46 PM by MontyC
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#2
I have had it happen all the time. Talked with the manager but it did not good.
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#3
I think lowes had a bunch of problems leading to this.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/...on/1476149

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/1...ard-fraud/

Basically they justify it by saying they are trying to make it harder for stolen merchandise to be returned to their stores. Seems to me lowes may have a problem with theft or its just thieves trying their best to get the most value from their stolen merchandise.
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#4
It has always been like that for me.
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#5
its been like this for maybe a year now? a huge problem with people going to shelves, picking items and just returning them for merchandise credit (and flipping them on gift card sites) so then they disabled using merchandise credit online, and switched to giving out in-store only credits
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#6
Lowe's refunds all purchases made with GCs to merchandise credit whether the original purchase was made online or in-store. This holds true even if you cancel the order without ever picking it up. I had this happen to me and made a big stink about it w/ the MOD. I ended up getting $125 off an OTR microwave. Big Grin
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#7
Did you show your receipt or invoice?
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#8
I say live with it or don't shop there. Peace
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#9
Quote from ionlyplaybops2
:
Did you show your receipt or invoice?
Yes, this was with my receipt. I also could have provided the gift cards I'd made the purchase with, but I wasn't asked before the "refund" was processed.

The theories here that it's to combat theft are extrapolating from a different situation. However, I think I ran across what it might actually be. Apparently, people used to buy things online through a cashback site, then walk to the desk and ask to cancel the order and receive merchandise credit for it. (Or, they could actually pick the items up and then immediately return them without a receipt at a different store.) Then they'd go online and place a new order through a cashback site and use that merchandise credit, getting more cashback. The cycle could go on endlessly.

I think this is the real reason merchandise credit is now limited to in-store purchases. Besides, when it comes to the problem of theft being used to obtain credit that's then sold off, that's already blocked by their policy tying redemption of merchandise credit to a particular person. Verification of ownership could be done for online orders just as easily as in-store ones.

As for my particular situation, I suspect it has to do with how a lot of stores used to refund gift card purchases to entirely new gift cards, which might have broken the accounting system on the back end that informs the cash back site about refunds. So the terrible kludge is to force this merchandise credit thing down legitimate customers' throats.

Does Home Depot refund purchases made with gift cards to in-store mechandise credit, or did they figure out how to fix their back end, unlike Lowe's?

(Reminder: I'm not talking about just merchandise credit being limited to in-store purchases. I'm talking about returns bought with a gift card being refunded to merchandise credit EVEN when you have the receipt and can prove you are the owner of the gift card.)
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Last edited by MontyC September 17, 2017 at 08:01 AM.
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#10
Quote from MontyC
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Yes, this was with my receipt. I also could have provided the gift cards I'd made the purchase with, but I wasn't asked before the "refund" was processed.

The theories here that it's to combat theft are extrapolating from a different situation. However, I think I ran across what it might actually be. Apparently, people used to buy things online through a cashback site, then walk to the desk and ask to cancel the order and receive merchandise credit for it. (Or, they could actually pick the items up and then immediately return them without a receipt at a different store.) Then they'd go online and place a new order through a cashback site and use that merchandise credit, getting more cashback. The cycle could go on endlessly.

I think this is the real reason merchandise credit is now limited to in-store purchases. Besides, when it comes to the problem of theft being used to obtain credit that's then sold off, that's already blocked by their policy tying redemption of merchandise credit to a particular person. Verification of ownership could be done for online orders just as easily as in-store ones.

As for my particular situation, I suspect it has to do with how a lot of stores used to refund gift card purchases to entirely new gift cards, which might have broken the accounting system on the back end that informs the cash back site about refunds. So the terrible kludge is to force this merchandise credit thing down legitimate customers' throats.

Does Home Depot refund purchases made with gift cards to in-store mechandise credit, or did they figure out how to fix their back end, unlike Lowe's?

(Reminder: I'm not talking about just merchandise credit being limited to in-store purchases. I'm talking about returns bought with a gift card being refunded to merchandise credit EVEN when you have the receipt and can prove you are the owner of the gift card.)
Home Depot also treats returns that were paid with gift cards either with or without a receipt like you are a thief. They require your ID and tie the "Merchandise Credit" to that ID for future in store redemption.
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