Forum Thread

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

+1 Deal Score
5,747 Views
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
If you purchase something through a post on our site, Slickdeals may get a small share of the sale.
Deal
Score
+1
5,747 Views

21 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2014
L1: Learner
21 Posts
14 Reputation
#2
I have had it happen all the time. Talked with the manager but it did not good.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2015
New User
2,087 Posts
355 Reputation
#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.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2005
L6: Expert
1,742 Posts
377 Reputation
#4
It has always been like that for me.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Oct 2013
L6: Expert
1,550 Posts
7,476 Reputation
Pro
#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
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jan 2006
Temporarily Banned
5,854 Posts
1,253 Reputation
#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
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2016
L8: Grand Teacher
3,219 Posts
1,580 Reputation
Pro
#7
Did you show your receipt or invoice?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2015
Permanently Banned
4,780 Posts
3,196 Reputation
#8
I say live with it or don't shop there. Peace
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2012
L2: Beginner
53 Posts
22 Reputation
Original Poster
#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.)
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by MontyC September 17, 2017 at 08:01 AM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jun 2015
L2: Beginner
33 Posts
26 Reputation
#10
Quote from MontyC
:
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.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2008
L6: Expert
1,048 Posts
123 Reputation
#11
So I ordered some things on line a couple of days ago for a project paid with gift cards.
Also bought something in store with the gift card.

I had a few items to return from the project.

I was surprised that the items I ordered the night before online, that I returned, they paid me back in cash? But the 2 items were small potatoes, $3.68 ad $4.40 I believe.

I also returned a couple of items from a slightly larger earlier order for $21. For that they gave me store credit.

I think they also gave me cash for a sub $5 item bought in store with a gift card.

So, I think if it is under $5 or something they give you cash. Unless the factor here was that it was a same day return they give cash? I might need to test this out a bit to see if it is the small amount or the same day as ordered return that drives the cash.

To complicate this a little further. For an online order made with gift cards that is cancelled, not picked up, they send you a Refund Card, which is just like a Gift Card. It can be used in store or online. I have some of these and I have been able to use them online just fine.


Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jun 2011
if its Free its for ME!
2,224 Posts
1,988 Reputation
Pro
#12
Quote from Flyingboat
:
So I ordered some things on line a couple of days ago for a project paid with gift cards.
Also bought something in store with the gift card.

I had a few items to return from the project.

I was surprised that the items I ordered the night before online, that I returned, they paid me back in cash? But the 2 items were small potatoes, $3.68 ad $4.40 I believe.

I also returned a couple of items from a slightly larger earlier order for $21. For that they gave me store credit.

I think they also gave me cash for a sub $5 item bought in store with a gift card.

So, I think if it is under $5 or something they give you cash. Unless the factor here was that it was a same day return they give cash? I might need to test this out a bit to see if it is the small amount or the same day as ordered return that drives the cash.

To complicate this a little further. For an online order made with gift cards that is cancelled, not picked up, they send you a Refund Card, which is just like a Gift Card. It can be used in store or online. I have some of these and I have been able to use them online just fine.
If you are in California their register prompt the cashier to give cash or in store card if the item is under $10
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2008
L6: Expert
1,048 Posts
123 Reputation
#13
Quote from Bad_Boy
:
If you are in California their register prompt the cashier to give cash or in store card if the item is under $10
I am in MN. Maybe a similar policy here.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jan 2010
L3: Novice
101 Posts
31 Reputation
#14
Watch out with lowes cancelling online orders. They have a new thing where they
dont send out the replacement gift card. I just figured this out. They had
one in their safe from back in may that they never told me about. Also, all of my
other cancelled orders this year, the gift cards were not shipped out. I had to call gift card
services to get them to ship. Is there any legal recourse with this? They tell you
you will get your money back on your gift card, but then you will never actually
get it unless you complain more. I've got like 10 gift cards shipping to me now supposedly.
We will see...
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Mar 2006
L9: Master
4,304 Posts
888 Reputation
Pro
#15
Quote from kstar1990
:
Watch out with lowes cancelling online orders. They have a new thing where they
dont send out the replacement gift card. I just figured this out. They had
one in their safe from back in may that they never told me about. Also, all of my
other cancelled orders this year, the gift cards were not shipped out. I had to call gift card
services to get them to ship. Is there any legal recourse with this? They tell you
you will get your money back on your gift card, but then you will never actually
get it unless you complain more. I've got like 10 gift cards shipping to me now supposedly.
We will see...
I just had some bs happen. Placed an order online, it was cancelled by lowes saying they didn't have it in stock. Those gift cards are now zeroed out. I asked the cashier they said they don't charge until I pick up. That is bullshit. Maybe thats the truth for credit cards but not for gift cards.

Also I got scammed by lowes in another way. I placed an order for just over $100 used a $20 coupon, they cancelled one item saying out of stock, lowering the price to below $100, receipt says $86 total with tax, but it zeroed out a $100 card from that single transaction, and online it says its a $106 transaction. They have some explaining to do....
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2018. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard