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Is this wrong?

Regular Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

navigatethis12 wrote:

When a shop processes a refund they get any fees attached to that transaction refunded; whether they refund in cash or to a card.


I wouldn't do this with a debit card, because some banks will wonder why a credit was put through when there is no transaction to match. They could see it as money laundering.


I don't see this as unethical since it isn't hurting the business. They wouldn't have this option if it cost them money. It probably is a way to quickly get you banned from the place or have your return privileges revoked if you do it frequently.


I remember people buying electronics from Costco, using them all year, and returning them right before the one year for returns was up. That is unethical.


Yes.  And no.


They get the fees refunded only when the refund goes to the original form of payment -- the exact same card that was used in the initial purchase. 

Message 11 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

Well if the store offers that type of return policy then it isn't wrong technically, but morally yes.  This is because there is pre-meditated selfish desires to obtain something by way of using this method that could potentially, if enough people practiced this, harm the business or better yet other patrons of the store who actually have legitimate reasons for a return.  So because one idiot decides he wants some points and he can't get it the way that the card issuer says he CAN, he chooses an underhanded way to get it by cheating. 


Hmmm, well that is why policies that existed for the honest hard working people get pulled because of people lack basic human morals to just do the right thing.  So yes, yes, yes this is wrong IMO.

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Message 12 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

whjc wrote:

So a couple of hours ago, I ran into an old buddy at a local bar and figured I buy him a drink since I haven't seen him since high school. When I pulled out my CSP to pay for the drinks he mentioned that he had the same card as I did and told me a very interesting way he "spent" $3000 to earn the 40k points. He began by telling me how he used to work at Nordstroms and explained to me their VERY lenient return policy. So lenient that you can basically return anything that was purchased at any Nordstroms store even if you don't have the receipt. ALL of his purchases were made online for 2 reasons, save one trip to the mall and to not screwing over a sales associate with their commission. Now this is the part that really caught my attention, he informed me that you can also have the money returned to your debit card(with no fee) even when you purchased the item with your credit card. So basically what he did was; buy something at Nordstroms for $3000, returned it to his debit card, then pay off the $3000 balance on his CSP and earn his 40k points with no money spent.


I know that this is flat out wrong but at the same time it makes me wonder on how much points I can accumulate Smiley Tongue


Just thought I'd hear peoples opinion about this!!! BTW if this is old news... I'm sorry in advanced

Though I'm not exactly sure how the return process impacts a company swipe fee wise, if it was simply clothing that can be put back on the shelves and/or charged back for the retail price, then it's not the BIGGEST deal, yet still morally wrong in terms that he's "gaming" the system, avoiding cash advance fees that would normally result when you try to use part of your credit limit for cash.


Working in retail myself, returning items onto a card that wan't the original method happens here and there. Some are by mistake, others are because the account was closed or the person was issued a new card, or some people just like to watch the world burn...(just kidding!)


Though it should be the responsibility of both parties (the cashier and the customer) to ensure the original payment method is used for the refund, I know I simply ask: "May I have your *insert card brand here* to credit back the *amount*?" Many times I don't necessarily double check that the last 4 digits on the receipt match the digits on the card. Though luckily many customers want to make sure that the amount goes right back onto the original card, and will ask me what the last digits are.


Some customer's get upset because they already paid off the account and don't want a credit...usually I have to explain to them that having the credit is a good thing on that particular account, because you know it'll be there for you for a month or two to use, otherwise the card issuer will send you a check, or you can even request they cut a check right away. Some customer's even get pushy and want cash because they don't have a balance on that account and everything was already paid...I'm sorry, but if you say you paid off your Chase card, and now you want cash from JCP, I can't control that. You can show me all the statements you want, but you paid using your credit card and "understand and will oblige by the cardmember agreement". That means you must accept the refund onto your credit card, and if you want the cash in your hand, contact your credit card company.


Other people tell me that the account has since been closed, or that they got issued a new card with new numbers. I usually play nice because they're usually sincere and I reply with a "not a problem, would you like me to issue the refund on a gift card, or do you have a card from the same issuing company?"


Whether or not that's "kosher", I'm not sure. I just figured that if Visa paid out the money, I assume they would appreciate getting that money back in their network, especially if I can't really control if a person closed a Chase account and now only has a Well Fargo. The only loophole is Visa debit cards, where though it takes a while to process back as a refund, it will eventually wind up in that person's checking account.


At all possible I avoid giving back the amount in cash if it was obviously paid with a Visa/Mastercard/AMEX/Discover/JCP. That's just a personal thing. If it's a small amount, the manager may approve a cash refund (after the customer makes a fuss). If it's obviously a ridiculously large amount, the company will say "sorry".


I have been told many times by management that people who are trying to game the system are only a very tiny portion of our customer base. Most customers are honest and follow the rules. So to punish our customer base based on what a few people are doing isn't "fair". And besides, those who do game the system? If they're obviously doing something wrong, they get flagged. They are all noted in our lovely loss prevention office, and kept a firm eye on Smiley Wink

Message 13 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

Yeah, I work in retail, as well and honestly, if your friend got Nordstrom to do it, fine but is it wrong? In my opinion, yes.


Not only that, I believe in fate and sooner or later, that can come back to get you.  Plus, I would just feel bad knowing I did it all for a measly point gain (i.e. the sign-up bonus).  I love learning about credit and being financially responsible but not at the risk of being shut down or gaming.  To me, it is a sign-up bonus that is fun to get as an added benefit for being a card member and being approved, but not at the risk of gaming or trying to bend the rules.


Just my opinion.

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Message 14 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

i used my CC aat walmart and returned the one i dont need,they gave me back by cash !

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Message 15 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

There will always be people who will take advantage of a system without doing anything technically wrong & then there will always be people who follow all the rules by the book. The world still spins.


In my opinion that's a smart way to get 40,000 points for free but I don't have the time to go through all that.

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Message 16 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

IMHO Yes its wrong.

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Message 17 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Is this wrong?

McArthur wrote:

Leadberry wrote:

When I was a teenager, I worked for a local gas station chain that prophecized the end of the universe whenever someone even mentioned giving a cash refund on a credit card transaction.  Something about illegal cash advances.  However, the functionality was still there.


I'm now working at Walmart.  When someone returns something and it was paid for with a credit card, we still have the capability to give the refund in the form of cash.  The supervisors say we're not supposed to, but it's not something they go out of their way to enforce (I'm in the far corner of the store anyways).


I guess my point is that it can be done, but the ethicality of the doing so would be shaky at best.

Agree 100%.


While not illegal, it certainly is not ethical.  Assuming the store pays 3% in credit card processing fees, he's "stealing" $90 from the store.

I am going to go ahead and go one step further and state that under some jurisdictions' Theft Consolidation Statutes, this would qualify as a theft of service and or goods.  If the dollar equivalent of 40K points is high enough it could even be a felony.


Here is how it works:

Laws were specifically enacted to stop the "theft" of services as well as to stop the theft of "virtual" goods.  Virtual goods are anything that can be purchased online which is valuable, with currency other than government issued currencies.   Just because the currency used to pay for something is not in fact dollars does not mean the item/service is not valuable.  If its valuable, it can be stolen.  If it can be stolen, there are probably laws targetted to punish the theft of such.


There is also intent at issue.  Clearly established here is an intent to defraud the card issuer of 40K points by circumventing the agreed contract.  Aside from a blatant breach, it would not be hard at all to prove fraud by manipulation of instrument of payment.


If I were you I would not embark down this path.  Sure it may well go non responded to, but if it is responded to, whomever gets caught up will be very sorry they did.  Paying for an attorney to defend against such a citation would not be cheap. 

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Message 18 of 18