I've been Working at a department store for quiet sometime now and have been trained in various departments, as well as some back-office and managerial tasks.
Though today I am working in my store's major appliance department, which is coincidentally next to the home department's registers.
Now because Major appliances doesn't get much customers compared to other departments, I sometimes help out the Home department when it gets over run with customers, or when there is a question an associate doesn't know the answer to.
Currently I am processing some internal communications between the store and the home office for my department, and as I walk towards towards the home department's registers I see one of the associates speaking to a customer and then turning to me.
Co = Coworker, Me = Me , Cu = Customer
Co: "Maybe he knows. Hey All_Nighter_Long?"
Co: " Do you know how to return this?" She gestures to some men's holding gel
A small alarm bell begins to ring my head as I see the 7 small jars of holding jell. There have been numerous reports from others stores reporting fraudulent returns with these small salon products as they are easy to pocket and steal. Some of which are not in the store's inventory.
Cu : "Yeah, my wife bought this for herself and she didn't like it."
She uses men's holding gel? I notice the jars came from another store's dirty brown plastic bag.
Me: " Uh, Okay... Is this being returned with or without a receipt?"
Cu: "God I can't believe you people can't do this so I can get on my way. You just scan my ID, scan the items and give me the card."
Second alarm is that he knows our procedures for no receipt returns. Which is they get refunded the lowest price of the past 45 days onto store credit. Which if the item is old enough, can ring up at full price.
Before I speak up, my coworker interjects.
Co: "I think I remember [Coworker] saying that these can only be returned to salon."
Me: "Yeah, I think that'd be best. I'm not sure if I feel comfortable accepting this return sir."
The man goes off on a small tirade of how we can't return this.
Cu: "This is ridiculous, the Salon is closed. How do you expect me to return this to them."
I can see he's trying to bully me into doing this. My coworker runs off to see if the Salon is still open. As this was later in the evening.
Me: "Well my coworker will be right back. She's going to go check if salon's still open. Though if not you'll have to take it up tomorrow because I'm not accepting this."
Not a second later and my coworker returns.
Co: "Salon is still open. You can return it there sir."
Cu: "Thank you!"
He gives me a glare as he leaves. Though I decide to not leave it at that and go to my department's phone. I dial the extension for salon to try and warn them.
Me: " Hey guys it All_Nighter_Long from major appliances. I have a man coming up to make a return who seems very suspicious. He's making a no receipt return for a lot of salon products which are all the product."
Just as I say this I hear in the background the man talking to her. I can hear how irate he is.
Co2: " Sir I don't feel conformable returning this."
I can hear him speaking in an irrate tone, though can't make out what he's saying.
Co2: " Sorry sir I won't return this. My manager is not here at the moment. You'll have to take it up her tomorrow. "She speaks to me "Thanks."
She hangs up and I find out later that day that the return was ultimately rejected despite the man's attempt to bully us into doing it. What I find out also is that the gel itself is no longer sold by us, But is still present the system for return purposes as it is an old style of gel. Secondly I find out what happens is that those making the fraudulent return taking our store credit and give it to one of the gold pawn shops in the mall in exchange for gold.