I've noticed a disturbing trend lately whenever I make a return at a big box store - Lowes, Menards and others. What I've noticed is that I make a return, hand over the receipt and then I'm happily told "Ok. You're done!" And I never, ever have to give them my credit card. Hm… Sure this is convenient but exactly when did I consent that Lowes has the right to hang onto my credit card details forever?

I grew up working retail and any return was always a matter of:

  • Hand over receipt
  • Hand over credit card
  • Process card to get the customer their money

Personally I'd vastly prefer giving my card to the cashier to get a return to this nebulous crap where the store is hanging onto my credit card in an undisclosed, undocumented fashion. And I'd like to think that they would store this professionally and manage it correctly but Home Depot's card breach 2 years ago argues against that.

According to my wife who shops far more than I, this is now standard at most big retail locations. Sigh.