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Thread: Home Depot return policy change without notification

  1. #106
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    Many of us choose to have a professional prepare our taxes, so we are not aware of the nuances in the sales tax laws of each state.


    As part of the tax preparation process, your paid preparer should be asking you if you have any sales/use tax to declare for out of state online purchases if your state has sales/use taxes...they cannot answer the question on the return forthrightly without asking you that. You may not know the answer, but they have to ask if it's on the return. Tax preparation software that many of us use to do our own taxes also asks the question as do the paper forms for most, if not all states, that have sales/use taxes. The issue has been in the press quite a bit over the past few years as new regulations are passed. So I'd contend that for "most folks", there's little reason for them not to know about it. As in all things about the law, not knowing the law does't release us from it, either.

    But yes, it's absolutely true that most people do not keep track and remit. That's why many states are now requiring (legally enforceable) that out of state vendors who's revenue from their state exceeds a certain amount must collect and remit sales tax at the state's rate for purchases by residents of their state. PA requires that now, by example. I suspect it will not be much longer until this becomes universal and that the only thing holding it back is the complexity that it poses for small business software to be able to track, maintain and remit sales/use tax for the over 3000 individual jurisdictions in the US that would apply.
    --

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  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    One other place that some folks make choices...folks who own businesses and have a tax exemption number. That tax exemption isn't "blanket" for all purchases.
    I have no business but a farm and get farm tax exemption. Careful not to abuse it. Fortunately, the farm stores make this easy and automatically omit sales tax on items that qualify, for example animal feed. I don't get charged sales tax on peacock feed but do on bird seed since it can be used for song birds and such, even though I buy it to mix with the poultry feed. The stores also charge tax on things like fencing and such, for example anything that is permanently attached to the ground is taxable, at least here.

    JKJ

  3. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Nuckles View Post
    Bottom line, you are being dishonest whether you are aware of it or not.
    Bull****. If I'm not aware of something, how can I possibly be dishonest about it?

    With all due respect: Suppose your kid is smoking dope in the garage late at night but you don't know it. And one day the neighbor complains about the smell. So you tell him "sorry, nobody here smokes dope."

    --By your rationale, you're being dishonest with the neighbor.

    Negligent, maybe. Dishonest, not hardly...
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  4. #109
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    Now you got me wondering, a lot of times I'll have my daughter in NH buy something for me because she has prime and I don't. It gets free shipping that way but NH has no sales tax ans AZ does. I never noticed it they charge her sales tax because she sent it to me here in AZ . I'll have to ask her about that.
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  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Bull****. If I'm not aware of something, how can I possibly be dishonest about it?

    With all due respect: Suppose your kid is smoking dope in the garage late at night but you don't know it. And one day the neighbor complains about the smell. So you tell him "sorry, nobody here smokes dope."

    --By your rationale, you're being dishonest with the neighbor.

    Negligent, maybe. Dishonest, not hardly...
    The difference between your example and the tax situation is that in your example, the person isnít aware of the illegal action. In the tax case, the person is aware of his action or inaction, but is somehow not aware that it is illegal. Thatís a very important distinction in criminal law. Otherwise, you could drive 55 mph in a school zone or even shoot your neighbor as long as you could honestly say you were unaware that to do so was against the law. We all have a responsibility to learn the laws that govern our actions, and the sales/use tax laws are well publicized.

    So I retract my statement that you are being dishonest, but you are violating the law.

    This is all sort of beside the point of my first post, which was intended to call out those who know they should pay this or any other tax and donít. They tell themselves that their taxes are too high and they are ďonlyĒ cheating the government. In fact, they are cheating all of their fellow citizens who have to pay higher rates to make up for the tax cheats. I apologize for not making that more clear.

  6. #111
    Exact opposite from original poster. I ordered FOUR tires thru Walmart, shipped to the store. They came in two shipments, and I picked up FOUR tires. Two weeks later, I get an email from Walmart telling me because I didn't pick up two of the tires, they were being credited back to my CC. First went out and looked at van and made sure there were four new tires on it, (There was.) Tried on multiple occasions, without success to contact Walmart. Even filled out the online customer experience survey, and stated that I had received FOUR tires, not two. So now I'm riding on a couple tires that Walmart actually owns.

  7. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Bull****. If I'm not aware of something, how can I possibly be dishonest about it?

    With all due respect: Suppose your kid is smoking dope in the garage late at night but you don't know it. And one day the neighbor complains about the smell. So you tell him "sorry, nobody here smokes dope."

    --By your rationale, you're being dishonest with the neighbor.

    Negligent, maybe. Dishonest, not hardly...
    In a way you are dishonest, you are saying no one here smokes dope as if it is a fact when actually you don't know that for a fact. If you said "as far as I know, no one here smokes dope" or "I don't think anyone here smokes dope" then you are honest but to state as a fact that no one here smokes dope when you don't actually know if anyone here smokes dope that is dishonest. Admittedly it is a bit of trap because even if you asked your son and were told no, you still wouldn't know for a fact. Obviously we are talking hypothetically, I'm not suggesting anyone would lie.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    Now you got me wondering, a lot of times I'll have my daughter in NH buy something for me because she has prime and I don't. It gets free shipping that way but NH has no sales tax ans AZ does. I never noticed it they charge her sales tax because she sent it to me here in AZ . I'll have to ask her about that.
    UPDATE they do charge me tax if she orders in NH but sends to me in AZInkedInkedRecipts_LI.jpg
    U
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  9. #114
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    I only return items if they are defective. If I buy extras because I am too lazy to do up front research to find the right part and I buy extras, I take the hit and keep it.

    I got tired of buying things from HD when they ended up being a returned item.

    If they only have one item and it clearly has been opened I ask the sales person if they have one in stock that has not been opened. If they find one I buy it. If they don't have one that is unopened, I point out that the one on the shelf has clearly been purchased and returned and they should not be selling it as new. I will offer them 50% of the new price for the used item, if I believe it is going to be fine. Most of the time they mark it down on the spot.

    I do not want to drive up the cost of buying things at any store just to return five 8 cent screws...………...

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    I understand your point of view, especially from the ground view. But most larger, sophisticated retailers view this issue from a high level and the thinking in support of a liberal return policy is as follows:

    1. A meaningful number of customers buy multiples with the intention of returning the unused product, and never get around to doing the return - Retailer wins
    2. A trip back to the store to do the return results in some % of customers making another purchase now that they're there - Retailer wins
    3. Making it painless to return things makes the customer buy if in doubt i.e. "I'm not sure, but I'll just buy it anyway because I can always return it" - Retailer wins
    4. A trip back to the store for a return brings the customer back on the premises. This is what they also spend $$ in advertising to do - get you in the store - Retailer wins
    5. The studies show that customers are creatures of habit and the no-hassle policy of returns results in relationship acquisition - Retailer wins
    6. A retailer who folds his arms, shakes his head and says no, I won't take this return back, maybe lecturing the customer in the process, will accomplish the opposite of all these things, in other words - Retailer wins one battle, but loses the relationship, hence the war

    Another note, HD is very clever, if you sign up for their credit card, in addition to the sign up perks they offer, you get one year to return an item. So guess what, in this case if that feature attracted you, then the enhanced return policy is a form of cc customer acquisition, and credit cards are a monster source of income to retailers and the partner issuing bank.


    Every once in a while I see a suggestion that using a return policy is unethical, or at least borderline unethical. Personally I don't agree with this. I generally think the retailers are sophisticated, competent business people who set up their policies knowing the pros and cons, risks and rewards. To take them up on it is no less ethical than taking a tax deduction that the IRS allows.
    Though I do agree that examples like the one of the guy "renting" the carpet cleaner that he had not intention of keeping is pushing it. But again, the retailer knows a small % of people will do things like that and their financial guys have built an allowance reserve into their financials for it, kind of like a bad debt allowance (not that it makes it okay for the ill-intentioned customer to do so). A tough return policy might win the retailer some nickels but lose them dollars.

    How many successful retailers (not mom & pops) do you know that have tough return policies?

    Amazon has now made it this easy - on many items, you don't even have to repackage the item to send it back, you have the option of simply taking it to the UPS store unpackaged and show a QR code on your phone and they take it from there.
    Good insight to the business side of things. I hadn't given much thought to the points you made. Well stated! I've always thought that if people "short changed" businesses, causing a loss in profits, we could be "short changed" if they go out of business, i.e. profits are good for all of us
    Last edited by Al Launier; 10-22-2019 at 4:32 PM.
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  11. #116
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    Home Depot does have a policy that if you return too many things too often they stop the no receipt return policy for you for a few months. I use my credit card for all HD purchases to generate a paper trail for returns and to show I am buying a lot more then I return.
    Bil lD.

  12. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Home Depot does have a policy that if you return too many things too often they stop the no receipt return policy for you for a few months. I use my credit card for all HD purchases to generate a paper trail for returns and to show I am buying a lot more then I return.
    Bil lD.
    If you register your credit card with Home Depot they will email you a copy of your receipt. I do that so that I have a record of all my purchases on my computer. And if I need to take something back I can print out the receipt.

    I don't remember exactly how to do that registration. I signed up for the HD Pro program and it may be part of that program. But however it's done, it's a very valuable feature.

    The one thing that Lowes does that I wish HD would do is that Lowes will register your veteran's status to your credit card so that any time I make a purchase at Lowes and use my registered credit card, I get the veteran's discount. At HD I have to find a clerk and have them enter the discount.

    Both companies allow you to register multiple credit cards so if you use different cards for different kinds of purchases (personal, company, for example) it's no problem.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 10-23-2019 at 2:46 PM.
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  13. #118
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    On a related note; in Canada, the CRA (our version of the IRS) has compelled HD to turn over the purchasing records of HD commercial credit card holders. It's a campaign to reduce the underground economy that flourishes in the home reno market. I bet that will trigger a ton of audits.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    If you register your credit card with Home Depot they will email you a copy of your receipt. I do that so that I have a record of all my purchases on my computer. And if I need to take something back I can print out the receipt.

    I don't remember exactly how to do that registration. I signed up for the HD Pro program and it may be part of that program. But however it's done, it's a very valuable feature.
    You do it at checkout on the CC terminal. The first time you register an email address with a particular credit card, it will remember it. If you use a different card, you need to put in an email address for that card and it will remember it going forward. If your card number changes (because of a replacement, etc), you have to re-do the email thing as I found out recently with my business card. This does work out nice for me because personal receipts go to my personal "shopping" email address and business purchases go to my business email address.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. The only thing I would add is imagine how much HD loses when some things are returned. I can't but it must be astounding. We buy a huge amount there and do, like others here and buy a couple sizes and take back the stuff that isn't right. We just use a card and do not usually keep receipts on small items. Just return, swipe the card, and they see the item right away. Even if I chose not to have one emailed they email it anyway.

    The one thing that surprised me recently though was buying some arc fault breakers. Bought 28 of them and they had some new security device that the cashier, and even the manager, did not have a tool to cut them off. So they decided to cut the packaging to get them off. When I asked about returning with a cutup package the manager said not to worry as they just trash everything. Costs too much to deal with them. So that right there would be more than a $1000 if I returned them. Imagine the amount each store each day.

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