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Retail Equation receives patent for providing consumer warnings via return authorization systems

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Irvine, Calif. The Retail Equation, an industry leader in retail transaction optimization solutions, received an important patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The newly patented technology provides ‘warnings’ for consumers through return authorization systems designed to help a retailer decide whether to accept or deny a merchandise return, and can be issued if a customer’s return patterns exceed the guidelines established through a predictive analytics process.

The patent solidifies The Retail Equation as an industry forerunner in return optimization methods that reduce fraudulent and abusive activity at the retail return counter, while allowing retailers to maintain customer-friendly policies.

The Retail Equation’s patent, number 7,455,226, adds to an industry-leading solution that is far more effective than traditional return practices that fail to consider the activities of the returner. Consumers whose merchandise returns exceed statistically based thresholds developed for each specific retailer can be issued with a warning indicating that future returns may be denied. This allows retailers to provide a much more customer-friendly approach than directly denying the return request, while still giving the shopper a notification that they need to alter their return behavior.

The patent is especially noteworthy for retailers operating in states like Connecticut, where state law requires a warning system when using an electronic-based return authorization system. Presenting the warning to the consumer must be done in one of the following manners: printing the warning; printing the warning on a receipt for the current merchandise return; e-mailing the warning; electronically transmitting the warning; mailing the warning; writing a hand-written warning; displaying the warning or providing a verbal warning.

“Receiving this technology patent affirms our dedication to innovative solutions that reduce return fraud for the retail industry while maintaining excellent customer service,” said Mark Hammond, CEO of The Retail Equation. “A positive experience at the return counter is an important opportunity that is often overlooked. Using this technology, retailers can demonstrate their commitment to their loyal customers while benefiting from improved net sales, reduced shrink, minimized fraud and stronger profit margins.”

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