JB Hi-Fi Takes down Your License Number and Personal Details for Refund despite You Have a Receipt

I bought a cover for my Galaxy series phone from JB HiFi in a huge hurry on Monday as they were closing shop. I then realise that the cover I bought covers everything so will be unable to see the "edge tickers" that was the whole idea of getting the Edge in the first place in other words, the case defeats the purpose of the most special feature of the phone.

Happily I went to JB Hifi just on the 4th day to return as I believe I have made a hasty decision to purchase a $60 phone cover at the time the store had already officially closed ( says 6 08 pm) The entire mall closes at 6 pm so you can imagine how rush it must have been people wanting to knock off ( retail staff esp want to go home ) Anyways despite a clear receipt that was only dated 4 days ago. The staff ask for drivers license which I thought they only wanted to sight to make sure the photo matches the person asking the refund. ( even though stores 10 times bigger like Myers and DJ and Officeworks never ask for any photo ID when you have the store receipt to do refunds ) However what I have an issue is they took all my license info and entered into their computer.

Was that necessary? The Privacy Legislation clearly stated information collected must be for a purpose that necessitates its collection. ( Since bigger retail stores do not ask for that and take that info, why is JB an exception?) The legislation also states that when collecting personal information, one must state how long that information will be kept, what purpose was that information kept for and its relevance to the collection in the first place and how is this information kept and how can consumers access that information that was kept.

In this case a simple return of a case for phone ( $60, which in JB stores is probably considered a dirt cheap item ) with store receipt does not require picture ID let alone collecting and storing that information in JB's database.

I take it that they want a database of all customers that do returns to see if you have return goods before. I wonder what is the legal implications of this practice under legislation. Also what on earth is JB doing with my license information?

Any legal practitioner here? Which government department do you lodge a formal complain about this behavior?

Related Stores

JB Hi-Fi
JB Hi-Fi


  • To me, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

    If you were shopping and lost the Item New and Sealed in the JB HiFi Bag w/Receipt and some random found it they could just take it to JB with some story to get a refund.

    Later, you realise that you have lost it and go ape at them for giving the random a refund without getting some ID or checking.

    Sure, they could ask to just see it, but what would they have without recording some details?

    Maybe talk to Store Manager or Manager on Duty if you want to know why or ask them what their data retention policy is?

    I don't see a reason to go all Mabo on them. lol

    • "go Mabo on them"


      • In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and aah no that’s it, it’s the vibe. I rest my case.

  • Unfortunately the Privacy Legislation makes it very clear as to who can collect private information, and they do not include retail stores and especially if you are not applying for credit.

    Very rarely do thieves have the product and the receipt all packaged up for their convenience and like I say earlier many bigger retail stores do not have this practice.

    • +4 votes

      What legislation is it, specifically, that you think they've breached?

      Most of the larger retailers collect personal information on people who return items, as it facilitates fraud prevention. If you're concerned about it, don't hand over your ID; you did that entirely voluntarily. Your refund doesn't actually hinge on identifying yourself.

  • What are you worried about exactly?

  • Lucky that JB even agreed to refund the item, as they have no obligation to do so for a change of mind.

  • From JB's Privacy Policy

    Why does JB Hi-Fi collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
    JB Hi-Fi collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information for a number of purposes connected with our business operations, which include:
    dealing with requests, enquiries, complaints, consumer guarantee or warranty claims, and other customer care related activities;

    Generally, you have no obligation to provide any personal information requested by us. However, if you choose not to do so where we require this information, we are unlikely to be able to provide you with the goods and services that you want.

    I'd say your change of mind refund was an "other customer care related activity", so JB could take your information for fraud prevention etc. You also didn't have to hand over ID (possible excuses include left it in the car/dog ate it/don't have any).

    Anyway, shouldn't you be happy you got a refund for change of mind, as retailers don't have to allow this?

    Or maybe at the end of all this you just have a slightly crazy secret admirer who wants to get to know you a little better?

  • why did you give them your licence?

    by doing so, you have pretty much permitted them access to the information on your licence

    the time to raise this question was at the time you were asked for your licence, not now

  • Do you have a brain Op ? If you didnt want them to have your information, then why did you proceed and give it to them? You willingly gave them that info that they requested, they didnt breach anything if you provided that info of your own free will. You had the right to refuse and still get a refund, but you chose to waive that right.

  • Isn't this Karma given your past with JB HiFi/ING?

    I'm surprised the in-store facial recognition software didn't trip when you bought/sought refund.


    Hope you don't think JB are data sharing with ING or that ING are going to try to hack the JB Database over something so minor and innocent.


    Must be a new jb hifi policy regarding I.d. I used some eGift cards in store last week, about 7 of them totalling just under $150 and was asked for I.d. Asked them why, the guy said it was to prevent fraud.

  • this post belongs on whingepool

  • I am not a legal practitioner, but I don't think there is a Government Department in charge of complaints about a company storing information freely given to them by a consumer in order to process a refund the consumer is not entitled to under Australian Consumer Law.

  • I just wouldn't pay $60 for just a phone cover :)

    • But maybe he did it to claim 2% ING cashback and then returned it to pocket the $1.20. He even went there right on closing time, perhaps in hopes of getting a refund in cash?

  • JB Hifi is an "APP Entity" under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. You can complain to the OAIC but you need to firstly raise the issue directly with JB HiFi…

    The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) can investigate privacy complaints from individuals about Australian and Norfolk Island Government agencies, and private sector organisations covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act)…

    Before you can lodge a complaint with the OAIC, you will generally need to complain directly to the agency or organisation and allow 30 days for it to respond. If you do not receive a response within 30 days, or you are dissatisfied with the response, you may then complain to the OAIC.

    Source: https://www.oaic.gov.au/individuals/how-do-i-make-a-privacy-...

    If you do end up making a complaint to OAIC they will be looking at whether JB has breached the Australian Privacy Principles.

    Australian Privacy Principle 3 deals with collection of solicited personal information. Under this provision APP Entities must not collect personal information unless it is "reasonably necessary". Whether or not it was reasonably necessary for JB to take your licence I guess is a grey area open to interpretation. But personally I tend to agree with you that it isn't.

    • He definitely needs to raise the issue with JB, and they should provide the information about why they collect the information and how it is used.

      But it seems from OP's statement that he freely gave them the licence, and didn't even question when he saw them collecting the details. Surely that was the time to ask?

      I wonder what JB would have done if he said he didn't have a licence? Especially seeing as it was a change-of-mind return, which they are not obligated to give.

  • +1 vote

    I've had a store attendant use my license to arrive unannounced on my doorstep middle of night trying to get lucky. You really are giving random strangers your personal info.
    If you have a store membership they have access.
    If you need ID to buy alcohol they have access
    Video store has access, Pharmacy has access
    You buy a sim card they have access. Some shops want ID to let you use a credit card.
    What do you do? I asked for a copy of privacy policy when Strathfield Car Radio wanted my full personal details plus front and back of my credit card. I was told I was ignorant, high maintenance and a time waster.

    • Strathfield Car Radio - went into receivership 16 years ago.


        Well they are still trading. What's your point?