Stores fight a never-ending battle with shrinkage, which is a polite way of saying "shoplifting". Aware that people will try to return lifted merch for money or will buy at one store and return at another where the price is higher, many have policies that say that, without a receipt, you can only even exchange for the same item, no refunds otherwise. The Dollar General does that, for example.
Office Max, apparently, does not.
A few weeks ago, I was in Office Max buying cardstock to practice my art on. As I went through the aisles, I saw thumb drives on sale. A 16GB was only $40. I bought two of them, I couldn't resist.
One drive, I need to back up some files, so I loaded it and moved it to another computer. Then I found out I couldn't write to the disc anymore. I could erase files, I could format the drive, but I couldn't write to it. Well, that's worthless.
Today, I'm out, and I stop by an Office Max to exchange the drive. One of the aisle trolls comes up. I tell him the drive is defective. He asks, "Do you have the packaging or a receipt?"
No, the drive was working, so I tossed that.
"Well, I can't do anything without something to scan."
How about scanning the packaging for the replacement drive?
"Sorry, I can't do that."
So I left. I hit another Office Max. The aisle troll there used his Dick Tracy two-way communicator to ask the manager if I could even exchange the drive. Nope, apparently ruled the great and all-knowing Oz, no receipt, no exchange.
So, I have a 16GB thumb drive that is useless. I will still shop Office Max for some stuff, but only stuff I can immediately tell if it's good or not (CD media, photocopies, reams of paper). Anything that might take a little longer to fail, I'm buying elsewhere.