MrsBart, when you talked to the company via phone, did you explain that the purchases were made on someone else's credit card other than your own, or just ask about the return policy in general? I am not saying this to blame you, just trying to figure out where the problem began.... As a customer service supervisor in the store I work at, I would have had the forethought to ask, but some others do not. I think that is where the confusion may have started.....
Having a reciept is a helpful thing, but it only guarantees that the returner can get the price paid for the item. It does not guarantee that the person can get this money back in cash or back on someone else's credit card. If retail stores were to "save" each customer's CC number in their system, what is to protect the customer from CC fraud by someone who works in the store?
In my store, we are told that we are to do everything we can to put things back the way they were done originally. It is only when someone starts to make a scene that we can call a upper level manager and get approval to give in to a customer's demands to circumvent company policy. IMO, this just encourages some customers that they will get things done their way if they yell loud enough (I don't mean you MrsBart, I am speaking about the customers in my store only.)
As to getting the CC # over the phone, I find it lucky that the store would accept that: at my store, if you manually enter a CC # (for any reason) you have to imprint the card on one of those old slide machines: otherwise, LP is all over your rear.
At any rate, this situation doesn't sound like it was a personal attack on you: It's business. Employees must follow the rules set by the company or they can lose their job. If you are really steamed about the company policy, you might check the website and see if there is a feedback option and mention it there.