Friday, 25 May, 2018

LL Bean Ditches 106-Year-Old Unlimited Return Policy

LL Bean SHoes Dennis Green Business Insider
Orlando Vargas | 10 February, 2018, 02:44

For over a century, L.L. Bean has been famous with shoppers for its return policy. until now.

Gorman says the company has updated its return policy based on the abuse of a small portion of customers. Some customers replace the same items year after year to get the latest outdoor gear. In middle school, there was a minor crime ring associated with kids stealing L. L. Bean backpacks and turning them back in at the store. The list includes the many cases in which the company will no longer honor returns, even in less than a year, including "past habitual abuse of our Returns Agreement".

That means that as long as you actually purchased the item from L.L. Bean before today, the old L.L. Bean rules are still in effect for that item. The guarantee covered the item's full lifetime. Instead, the policy now extends for one year only.

Behind her, in the next room, an unpleasant odor wafted from a bin containing returned items, including well-worn boots, ripped bedding, dog cushions and other items.

However, items that were bought before the change will be able to be returned after one year, as long as customers can produce a proof of purchase.

LL Bean
My well-loved four-year-old shoes. Dennis Green Business Insider

But now a dark age descends upon fishermen, hikers, and the like, as L.L. Bean has updated its return policy, diminishing the return window to one year, according to an official statement from the brand. It allowed customers to exchange any item for a replacement if the customer was unhappy with it in any way, with no questions asked, no matter how old the product was.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago - and that will never change.

She said that up to 70 percent of the returns she and her colleagues processed seemed questionable. "Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent", the statement reads. "Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales", Gorman said. The responses to the policy change have run from anger ("your founder would be disappointed"!) to chastisement of fellow-shoppers ("this is why we can't have nice things") to a general mourning of the end of an era.

After a year, the company said it will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship, NPR said.

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