LL Bean Is Ending Its Famous Lifetime Return Policy

LL Bean Is Ending Its Famous Lifetime Return Policy

LL Bean Is Ending Its Famous Lifetime Return Policy

While the change in L.L. Bean's return policy is sad news, there are still plenty of stores where you can return items literally forever, although some require a receipt and may apply only for certain product categories.

"Some view [our guarantee] as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years", wrote executive chairman Shawn Gorman, who is the great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean.

"Our guarantee is not a liability, but rather a customer service asset - an unacknowledged agreement between us and the customer, that always puts the customer first and relies on the goodwill of our customers to honor the original intent of the guarantee", spokesperson Mac McKeever told Business Insider.

And the famed ME clothier says it's ending the century-old policy because some customers were abusing it.

L.L. Bean has always been known for its promise to replace a defective product over the course of the item's life, but leaders in the company say a select few are taking advantage of that promise.

Previously, customers could bring back items bought at L.L. Bean's stores and online any time they felt it didn't live up to their expectations. "We make great stuff and we stand behind great stuff", Smith said. "I understand why're they're doing it". Like other American retailers, it has struggled with years of slow or nonexistent sales growth.

About 15 per cent of recent returns abused the guarantee, said Mac McKeever, a spokesman for L.L. Bean.

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The brand stresses that the change will only affect a small percentage of returns, and they're still standing by the quality of everything that they sell. They ended up walking away with a $350 gift card.

An hour after the letter was posted to Facebook, more than 700 people have commented on the change. For years, the outdoor retailer touted a lifetime return policy, accepting returns on items purchased years prior.

Apparently, though, some folks were taking advantage of the policy, per a statement emailed out to customers on February 9: "Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent", it reads.

L.L. Bean's new store in Colonie, N.Y.

Ms. Zaleski said she and her family went out of their way to visit L.L. Bean stores and had spent $3,000 on the company's products over the holidays.

The company did not specify what would qualify as a defective product after the one-year period was up - only that they must be defective due to materials or craftsmanship.

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