rst3

LL Bean Lifetime Return Policy Scrapped

78 posts in this topic

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/09/l-l-bean-scraps-lifetime-return-policy/

 

"...products [can] now only be returned if they were purchased within the previous 12 months or have a manufacturing defect"

 

"Smith said the company is specifically cracking down on two forms of product return abuse: returns on older items that are not defective but merely worn down from regular use or totally undamaged (because the customer outgrew the item or wanted an upgrade), and returns on items purchased from a third party such as Goodwill or a yard sale.

 

About 15 percent of recent product returns abused the lenient guarantee policy – double what it was just a few years ago, he said."

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The policy was abused beyond belief. One year is plenty of time. I believe the lifetime guarantee still holds for defects. But the folks buying thrift store stuff to return are going to have to find another scam/fraud

 

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Yep, got this email today:

 

A Letter to Our Customers

Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors. Our commitment to customer service has earned us your trust and respect, as has our guarantee, which ensures that we stand behind everything we sell.

Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.

Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way.

This update adds clarity to our policy and will only affect a small percentage of returns. It will also ensure we can continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail, with no impact for the vast majority of our customers. To learn more, please view our full return policy at llbean.com.

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. Thank you for being a loyal customer and we look forward to continuing to inspire and enable you to Be an Outsider.

Sincerely,

signature.jpg
Shawn O. Gorman
Executive Chairman
 

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35 mins ago, FEW3 said:

But the folks buying thrift store stuff to return are going to have to find another scam/fraud

 

Wait people actually do that?  That's pretty bad.

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I was reading some comments from ex-employees and they said people would come in with huge trash bags full of old LLB charity clothes, then walk out with a $$$gift card. Straight fraud/theft. 

 

The article said outright fraud had doubled in recent years---which says a lot about us as a society. Freaking policy in place for a century but now, in last 10 yrs.. people increased their selfish greed to the point they cost that company tens of millions a year. LLB sells over 600,000 Bean hunting boots/year and is their biggest product. The lifetime return policy had begun to cost LLB everything they made from all sales of their Maine hunting boot. Unreal.

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I am venturing to guess that the customer base they lose over this policy change will be similar to; if not more detrimental to their profits than those that took advantage of them ever were. The prices are high at LL bean so I'm sure returns are factored into their profit. Sure; now people can't return old stuff; but I bet more people won't buy from them in the first place. Their product is no better than competitors and often is more expensive.

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I’m sure if you have an issue with waders/boots and call them up And REASONABLY talk to the they will still replace them. This policy change is to weed out the bad apples that’s all. 

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I agree.....the new policy is way overdue.  I'm surprised it was in force this long, especially in light of the losses it incurred each year.

 

Company said over the past five years it lost $250 million on returned items that were classified by the company as "destroy quality".

 

 

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22 hours ago, rst3 said:

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/09/l-l-bean-scraps-lifetime-return-policy/

 

"...products [can] now only be returned if they were purchased within the previous 12 months or have a manufacturing defect"

 

"Smith said the company is specifically cracking down on two forms of product return abuse: returns on older items that are not defective but merely worn down from regular use or totally undamaged (because the customer outgrew the item or wanted an upgrade), and [rest deleted].

 

About 15 percent of recent product returns abused the lenient guarantee policy – double what it was just a few years ago, he said."

 

Waders fall into this category. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. :shaky:

 

-bd

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There went the only reason to overpay for their name brand.

 

Previously I always went to them for big ticket items like ice fishing boots and rain jackets.

In fact, I just returned one of each, both over 20 years old and both legit worn out.

Now I know why I got attitude. 

 

Obviously they don't have to have such a return policy, they used it as a selling point.

It was the only thing that made their prices worth it.

Without that selling point, I will never buy from them again. 

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Only time will tell on how much of an impact it will really have. I got a pair of LL waders two seasons ago. Returned them due to some significant leaking on one of the knees. Got the new pair this past fall with no issues at all. I think it will all depend on how you approach the employee working behind the counter, and how legitimate your reason is for returning the item. This was a long time coming and was mostly done to target the obvious misuse of the "lifetime product" guarantee. When my most recent waders fail, I will be bringing them back and see what kind of options I will get form them as opposed to the no questions asked replacement or gift card option. They want to keep their loyal customers loyal and not give them a reason to shop elsewhere. I will reply back when that time comes and that will determine if I continue to shop there. 

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I don't really buy the abuse arguments. 

Granted, a lifetime warranty is maybe not wise to the bottom line, but if you offer it, you have to be prepared to honor it.

 

I know years ago they began marking employees' purchases so they could not be returned, costing the company the discount. 

 

The yardsale argument doesn't wash. It costs the same to the accountants no matter who returned it.

Generally speaking, anyone going into a Bean store to return something still drops another $100.00 by the time they leave (1 tee shirt and a snack), if they're like me anyway. 

 

I just think they are doing poorly. Certainly from competition but also because they got away from their roots as an outdoor store and tried to be a ladies' boutique. 

I haven't been happy with their stuff for awhile but the return policy tipped the balance. Now there's no more reason to go there.

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It is simple. Sell quality merchandise and give a lifetime guarantee, or sell junk and don't give a lifetime guarantee.  We know what L.L.'s descendants and corporate stakeholders chose.  

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5 hours ago, mikez2 said:

 

 

The yardsale argument doesn't wash. It costs the same to the accountants no matter who returned it.

 

I lived in Portland for a few years in the 90's while in college. 

 

I can't think of one of my friends from MECA that didn't go to thrift stores to score stuff to return. 

 

One of my roommates disappeared suddenly and left bills and a super worn out pair of high boots. Drove to the store and told them they were uncomfortable.  Lady came back with them and said " sorry, we can't take these". 

I could have argued it like one of my friends told me.

I felt pretty crappy about trying to do the scam ( friggin' Catholic schooling ) . I took the boots and put them in a Dropbox.  I don't wear 13's.

 

Fast forward to 3 years ago. Picked up an awesome backpack at the dumpstore.  But zipper was broken. Wife said return it. I called, they gave me the option of sending it in and getting the credit or buying a replacement then sending it in. I honestly thought they would repair it. But they don't do that anymore. 

 

I put it in the trash and felt good about it.

 

Care to guess guess how old this birdseye sweater is? I could have returned it despite it being way over 20 years old and hundreds of machine washings. Ill have it for a lifetime instead. 

 

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