LL Bean to End Unlimited Returns, Citing Customer Misuse

LL Bean to End Unlimited Returns, Citing Customer Misuse

But on Friday L.L. Bean said it now will let customers return products up to one year after purchase, if they have a receipt or proof of purchase.

The lifetime return policy was born.

L.L. Bean changes long-standing return policy.

Freeport, Maine-based L.L. Bean, beloved for its iconic duck boots and other outdoor wear, nonetheless left the door open for exceptions to the rule and said that in any event, the new policy would only affect a small percentage of returns.

"Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors".

If you still haven't gotten around to returning your blown-out L.L.Bean flannels from the 90s, then you're too late. The return policy covered the full lifetime of the item.

Under the new policy announced Friday, the company will accept returns for one year with a proof of purchase and will continue to replace products for manufacturing defects beyond that.

"The financial impact is remarkable-in the last five years, the rate has doubled on such returns and in that five years, has cost us approximately $250 million", a spokesperson for the company says. Some took advantage of the lax return policy-seeking refunds for products that have been rigorously worn for 20 years or bought at garage sales.

"What we have seen, and it has come to the point where we had to act upon it, is a small but growing group of customers who are interpreting the guarantee as a lifetime product replacement program, and that was never its intent", L.L. Bean President and CEO Stephen Smith told the Portland Press Herald Wednesday in an interview.

An hour after the letter was posted to Facebook, more than 700 people have commented on the change. After a year, L.L.Bean will still take returns for items that are defective because of the materials or craftsmanship. Plus, it was a policy that said "we trust our customers to act honestly, and forgive those who don't", which assumed the best and not the worst of us humans.

In his letter, Gorman said, "We will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way".

The decision has been a long time coming for L.L. Bean, as it first began reviewing its policy a year ago. "Two days later, the brand-new shoes were waiting on my doorstep", Business Insider writes.

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