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M&S returns - was I being unreasonable?

(108 Posts)
ChickenTinkiiev Sun 06-Nov-16 17:21:31

I bought some pyjamas from M&S for DS (aged 3) 5 weeks ago. Worn (indoors, as pyjamas tend to be) several times and washed according to instructions. Noticed a small hole had worn through one knee yesterday. Took them back with the receipt to the store, thinking pyjamas should surely last more than 5 weeks and asked for a credit note.

I was told that this could not possibly be a manufacturing fault as the hole was not along a seam, and so they could not send it back and there was nothing that could be done. Another assistant joined in and agreed with her.

I asked to speak to a manager. While waiting for a manager, the assistants had gone behind a door next to the desk and I heard one say to the other (loudly enough that I suspect she wanted me to hear) "that woman at the desk, she's definitely cut a hole in those trousers".

DH joined me at this point. Attitude of staff changes. Not sure if it is relevant but he is white (and male, obviously) and I am not; I only mention it as it's not the first time I am treated like crap alone and then suddenly better when he arrives.

The manager arrived and authorised a refund, saying send it back as a manufacturing fault. Assistant refunded me with cats bum face. I told quietly her as I was leaving that I had heard them talking; she denied everything.

I hate conflict and feel really shaken now. AIBU to have taken them back? Should I just have binned them and accepted that M&S clothes are crap quality and don't last longer than 5 weeks of occasional indoor use?

And AIBU to feel upset about being accused of deliberately damaging the clothes and lying? I know I shouldn't care what strangers think of me but it's really upset me.

Saucery Sun 06-Nov-16 17:23:43

YANBU to return them and YWNBU to send a complaint to the store manager about what the sales assistant said.

MakeItRain Sun 06-Nov-16 17:27:28

No you were perfectly entitled to take them back if you noticed a hole in after just 5 weeks. How horrible that their attitude changed once your dh turned up.
What did he think about it? I would consider complaining about how you were treated and how things changed when your husband arrived.

TheRealKimmySchmidt63 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:30:00

Out of order I'd write in.

greathat Sun 06-Nov-16 17:31:50

Write a letter of complain to the highest body you can find. That's totally out of line and M&S are supposed to be too NAICE for things like that!

Candlelight123 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:32:32

That's awful, Pyjamas should last more than 5 weeks, IMO you were perfectly within your rights to ask for a refund.
You should have told the assistant straight away loudly you heard what they said, it was very rude.

user1471950254 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:32:41

YANBU for your return or feelings! Entirely unprofessional attitude and I think you should feed it back as the staff should not have been gossiping about you

PikachuSayBoo Sun 06-Nov-16 17:35:26

That's shit service.

Next recently accepted some jeggings I took back after 4 months because they'd worn through where my fat legs rub together. So not along a seam and I accept my legs have caused it but I expect jeggings to last longer, I have some which are years old and haven't worn through.

Accusing you of cutting a hole is awful, a cut is obviously different to a worn hole.

I think sometimes some sales assistants are just a bit like this. I tried taking a cot toy back to ELC years ago as it had an intermittent fault. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Which I told the manager. Who very rudely with a big attitude pressed the button, declared there was nothing wrong with it and refused to refund it. I was furious and emailed ELC and they never replied.

SirChenjin Sun 06-Nov-16 17:36:28

Pyjamas should last more than 5 weeks but I'm with the staff in questionning it - it could have caught on something or been torn in the washing machine or tumble dryer.

What is absolutely not acceptable is their overhead comments or their treatment of you before/after your DH turned up - that is shocking.

BakeOffBiscuits Sun 06-Nov-16 17:36:55

No YANBU in anything you have described. I would send a letter detailing everything you have written here. I think you were treated disgracefully and you should have at least a grovelling apology from them.
The staff member also needs to be spoken to by management.

I'm so sorry you are treated like this flowers

AuditAngel Sun 06-Nov-16 17:37:04

I have become increasingly disenchanted with M&S customer services. Earlier in the year I had bought DHZ done trousers in the sale ordered online. They didn't fit so I sent DH in to change them for some that did. The assistant tried to tell me that they could not be refunded, yet I had provided both the delivery note (showing the order number) and the email confirmation listing the prices.
I was then told it was because they had gone in the sale. DH rang me in a panic, I spoke to the assistant, advising him of their returns policy, and told him I wanted his full name to refer this upwards as he was not meeting their own policies. DH said he shrank as I was speaking to him, and that he was certainly considerably less cocky as the refund was processed.

BakeOffBiscuits Sun 06-Nov-16 17:39:07

Sir but the assistant wasn't asking if they had been caught on something she accused the OP of cutting a hole in them!

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Sun 06-Nov-16 17:43:07

Slightly off topic, but why are so many clothes developing holes in them now? Virtually everything I buy from White Stuff succumbs to this. And I was looking at a tee shirt on the Boden website today which I didn't buy because the reviews mentioned holes developing after a few wears. I'm sure this never used to happen so much.

I've not bothered returning anything yet, but if it had happened within five weeks, I certainly would.

SirChenjin Sun 06-Nov-16 17:43:53

Yes I know - what I meant was I'm with them in their original questionning - a hole in the knew could have easily been caused by their owner. What they subsequently said behind her back was unacceptable.

StreetSpirit Sun 06-Nov-16 17:44:04

YANBU and should definitely complain.

I tried to return a pair of unworn men's pyjamas that I'd had to buy when my dad went into hospital. Sadly, he was much more poorly than anyone realised and died soon after admission so had no use for them. Had the receipt from a week before but couldn't find the hanger. Labels all intact, receipt etc and explained the circumstances but they refused to refund due to missing hanger and I overhead one of them commenting on my "sob story". Nice one M&S..... angry

Sweetpea021 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:46:44

I think there has definitely been a cultural shift at M&S from 'the customer is always right' to 'the customer is guilty until proven innocent' - this shift seemed to coincide with the change in their returns policy from indefinite to 31 days and I think it comes from on high.

Olympiathequeen Sun 06-Nov-16 17:49:19

YANBU that's a crap way to be treated.

ChickenTinkiiev Sun 06-Nov-16 17:54:32

Thank you all - really appreciate your taking the time to reply and all your comments. I feel better now that I know I wasn't being scummy in taking the clothes back.

I think I will complain. It was their attitude and overheard comments that upset me most - really unprofessional and deliberately nasty for them to say it so I could hear. I don't mind people bitching about me behind my back, but have the courtesy to do it quietly fgs hmm There's something about another person accusing you of dishonesty that's just horrible.

SirChenjin - that's totally fair and the manager did ask if they could have caught on something. I answered honestly that to the best of my knowledge they had not - DS puts them on just before bed and only wears them for breakfast in our (carpeted) house, no sharp edges around, no recent knee cuts etc. If they had been clothes he'd worn outdoors I would have assumed he had fallen and damaged them himself and not taken them back, but he never had, not even to the garden. It looked like it was just worn through at the point of maximum stress in the material i.e. where they stretch in front of the knees. The cotton was thin and had generally washed poorly overall but still perfectly usable until the hole appeared.

Sorry other people have also had bad experiences.

ShmooBooMoo Sun 06-Nov-16 17:54:35

Same thing with me...! Adult pyjama bottoms...hole in leg (not on seam). Called to ask if they would replace. They told me to send them in for them to inspect. I did and they called me back and said there was no fault in the material. I was asked if I'd put a cig burn in them (no! don't even smoke). I was then (bizarrely) asked if I could have climbed a ladder in them and torn them... (very random...and er, no again!)
They did exchange but it was like getting blood out of a stone. I know some might try it on but you should be given the benefit of the doubt when you have a receipt which shows when you purchased. 5 weeks is not wear and tear. The SA shouldn't have said what she was pretty presumptive and rude.

Sunshineonacloudyday Sun 06-Nov-16 17:56:10

You have every right to be upset you don't deserve that treatment at all. I don't see the point in complaining as they will only deny it. I think women tend to treat males better its my own observation over the years. Even in schools teachers will always talk to your partner better than you.

Even male mechanics for the same repair he would charge my partner £600. For the same repairs again I would get charged £400.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 06-Nov-16 17:56:33


Poorer quality merchandise is causing the holes because clothes have gone down massively in real terms over the past 20/30 years. Labour is cheaper as clothes are generally made abroad but raw material costs have increased. A coat in M&S today generally costs less than £100 and has done for donkeys years I remember paying around that amount for a coat, which i believe came from Principles 24 years ago. The fabric was softer and lovely, not the cardboard wool blends they use these days. To get that kind of quality, you're probably talking £300+ now. I paid well over £100 for a fake fur coat from m&s about 8 years ago. They have a faux fur coat for £119 now.

ChickenTinkiiev Sun 06-Nov-16 17:58:40

StreetSpirit I am shock How awful. Did you complain?

I suspect when I do the staff will just deny everything and it'll be my word against theirs, but hopefully if this represents a pattern of behaviour it will be noted.

Sweetpea YES that's exactly how it felt, that I had to prove my innocence and fight my case rather than a shop genuinely trying to be fair and helpful, which (IME) is the case in most other shops.

John4703 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:59:32

Just reading this makes me angry, it stinks of racism and M & S staff being racist and getting away with it.
It makes me so mad that attitudes like this exist.
For background I'm white and male, my adopted daughter is Arab and female and my grandson is black like his African father.
All 3 of us deserve the same respect from shop staff and everyone else.
ChickenTinkiiev complain and keep complaining until M&S change their ideas on what is acceptable.

ShmooBooMoo Sun 06-Nov-16 18:01:31

More important than the pjs are the audible comment that you intentionally damaged them and the obvious shift in attitude when your husband arrived. Please complain.

MoMandaS Sun 06-Nov-16 18:02:01

I've had three light jersey tops from them in last couple of years. Two developed holes after the 1st or 2nd wash, having been hardly worn, on the front towards the bottom. Obviously very cheap fabric and the tops weren't expensive but I still don't expect them to be disposable, one wear only!

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