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Concession at Department Store - returns

(9 Posts)
43andcounting Tue 15-Nov-16 10:01:50

Hoping for some advice, please.
As a surprise for our 10th wedding anniversary, my husband me bought an expensive bag from a London department store. At the time of purchase he made it conditional that the exchange period would be extended from 2 weeks to 1 month. This was agreed and written on the receipt. The bag is lovely but not my style so we agreed to exchange it. We are well within the 1-month exchange period and he is returning it today. We both prefer that I choose the replacement.

The complication is that we live in Ireland and I won’t be able to look for a replacement until my next visit (maybe December). Wherever I have shopped before, a credit note/gift voucher can always be given if you don’t see anything you like at the time of exchange. So, I assumed that would be the case here (as did my husband when he bought it).

I phoned the store yesterday to talk this through, ahead of him returning the bag today. Central customer services said ‘fine; we’ll issue a credit note’ but put me through to the concession to double-check. The first person I spoke to at the concession also said ‘fine; we’ll issue a credit note’ but put me through to the manager to double-check. The manager said ‘no, it’s exchange only; you missed the 2-week refund period’.

Apparently, because this is a concession, a credit note is treated by them internally the same as a refund. I don’t know how the customer is supposed to know this. From the customer’s perspective, a refund and sales credit are very different. A refund means you get your money back and can spend it at the competitor down the road; a credit note means they keep the money and you select the goods later. I feel that this distinction should have been pointed out and it would have made a difference to my husband’s decision.

Husband will be in store today – any advice on how we deal with a refusal to issue a credit note, please? Anyone have any experience in a similar situation?

acurtis1234 Tue 15-Nov-16 13:13:34

If the concession can only issue generic store credit notes and not specific to their department or brand, then I can kind of see their point. Like a refund, technically you can go to any department in the store and buy something else, and the concession loses the sale. So if this is e.g, Selfridges and it's a Mulberry bag you are returning from the Mulberry concession, then with a Selfridges credit note, you could bugger off and buy anything else in the store and not come back for a Mulberry bag and they lose the future sale.

If they can issue Mulberry specific credit notes, then maybe they are being a bit awkward because they still retain the sale.

However, you made the assumption an exchange would also include the offer of a credit note, and your husband has already had the exchange period extended. Maybe they feel they have already gone above and beyond what they need to?

The only option if they don't budge is to choose something else of the same value which will come with a new receipt, and make sure you can exchange this one when you come into the store yourself.

WatchingFromTheWings Tue 15-Nov-16 13:32:44

They don't have to give you a credit note if they don't want to. At best he could exchange the item, to get a new receipt and renew the 14 day exchange then you could change that item yourself within the 14 days. Exchange policies are goodwill anyway, they aren't even obliged to do that (though I don't know if a store that won't).

sparechange Tue 15-Nov-16 13:37:13

There is no legal right to an exchange or credit note, and as PP said, it becomes more complicated when it is a department store

Can you look online for an alternative for your DH to get today?
And check what the terms are to exchange the replacement? You might get 2 weeks to exchange this one as well?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 15-Nov-16 13:38:32

Given that they've already extended the exchange period, they are very unlikely to want to give a credit note. Really you're asking them to extend even further, and possibly lose the sale, as mentioned above.

Can husband not choose another bag? Or can you return it to the shop and pick one? This was a risk buying like he did; which he seems to have acknowledged by asking for the returns period to be extended. Legally you'd have no basis to fall back on once the month that they gave you is over, as their returns policy is goodwill anyway (as the bag was bought in-store and is not faulty). Your DH may have been better to buy one online closer to the anniversary date so that you'd have 14 days to send it back for a full refund if you didn't like it. Not as romantic, but at least there's some legal basis.

I'd suggest being very nice if he does attempt this, and hoping to appeal to their generous side.

CotswoldStrife Tue 15-Nov-16 13:39:26

As PP have said, unless the item is faulty you are not legally entitled to a refund or an exchange - so you are relying on their goodwill.

Could it be taken back to a main store rather than a concession of the company?

Meadows76 Tue 15-Nov-16 13:40:27

He extended the exchange period and now you want a refund/credit note? Sorry but I think they were good enough to give the extra 2 weeks for exchange tbh

LIZS Tue 15-Nov-16 13:44:48

Can you not look online for a suitable replacement style he could get.

43andcounting Thu 17-Nov-16 12:38:54

Thank you all for your advice. I am beginning to realise that my expectations may be out of line with the majority view.

Bearing this in mind, I think i was incredibly lucky that DH was give a time-unlimited gift voucher for the full amount. No quibbles. We were very lucky (and grateful)!

Thank you all for your input flowers and i will bear this in mind for future

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