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AIBU?

High street shops just won’t refund or exchange anymore?

282 replies

Chumbibi · 22/09/2022 15:43

Has anyone else found this? Two examples recently:

  • Marks and Spencer’s - baby cardigan received as a gift - all tags on and style of cardigan still on sale in stores. No gift receipt but asked if I could exchange for next size up as too small. Lady scanned it through the till and said it was outside of 30 days so nothing they could do.
  • Whistles - purchase the exact same style and size of jeans in different colours. Tried one in store, ordered the other online. The pair ordered online are about three inches bigger. Ripped the tags off and threw them on and then realised after an hour they were falling down. My fault I should have checked but was told, there was absolutely nothing they were prepared to do. The woman told me in the shop ‘I had probably stretched them’ which was nice 🙄


So AIBU? It seems customer service is non-existent these days. I appreciate they have policies but it seems once something is sold they don’t want to know?
OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

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mewkins · 23/09/2022 22:01

mummyh2016 · 23/09/2022 19:37

@mewkins are you me, I feel like you're reading my mind Grin

Hahah I feel maybe it's just can't stand the floored logic 😂

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celticprincess · 23/09/2022 22:07

Has this with Wilkinsons and wallpaper. Bought some for a job a good week in advance of it starting. Job started late and over ran due to the decorated getting Covid. Tried to take the unused rolls back and they said it was outside of the 14 days and something else about the fact I’d ordered online. They didn’t have enough rolls in store so I ordered online to make sure they had the same batch number. Then they offered me half price which I declined so I could complain. Complaint was basically denied. Still have excess rolls on cupboard a year later.

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Gendercritic · 23/09/2022 22:14

I'm not averse to the "I'm a loyal customer and spend £100s if not £1000s pounds with you each year. I'm not in the habit of complaining but..." approach. I ask to see the manager if the first staff member isn't helpful. I find persistence and politeness pretty effective most of the time in most stores - I usually get a credit note if not a refund. I don't always have a receipt. I will take stuff back that hasn't lasted as long as it should and quote the Consumer Act re goods being fit for purpose and that works well most of the time. I quite like the challenge, tbh!

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Gendercritic · 23/09/2022 22:25

I'm talking legit returns here... not worn, labels on, not yonks old or they are faulty goods. Don't hold with wearing stuff and trying to scam the shops.

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eastegg · 23/09/2022 23:18

hamsterchump · 22/09/2022 16:23

Have a think though, why would they do this? Why not just steal the right size in the first place? It makes no sense, there's an unnecessary step.

It's just the retailers try to claw back as much as possible, and probably because most returns are just binned (this is a choice by retailers, they never used to do this) rather than being checked and returned to the floor now so they don't want to lose out on that item. It will probably come back to bite them eventually, they'll have to switch to online as the high streets die and that means more and more returns. It should be illegal for them to throw away returns, just check them and only take ones that can be resold unless faulty etc.

The idea is they would then get an item with a receipt. Which they could then get a refund on. So they’ve ended up with money, not a cardigan.

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Ifeelsuchafool · 24/09/2022 01:19

If M & S can tell when an item was bought, then they know it's not shop lifted. The recipient of a gift has no control over when it was bought and gifted. M & S were obviously within their rights to refuse as over 30 days but as they knew it had been bought and paid for and the OP was asking to exchange for a larger size only, and it being an item of children's clothing, very hit and miss when gifting, I think they missed a trick on customer relations to be honest.
Whistles, I'm sorry but I'm with the shop, you shouldn't remove tags before trying on.

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LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 07:53

Never ever remove any tags until you've tried the item on at home. I collected 2 M&S items yesterday from my local food hall. The side stripe trousers were a perfect fit (I already had a pair in a different colour) but the sleep shorts in grey were the same colour but a totally different thinner material and size to the pair I bought a few months ago. M&S now size them as 12/14/16 etc but previously as S, M, L XL.
I'll return them to the food hall in the original packaging.
There's never a problem if it's in perfect condition, with all tags and stickers. No receipt needed if returned in original packaging.

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mummyh2016 · 24/09/2022 08:02

LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 07:53

Never ever remove any tags until you've tried the item on at home. I collected 2 M&S items yesterday from my local food hall. The side stripe trousers were a perfect fit (I already had a pair in a different colour) but the sleep shorts in grey were the same colour but a totally different thinner material and size to the pair I bought a few months ago. M&S now size them as 12/14/16 etc but previously as S, M, L XL.
I'll return them to the food hall in the original packaging.
There's never a problem if it's in perfect condition, with all tags and stickers. No receipt needed if returned in original packaging.

You still need to return it within 30/35 days.

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LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 08:06

Most M&S clothing items are not binned. They are examined for marks, stains, tears and missing buttons etc then they have to pass the sniff test. If they pass that then they're steamed, hung and aired before being sent back to stores.
I go into store, try on or examine whatever I plan on buying, be it clothing, footwear or homeware, then order it online. I don't have to to carry it around while doing other shopping and it's not been tried on by anyone else. There are very few exceptions to this such as the sleep shorts being a different material but I have raised that with their customer services.

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LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 08:14

@mummyh2016
Yes of course, however, I did take a watch back roughly 18 months after buying it as the casing changed colour from rose gold to a dull yellow gold. It didn't flake, just changed colour. I had retained the 2 year warranty but no receipt and returned it into store where they checked when it was bought via my Sparks card and could see photos of the original colour. I received a full refund of £25.

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catfunk · 24/09/2022 08:19

YABU. Both would have refunded and exchanged if you had been within their very reasonable policies.

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LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 08:34

@Bellaphant
I have exchanged or had refunds in Primark about half a dozen times with no problem however, the most significant stand out return was a £5 pack of 5 pairs of adult socks. Loved the patterns and at home, turned one pair Inside out to see if pattern went right through. Out crawled a beetle, a cockroach (checked on Google) Took photos, killed beetle and sellotaped it to cardboard. Rang Primark who gave me freephone number of their HO in Dublin. They asked for photos and socks (which I wanted to keep)
Sent everything and about 3 weeks later received an email apology with £50 yes, FIFTY POUND e-gift card attached. I really only wanted to keep the socks and warn them that the warehouse might have an infestation. Sending £50 seemed far too OTT as I would have been quite happy with a fiver.

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Goodoldvera · 24/09/2022 16:11

LoisLane66 · 24/09/2022 08:34

@Bellaphant
I have exchanged or had refunds in Primark about half a dozen times with no problem however, the most significant stand out return was a £5 pack of 5 pairs of adult socks. Loved the patterns and at home, turned one pair Inside out to see if pattern went right through. Out crawled a beetle, a cockroach (checked on Google) Took photos, killed beetle and sellotaped it to cardboard. Rang Primark who gave me freephone number of their HO in Dublin. They asked for photos and socks (which I wanted to keep)
Sent everything and about 3 weeks later received an email apology with £50 yes, FIFTY POUND e-gift card attached. I really only wanted to keep the socks and warn them that the warehouse might have an infestation. Sending £50 seemed far too OTT as I would have been quite happy with a fiver.

That cockroach could've come from anywhere, even from the factory in Bangladesh or anywhere in between..much cheaper to give you the voucher for than investigate. It wouldn't be unusual for cockroaches to be in factories in that part of the world or in shipping containers etc. Pretty sure Primark thought you were angling for compensation as that's how people seem to be these days, hence kicking up a fuss when they've been gifted something they don't feel is suitable and haven't been given a receipt for whatever reason-instead of regifting or giving to charity. It happens a lot after Christmas too I cringe when people proudly tell me they are Christmas shopping in January knowing some of those recipients will be stamping their feet at me 12 months later when I can't do an exchange!

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Itloggedmeoutagain · 24/09/2022 16:15

They do refund or exchange within the terms and conditions. You tried to do it outside of those terms and conditions.

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SydneyMamma · 24/09/2022 17:06

@Swampmonster1988 the OP didn’t buy the cardigan though; it was a gift. The OP doesn’t necessarily know when the gift was bought. She may have only been given the gift the day before.

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EmeraldShamrock1 · 24/09/2022 17:09

Both incidents were not worthy of exchange or refund.

I'm a considerate shopper and always aim to return within a week tops.

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EmeraldShamrock1 · 24/09/2022 17:11

the OP didn’t buy the cardigan though; it was a gift. The OP doesn’t necessarily know when the gift was bought.
That is why gift receipts exist.
Anyone can request one.
To give a gift without one is the givers fault.

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SydneyMamma · 24/09/2022 17:16

@HappyHappyHermitI thought most retailers state on their receipt if an exchange without receipt, so people can’t get a refund for an item they’ve exchanged without a receipt. If some shops don’t do this with their exchange codes on their receipts then they should.

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Goodoldvera · 24/09/2022 17:21

SydneyMamma · 24/09/2022 17:06

@Swampmonster1988 the OP didn’t buy the cardigan though; it was a gift. The OP doesn’t necessarily know when the gift was bought. She may have only been given the gift the day before.

Quite, the 'contract' is with the purchaser, they were the customer. Baby clothes often get regifted. The person who purchased the item should have passed the receipt or requested a gift receipt whilst checking the t&C's or the person who received the gift should either be grateful or pass the gift on or give to charity rather then argue with shop staff when they don't get there own way. It's entitled behaviour, however logical it may seem to them. They whine 'I only want' 'you can see' 'xyz does it' and my favourite are it's 'illegal' or 'disgusting' when it's neither

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mewkins · 24/09/2022 17:28

Goodoldvera · 24/09/2022 17:21

Quite, the 'contract' is with the purchaser, they were the customer. Baby clothes often get regifted. The person who purchased the item should have passed the receipt or requested a gift receipt whilst checking the t&C's or the person who received the gift should either be grateful or pass the gift on or give to charity rather then argue with shop staff when they don't get there own way. It's entitled behaviour, however logical it may seem to them. They whine 'I only want' 'you can see' 'xyz does it' and my favourite are it's 'illegal' or 'disgusting' when it's neither

She was merely trying to swap a gift 😂

I hate the odd way the word entitled is used to describe all sorts of stuff. The op wasn't trying to get one over on anyone. Jesus.

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Antarcticant · 24/09/2022 17:31

Sadly, too many people have taken advantage in the past, buying things to wear once and then return - so genuine buyers have to suffer. Another case of 'this is why we can't have nice things.'

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mewkins · 24/09/2022 17:42

Antarcticant · 24/09/2022 17:31

Sadly, too many people have taken advantage in the past, buying things to wear once and then return - so genuine buyers have to suffer. Another case of 'this is why we can't have nice things.'

Again, the 30 day limit on returns will do NOTHING to prevent this happening 😂

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Goodoldvera · 24/09/2022 17:44

mewkins · 24/09/2022 17:28

She was merely trying to swap a gift 😂

I hate the odd way the word entitled is used to describe all sorts of stuff. The op wasn't trying to get one over on anyone. Jesus.

I agree she probably wasn't, but you have to treat all customers equally unfortunately, the queue is listening if you say yes to one request, you have to afford the same to the next. There is always those who will say I did it the last time, when it was a one off. You can't win

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mountainsunsets · 24/09/2022 17:48

mewkins · 24/09/2022 17:42

Again, the 30 day limit on returns will do NOTHING to prevent this happening 😂

No, but it's still much easier to have a black and white policy to adhere to.

"You have 30 days from the date of purchase to return items for an exchange or refund. Items must be unworn with the original tags in place." is a simple, clear policy that can't be argued with. Of course it won't prevent people from taking the piss but does make things a lot easier for staff.

I used to work for a clothing company that basically let you return things after several years of wear and you could get a refund or exchange - customers royally took the piss, and as a sales assistant, you were often pushed into doing ridiculous refunds as there was no policy in place to back you up if you said "no".

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Goodoldvera · 24/09/2022 18:01

mewkins · 24/09/2022 17:42

Again, the 30 day limit on returns will do NOTHING to prevent this happening 😂

If the tags are on and there are no obvious stains...no. A lot of people when challenged say the tag fell off, or I have sensory issues so be the tag was scratchy, then you have to take a sniff test away from the till to judge if the item is in a resalable condition...people have an armoury of excuses believe me. If you worked where I do you would understand. The thing is it's actually simple to check and ask before purchasing. The receipt and company website states the policy, you take your business elsewhere if you don't agree or can't adhere to the policy...it's your perogative to choose where to shop (unless you receive a gift you don't appreciate) Same as the business setting their rules, it's their call too..they obviously consider the possibility of alienating certain customers..if they're transparent and they adhere to the law whilst being profitable they survive

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