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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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glamourousindierockandroll · 22/09/2022 16:16

I do think shops have had to tighten up. When I used to work at Woolworths, we would give and exchange or gift vouchers without a reciept if it was in the original packaging. Trouble was that many of the toys etc. were pretty widely available elsewhere, so I'm sure some people took full advantage.

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PissedOffNeighbour22 · 22/09/2022 16:18

I sent my DP to do the same with a cardigan but at Next. Didn't expect they'd say yes but not only did they swap it, they issued a gift receipt with it so we could swap it for something else later if we fancied.

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hamsterchump · 22/09/2022 16:23

IsAinmDummm · 22/09/2022 15:52

Why are M&S being dicks?? Anyone could easily walk into a shop pick up size 0-3 months cardi, walk up to customer service & say "I got this as a present but it's too small, I've no receipt but tags are still on, please swap for bigger size"
Not saying in the slightest that OP did this, but just without a receipt anyone could.....

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.

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hamsterchump · 22/09/2022 16:26

MargaretThursday · 22/09/2022 15:59

I'm told what shoplifters try is. Steal one item. Take it back to the shop and say it was a gift, and can they exchange it for the next size up. The store then gives a receipt. Then they take it back and ask for a refund.
That's why shops are reluctant to do anything without a receipt.

So they could give a different kind of receipt or stamp or write on the receipt "exchanged already" or just not give a receipt as no money has changed hands, it's basically a straight swap.

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iekanda · 22/09/2022 16:29

As usual, most law abiding people are paying for the dishonest behaviour of others. Shops have been victims of dishonest people, now shops are a bloody pain for honest people. Zara is hideously difficult to return online stuff to, if you order as a guest. I ended up charity shopping an item that was too small because they make the returns process so difficult. Last time I ever shop there.

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Idontevenknow · 22/09/2022 16:33

M&S - Yanbu
Whistles- yabu

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mondaytosunday · 22/09/2022 16:34

I don't think either of those cases is unreasonable on the part of the shop. Some shops will use their discretion (like the childrens cardigan).
But please remember the staff you are speaking to generally have NO power whatsoever. They have to stick to the company rules.

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Arenanewbie · 22/09/2022 16:35

It’s annoying but I wouldn’t blame customer service in both cases. The first one they said that it’s more then 30 days so I would blame your relative who wasn’t thoughtful. It’s poor form not to check size and not to put gift receipt for kids clothes. The second case goes under “live and learn” in my experience, most of us have this sooner or later. Hope the jeans were not very expensive.

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10HailMarys · 22/09/2022 16:38

I don't really think either retailer did anything wrong. You'd taken the tags off the jeans without trying them on and the cardigan was bought more than 30 days ago.

If you ordered a cardigan from ASOS you wouldn't be able to return or exchange it after more than a month so I don't see why you'd expect M&S to let you exchange it either.

For years M&S had an extremely generous returns policy that was way more accommodating than the legal requirement, and I suspect it had got to a point where it was affecting their profit margins. It's perfectly reasonable of them to change it.

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Bellaphant · 22/09/2022 16:39

Had a similar experience in Primark recently: picked up a packet of boys' socks, didn't realise til I got them home that they were all there. Took them back, with receipts, just wanted to swap for an actual pack and it was so much hassle! It wouldn't have been worth the petrol to rob two unmatched socks???

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Noviembre · 22/09/2022 16:44

Customer service doesn't mean giving entitled idiots everything they want. You ripped off labels, you waited over 30 days. The rules are clear and don't bend for you.

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mewkins · 22/09/2022 16:46

IsAinmDummm · 22/09/2022 15:52

Why are M&S being dicks?? Anyone could easily walk into a shop pick up size 0-3 months cardi, walk up to customer service & say "I got this as a present but it's too small, I've no receipt but tags are still on, please swap for bigger size"
Not saying in the slightest that OP did this, but just without a receipt anyone could.....

But why would someone do that?!? If you were going to shoplift you would take the right size. And if you shoplifted the wrong size you would just go back in and shoplift another one 😄

M and S is being ridiculous. It makes not a bit of difference to them if you have one size or another. They are being difficult and the sales assistant is clearly not gifted in the logic department.

I agree with you OP. When I worked as a sales assistant years ago, the customer came first and you were trained to help as much as you could in order to keep tired custom. You were allowed to make discretionary changes to the returns policy especially if eg. You could see that someone clearly wasn't trying it on and had just been delayed in returning an item as they were, say, giving birth.

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Ginger1982 · 22/09/2022 16:49

M&S count have been a bit more understanding I suppose, but I'd say it's on the person who bought the gift either too early or you for not taking it back sooner.

Whistles I can completely understand. Surprised you can't.

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Pixiedust1234 · 22/09/2022 16:49

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.

There's no need for a shoplifter to get the right size as they are after the money and not the item. It gives an air of plausibility to exchange for a different size first then go on another day to return. Most shops were being nice and understanding regarding the wrong size as it can happen to all of us but then they twigged what the thieves were doing. So we all suffer.

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TheOrigRights · 22/09/2022 16:50

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

I exchanged a bra at John Lewis today. I swapped it for a cheaper one, and a Birthday card and the remainder was returned to the gift card that was originally used to make the purchase.
30 days is up this w/e.

I do think shops are no longer waving the 30 day or tags rule as they sometimes would, but that was just them being generous rather than them having poor customer service.

Surprisingly Curry's have been very good with exchanges.

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mewkins · 22/09/2022 16:54

Pixiedust1234 · 22/09/2022 16:49

There's no need for a shoplifter to get the right size as they are after the money and not the item. It gives an air of plausibility to exchange for a different size first then go on another day to return. Most shops were being nice and understanding regarding the wrong size as it can happen to all of us but then they twigged what the thieves were doing. So we all suffer.

But the OP already had a receipt? So in no way was it shoplifted.

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Wheresmymoneytree · 22/09/2022 16:56

You tried to return a worn product with no tags? Why should the business lose money for your fuck up? Who takes tags off before trying clothes on?

and with m&s how long would you think is reasonable? They won’t be able to sell it if it’s no longer stocked, shall they take returns after 2 months? 6 months? A year?

To a business that can’t resell these items they produce as much of a loss as shoplifting!

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ZenNudist · 22/09/2022 16:58

M&S really annoyed me recently. I bought school uniform in their promotion period just as school holidays began. Then had to exchange because DS new school gave confusing directions on their website (colours given were charcoal and black. I bought charcoal but everyone wears black so I wanted to swap). They said no I was pretty stunned that they deliberately encouraged the sale of clothes which were obviously going to miss the 30 day period for return. They were still selling uniform in early September so no reason to refuse to exchange. I keep finding reasons to give up on them but then I persist out of habit.

I was about to put in an order for new winter work clothes for myself but have held off because of lack of customer service over school uniform issues.

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TheDogAndTrumpet · 22/09/2022 16:59

I've not had a problem yet tbh. I've returned a few things recently and it's gone fine. But, that was all done online; the order and the return.

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Aubriella · 22/09/2022 16:59

Arenanewbie · 22/09/2022 16:35

It’s annoying but I wouldn’t blame customer service in both cases. The first one they said that it’s more then 30 days so I would blame your relative who wasn’t thoughtful. It’s poor form not to check size and not to put gift receipt for kids clothes. The second case goes under “live and learn” in my experience, most of us have this sooner or later. Hope the jeans were not very expensive.

Blame the relative? What for?!

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Alwayswonderedwhy · 22/09/2022 17:00

This isn't a recent thing. I worked in retail 30 years ago and it was the norm.
M&S could've exchanged as a goodwill gesture but what did you expect to happen with the jeans? You should try on before removing labels.

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Harridan1981 · 22/09/2022 17:01

The jeans were worn, why would they take them back?!

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towelhammer · 22/09/2022 17:01

Yes but then the second item is brought back for a refund woth receipt! It's a common scam now.

I worked in a high street shop nearly 20 yrs ago that would have receipts for exchanges that prevented returning for cash

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Neverendingdust · 22/09/2022 17:06

Refund or exchange ONLY with valid proof of purchase within X days is usually on all receipts? It’s fairly standard practice. Too many scammers about nowadays. No receipt no return. Same with tags still attached.

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Aubriella · 22/09/2022 17:07

Ripped the tags off and threw them on and then realised after an hour they were falling down.

Who do you think wants to pay full price for these jeans now, OP?

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