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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:

Am I being unreasonable?

1190 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
JudgeRindersMinder · 22/09/2022 17:44

ancientgran · 22/09/2022 17:40

I paid £65 for a pair of ankle boots in M&S yesterday and they wanted 20p for a bag. I said no thanks and just carried them out.

Congratulations. Charging for plastic bags has been a thing for several years now.

CornyAsACornyThing · 22/09/2022 17:44

I had an M&S item (school uniform) that I wanted to exchange outside of the 30 day period and was told the same, the till says no. I asked nicely to speak to a manager, who was brought, and asked her nicely (that I understood it was outside of their policy) and she agreed to exchange it - only a manager could override the till saying no. So... may be worth you trying that? I did have receipt though but they didn't use it.

RedWingBoots · 22/09/2022 17:45

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams · 22/09/2022 17:39

Surely if M&S can scan the tag and can see when it was bought, they'd know it had been bought, and not shoplifted?

I think the baby clothes one is a bit of a shame, because somebody (obviously less superstitious than me, I never buy until the baby has arrived!) could have bought it well before the baby was born so the mum wouldn't actually have it within the 30 days.

Lots of shops have tight refund policies for clothes which means you have to be careful when buying baby clothes for others.

I tend to buy things for babies when they are arouhnd 6 months, and try to buy something that can be easily layered up.

buttons123456 · 22/09/2022 17:45

People steal then return .. fact !

You have to have proof of purchase

If it's over 30 days then most stock would have gone so they can't re sell

Pretty simple really !

ancientgran · 22/09/2022 17:46

Pixiedust1234 · 22/09/2022 17:41

But thats the law. Nothing to do with the shop.

It isn't the law. The law is they have to charge for a plastic bag or a bag with handles Nothing to stop them having paper bags like they used to.

Somethingneedstochange · 22/09/2022 17:47

If they're unworn and keep the tags for them to put on they will. My daughter has autism and would often remove the tag's before trying on.

ancientgran · 22/09/2022 17:48

JudgeRindersMinder · 22/09/2022 17:44

Congratulations. Charging for plastic bags has been a thing for several years now.

People don't know the law do they. This is from the govt website

From 21 May 2021 you must charge a minimum of 10 pence a bag (including VAT) for single-use carrier bags that are all of the following:
unused - it’s new and has not already been used for sold goods to be taken away or delivered
plastic and 70 microns thick or less
it has handles, an opening and is not sealed

M&S used to have paper bags, they used to have bags without handles. They used the law as a money saving scheme and people like you believe you have to pay for the bags. You don't they could offer the service to customers that they did in the past.

WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 22/09/2022 17:50

Not my experience. I never have any problem. Maybe they just don't like you @Chumbibi

#joking 😬

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 22/09/2022 17:51

Without the receipt how did M&S know when it was bought?

By scanning the barcode. OP was too late returning it and too many people have taken advantage of M&S over the years.

HereIComeAgain · 22/09/2022 17:53

DanielRicciardosSmile · 22/09/2022 15:52

Without the receipt how did M&S know when it was bought? The tags are surely the same on all identical items?

M&S have a system now where each item is assigned to the order. I did a return and they got all the details up just by scanning what looked like a standard bar code.

HereIComeAgain · 22/09/2022 17:56

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.

People don't steal clothes to keep, necessarily. They will walk in the shop, pick up an item, head to customer services with it and say they need to return it but have lost the receipt. Then they get a returns note/giftcard they can spend on anything legitimately, so the alarms don't go off when they leave the store.

ILoveAllRainbowsx · 22/09/2022 17:56

This reply has been deleted

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

daisychain01 · 22/09/2022 17:59

Retail is having a bad enough time without you expecting them to bend the clearly stated terms and conditions just to please you.

MatildaTheCat · 22/09/2022 18:01

I recently had the same issue in M&S. Bought some gym kit, it didn’t fit and I forgot about it and also lost the receipt. Took it back in the hope that they’d be helpful. They initially said no, it’s too late (and yes, they can scan the item and see it was purchased on x date so no shoplifting issues).

They still have the same items for sale in store and online so I held my nerve and wondered if it might be possible to make an exception and let me exchange the items. Eventually this was allowed. The floor manager does have discretionary powers. I was very conscious of using white middle class privilege though and felt quite uncomfortable.

Mogginsthemog · 22/09/2022 18:06

M and S are getting more awkward.

IME they will swap things without receipt if they can see from the barcode that it's come from a different part of the UK. I tend to take things back quite quickly, so Haven't encountered the 30 day rule yet.

Mogginsthemog · 22/09/2022 18:08

But yes I've had them threaten to stop allowing the return without receipt.

mountainsunsets · 22/09/2022 18:08

Neither shop has done anything wrong.

FlissyPaps · 22/09/2022 18:09

This is not aimed at you personally OP but the thread in general. Customers are just so entitled these days. They do not bother to read terms and conditions, don’t read up on the policies or information on receipts. Just expect businesses to let anything slide.

If people haven’t worked in retail they really have no idea about how rife shoplifting is. Hundreds of customers per week try and return stolen goods without a receipt or tag in exchange for refunds.

People don’t understand how retail till and cash systems work so you can’t magically get a cash refund if you previously purchased an item with card or have a gift receipt. You can’t exchange if you’ve took the tags off. You need a tag in order to scan the SKU code in order for the item to be back on the audits and in stock.

Im glad I no longer work in retail because dealing with the entitled general public is so exhausting.

namechange30455 · 22/09/2022 18:13

mewkins · 22/09/2022 17:17

Again, she HAD the receipt. It doesn't take a huge amount of common sense on the part of the sales assistant to see that this was a legitimate exchange which would make no difference whatsoever to the shop's profits.

OP literally says she DIDN'T have the receipt.

Sproglette · 22/09/2022 18:20

@Chumbibi I had the exact same problem in m and s. Go back, find a manager. I did, spoke to them, they can over-ride it. I did a straight swap for the next size up. I was very calm and said it is over there, I just want to swap. The manager did it for me whereas the usual cashier refused and had not even told me that a manager had the authority to do this.

YippieKayakOtherBuckets · 22/09/2022 18:20

M&S gave me a full refund yesterday on a top that had shrunk badly after one wash, no quibble. I was impressed.

Fuckitydoodah · 22/09/2022 18:22

I kind of get your disappointment with the cardigan, but when it comes to the jeans yabu. I wouldn't expect a store to take back an item I'd taken the tags off of. Especially if I'd actually worn them. I'd chalk that up to bad luck and try and sell them on vinted or give to a friend.


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mogsrus · 22/09/2022 18:23

Had stuff brought back looking for a refund, still in original bag unopened, with receipt,scan item till did not recognise item , oh wait a moment sorry to inform you but our policy is 30 days to return this is TWO YEARS old. she went absolutely nuts

Ohtsd · 22/09/2022 18:24

In the 1970s M&S took back anything.

They certainly did, sometimes after a couple of years, I can remember taking some shopping mistakes back that I had had ages. Then they changed it to about 3 months and there was a furore, then another furore when it went to 35 days.

Viviennemary · 22/09/2022 18:24

I think 30 days is quite a reasonable length of time to allow for exchanges. And no exchange is usually given if all tags are removed.

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