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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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StickywithSuncream · 22/09/2022 18:26

I think M&S could have done an exchange without it being any skin off their nose, but their customer service has been going downhill for a while now. They're not bothered about keeping customers happy in the way they were.

Whistles, however, I can see their point of view.

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LovingTheseAutumnSnippets · 22/09/2022 18:28

If you’ve removed tags, a shop can’t really sell them again. The labels are out on higher up the supply chain. They don’t have them in the shops. Also, if they feel a bit worn, plus no tag, they’ll have to write them off.

Can’t believe some people think it’s ok to do that.

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BeaLola · 22/09/2022 18:31

A colleague was telling me just yesterday to make sure I took bc any exchanges /refunds back to M&S promptly (she knows I do a lot of online orders with them) as she took in a child's dress - unworn and with all tags etc on and receipt and was told she was too late for a refund or exchange as they were purchased more than 30 or 35 days ago - apologies can't recall whether she said 30 or 35

Her SIL had bought dress as a birthday gift for her child and so by the time she unwrapped gift the period had expired

Disclaimer: not saying this is the correct policy but it's what she was told - the Manager said the policy had cone in fairly recently (?)

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Meseekslookatme · 22/09/2022 18:35

At least it might prevent those skanky types that wear and return. Complete with fake tan and sweaty bits.

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mummyh2016 · 22/09/2022 18:36

I had this with M&S, DS was purchased a short dungaree outfit in a larger size, it would fit him in winter. I took it to store, they still sold it, selected it in a smaller size (which they had loads of) and noticed they didn't actually have the size I was returning. They wouldn't let me exchange, even though it was still on sale at full price. I was actually purchasing other items at the same time, I turned into a stubborn cow and left the items I was going to buy at the till. When I asked the reasoning for them not letting me exchange for a smaller size on Twitter I was just told it was 'policy' and couldn't actually explain why.

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HowzAboutIt · 22/09/2022 18:37

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

After an HOUR? It took you AN HOUR to realise you trousers are falling down? 🤔

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Blossomtoes · 22/09/2022 18:38

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?

Not just me then. I’m confused too.

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Stigsmother · 22/09/2022 18:44

And going to the other extreme.....I was in Curry's a couple of nights ago, ahead of me was a bloke with a Dyson that he wanted to return. Not only was it not packaged, it was full!
The assistant refused to accept it at first, but then relented and gave him a dustbin to empty it into.
BUT, he had a receipt and came out with a new vacuum.

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Northernsoullover · 22/09/2022 18:45

@Blossomtoes marks and sparks can tell when you purchased something and how much you paid for it. I was stressed over a lost receipt last year and ready to beg for an exchange when the lady at the till said don't worry I can tell from the tag.

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Blossomtoes · 22/09/2022 18:48

Northernsoullover · 22/09/2022 18:45

@Blossomtoes marks and sparks can tell when you purchased something and how much you paid for it. I was stressed over a lost receipt last year and ready to beg for an exchange when the lady at the till said don't worry I can tell from the tag.

I don’t understand how. I’m totally confused. Please can someone enlighten me beyond just saying they can - I want to know how that works!

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Funkyblues101 · 22/09/2022 18:49

The old EU rules were far stricter (against the consumer) than the UK rules. Weirdly, since leaving the EU we have now verged more towards their rules... But anyway, if you didn't take an item in for exchange before 30 days then more fool you, and as for pulling the labels off then expecting a refund... I have no words.

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roofingnovice · 22/09/2022 18:49

M&S have a new barcode system.
It has been around for over a year I think. There is some additional information on each individual tag that the till can read and see exactly where the item was bought, what date, time, store and till operator sold it.
Very clever bit of kit.
Refund period is 35 days. Has been for years, just now they have enforced it.
IMO 35 days is masses of time to refund/exchange. They lifted it during covid and lift it every run up to Christmas.

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Ohtsd · 22/09/2022 18:51

Blossomtoes · 22/09/2022 18:48

I don’t understand how. I’m totally confused. Please can someone enlighten me beyond just saying they can - I want to know how that works!

Next have been able to do similar for years, every item has a unique identity in the tag, its fairly new with M&S I think, in Next the tag tells them how you paid.

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Ohtsd · 22/09/2022 18:52

It sound like M&S and Next use a similar tag system.

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Blossomtoes · 22/09/2022 18:52

Thank you both. I love learning new things. It is, indeed, a very clever bit of kit.

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spongedog · 22/09/2022 18:55

Milkand2sugarsplease · 22/09/2022 17:12

We're having fun with Tommy Hilfiger atm.

Bought a top (which wasn't cheap) but the stitching was loose. Contacted TH who said to package it up and return it to them which we did.

Eventually, after ringing several times to see what was happening as Ahmed heard nothing, we received a voucher for the value. This would be fine as DH wants the same top just not with dodgy stitching, however TH have a rule that if you're using a voucher, the item you buy has to be more then the value of the voucher. DH is now in discussions about why a swap of an item that was faulty should require him to buy something else in order to use the exchange voucher.

I am about to have a similar fight with Hollister who are IMO fucking around with teenagers who cant fight back. With Hollister it's their enforced policy that if you (as the paying customer) choose to return goods not paying their over stated return fee, then they will deign at some point (unspecified) to collect the goods from the (SAME) returns warehouse. Then you are over the returns deadline and they issue a voucher, but also deduct costs. I am so spitting mad I cant speak to them at the moment.

But for OP - disappointing for the exchange, but the jeans - no you know the rule is always keep tags on.

The M&S returns policy change from 90 days to 35 days was several years ago.

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WaffleAndGelato · 22/09/2022 19:04

Yep, I remember in the early 2000s working at M&S and being astonished by the refund policy. One elderly lady brought back a dinner service she’d purchased years before. And someone else returned a calendar (no receipt) in November from the current year I.e. only 2 months left to run and not only were they refunded but the calendar turned out to be from Boots not even M&S. I was a student at the time and used the M&S refund policy as part of a presentation I had to do at an assessment centre for a graduate training scheme with a big global company. They wanted us to give a suggestion for an improvement we’d make if we were in charge at our current job so that was a no brainer, put a time limit on refund eligibility!

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BronwenFrideswide · 22/09/2022 19:04

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.

No she didn't have the receipt @mewkins - from OP's opening post:

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.

It's quite clear, how did you miss it?

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BeaLola · 22/09/2022 19:07

IMO 35 days is masses of time to refund/exchange.

I agree although gif my colleague I mentioned upthread she received the item as a gift & as she was unaware of the 35 day rule she didn't realise that the giver had bought it x number of days. Edits she received it leaning her with only a couple of days to qualify for the refund/exchange

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herecomesthsun · 22/09/2022 19:10

I ordered various things from M and S, including a pack of 2 bras. Only I bra arrived in the jiffy bag, without the hanger or tag. I took this back, within the 35 days, and the shop assistant was pretty shirty with me. I was surprised, as it was their error.

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mewkins · 22/09/2022 19:12

BronwenFrideswide · 22/09/2022 19:04

No she didn't have the receipt @mewkins - from OP's opening post:

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.

It's quite clear, how did you miss it?

Thought that meant she had the normal receipt. Otherwise how would the shop know it was more than 30 days since purchase. 🤔 since when did barcodes get assigned to every single item in a shop? This is a genuine question that I'm hoping someone in a shop can answer.

Sometimes I miss stuff and I'm ok with that.

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Blossomtoes · 22/09/2022 19:15

This is a genuine question that I'm hoping someone in a shop can answer.

Scroll up to Roofingnovice’s post.

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Goodoldvera · 22/09/2022 19:16

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.

The tags need to be in place for multiple reasons a) it makes return and reselling much easier b)it makes it less likely the item has been borrowed and worn for an interview, a shift in a casual job, a wedding or a funeral..etc. sniffing the garment to determine if it's in a resalable condition ie not second hand and making the judgement in front of the customer is not something you relish.
Put yourself in the position of the cashier/future customer who may also be autistic

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Dannexe · 22/09/2022 19:16

I think these examples are perfectly reasonable.

I was annoyed to discover dunelm have changed their return policy to 14 days. That’s quite short. I do fully appreciate that they’re not legally obliged to take things back or exchange unless they’re faulty though.

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Ohtsd · 22/09/2022 19:17
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