L.L. Bean has long been known for having one of the laxest return policies, but all of that is about to change. The brand penned a letter on Friday announcing a major update to its policy, and no longer will you be able to trade in a 20-year-old Bean Boots for a pair of brand-new shoes.
“Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors. Our commitment to customer service has earned us your trust and respect, as has our guarantee, which ensures that we stand behind everything we sell,” the letter began.
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“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.”
“Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way,” L.L. Bean adds. So yeah, returning that sleeping bag you’ve used for the past decade is no longer going to fly.
The brand stresses that the change will only affect a small percentage of returns, and they’re still standing by the quality of everything that they sell. So if your so-called waterproof jacket gets ruined in a downpour and you managed to lose your receipt, they’ll likely work with you on trying to find a solution that doesn’t result in you having to buy a whole new coat.
The change is really only going to affect customers that tried (and previously succeeded) to cheat the system. L.L. Bean is cracking down—and rightly so.