Sad Face: LL Bean Just Tightened Its Super Generous Return Policy

Sad Face: LL Bean Just Tightened Its Super Generous Return Policy

Sad Face: LL Bean Just Tightened Its Super Generous Return Policy

L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem told the Boston Globe that "the amount of so-called "third quality" returns has more than doubled over the last five years, resulting in annual losses 'equal to the amount of revenue generated from Bean boot sales'".

L.L. Bean has announced it is changing its famous return policy.

Previously, customers could bring back items bought at L.L. Bean's stores and online any time they felt it didn't live up to their expectations. See what we meant by generous?

"Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent", he said.

"Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years", the company wrote in a Facebook post. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years - or even decades - after purchase, has always been a selling point for the company.

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"If it's been over a year and someone is able to provide a proof of purchase and if the product does not fall within one of our Special Conditions such as products damaged by misuse, abuse, pet damage, personal reasons unrelated to product performance or satisfaction and more, we would honor the return", L.L. Bean spokesperson Mac McKeever said in an email to Business Insider.

The lifetime return guarantee shrinks to one year (with a receipt). The company says if a product is defective, it will "work with our customers to reach a fair solution" even after a year. Well, the 106-year-old company is not messing around, and it's done with people returning things from a decade ago. Return away! But the proof of purchase is essential for the return.

L.L. Bean relayed the news to customers in the form of an emailed letter from Shawn O. Gorman, the company's executive chairman and great-grandson of founder L.L. Bean.

This American Life dug into L.L. Bean's legendary return policy - listen to it here.

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