L.L. Bean nixes legendary lifetime return policy

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, February 9, 2018
L.L. Bean nixes legendary lifetime return policy
David Novarro has more on the retailer's plan to nix their legendary return policy.

FREEPORT, Maine (WABC) -- L.L. Bean is putting its boot down.

For years, the outdoor retailer touted a lifetime return policy, accepting returns on items purchased years prior.

Now, as L.L. Bean announced Friday, the company will begin enforcing a one-year limit on most returns. Proof of purchase is also required.

This policy change comes after a "small but growing" number of customers abused this generous satisfaction guarantee, L.L.Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman said in a statement.

"Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years," the statement read. "Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales."

Over the past five years, the company has lost $250 million on returned items that are classified by the company as "destroy quality," L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem told the Associated Press.

The company is expecting backlash but promises to "continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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