Store Refunds

Inside the Law: Changing a Refund Policy

June 14, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- How can a refund policy that says no end date end? 

LL Bean has always had a legendary refund policy: 100% satisfaction guaranteed, no conditions, no end date. And people took that seriously, returning clothes decades after they were purchased when they cleaned out their parents' basements; clothes they bought at a yard sale; and even worn sheets when they bought a different sized mattress. So, in February, the company announced a change to a one-year return policy with proof of purchase. Which led to a lawsuit for breach of contract. 

Can a company legally change a policy after someone has bought the item? 

A company must abide by the policy at the time the purchase was made, but what the lawsuit fails to mention is that LL Bean's new policy applies to items purchased after February of 2018. Items purchased before that can still be returned, even if made more than a year earlier provided there's a proof of purchase. 

Whether people will now argue that they threw out the receipt because they knew they wouldn't need it remains to be seen, but since the policy doesn't apply retroactively, the lawsuit will likely prospectively get tossed.