L.L. Bean is renowned for its famed lifetime return policy, a policy that always seemed just a little too good to be true. For 106 years, the brand has accepted returns, no questions asked — even if the boots in question are 60 years old, even if the receipt has been lost amid piles of paperwork for decades.
Of course, because people are the worst, now the policy is over forever. L.L. Bean had no official way to prove that customers were purchasing $6 boots at a yard sale and trying to exchange them for full-price boots in-store, even if they heavily suspected fraud.
Executive chairman Shawn O. Gorman took to Facebook on Friday to address a change in policy.
“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent,” he explained. “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.”
The company has lost over $250 million due to returns that weren’t sellable, CNBC reported.
Thanks to customers forever being the worst, the company will now only have a one-year return policy — and requires proof of purchase.
While the change in policy is disappointing, there hasn’t been too much blow-back over the decision. Honestly, people understand.
The time to return your lightly-worn (not 70-year-old, frayed, and mud-soaked JAN) Bean boots is now.