Shady move by LL Bean (and how I fixed it)

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Jul 13, 2016
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#1
I ran across an interesting situation last night with LL Bean. I bought some shirts from them, and I used Paypal since I don't shop with them much and did not want to create an account. I tried on and returned 3 tank tops well within the new one year return policy. Imagine my surprise when I received a merchandise credit in the form of a LL Bean gift card instead of a credit back to Paypal.

I called right away, and I was told the reason they issued the merchandise credit was that it was a gift--I told them I purchased the items myself. They said because the purchaser (my husband is named PP holder) and the receiver (me) were not the same person, that LL Bean cannot issue a refund. We live at the same address, and use the same bank account. I don't even think you can have two Paypal accounts at the same address and with the same bank account!

The rep, Will, agreed to issue the refund when I pointed out the absurdity of his statement. The he says he cannot refund to Paypal at all! I asked to escalate to his supervisor and he quickly agreed to refund to my credit card on file with Paypal.

I suspect LL Bean engineers situations like this, hoping consumers will either not go to the trouble to dispute it, or just decide it is easier to use the merchandise credit. Their terms and conditions state purshasers will receive a refund or a merchandise credit but I could not find anywhere what triggers a merchandise credit other than the post one year from purchase scenario. Also, nowhere does it state that if a consumer uses the Paypal option, you will not be able to be refunded back to Paypal.

Now I am waiting to see if the credit posts to my credit card as promised. Fingers crossed.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
Their policy is here: www.llbean.com/llb/shop/510624?page=returns-and-exchanges

wherein it states (for shipped returns):

Take your package to a UPS drop box, store or driver. Allow up to two weeks to receive your refund from the time we receive your package. In most cases, we will refund the original payment method. Gift recipients will receive a merchandise credit.​

and for store returns:

Please bring your receipts along with your items so we can refund your original method of payment, provide a merchandise credit or exchange your products.​
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
Their policy is here: www.llbean.com/llb/shop/510624?page=returns-and-exchanges

wherein it states (for shipped returns):

Take your package to a UPS drop box, store or driver. Allow up to two weeks to receive your refund from the time we receive your package. In most cases, we will refund the original payment method. Gift recipients will receive a merchandise credit.​

and for store returns:

Please bring your receipts along with your items so we can refund your original method of payment, provide a merchandise credit or exchange your products.​
Well it was certainly a leap for them to "assume" this was a gift - and I'm glad Globetrottinggal challenged them.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
I can see why they "assumed" a gift, but when she pointed out that it was not, they should have refunded her PayPal account immediately. Their response to HER is what is is troubling (for me) . . .
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
I'm with you in principal, Neil, but in actual practice I am rarely successful with requests for process change.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#8
Which is why I would be asking the Executives at LL Bean to retrain their employees.
That is exactly what I said to the rep. That if LL Bean wants to offer PP as an option, they should clearly state returns will be in the form of a merchandise credit.

Honestly, I don't know if the rep was clueless or duplicitous when he said they couldn't refund to PP.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 6, 2015
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#9
But, Globetrottingal, they say "merchandise credit" only if it's a gift (see post #8 above). Once you explained it was not, then the "method of payment" policy applies.

I'm thinking this is typical of the many sites who "try" to offer a credit instead of a refund. Happens quite frequently these days with rebates. Used to be a generic debit card, but now some are rebating with a store card.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#10
But, Globetrottingal, they say "merchandise credit" only if it's a gift (see post #8 above). Once you explained it was not, then the "method of payment" policy applies.

I'm thinking this is typical of the many sites who "try" to offer a credit instead of a refund. Happens quite frequently these days with rebates. Used to be a generic debit card, but now some are rebating with a store card.
It is troubling that they unilaterally decided it was a gift and sent the merchandise credit. If I wasn't a pushy broad, I'd meekly take the credit and use it later. I'm not saying I won't buy from LL Bean ever again, just wanting people to be aware of their policies and possible tricks.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#11
Almost every time lately when I've made a purchase online using PayPal instead of a credit card, Target, TJMaxx, Soma, Chicos, I've had issues returning items when it came to the refund. Either I couldn't return items to the store, unless I accepted an in store merchandise credit, or I couldn't return it in store at all, or some other inconvenience. Merchants and PayPal just aren't a good mix! I've given up using PayPal for anything except eBay and sending money to family and friends!