John Lewis has extended its returns policy to infinity, so now you’re entitled to a never-ending refund. This is all good news, but is it something many of us will rush to take advantage of?
Good news for impulse buyers – John Lewis has overhauled its refund policy to offer no time limit on its returns.
That’s right, none. So that dress/shirt you bought six months ago but have never worn? Instead of it festering in the wardrobe, you have the option to simply take it back… whenever you want.
How useful is the never-ending policy?
There’s nothing to criticise here from the shoppers’ point of view, unlike the recent changes to its price guarantee. Regardless, a great returns policy is, for me, a ‘nice to have’ rather than a deal breaker on whether I buy something or not.
Plus, long refund policies are not unique – Lakeland also has a limitless refund policy (and has done for quite some time), while others offer refund policies lasting up to a year.
And people don’t generally buy things with the intention of taking it back, unless they’re trying to pull a fast one by using it before returning – which the policy doesn’t allow (which, incidentally, is fair enough).
So the majority of customers may not even need to take up John Lewis’s generosity.
Buy it now – don’t regret it later
Still, there are obvious benefits – John Lewis is offering more flexibility than before (although the previous policy gave you 28 days, which isn’t bad), and it means that you can claw back some cash from those ‘buy it now, regret it later’ purchases. Although I wouldn’t advise buying a raft of stuff from John Lewis as assurance that you can get hold of emergency funds later on.
And it does offer you more convenience if you find yourself in the position of wanting a refund. No more forgetting to take something back and missing out on your money because you’ve left it too late.
No trekking back to John Lewis especially to return something – you can do so when you next happen to be wandering past – even if you only go once in a blue moon. So while I’m not exactly doing cartwheels on the high street over this news, I do recognise the advantages.
What will other shops do?
It’ll be interesting to see how this goes – and if other shops follow. Marks & Spencer actually dropped its refund time down from three months to 28 days a couple of years ago – amid uproar among its customers.
So will John Lewis’s announcement cause a u-turn? Watch this space…