/ Shopping

Are you won over by John Lewis’ never-ending refund?

John Lewis store

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…


I’m sorry – I don’t see the point of this conversation – John Lewis is an excellent company – both for excellent treatment of it’s workers and it’s customers. as well as a profitable company.

To be able to return an (unused?) item at any time in the future – is far far better that some on-line companies with a 30 day money back guarantee – or the one year return to base of others.

I’ve only had to return a couple of items in my life – One to Curry’s and one to Sainburys – Both refunded or replaced quickly without question.apart from the receipt

I buy from shops as a customer – so any improvements for the customer should be applauded not questioned.

Helen says:
3 April 2011

I believe that this comes down to the confidence that John Lewis has as a brand that its customers can rely on the quality of the goods they purchase. It’s the knowledge that what you are buying is trusted enough that the retailer is backing its guarantee to a lifetime. Basically, JL are saying we want you to shop with us and trust us to sell you a product that if you are not entirely happy with, can be returned at a time to suit you. It’s innovative in the way it is constantly striving to make sure that every John Lewis customer feels that it actually cares about them, rather than here’s a product, buy it from us and bye bye….. As mentioned above, it will be interesting to see how their competitors react to this latest offering.

Alan Farrell says:
5 May 2011

The returns policy is simply to fall into line with consumer rights .Its nothing new from John Lewis , they are simply trying to covedr themselves on consumer rights when buying goods

Policy is very useful for parents like myself who like to stock up on baby clothes and shoes when clearance is on. Chances are, with all the generous gifts and unpredictable growth of my child, some of the purchases may prove to be unsuitable or surplus. The policy allows me to buy with the confidence that I can take back in a years time if it happened my baby never got around to wearing all her JL purchased clothes. A great policy which may end up saving me money as I can now buy more when clearance is on!

Chris says:
19 May 2011

This seems strange to me they have been trying to fix my 7month old Panasonic for over a month, I have now purchased a new one, but JL are fighting giving me any sort of a refund.

I don’t like this policy because it means I might end up with a piece of clothing that has been sitting in someone’s wardrobe for months, perhaps years. Not everyone keeps their house clean as I do, I hat to think that I might end up wearing something that has been sitting among someone’s soiled things for so long.

I may just try to take them up on this never ending refund due to the absolutely terrible customer service I have just received from John Lewis customer service.
I purchased an expensive Lenovo Yoga 3 laptop Xmas 2013 and under John Lewis 2 year warranty have sent it back for repair due to problems with it over the last 6 months.
When I phoned to arrange collection I was told its 5 days till they collect then 28 days to get the laptop back which is the worst return of a repair to a laptop I have ever heard of so will never be purchasing ANY goods from them for the free 2 year warranty.
They gave us no indication (which is what I asked I asked in two emails and to complain about the length of time my work laptop will be away) of how to pack it but just as well I kept the original box as the driver only had a sticker for it no bag or box just a sticker to stick on the unprotected laptop.
We got nothing regards when we will get it back, we called J Lewis today and after getting passed around for 15 mins were told they did reply to our complaint email but told us it was sent to a name I’ve never heard of and the phone number she had for us was totally wrong even though they have our correct details, she rudely said well that’s what we have on our computer so it must be right..
We are still waiting as at 29 Oct 2015 on someone from J Lewis getting back to us regards our complaint/s.
The driver did give me a few tips though, he said try the J Lewis warehouse sale last Saturday of every month as the laptop will probably be there as he seemed to think we were after a refund which is not the case.. we want it back repaired…
Warning to all .. if our laptop is going on a pile for sale this Saturday (against our wishes) in Glasgow do they securely delete all my personal data files on it ???? Have you returned a laptop to them and got a refund ?? Who then has your data, pictures etc now ??
I know from years of experience of personally retrieving data from broken laptop hard drives that I’ve owned that it’s almost impossible to erase data from a hard drive that’s eeven very old or new without removing the hard drive and smashing it to many pieces…