L.L. Bean customers no longer get to return their Bean Boots whenever they want.
The Maine company announced Friday that it is dropping its lifetime return policy and is imposing a one-year limit on most returns.
L.L. Bean’s executive chairman, Shawn Gorman, said in a letter to customers that after a year if there’s a problem with a product, the outdoor retailer will “work with customers to reach a fair solution.”
“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent,” he wrote of the policy change. “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.”
As of Friday morning, it appeared the return policy listed on the company’s website had been updated to reflect the change:
If you are not 100% satisfied with one of our products, you may return it within one year of purchase for a refund. After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.
We require proof of purchase to honor a refund or exchange. If you provide us your information when you check out, we will typically have a record of your purchase. Otherwise, we require a physical receipt.
Please include your proof of purchase with the products you wish to return or exchange and bring it with you to any of our stores, or include it in your package of returned item(s). We will reimburse the original purchase price to either your original method of payment or as a merchandise credit.
To protect all our customers and make sure that we handle every return or exchange with reasonable fairness, we cannot accept a return or exchange (even within one year of purchase) in certain situations, including:
— Products damaged by misuse, abuse, improper care or negligence, or accidents (including pet damage)
— Products showing excessive wear and tear
— Products lost or damaged due to fire, flood, or natural disaster
— Products with a missing label or label that has been defaced
— Products returned for personal reasons unrelated to product performance or satisfaction
— Products that have been soiled or contaminated, until they have been properly cleaned
— Returns on ammunition, either in our stores or through the mail
— On rare occasions, past habitual abuse of our Returns Agreement
You can see more details on how to return or exchange L.L. Bean products on the company website.