1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Brooks Brothers return policy change, September 2012

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MickCollins1916, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. MickCollins1916

    MickCollins1916 Senior member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Returns-and-Exchanges/returns-and-exchanges,default,pg.html

    I just recently noticed that Brooks Brothers recently (as in, during fall 2012) changed their return/exchange policy in what I consider to be a negative way. I'm kind of disappointed and irritated about this, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Just wanted to mention it and see how folks feel about it, and bring it to peeps' attention if they've not noticed it.

    Basically, Brooks Brothers has always unconditionally guaranteed their merchandise. In other words, no time limit on returns, and you could basically return stuff at any time and for any reason. That is no more. I linked to the new policy above, and it seems they will definitely take returns on saleable merchandise within 90 days, along with items that have "legitimate manufacturer's defects", with no definition of what that means.

    I worked for Brooks for nearly a decade, so I am really familiar with the company, merchandise, policies, etc. I found it to be a bit ungentlemanly when dudes would take advantage of the generous return policy that existed, and roll into the store, peel off the hole-ridden socks they were wearing (yes, this happened), claim they "weren't wearing well" and ask for new ones.

    Still, the old return policy did more good than harm, in my view, and made people like me loyal to the company, long after I left. I don't return much or anything, but all things equal between two companies' merchandise, I could justify the higher price point on the Brooks stuff, since it was guaranteed. Just peace of mind and all.

    Anyone else annoyed by this?:censored:
     
  2. Grenadier

    Grenadier Senior member

    Messages:
    693
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I'm not concerned because I do not think that it is ever acceptable to return something that is not defective or an unwanted gift. And there is no reason to wait over three months to return an unwanted gift.
     
  3. MickCollins1916

    MickCollins1916 Senior member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    That's a great point about gifts. I hadn't thought about it, but def reasonable for those purposes.

    I guess I was thinking more about the overall change in attitude - we were always told "make the customer happy, period - if he says it isn't wearing well, then it isn't." I just can't imagine ever hearing the word "no" at Brooks Brothers. Seems foreign to me, that's all.
     
  4. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    Why isn't it acceptable? I have bought ties before that I thought might look good. When I got home and tried to figure out how to wear the tie, I couldn't come up with anything good, so I returned it.

    If I could not do this, I would stop shopping at that store, period. I am sure I'm not alone here.
     
  5. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

    Messages:
    2,441
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    In some dude's court
    Yes but did you wait 3 years to return it?. Yes when i worked there i had returns from well over 3 years all the time. I even had a lady return about 4000 worth of stuff that was 10 years old.
     
  6. js4design

    js4design Senior member

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tidewater, VA
    Unfortunately that is the trend pretty much everywhere. At 90 days their return policy is still better than most. And I believe if something is genuinely defective and not just "not wearing well" they will return it after 90 days has passed.
     
  7. MickCollins1916

    MickCollins1916 Senior member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    

    Yea, we had the same thing happen when I worked there. It's part of why I have been so loyal to the company over the years. I feel like the new policy is focused on short term profits, and not long term customer loyalty. It doesn't seem very "Brooks" to me. Definitely not impressed with the change.
     
  8. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I waited maybe 2 months. 3 years is a long time, but I was responding more to the statement that only defective merchandise should be returned.
     
  9. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    I find their new polices quite acceptable and will have no problem purchasing from BB in the future.
     
  10. viator

    viator Senior member

    Messages:
    708
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    

    The thing is, a loyal customer does not bring years-old merchandise to the store expecting a refund. A liberal return policy on merchandise that "just isn't wearing well" only works if customers respect the intent behind the policy - to do right by the customer where the merchandise is truly faulty - and do not try to take advantage of the store. If you have people coming in who just bring in worn out socks for replacement, then you know your policy isn't working.
     
  11. MickCollins1916

    MickCollins1916 Senior member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I

    I don't know that I agree. Like I said above, there were people who took advantage of the old policy, granted. But I had a customer who came in after her father died in 2004 or so, and brought in a TON of stuff with tags on it dating as far back as the late 70s. All new old stock, but we gave her what we could for it. The guy was a shopaholic, since it totaled like $4k in credit. She was extremely thankful, and probably spent $10k with me that year. I guess those issues would be few and far between, but I am looking for what would separate BB from any other retailer these days. Let's just talk non-iron shirts, since those are common nowadays. If I can buy 3 from Brooks for $219, vs Retailer X who sells them 3 for $199 or something, and the return policies are equal, why wouldn't I save $20 and go with Retailer X? BB's motto used to be "legendary customer service." Doesn't seem too legendary now, it seems common. I guess I am looking for what would make BB stand out these days and can't find much.
     
  12. AlSailor

    AlSailor Senior member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    I agree that this is a significant change in a negative way.
     
  13. viator

    viator Senior member

    Messages:
    708
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    

    I'm not sure I understand your point here - you agree that returning $4k in NOS stuff from the 1970s is abusing the policy, but you think they shouldn't do anything about it because of their customer service commitment. I think the modified policy is appropriate given the price point they compete at - BB is competing with Tyrwhitt and the other Retailer Xs. If they were charging Charvet prices, I would expect more of a commitment to the garment for its normal life span.

    In my mind, there is a period of time after I buy something where, if a problem pops up, I would think that a given seller should make it right. If I buy a sweater at BB and it pills after a month, then I would be comfortable taking it back. After a year? Then I just have to decide whether I am comfortable with the level of quality I got for my money when deciding whether to shop there again. (Sort of analogous to dining out: you wouldn't send your meal back or complain to the staff if the food was a little disappointing, you just might not return. But if you get a cockroach in your food, you would obviously expect the staff to make things right for you.) On the other hand, if I paid $$$ for a bespoke suit and the sleeve fell off after a year, I would feel the tailor should make it right. I guess in my mind it comes down to whether you paid a luxury premium that would lead you to expect "legendary customer service." At BB I don't think you do.
     
  14. Grenadier

    Grenadier Senior member

    Messages:
    693
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    

    It is unacceptable because, at least with most stores, people have every opportunity in the store to try on clothing and to decide if they like it. The fact that people have buyer's remorse or decide they do not like the product in no way suggests a failure of the store to deliver the promised quality of merchandise. In other words, buyer's remorse shouldn't result in a store losing a sale.
     
  15. rikod

    rikod Senior member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    

    I agree, 90 days is more than enough
     
  16. viator

    viator Senior member

    Messages:
    708
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    

    I think if the tags are on and it is in resalable condition, there's no harm in returning something just because when you got home and had more time to try the item on, you decided it didn't work for you after all. Stores want you to do this, because in the end knowing you can return something leads to more sales.
     
  17. MickCollins1916

    MickCollins1916 Senior member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    

    No, I don't think the customer who returned all the stuff her old man was squirreling away abused the policy. I think the guys peeling off their old socks at the register arguably were. Regardless, you're sort of making my point here, though I do like your meal analogy. I wouldn't have any problem with Brooks dropping their old policy, given the new one is similar to other Retailer X's. It is, when compared with them, reasonable and totally on par. It's not awful, or draconian by any means. I have a problem with the company suggesting that it is anything other than common these days, and continuing to tout it's 194 years of tradition providing legendary customer service, bla bla bla, while employing the new policy. If the story is that it's lowering itself to compete with Tyrwhit or Joseph Banks, or whatever, then that's fine. There is clearly a market for that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  18. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm not even sure why we are arguing this, as Brooks Brothers still allows returns after 90 days, but I'll bite. Trying something on in a store is not the same as trying it out at home with the rest of your wardrobe around. I never said that buyer's remorse was the store's failure to provide promised quality of merchandise. It is, however, a feature of the store that they are willing to take things back for the buyer's remorse reason. The simple reason is, they can still make more money, at least from me. If I know I can take something back, I am much more likely to take a chance and buy it. If I can't take it back, not so much. 7 out of 10 times, I will keep the items. The 2 out of the other 3, I will simply exchange the one item for another, still providing the store with a sale. Without a return policy like this, I would likely only buy half to three-quarters the number of items, or just shop at a store that provides such a policy.
     
  19. katch

    katch Senior member

    Messages:
    855
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Location:
    NY, NY
    I was lucky enough to have a store associate give me 30% off cordovan tassel loafers during their corporate sale. I had an issue with the right shoe where the seem on the heel rubbed and gave me a nasty blister. They took them back and gave me a new pair which is normally against any shoe store policy. I had an email from alden that BB should send them back to the factory. I hope the shoes can be salvaged.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by