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FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 10:52 am 
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http://www.wmur.com/article/ll-bean-dro ... y/16808857

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:19 am 
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I received this email this morning.

A message from Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman.
L.L. Bean

A Letter to Our Customers

Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors. Our commitment to customer service has earned us your trust and respect, as has our guarantee, which ensures that we stand behind everything we sell.

Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. 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.

Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way.

This update adds clarity to our policy and will only affect a small percentage of returns. It will also ensure we can continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail, with no impact for the vast majority of our customers. To learn more, please view our full return policy at llbean.com.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago - and that will never change. Thank you for being a loyal customer and we look forward to continuing to inspire and enable you to Be an Outsider.

Sincerely,


Shawn O. Gorman
Executive Chairman

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:22 am 
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Well.....let’s be frank here. I’ve loved Beans return policy in the past, and I’m guessing the guys and ladies on FFIM aren’t abusing it......but if you’ve ever stood in that return line and seen the ridiculous things being returned you’d wonder, as I have, how in the world it took this long to change the policy.

It’s nt LL Bean that’s at fault here......it’s the ###holes that have abused the policy that have precipitated this change.i stand firmly in Beans corner on this one.

Dave M

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:35 am 
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Dave M wrote:
Well.....let’s be frank here. I’ve loved Beans return policy in the past, and I’m guessing the guys and ladies on FFIM aren’t abusing it......but if you’ve ever stood in that return line and seen the ridiculous things being returned you’d wonder, as I have, how in the world it took this long to change the policy.

It’s nt LL Bean that’s at fault here......it’s the ###holes that have abused the policy that have precipitated this change.i stand firmly in Beans corner on this one.

Dave M


Okay- so who was trying to return their old tippet? :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:45 am 
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Hunter wrote:
Dave M wrote:
Well.....let’s be frank here. I’ve loved Beans return policy in the past, and I’m guessing the guys and ladies on FFIM aren’t abusing it......but if you’ve ever stood in that return line and seen the ridiculous things being returned you’d wonder, as I have, how in the world it took this long to change the policy.

It’s nt LL Bean that’s at fault here......it’s the ###holes that have abused the policy that have precipitated this change.i stand firmly in Beans corner on this one.

Dave M


Okay- so who was trying to return their old tippet? :mrgreen:


I know you’re joking. Old tippet goes into the trash, not back to where I bought it.

When we lived in the Twin Cities we had to keep any jackets from Beans if we went out to dinner on the backs of our chairs.......because if you left it on a coat rack it probably wasn’t going to be there after dinner. It would be stolen and brought back to Freeport for money. Beans had to change their return policy years ago for that reason. They stopped giving $$$back and only gave store credit.

Dave M

PS. That’s the first time I’ve ever bought tippet from Beans, and that was only because I had those store coupons that were expiring and couldn’t get what I wanted. I really try to support local fly shops if at all possible. We have so damn d few of hose in Maine as it is.....we can’t look we any of the ones we still have.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 1:49 pm 
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Overall through the years Bean's warranty has been a big pain in the butt for me. Waders that leak and then replacement waders that leak, then none in stock to replace the replacements, had to fight hard for a refund and not a credit. Hell I needed waders. Low rubber boots/shoes where over the years leather laces have dried out and busted, can you replace the laces? Nope.

I do know that people take advantage of warranties but wonder about the trade off of the benefit of extended warranties against their costs. Bean's policy made it unique among retailers for many years, no longer.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 2:04 pm 
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I believe that the loss of the LL Bean forever warranty is mentioned in the book of Revelation as a sign of the beginning of the Apocalypse.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 2:54 pm 
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I think they are screwing up. They hired some MBA to improve profitability and they are blowing it.

What we're talking about here is how to deal with freeriders. As long as they number of freeriders is low, then we can maintain a system based on trust that benefits all of us. What fraction of stuff that was being returned was just worn out as opposed to defective/not lasting like it should? 5%? 10%? More? If 10% of stuff is getting returned and 10% of that is freeriders, that's 1% of sales. How much are sales increased by virtue of having the best return policy in retail? 50%? More? What fraction of their current customers are going to buy more stuff now that they now Beans has heroically vanquished their freeriders? What fraction of their customers are going to buy less stuff?

Some people find any amount of freeridership to be unacceptable and they'd rather change the policy so nobody benefits than let one cheater benefit. I'm perfectly comfortable with a small amount of freeridership. Some people feel fine taking advantage of others and I treat them with disdain, but my goal in life is not to eliminate any policy or program that is giving out free rides.

Part of what makes Beans special is their return policy. I know its fine to take a flyer on a jacket or a backpack or a shirt or a fly reel from Beans because if it doesn't hold up, I can take it back. If I'm Beans, I don't want junk out there with my name on it. If I hadn't been allowed to return my rain jacket I bought at the outlet store (yes it was a good deal), I'd be ticked off and I'd tell folks never to buy a jacket from Beans. It ripped apart when I went to undo the velcro. I exchanged it and paid the difference in price for what will hopefully be a better one. Their quality has been just so-so for the last couple decades as far as I can tell from my experience and the experience of my friends and family. There are so many competitors out there and they'll need some other way to differentiate themselves if they don't have this anymore. I'm probably buying less from Beans going forwards.

I see this as yet another sign that the culture of trust and respect is under fire from all sides these days.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 4:32 pm 
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I'm in agreement with Pushaw's comments. I do not support the fraudulent use of a warranty.

On the other hand LLB milked the warranty knowing full well it would be abused. Their weasel worded statement invited fraudulent returns. It became a not so underhanded scheme to increase sales. Let them sleep in the bed they made for themselves.

Their products are not at the quality level of Orvis. Orvis' prices are of course higher than LLB's.

I had an interesting interface with an earlier LLB CEO. I needed an addition spool for an LLB labelled fly reel (it was made in Argentina). I was told they no longer carried the reel. I checked through their older catalogs and found that they regularly discontinued fly reels. I checked with Orvis' reel continuity and found them to be far more stable.
I wrote a letter to LLB's CEO indicating my displeasure with the rapid discontinuance of otherwise well functioning fly reels. I received a thoughtful response together with two new spools I had been seeking- at no charge. That reel is still in regular use.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 4:55 pm 
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I'm shocked it took this long. Between the stories of trading flannel lined jeans for regular jeans every change of the seasons. Going salmon fishing every year and getting rod and reel on the way up and then returning them on the ride back. Some of the returns I've seen in the return line are ridiculous and I haven't been in that line too much. The way I read it, they're just trying to take the handcuffs off themselves and tell the scumbags to screw.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 5:13 pm 
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It was bound to happen, and is good for the business. You can’t buy one pair of bean boots for life, and get them replaced every 3 years. Hopefully that MBA does their job, so that the company stay afloat, and our kids can be having this discussion in 30 years.

Buying stuff at a yard sale and returning it? Some balls...

It sounds to me like every issue mentioned so far would still fall under the 1 year policy.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 5:29 pm 
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I'll say this for Beans: they even stand by stuff from the factory store. The Orvis outlet and the Cabelas bargain room? Nope.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 8:25 pm 
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A sad day. Another woeful sign o' the times.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 9:32 pm 
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I've been contemplating this for a while, with parents that work for LL I've know this was coming for a few months. I both agree and disagree with the change. I agree there are a significant a number of people who abuse the return policy, and simply return items that are past their usable life..
Then again, why would I buy an item at LL for say $100 when I could buy the same, or very similar, item at another store for $75? I own A LOT of LLB gear, both fishing and hunting. I have always chosen LLB for their warranty, now I'm not sure I will. Originally I heard it was going to be 3 years with proof of purchase, that sounds much more reasonable....

Peter

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 10:26 pm 
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Peter010786 wrote:
I've been contemplating this for a while, with parents that work for LL I've know this was coming for a few months. I both agree and disagree with the change. I agree there are a significant a number of people who abuse the return policy, and simply return items that are past their usable life..
Then again, why would I buy an item at LL for say $100 when I could buy the same, or very similar, item at another store for $75? I own A LOT of LLB gear, both fishing and hunting. I have always chosen LLB for their warranty, now I'm not sure I will. Originally I heard it was going to be 3 years with proof of purchase, that sounds much more reasonable....

Peter


I’m with you Pete. I’ve been thinking about this a bit today. I think this will have an impact of LLB’s bottom line. I know I’m not alone in that I don’t mind paying a little extra for a product I can easily buy elsewhere for less, knowing the LLB warrantee stood behind it. Without the warrantee, those purchases become more of a ‘do I need it right now, or can I find it online/cheaper elsewhere” decision. With that said, I don’t shop extensively at LLB- mainly because I’ve got enough stuff already.

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