Pardon My French: Two Stores with Sh&*ty Return Policies

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I admit that I’m a compulsive returner. As we now all know, stores use trick lighting and deceptive mirrors (damn you, Forever 21!) to make us think we look better in items than we actually do. The result? Well, when we get home, the truth comes out, and it’s often not pretty (in my case, it seems like a muffin top magically appears that wasn’t there when I was at the store). So we head back to the store to return items.

Now, many stores (Nordstrom and Target come to mind) offer easy and straightforward return policies, which allow you to return online purchases in-store, and have extended return periods (some as long as a year, in the case of Zappos).

Then there’s the ones with pretty sh*tty return policies. We highlight two particularly messed-up policies below:

Stores with Pretty Bad Return Policies

Forever 21— You know the saying “You break it, you own it?” Well, at Forever 21, it’s “You buy it, you own it.” When you buy in-store, you can only EXCHANGE merchandise, and you can only do exchanges within 14 days of purchase. The exception is buying online, where you can return the item within 30 days of the shipping date (so really, three weeks). My advice is, unless you need it NOW, buy it online so you have the option to return.

Eloquii— The name is horrible. It’s the plus-size online store brought to you by the folks at The Limited, which has some cute looks. However, the return policy is ridiculous, especially for a store that is ONLY available online. Returns must be made “within 15 days of the original shipping date,” which is cray-cray, since, if you have it sent via ground shipping, it may take up to 10 business days to arrive, which means you really only have between five and 10 days to return an item. Plus, the return date isn’t based on when you sent it (your postmark date), but when they receive it. So they need to get it back within 15 days (not business days) of sending it to you. For any items returned or exchanged after 15 days, you will be charged $5.95 per package, which, again, makes no sense. Needless to say, I don’t shop there anymore.

Read our return policy guide for more details on how to return to specific stores.

Know some stores that deserve to be on this list? Add them below…

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  • Micah

    Forever 21’s exchange policy is 30 days, prior to that it was 21 days. Not sure where you got your information.

  • Lesley

    I made a purchase at Le Chateau and didn’t know about their infamous return policy. So I ASKED the sakes lady that was helping me. I specifically asked if I could get a refund. She said YES and lied! Now I want to return the item and they are calling me a liar even tho I have a witness lmao now what? I’m screwed that’s what and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it except suck it up! Consumer protection is abysmal !

  • Jane

    Toys R Us\Babies R Us online has the most ridiculous return policy. You have 1 hour after you purchase an item online to return it!

    We purchased our baby to be crib and dresser online then we noticed the $300 shipping charge. We tried to order the item online to reserve it and to pick it up at the store like the website advertises but it would not allow us. We tried to change our order online but you can’t do that either. So we called Babies R Us stores within a couple hours drive from us and we found the items were the same price in stores as the “online sale”.

    We finally received our confirmation order email about 1.5-2 hours later so we called customer service to have our order cancelled so we could purchase in store to save the $300 shipping charge but they couldn’t guarantee we could cancel our order. Don’t purchase anything online from Babies R Us\Toys R Us because you can’t return anything, they don’t have a return policy!

  • Kim Mee

    Lets not forget wet seal and Papaya!, I hadnt even left the Wet Seal yet and realized my daughter put an extra shirt on my bill and they would not give me my money stating their system would not allow it. What a crappy system.

    • Phillip

      The return policy that isn’t noted on the receipt or visible in the store is unfair and ridiculous! No returns. Period. End of story! We purchased for charity donations enough school supplies for 24 kids. Thinking dollar tree was probably on of the most inexpensive. Well, we were wrong. Wal-Mart is cheaper. So because of our limited funds we tried to return some items. Nope. Charity or not. NO RETURNS! Dollar Tree sucks.

  • Le Chateau has a “no returns” policy – store credit or exchange ONLY within 15 days (and the store credit must be used within 3 months, which I don’t even think is legal within Canada – surely they can’t keep your money after you’ve returned the item!) That’s what is known as a “final sale” in any other store. I shop them a lot, but I always have in mind that anything I buy better be a “love it”, because once I’ve bought it, they have my money.

  • Kaci Welch

    ^that should say “online returns in-store”

  • Kaci Welch

    Eloquii is super ridiculous! I was hoping they would be a great new option (instead of the usual Lane Bryant, but no).
    Have you noticed that VS now allows online returns (gasp!) – welcome to the internet VS!! Just wondering if you or any of your readers have tried to return anything purchased online? The policy seems a bit fuzzy still…

  • m

    Eloquii’s website states within 30 days of shipping date. The $5.95 is the cost of return shipping, if it is an even exchange the shipping is waived. This is really not much different than most sites.

  • nicole phillips

    Lululemon has a horrible return policy. Even if you try to return something within the policy…the store clerk attempts to talk you out of it by making you feel incredibly guilty and uncool…