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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Wednesday 8 February 2017

John Lewis Returns

John Lewis has changed its returns policy as from 1 February 2017 by reducing the return period for goods which are not faulty from 90 to 35 days and, frankly, I don't blame them! This change, however, cannot affect purchases made before 1 February 2017 for which you have the contractual right to rely on the longer period. The returns info given online does not specifically say this.

For online purchases we are told in online information that the product should be returned within 35 days of receipt of order but the terms and conditions which follow state that John Lewis would "like" the return to be within 35 days which is hardly a 'must' and leaves open an argument that 35 days does not have to be adhered to. 

The information online about store purchases indicates a 'must' at 35 days although one part says time runs from receipt of order and another part says that time runs from purchase or receipt of order so you ought to be able to rely on 35 days from receipt if later than the date you made the purchase.

I put the pre-1 February and 'like' points to John Lewis. Here is what they have told me today-

"Over 90% of our customers already bring unwanted items back within 35 days of buying the product and 85% were unaware of our 90 day policy so this change will affect a minority of our customers. We are communicating the new 35 day time frame at tills, in online delivery parcels and on till receipts. All Partners are fully briefed on when the change began and will check the date on receipts. We're also operating a grace period for a number of weeks which is why we have used the word 'like' for now."'

Rights of cancellation for distance purchases (see Breaking Law at chapter 39) are unaffected.