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H&M Renegs on Margiela Return Policy, Enrages Customers

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Were you thinking of returning that Margiela for H&M bra-bodysuit you bought in a collaboration-induced frenzy? Better check your calendar. Although the policy on receipt from H&M stores clearly state that you have 30 days to return merchandise for a full refund, H&M is refusing full refunds for merchandise returned to the store more than seven days after purchase.

2012_11_HM-ReceiptsPhotos of a receipt for items purchased at the Columbus Circle H&M store in New York on November 14

Here's the policy, as stated on the receipt:

We offer an exchange or refund, by the original payment method, on garments with a receipt within 30 days of the purchase date.

After 30 days or without a receipt, refunds will be issued as a store credit, at the last Activity/Sale price OR the current selling price, whichever is lower, in the form of a merchandise credit card.

We contacted H&M's customer service department for clarification. According to the representative we spoke with, the store's policy for designer collaboration items differs from its regular policy. For these items, you have up to 7 days from purchase day to return them and get a full refund. Any time after that, you'll only get store credit or current selling price.

As the Margiela collection is not selling well, it has already been discounted in at least some stores: According to a Racked tipster, boots at the Columbus Circle store in New York are currently $129, blazers are $49, and a cashmere sweater is $59. That means if you return your full-price items now, you'll only be getting the current price refunded.

Customer service told us the only exceptions to this policy were issued on a case-by-case basis during Hurricane Sandy, when certain stores were closed, and due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

When we pointed out that the receipt clearly states that you have 30 days, not 7, to return the product for a full refund, we were told that the policy is posted on signage at the cash wrap and on the Margiela website. In other words, it's the customer's responsibility to research the policy, not the store's responsibility to inform the customer or provide accurate information on the receipt. Additionally, we couldn't find any mention of Margiela for H&M whatsoever on the company's website, much less a statement of the contradictory return policy. The original link appears to be broken.

Needless to say, customers are not too pleased. One tipster wrote to Racked:

I bought a pair of boots at full price and I. AM. PISSED!!!!!!!!! Can we start an H&M boycott? This has got to be the worst PR move EVER!

We've reached out to H&M's press representatives and are currently awaiting reply.

UPDATE:
H&M has issued the following statement to Racked via a press representative: "This was an isolated incident and H&M will of course honor any receipt that does not indicate the 7 day policy."
· All Margiela for H&M coverage [Racked]