You could almost guarantee somebody would sue L.L. Bean over its new return policy

UPDATE: Case dismissed.

In 2012, Benjamin Pershouse of Woburn bought a pair of slippers from L.L. Bean. But after a few years of use, "the rubber soles of the slippers began to flake off in large chunks." You can only imagine his shock when he tried to take advantage of the chain's famous lifetime, no questions asked guarantee on March 8 of this year, only to have a manager at the Burlington store turn up her nose and refuse to give him a new pair.

So, naturally, Pershouse filed a federal lawsuit against L.L. Bean over its February announcement that it was changing its lifetime guarantee to a more limited one-year guarantee that, among other things, requires customers to hold onto their original receipts. It later updated that to only apply to products purchased after the announcement, but Pershouse says the store has been hiding that and trying to make people like him feel like chumps.

And, of course, his lawyer, who specializes in class-action lawsuits, wants a judge to make Pershouse lead plaintiff in a national lawsuit to recover at least $25 per purchased item, plus up to treble damages and costs.

The L.L. Bean Guarantee, which would allow him to return the slippers at any time if he was not completely satisfied, was part of the basis of Plaintiff’s bargain with L.L. Bean. Given L.L. Bean’s sudden reversal of its long-standing Guarantee, however, Mr. Pershouse has been injured and has been deprived of the benefit that formed a basis of the bargain between him and L.L. Bean. ...

Plaintiff and the members of the Classes did not receive that which was promised and represented to them. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and the other Class members, rather than purchasing products accompanied by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, they were purchasing products that would become subject to an exceptionally limited warranty, for which proof of purchase was required. Accordingly, because Plaintiff and the other Class members did not receive the benefit of the bargain, Plaintiff and the Class members overpaid for the products they purchased.

Complete Pershouse complaint (1.6M PDF).

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Comments

So that hippie bought a pair

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So that hippie bought a pair of sandals that did not meet his expectation so now he is putting in effort to sue for 25 million dollars?

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Voting closed 30

This is ridiculous

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The guy made full use of the slippers. He must need money. Regarless of the old policy, can't the guy move on to a new pair? This is low on his part.

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Not ridiculous

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They unilaterally changed the contract.

They also have a flaming homobigot at their helm who wants to turn a century old company into Sears.

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Voting closed 55

And they also publicly NOTIFIED

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everyone they were changing the "contract." Ok, give the guy a new pair of shoes. But $25 million in damages? That is why this suit is frivolous.

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Voting closed 47

You are not a lawyer

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You do not understand that it doesn't matter what they did. They could say "from this time forward we will not ...", but they cannot unilaterally modify the contract.

How would you like it if your mortgage company just said "we are going to charge you more interest now ... we warned you"?

IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY

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about that second part

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She's only a part owner and is definitely not "at their helm". If you had read more than the one Facebook post from Occupy Democrats or whatever you'd probably know it's one person out of about 40 family members that operate the business in varying capacities. I'd bet that between them they have 40 different sets of political views.

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Voting closed 30

Frankly, L. L. Beans is overrated, imho.

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I remember purchasing some clothes at the original store, which is up in Freeport, Maine, and they were really poorly made. I ended up returning them.

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I couldn't agree more..

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..their stuff falls apart. REI is much better....even dick's sporting goods has some better items.

also, don't forget their board member supports trump. another reason to shop elsewhere.

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Board Member

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You know that there is more than one board member at LLBean, right? You know how board members are chosen, right?

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Voting closed 48

i do.

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thanks.

having just one board member that supports Dump is enough to boycott LL Bean.

anyway, its interesting that you chose to attack me and not the board member that supports a man that said a PoW is not a war hero. stay classy.

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You know that there is more

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You know that there is more than one board member at LLBean, right? You know how board members are chosen, right?
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You consider that to be an "attack?"

Hope you're okay...

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Voting closed 14

I do.

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a fairly weak and unintelligent one at that.

i mean, these are trump supporters so that is what is expected.

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FYI

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I hate Trump. As he might say, there is no one who hates him more than me.

I reserve the same amount of disdain for people who make equally ignorant rants along my political leanings.

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Voting closed 22

"Damages"?!?

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That would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

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They make a good point. LL

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They make a good point. LL Bean made a promise with their return policy and then they changed the game by changing the promise.

It was then up to LL Bean to figure out how to decipher between Pre and Post promise items. If the promise did not mean anything then why did they keep it for so long?

At least when Sears stopped giving people new Craftsman tools they would still give them refurbished versions...

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Yeah and no

My sleeping bag is nice and warm and big enough for two ...

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I agree with the lawsuit and

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I agree with the lawsuit and would like to be part of it. I have been an ll bean customer for 35 years, until I found out they are big trump supporters. Most of what I own is 'll bean and I always shopped there first knowing if there were any problems I could return an item. Making purchases that I really did not need at prices that were lower elsewhere. On occasion something was not right and it had nothing to do with heavy use. I returned it long after a few months. I have 45 bean t shirts some have collars falling apart. I did not keep track of purchase dates, receipts and how often I wore them because I knew if I thought I did not get reasonable use out of them and the rest of the T-shirt looked good, I could return it. Now they have reneged on that. Their last e-mail to me thanked me for being a good customer. I said no more and fu.

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Voting closed 34

Grow up

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and buy some new clothes.

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First of all, even Gucci

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First of all, even Gucci shoes aren't made like they were years ago. Just like there's no such thing as 100% cotton or 100% wool or $100 silk unless you travel to Milan and get "invited" by the couture snobs. Nothing is built to last anymore. Not even the new pillow I purchase from My Pillow.com.

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Voting closed 24

Hokey,

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Yeah, in general, but I can find plenty of 100 percent cotton and wool clothing for sale (usually via consignment and/or Ebay). I don't think one has to travel out of the country and purchase "couture" via invite.

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People!

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Nothing lasts forever! Things wear out! People wear out. We don't sue our mothers.

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Well, that depends.

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If your mother promised that she would always love you, but she stopped loving you when you stopped being cute, I think you should sue her.

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Yikes

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People have really been conditioned to think that lawsuits are inherently bad haven't they?

Look, if a company makes a promise - especially a promise which leads you to patronize them as opposed to another company - they need to uphold that promise. Lawsuits are a way to force them to do so. These companies don't give a damn about you other than what's in your wallet and when they step over the line there needs to be pushback to enforce compliance with whatever deal they themselves agreed to.

Lawsuits aren't ridiculous. They're something that gives power to the usually powerless.

If you haven't seen the documentary Hot Coffee, which talks all about this, I highly recommend it.

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Voting closed 16

And if the company breaks

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And if the company breaks their promise, I will stop patronizing them. "Injury"? GTFO.

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The guarantee is like an

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The guarantee is like an insurance policy built into the purchase price. Wouldn't you be upset if your car or health insurance suddenly decided it would no longer take claims?

I'm a frequent flier at Duluth Trading because they offer a similar guarantee policy (and pants that actually fit my stumpy legs). If they stopped it on totally original, new items moving forward but honored it for previous purchases I would be okay, maybe buy less, but I would feel pretty put out if they pull what the Bean did. The guarantee (and game-changing 28" inseam) are the reasons I'm willing to pay their higher prices for clothes that will be abused. I've only used the policy once on a hat that got irreparably stinky after just a few weeks. The second was not so great either, but now I have some super durable, fantastic(ly expensive) socks.

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