Forever 21's refund policy challenged by local man

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by Janet Roach

WVEC.com

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:43 PM

 VIRGINIA BEACH --  It's trendy and it's popular, with rock-bottom prices. Retail chain Forever 21 is a big hit with the young and hip crowd but love for their return policy - not so much.

Buy an item and a customer can exchange it or return it for a store credit within 21 days. There are no cash refunds or credit card credits.  And for one Chesapeake customer, that policy was even applied when the cashier made a mistake and charged him two times for a scarf at the store in Lynnhaven Mall.

"I went to the checkout and the woman actually scanned my item twice and she said "Well sir, we don't have a return policy,'" explains customer Caleb Kinchlow. He says she would only be able to give him a store credit.

"Honestly, as a first time customer, I was really horrified because I felt disrespected as a customer."

Kinchlow says the policy forces people to spend more money in the store than what they desire.

"What would have happened if it was a larger amount of money? What would have happened if you had overdrafted my account?"

And Kinchlow is not alone. A customer who had a similar experience asks on the consumer watchdog website, www.consumerist.com, "Why am I punished for a Forever 21 cashier's mistake?"

In the Lynnhaven store, the return policy is displayed in clear view on the checkout table and the cashier asks each customer if they understand it. However, there's no mention of extenuating circumstances, such as a mistake on the part of the cashier.

A spokesperson for Forever 21 says Kinchlow's situation was not handled properly and that the company will take steps to make sure all employees are educated on the policies and procedures. In a statement, Forever 21's senior marketing manager, Linda Chang says "Our current policy for transaction discrepancies states that for a cash or credit card transaction with immediate acknowledgment of error, store manager will void the transaction. For any inaccuracies brought to our attention after 24 hours, customers must fill out a form to receive payment within 5-6 business days. We are taking immediate steps to re-educate our employees on our policies and procedures."

Kinchlow says it took persistence to finally get his refund back. He had to call the district manager and the human resources department. He also says he was told three different things about the refund policy by three different people within the company.

After a couple of weeks, he received a phone call to come back to the store and get his refund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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