Despite online reports of a shift in Nordstrom return policies since the holidays, the Seattle-based retailer says there’s no recent change in its rules.
No, Nordstrom hasn’t recently changed its famously generous return policy to crack down on serial returners.
And no, it hasn’t suddenly required that tags be attached to special occasion dresses in order to be returned — that requirement has been in place for more than a decade.
In the past few days Nordstrom has been the subject of online reports claiming that the Seattle-based department store recently changed its return policy, especially around special occasion dresses and people who return a lot of purchases.
But Nordstrom says that, in fact, most of the changes mentioned in the reports have been in place for years.
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For example, the requirement that special occasion dresses must have tags attached in order to be returned? Put into place more than 10 years ago to deal with the number of such dresses being returned after they were obviously worn.
As for cases in which certain customers return more than they buy, when the company has no record of having sold the items being returned, or when the company suspects something unfair or dishonest is going on?
Nordstrom’s longstanding approach has been to say that “if we aren’t serving your needs based on how much you’re returning, we’ll part ways with you,” said Tara Darrow, a Nordstrom spokeswoman, meaning that the customer will no longer be able to buy things from Nordstrom.
“We’ve always done that. That’s not new,” said Darrow, adding that it’s a “very, very small subset of customers” who engage in what she delicately called an “atypical approach to shopping.”
The company did make a change in June: Issuing refunds in the original form of payment, whether cash or credit, or a Nordstrom gift card for returns without a receipt.
Previously, customers could request cash for their returns even if they originally used a credit card or didn’t have a receipt. Now, Nordstrom will only issue a cash refund if cash was the original form of payment and the customer has a receipt and an ID.
Nordstrom doesn’t specify a time limit for returns or say that they must be accompanied by a receipt.
Rather, the company says it handles returns on a “case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy.”