Return Policies: Where to Draw the Line?

Last week on my post about the Dover tent sale, someone commented about how they preferred to shop at Dover because of their open-ended return policy. The main example the commenter used was returning a 10 year old pair of $400 boots that had been outgrown and using that money to “upgrade” to Parlantis. This person noted that they hadn’t minded paying full price for the Parlantis because they knew that when the boots inevitably wore out they could be returned for a full refund and new boots could be obtained in their place, on and on down the line. They also mentioned doing the same thing when breeches get stained–return the old ones, buy a new pair. In their mind, since they are a loyal Dover customer for the majority of their purchases (namely non-returnable items such as fly spray and the like) the company is still profiting from them in the long run.

I’ve heard of people using Dover’s generous return policy this way, but I’ve never really known anyone that came out and said it so candidly. For that, props to the commenter for their honesty. It definitely provided a good talking point amongst friends and brought to light some things I hadn’t considered, which is why I’m bringing it up in it’s own post. But I have to admit, I personally had a hard time with it–moreso than I would have expected, especially considering I really don’t like Dover and have zero interest in their overall success. I know that their return policy technically does allow things like this: “At Dover Saddlery, we stand behind the quality of our products. If you find you are not satisfied with your purchase, simply return it at any time and we will refund, replace or exchange it for you. We guarantee your satisfaction.” so it’s within the scope of their policy.

My “par-want-ies” were a satisfactory Dover purchase.

But I guess to me personally, the difference is in the ethics. It’s not really about Dover, it’s about the principle of the thing. I think if I had a pair of boots for 10 years, obviously they were a satisfactory purchase. I would feel like I got my money’s worth, probably sell them for cheap on ETT or give them to a friend, and buy some new boots. To be honest it would never even occur to me to try to return something like that. Same thing if I bought a pair of boots that I knew were well-known for wearing out within a year or two, or stained a pair of my breeches. I’d have a hard time going back to the shop at that point and asking for my money back so I could buy another pair–at least not without feeling like a huge jerk. Then again, maybe I’m being overly sensitive about it.

On the flip side of the coin, there are definitely other things that would fall within a long-term return policy that I do understand. A blanket that gets totally destroyed in the first season. A show shirt that comes un-stitched after just a few washes. A tall boot zipper that breaks within one show season. Those, I totally agree with, and it could easily be many months before any of them come to light. In those situations a longer term, satisfaction guaranteed return policy like Dover’s is really fantastic.

Henrytangledblanket1
this is bad

I have a few friends that work at different Dover stores around the country, so I asked them for their input on this issue. All of them agreed that they definitely see people who take the return policy to an extreme, and that these people end up being well-known (not in a good way) in their stores. One of them also pointed at that Dover counter-acts the money lost through the generous return policy by having higher prices, offering fewer sales, and having more expensive shipping rates. After all, the impact on the bottom line of the company has to be balanced somehow. They end up losing money on the people who use the return policy to it’s extreme, and the rest of the customers are the ones that make up that gap in the end.

What are your thoughts on open-ended return policies like this? Do you see it as a good opportunity to stay loyal to one company and keep trading up your equipment as it wears out? Or do you think such actions are abusing what the return policy is really meant for? Do you think that the return policy iteslf is what gets the company so much loyal business in the first place, therefore it’s ok to use it to it’s fullest extent? Where do you draw the line on what is or is not a returnable item?

82 thoughts on “Return Policies: Where to Draw the Line?

  1. If something wears out in a short amount of time, I’ll return it. Blankets under a year, boots under a year, clothing that comes unstitched after a few wears. I think it’s ethically wrong to return anything that is several years old, unless it happens to be something that has for instance a 10 year warranty and wore out in much less time.

    Like

  2. Oooh. Good topic. I am with you. I can’t fathom returning an item I have worn to death for no reason. But, I do appreciate the more open ended return policies on wearables. Sometimes you just don’t know about an item until you wear it. Two examples: Outside of the horse realm, I bought a pair of pants via Amazon. At first I thought they would work fine (fit was good, color was great, everything seemed spot on), but after wearing them one day at work I realized the stretch was too much and the knees were getting baggy. Baggy kneed skinny jeans? Not okay. So, those are going back. I only wore them once, so I don’t feel too terrible about it. Still, that’s borderline for me. Second example is a Dover blanket. The first one I had was amazing, and held up to all but the most extreme abuse. The second (a replacement) fell apart immediately. That, I feel is worth an extended return policy.

    Still, I think Dover is a little ridiculous on their shipping prices. I can’t imagine they actually make money on that shipping, as I thought it was something they were locked into by a contract?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did something similar recently. I had surgery in January. Jeans were not comfortable for about the first 5 days. So I bought a pair of Nike yoga pants for about $40. I wore them a few days and washed them once. The stitching was already coming undone on the seams, so I returned them. I also had a pair of jeans that cost more than $130. Some of the stitching came undone within a couple months, so I exchanged then for a new pair.

      Like

  3. I don’t think you are being ‘overly sensitive’ about the issue at all – abusing the return policy by returning a product that you have used for years without complaint, or returning a product that YOU have destroyed (by staining, breaking, whatever) is completely and totally unethical and wrong. I would never in my life even consider doing such a thing, and frankly find that kind of behavior morally offensive and off-putting. However, I have used Dover’s generous return policy to return a pair of clippers that broke within the first use (the clip that holds the blades on snapped right off when I changed them). In that case, I had purchased a defective product and was entitled to a replacement, and Dover alerted the manufacturer so that they could examine the defect. But returning a pair of boots you’ve used for TEN YEARS in order to get their full value back and ‘upgrade’ to a better pair of boots?! Unethical, and outrageously inappropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I can’t imagine using a return policy like that. I have made two returns to RW recently. One of them I felt kind of guilty about because I had actually bought the item in October, but then my life went to heck in a handbasket and I kept putting off returning it. They do have a 365 day return policy, but I still feel bad using it!

    Like

    1. I’m returning breeches to RW this morning because when I opened them to try them on a button just exploded off of them. I too have used the generous return policy and feel a little bad, but at the same time, defecto product just isn’t going to cut it for me!

      Like

  5. I agree with you: I wouldn’t have the audacity to return a pair of 10-year old boots, or breeches that I had accidentally stained, so I’ll echo what Allison said above about abusing the hell out of that return policy. I know you’re not a SmartPak fan, but they have a return policy similar to Dover’s, in that you can return or exchange things a year (at least? I’d have to double-check) after purchase, for free, no questions asked. We’re all familiar with SmartPak’s 10-year money-back guarantee/replacement policy on their blankets, which is a huge help if your horse is rough on clothing. I think RW’s return policy is the same way.

    An open-ended return policy is wonderful for stitching that comes out after the first wash, or a zipper that breaks 3 weeks in, or if you just really aren’t loving a product…I would return a pair of ‘real pants’ to the store if the hem came out after a few wears, so returning horse items for similar problems is completely acceptable. However, trying to return something 10 years after you purchased it (and you were obviously satisfied with it for TEN YEARS) is mind-blowing and frankly, a little insulting to the company. As much as I truly loathe Dover, even I wouldn’t expect them to take something back after 10 years.

    Like

  6. I hate this mentality – it smacks of the ‘customer is alway right’ sort of approach where entitled people make customer service lives living hell. I agree with you, if something fails to live up to reasonable expectations, within a certain time limit, that is the type of item for which I am grateful for a return policy. But if I’ve had something for more than a year or so, I just chalk it up to the item’s lifespan and move on. Riding apparel takes a beating, it’s going to wear out at some point!

    I mean seriously, if you’re replacing breeches forever after your one $75-100 purchase, how can you think that’s appropriate? And that’s why the rest of us have to eat $15 shipping on those $75 breeches. They may be beating the system, but if/when Dover gets rid of this policy, it’s going to be because of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I worry that the policy would disappear eventually too, although in Dover’s instance I would think they’d have to also lower their prices and their shipping if they took away their return policy… that’s about the only thing they’ve got going for them.

      Like

  7. Wow! I had no idea this was a thing. Trading up is a total abuse of a return policy. Unless of course the trade up occurs after the first use or two and the person wasn’t happy with the product and the product is still in good condition. But letting something wear out and returning it after years of use is not ok. Like you said it just jacks up the prices for everyone else. I like companies that have good return policies for things that wear out before their time though. For example if a good quality blanket rips during the first wear or the zipper on field boots busts after only 12 rides.

    Like

  8. I find it un-ethical and appalling. Smartpak had done something similar a few years ago, I do not know if you saw that CoTH thread at all. Basically I sold two pairs of Smartpaks brand breeches to a friend for like $25, they were lightly used but I was pregnant and couldn’t wear them. Well, she decided she did not like the way they fit, so she RETURNED them to Smartpak! I do not know how this happened, but they gave her FULL price for them, of course it was store credit, but come on…she bought them USED for $25! She went on CoTH bragging about how great their return policy was that they would do that and that she was able to get a brand new pair of TS breeches and new boots for her horse with the full refund price.

    I found out from the thread and it reallt made me question her ethics as a person. This is someone I had known for almost a decade and for her to do that was sickening. It’s crazy. I HATE to return stuff, even if I have a valid reason, so to know these kinds of things happen blows my mind.

    Like

    1. I almost NEVER return things, even if they don’t fit. The one thing I did take advantage of was Smartpaks sizing returns on breeches. I had lost a bunch of weight and didntk now my exact size and it took me 3 tries to get it right, oops haha. But seriously, returning things ten years later…..WHAT

      Like

  9. Yeah, I had no idea this was a thing either. I couldn’t possibly feel comfortable returning something I wore out 10 years later. Maybe something I bought and never used. I think those people are abusing the policy. It’s a great policy and does attract loyal customers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve known of the policy, but like you I try to avoid Dover at all costs, so I’ve never taken advantage of it. I don’t think I’m bold enough to return anything after that long. Stupid question – but what’s the proof of purchase? Receipt? Or do they just look up your purchase on their POS? It’s temping because I did buy a pair of boots there two years ago that are getting a little ratty, but I don’t think I could actually go through with it.. haha! I think personally I’d have to draw the line on returns in a few months (2-3) Blankets, boots, ect. should hold up that long IMO. I have friends who only buy blankets at Dover for this very reason, and if you have a blanket destroyer, I would argue it’s definitely worth it to buy them there.
    I’m personally very SmartPak loyal, and I think where they lack such an open return policy, they make up for it with amazing customer service. Every experience I’ve had with SmartPak Customer Care has been awesome, and their marketing is obviously working if I’m feeling compelled enough to speak about it here 🙂 I also try to use smaller companies, like VTO Saddlery, first. It’s family owned and I like to support the small guys where I can!

    Like

    1. That’s why I love Riding Warehouse so much – they’ve always been fantastic to me. Their return policy is more open than a lot of places, although not as open-ended as Dover. Like you, I don’t think I’m ballsy enough to waltz in somewhere and expect to get my money back for something I used to death. I’d feel like a total asshole!

      Like

    2. I’m a total SmartPak fan, and their return policy is pretty open. They even offer a 10-year guarantee/free replacement on their turnout blankets. You’re right about their customer service though, they’ve always been AMAZING to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I think its the perfect amount of flexibility. I will say though, it’s only their ultimate – or whatever their highest quality blankets – that has the 10-year warranty. I have the mid-level blanket, and my horse ripped the hood. Unfortunately they cant fully replace it, but still offered me half off to buy another.

        Like

  11. I’m not really one to return something unless it doesn’t work/fit like I thought it would. Even if there’s a manufacturer defect, I usually don’t realize it until months later, and then I feel like a jackass trying to return my (very used) item. So I tend to suck it up and buy something else.

    Like

  12. I don’t think it’s right, if the product has lasted ten years, to then return it. That’s just too far. I’m with you on the boot zippers taking about a year to show up, especially for someone like me who only keeps their nice boots for shows and only gets to shows 1-3 times a year. And blankets too. But if something that’s worn well and just been outgrown, that’s not the company’s fault, and one should sell them or otherwise find another home for them. Overall, because Dover has that return policy, I feel they lose business because there are people who don’t abuse the system and don’t want to pay a lot. I for one, haven’t used Dover for that same reason.

    Like

  13. I’m happy that they have a great return policy and I have used it, once for my Tredstep paddock boots (the elastic on the sides came undone the first year) and my custom half chaps (zipper malfunction, same year)… but I think the manner that you are discussing in your post refers to theft in my eyes. There’s utilizing a great customer satisfaction service and taking advantage of loop holes, and I don’t care for that. It’s only a matter of time that places like Dover will crack down on their satisfaction guaranteed because of a few ruthless people who are doing things like you mentioned in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I actually like Dover (except for the shipping costs, of course!) I actually witnessed a woman returning a tin of saddle soap with just a little bit left around the edges because it was “dried out”. They gave her a new one, no questions asked. I wanted to punch her in the the parking lot.

    Like

  15. REI had much the same issue. Their acronym was jokingly Rental equipment incorporated. The Seattle Times even wrote an article about it. They told of a woman who purchased a stroller when she had her first baby and when all her babies finally outgrew it, many years later, she returned it for full price. Their return policy now lasts one year.

    Now with some things I understand using before returning. Recently I tried a new brand of wool socks from REI, they seemed fine with average wear, but when I went hiking they slid and gave me horrible blisters so I returned them after washing them. I felt bad because I’d had them for a few months before the weather cooperated for a good long hike. But the whole reason I tried them was the sales clerk said they wouldn’t cause blisters, so I didn’t feel too bad.

    Like

    1. I’ve heard about people doing it with REI too. Agree that in your case it was a valid return, but it’s crazy to me that so many people take it to the extreme.

      Like

    2. REI used to do warehouse sales with this stuff. They had little tags attached for the date of purchase, date of return, and reason for return. No lie, I picked up a pair of leather shoes there that were 10 years old. They were “too hot” and the customer returned them. They didn’t look like they’d be worn once, which was strange. I guess an extreme cause of buyer’s remorse?

      Like

  16. Completely agree. It’s one thing to return something that broke/ripped/fell apart within a very short period of time due to a defect of sorts. It’s another thing to return something that broke after years of use and abuse. Boots don’t last forever nor should they be expected to.

    A friend of mine (part leases my horse) purchased hoof boots that wore bout after about a year. They weren’t cheap, but they were used. We got a couple more months out of them after a shoe guy tried to repair them. I was at Dover looking at a new pair and another customer mentioned to me that I should return the old pair and get a new pair for free. She told me her daughter used to work there and they’ll take anything. I politely declined, after all, the boots fell apart after hard use. If they were 3 or even 6 months old? Maybe. But more than a year (or 2? I can’t remember)? No.

    Like

  17. You already know my thoughts on this. People that do shit like this are the reason honest shoppers will be without a return policy that protects our purchases down the road.

    I have definitely taken advantage of smartpaks return policy. Hell even RW. If something doesn’t fit, breaks within a few uses, or doesn’t live up to its expectation then it is returned or exchanged.

    Buying something with the intention to use the life out of it and return it for a new one is garbage. I don’t like staining my tan show breeches… You don’t see me sending them back to get new ones after every show… I wash them and attempt to stay clean like the rest of the honest population of riders.

    Personally I choose RW above other retailers and Smartpak next (though their customer service is pretty much killing that relationship). I don’t even consider buying from Dover bc of their shipping.

    Like

  18. Return policies (especially Dover’s) are something that comes up at nearly every staff meeting at work. As a small business, it’s difficult to compete with Dover’s generous policy. (And since you can’t really compete, you have to find other ways to convince customers to shop with you.) You want to do the right thing for the customer- like offer to have a zipper fixed or exchange a pair of breeches that don’t fit- but you don’t want to eat the cost on item after item. Work only does refunds within 30 days of purchase; otherwise, customers are stuck with store credit.

    Like

  19. I’d never heard of this. Very strange return policy since nothing will satisfy a customer forever – everything gets worn out or used up. I agree with you on the ethics problem

    Like

  20. That is just nuts. I precious rarely return anything and even then, it would only be for a pretty extreme cause. I recently bought some strap goods and found that I miscalculated and got the wrong size. If the store was local to me, I might have returned them, but it’s not and I’d already taken tags off/used saddle soap, so I figured it was my error and I certainly wasn’t going to make them eat it.

    To brag about abusing a return policy though? That would be a quick way to get scratched off the friend list.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Yeah, that’s insane! I’ve had my Wintec light almost a year and it still would NEVER occur to me to take it back to Dover and demand a full refund. “Sorry, got my custom, you can have this used thing back – gimme my money.” You have to have a large set of gonads and some low morals to be comfortable doing that. There are only 3 reasons I’d return something: 1. It doesn’t fit (tried of course immediately after purchase). 2. It breaks shortly after purchase. 3. I impulse bought, but I return that immediately w/o having ever used it. I wish Dover would put some stipulations on their return policy to make their prices more affordable. They definitely have the monopoly.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Abusing a return policy to the extent of using something for ten years and taking it back for full credit/refund is theft. Absolutely disgusting.

    I have no issue with returning defective products or things that just don’t fit right, but to expect money back for something that has been used for that long is fucking insane and the costs get passed along to all of the honest customers who don’t abuse the policy.

    Like

  23. I have recently used their generous return policy. I had a pair of breeches that the rear seam started shredding rendering them unusable. I had these less than a year and it wasn’t one of my favorite pairs and I didn’t feel like they should have worn out so quickly. They were sent back. That being said I will probably buy something else from Dover even though I don’t shop with them anymore.

    On another note I totally abused SmartPak because they would not respond to my complaint. I got pissed and sent a used shoulder guard back that ripped after three uses unwashed. Not my finest moment. I had sent multiple emails and gotten no response. Got mad sent a snarky email saying please respond even if it is to tell me to f*** off. Got a blank response. Literally it was their signature plus my email back. That is when I boxed up the unwashed destroyed item and sent it back.

    In general I try not to abuse the return policies because I live in no mans land and like being able to return things that don’t fit.

    Like

  24. I’ve returned two items to Dover that I don’t think another company would take. One was a cheap pair of tall boots that started falling apart in multiple ways after about 60 days. They were completely unsellable, and I sent Dover pictures showing all the damage. They took them back, no questions asked.

    I also returned a pair of Ice Boots that I used three times and hated. No tags or anything, but they were still sellable. Again, Dover took them back with no questions.

    With the boots, I did feel a bit guilty but was mostly just upset about how shitty the product was. Overall I’ve bought waaaaaaay more (high priced) stuff than Dover than I have ever returned. I can’t imagine someone returning an item because they outgrew it, or something that naturally worn down after 4 years of use.

    Like

  25. So, the only thing I’ve used Dover’s return policy for is bits. I wasn’t sure which one Tucker would like best, so I bought two, rode in them, returned one. I have to say it was kind of awesome having that option. And now I feel like I should be using their return policy more. But I probably won’t, because lazy.

    Like

  26. Working in retail, I absolutely hated when people abused the return policy. I never would have thought of returning some of the products that people would bring back. Boots, yes because most of them have a 1 year satisfaction guaranteed policy, and a lot of them are lifetime guaranteed so I didn’t mind the 2+ year old work boot returns that had sprung leaks, etc. But returning a year old chemical sprayer because it leaked? (it only needed a new rubber fitting) or a half used package of flea medication that “didn’t work”? I have so many examples. Or the people who knew how to work the system on the dog/horse food and would feed the majority of the food, then return it saying the animal didn’t like it. I think that’s really awful. I think if you get your money’s worth out of a product (say, a not-super-expensive horse blanket that lasts 2+ years) and then you return it because it has worn out its normal lifespan… I think that’s dishonest. But if they become worn out or unusable in an unreasonably short amount of time, then by all means, use that return policy. I just personally would have a really hard time using the return policy in the way you mentioned Amanda, but in my experience, a LOT of people do. It’s crazy.

    Like

  27. First of all I am coming out of lurkdom because I feel so strongly about this topic. But first I want to say as a fellow eventer and tack ho I love love love your blog , which I only recently really discovered and actually went through and read from the start. Hope that isn’t too stalkerish but you are a really talented writer, and you inspired me to get my ass out the door and work with my beasts when the weather wasn’t too spring like lately. Anyways, I work at a fairly big tack shop with a national presence and run up against dovers return policy all the time. There is one local to us and we get people all the time coming in, asking us to “match” their policy. Many many local pros use Dover to trade in their paddock boots and half chaps on a yearly basis. It bothers me knowing how much Dover is losing and gives me the heads up on what pros to avoid working with. I know you know enough about the tack business to know the margins aren’t all that great and to sell 1 pair of tall boots or breeches you may need to stock dozens of size options. and the next year or two they will discontinue the whole style and come out with a new version. Sorry, rant over but u definitely struck a cord! 🙂

    Like

  28. After working in a Dover store for almost two years, this is continuously a topic of conversation for the employees. We have people who do things as you’ve described, who will buy things knowing they will use the crap out of it and come back into the store saying,”I’ve only used it once”. We know they’re lying but we have to take it back anyways. It makes me so mad, mostly because you realize just how shitty and unethical people are.

    I would NEVER return things that are broken because of my own negligence, because my horse broke it, or because I wanted to “upgrade”. The people who do it are immediately written off in my book.

    Like

  29. Long time reader, but have not commented. This irks me to no end… Returning well used and worn out items to a store after they have performed well over a reasonable length of time is basically stealing, and I would question the integrity of someone that takes advantage of a policy like this. Regardless of the store’s policy…

    Items that do not fit, or have not held up through REASONABLE wear-and-tear are another matter altogether.

    Like

  30. Oh boy. I think it’s absurd to return something you’ve used for 10 years! I think their return policy is way too generous and the fact that they make up for it by making the rest of us pay more is really annoying. It does not make me feel loyal to them either.

    Like

  31. I like this topic. I think a one or two year policy would be great for products like blankets and boots since those items should last longer than one or two seasons of winter or shows. However very few of us would have our receipts, but Dover does have a record of some kind or database where they put in our info and can look up our past purchases. I think this would help the company’s bottom line and still be more than generous to customers.

    Like

  32. I’ve only ever once used Dover’s generous return policy – I returned a Rambo rug, bought the year before and then used about 5 times, on a horse that I’d had to put down. The manager actually suggest I return it, I think she felt sorry for me. Otherwise, I think it’s unethical to return something that you’ve gotten plenty of wear out of.

    I’m curious… does anyone know what happens to all those things that get returned? Can they re-tag it and sell it as new? Do they toss it? Sell it on Ebay? Seems like they could end up with a LOT of stuff…

    Like

  33. I hardly ever return anything, and definitely would not return something used unless there was a serious manufacturing issue. I think the last thing I sent back was a show coat – I live in the middle of nowhere and ordered a few different sizes to try. I felt weird enough about that that I emailed them prior to my order to ask if it was an ok thing to do 🙂

    Like

  34. I think returning a well used and loved item for full price is probably taking advantage, but I think Dover (and other companies) could retain just as much business, if not more, by offering a modified version of that that allows you to trade in items that are not horribly abused but are ready to be upgraded for a newer model or bigger size. I know for example, that Devoucoux offers a program for their junior riders that allows them to trade in their outgrown saddle for a brand new saddle. While they may not get the full price they paid back, they generally get more than they would have in a private sale put directly toward the cost of the new saddle with only a small difference paid. Especially for tall boots, this could be a great program, and depending on how heavy the use, could allow the company to profit more than once from an item.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t quote me on this, but I thiiiiiiiiiiiink Antares has a similar program for Junior riders and their saddles as well. That’s just the word on the street though, I’m not 100% sure. In any case, it’s a good program to have!

      Like

  35. I think Dover is overpriced and their shipping is ridiculous, BUT I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to do what you’ve described. I can barely return anything without feeling sheepish as hell and giving a totally unnecessary, overly-detailed explanation as to why I’m returning the item. Sometimes with some items I think you have to be willing to risk losing the money on them before you find out if they’ll work for you or not. Tall boots are a great example as they take time and lots of wearing and riding in to break in. My Tredsteps NEVER worked for me, and I’m out the money for them now unless I sell them for a fraction of their cost. I just have to say ‘oh well’ and move on.

    Like

  36. I agree a lot of it falls in the ethics of the consumer. I don’t shop Dover as much because even with a sale the shipping is expensive. But I didn’t realize how much they eat in returns so makes sense now. Our big membership box store has a very generous return policy. People clearly return full houses of furniture used for staging. They’re very generous but do cap you off with extreme returns like that, which I think is totally fair. I’m horrible about returning things.

    Like

  37. This sort of thing has been going on for decades. I knew somebody back in the 80’s who was working on a home improvement project, bought some expensive tools from Sears and when finished with the project returned them using Sears’ liberal return policy. And, well, look where Sears is today, if you can even find one. Better hope the equestrian retail industry does not suffer the same fate. I know somebody else who has been wearing out and then returning Patagonia merchandise for years and getting a free “replacement”. Totally unethical.

    Like

  38. I had a little internal struggle over this on Monday night when one of the buckles of my dressage girth ripped clean off. My first instinct was to send it back to SP because though it’s 2 years old, it has been lightly used since I only bring out my dressage tack for shows/lessons, so probably less than 50 times. Should it have ripped like that? Probably not, but I’m also not great about cleaning my tack and if I was, I would’ve caught it. So I’m going to suck it up and buy a new one. I AM; however, going to return the XC boots I got from SP in December 2014. I’ve only used them 6 times and each time they gave P terrible rubs on his fetlocks. So those have to go. Great post- I hope it gives some readers food for thought on ethical behavior.

    Like

  39. I say yuck. EMS had a similar policy and people took advantage of it so badly hey had to stop. If Dover can make it work, great. But I’m right there with you on the ethics aspect….

    Like

  40. What about returning an item after owning it for about 6 months, wearing it once, and it not fitting? My ariat show jacket didn’t fit but it just seems like a dick move to return it after having it for so long, just because i was too lazy to actually return it,,,

    Like

  41. There is a local big box store around me that has a similar return policy to dover. I have an acquaintance who will admittedly purchase a patio furniture set each summer and return it the following summer for a new model. So they have purchased one and keep getting new patio sets each year… blows my mind that people are like this.

    Like

  42. Honestly so disgusted by people. Hell, I don’t return much after I’ve washed it! Multiple times on breeches or shirts have stitching came loose and I just sucked it up. Unless it was completely unuseable. I can’t believe some people. I’m glad the tack store I worked at didn’t have a generous return policy because it is SO satisfying when people try and come in to abuse the system and they cant B) Like yo, how about you don’t be a greedy bastard?

    Liked by 1 person

  43. This is why I love your blog. You are so brutally honest about everything.

    A company’s return policy is definitely something that would attract me to buying from them, whether or not I end up using it. Just having that insurance of knowing that I can easily return things is great. That being said, I will admit that I have taken advantage of a policy like this before (though not to this extreme) and felt like a jerk. I had a pair of river boots for a year when the inside lining started getting stuck on my foot, making them rip, and the plastic boning was stabbing me, so I couldn’t wear them. They were thoroughly used when I took them back and got a new pair in a size up (thinking that they ripped because they may have been too small). When the new boots started doing what the previous ones had done (getting stuck) after a few wears, I returned them. However, I can’t imagine simply trading up year after year just to get something new.

    Like

  44. I’ve only returned Dover things when the brass on leather/breakaway halters break before the breakaway/lather parts do, and they put up a huge fuss about it.

    I expect the halter to break under pressure, but not the brass parts. Any normal wear and tear though- I don’t return it.

    Like

  45. OMG let me pick my jaw up off the floor…. people do not do that!!! How can you walk away and sleep at night after using something to the fullest/ruining it yourself and thinking it’s ok to return?!

    Nope not ok….

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s