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Banana Republic’s Weird Price Protection Policy Creates A Loss of Business

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This was definitely a funny experience I had today. Last week I had to purchase some clothing items and it was recommended to me that I simply visit a Banana Republic store. I was given a list of things to buy and for the most part it was straight forward. However, I didn’t have my usual bargain hunting mindset on as I simply needed something in the near future for work and it isn’t exactly a category of expertise for me. So I just paid the full retail price. It definitely wasn’t inexpensive where two polo shirts came out to about one hundred and thirty dollars with tax.

So it was a surprise to me to learn today that they were having a 40% off everything sale. That is a pretty substantial savings where I could save like fifty two dollars. I read the price protection policy on the receipt and all too and it said they will adjust prices within 7 days of purchase.

banana republic gap price protection policy in store

Unwashed and unworn merchandise, accompanied by an original sales receipt may be returned to any Canadian store within 45 days Of purchase for full refund in original form of payment Markdown Merchandise ending in 97 or is an additional 50% off or more is FINAL sale and cannot be returned or exchanged. A one time price adjustment may be made within 7 days of purchase with an original receipt. All returns, exchanges and price adjustments must be made in the country OF original purchase, Valid photo ID required for unreceipted returns and to receive redeem store credits. Banana Republic merchandise cannot be returned to Banana Republic Factory Stores, Additional terms and restrictions apply.

So I figured great as I would simply bring my receipt to the store and get the difference back just like how most businesses operate.

That wasn’t the case when I arrived. While at the customer service desk I was passed on to a person who looked like the floor manager and it was explained that they couldn’t give me the price protection unless I brought back the actual clothes that I had purchased. That was very weird I thought and I re-affirmed to him that my intent wasn’t to return the items but rather I simply wanted the sale price as it is within the 7 day mark. Just as a better example for you all, imagine buying like a 50 inch TV from a store where they tell you that you have 7 days to get a price adjustment. Now normally in these cases you can just bring back your receipt and it would be as simple as that. In this case the guy was insisting that you must actually bring the 50 inch TV back.

Again, I tried to clarify with him and even mentioned that I worked at a retail store before and know how simple the process should be. He then asked if I have worn the clothes and I mentioned I haven’t as it’s all with its original tag and all. Regardless, he then mentioned that he needed to make sure that the clothes wasn’t actually worn to get a price adjustment as to his understanding of the policy it wouldn’t make sense to give me the sale price on an item if it has been used in anyway. Try thinking about that for a moment with what the concept of a price protection should be.

In the end, he said he would mark a note on my receipt to give me a few extra days to bring the merchandise to the store to process the credit. I didn’t want to debate with him too much even though it was super interesting to me from a business perspective. The thing is, based on this experience I am going to simply return the whole purchase and get a full refund. From a business point of view it just seems silly in almost every way. Therefore, it’s one of those situations I feel where you have to vote with your dollar. Hence, the only way to get them to realize how weird this process is on paper is to demonstrate how they lose business as a result.

Now granted maybe it was just this manager who was uneducated about his own company’s policies where my interpretation was indeed accurate. But it’s a good lesson business wise I think. Make it extremely odd and difficult for customers to get the things that you advertise on face value and it’s a good way to lose business fast. It’s quite a bit of money in this case too. So if you are reading this Banana Republic, or Gap the company as a whole, you may want to look into this odd price protection policy that you have.

Comments to Banana Republic’s Weird Price Protection Policy Creates A Loss of Business

  • BR offers the one time price adjustment on items that actually went on sale. You wanted to take advantage of a promotion. As a customer the difference in ” sale ” and ” promotion ” may be irrelevant but the policy for price adjustments applies to sale items. If your item goes on sale within 7 days then you bring in reciept for adjustment. If a promotion starts after you buy something you have to return it and repurchase it with the new promotion applied. All promotions have ” not applicable to previous purchases ” written in the guidelines on signage.

    I felt compelled to comment when I saw your original post on twitter as the response from BR’s twitter was incorrect.

    BR insider 2/16/2016 11:47 am
  • BR Insider,

    I am not entirely sure if you are in a sense agreeing or disagreeing with me as one of the main point of the post was how the person (manager at the store at least and from the corporate response) insisted that people must bring the whole physical item back despite you having all the information you need to do things like a simple return and resell from the original receipt.

    I don’t know any company that would require you to like say bring back your 50 inch TV or entire desktop to a store to receive things like a “sale” or “promotion” price within the stated time limit. Its official twitter response would make sense to me and is how it should work for any business:


    Although for me the response was too late as I returned the product because of the experience.

    Alan Yu 2/16/2016 12:43 pm
  • You do need the item to return it. I don’t know which store would ever let you return something without it physically there. The only time you don’t need it is if you are indeed eligable for a price adjustment: within 7 days and the item went onto permanent sale price not just a promotion. The loop hole around that is to just return the item, in true return condition, then repurchase it if you want to take advantage of the price.

    How would the brand have any integrity or generate any sales if people could just bring in their reciepts to get money back every time the promotion changed? ( which is frequent )

    I don’t think it is accurate to compare a clothing store with a store that would sell a 50 inch TV.

    There are many many clothing stores that have far more strict policies when it comes to price adjustments / returns in general.

    Clothing stores, BR in particular, are constantly promotional and continuously having sales. To protect themselves from abusing return policies they have to have strict policies. It sucks for the honest good intentions type of customers but there are so many scammers that the company has to be strict on their policies.

    BR insider 2/16/2016 1:33 pm
  • Which other store do you know of personally with a price protection policy of sort that wouldn’t process the refund just like how they indicated on the twitter response? Even “low end” stores that sell clothing items like a Walmart would operate that way with stipulations where it doesn’t apply to things like clearance prices of course. Or in the case of even Banana Republic’s online store it would be kind of silly if they required people to send the items back first.

    I am curious if you can give me an actual scenario on how a company can be “scammed” in this way. Especially in my case where the company had all of my information. There is another example I will use too as to why companies would process things this way but I’d be curious in hearing your scenario for it.

    Alan Yu 2/16/2016 1:48 pm
  • Please do not be so agressive. GAP used to do the price adjustment only with original receipt.

    Susan 9/1/2016 6:35 am
  • It was the original receipt.

    Alan Yu 9/1/2016 10:48 pm
  • To this date, BR Yorkdale Mall still has this policy. I had a similar experience in October so nothing has changed despite what the twitter feeds say. Sorry BR, you failed in making it the best possible experience for your customers.

    Tam Ngo 11/25/2018 6:27 am
  • Tam, you make me almost want to try this again and video tape the whole thing as what is actually written in the policy plus that tweet means the employees are getting it wrong for some reason. Plus if you think about it that makes no sense where if your experience was like mine and they claim for a price protection they want to make sure it is unworn how can they guarantee people that the clothes you bought wasn’t worn by someone in the changing room where they decided not to buy it? Because technically that would mean no one would be qualified for a price protection in that case.

    Alan Yu 11/25/2018 11:41 pm

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