By Michael MacLeod
MARKS and Spencer bosses have defended their decision to ditch their famous 90-day returns policy before Christmas.
The legendary high street retail giant recently quietly axed the popular three-month no quibbles rule without any fanfare, but shoppers are complaining they have been led-on.
Shoppers are angry that they now can’t offer M&S “many happy returns” at the end of 2009, the firm’s 125th birthday.
But Marks hit back last night claiming their new 35-day returns policy was still “the best on the high street.”
They said two thirds of their customers returning goods do so within a fortnight.But having slashed their returns spell by two thirds, thrifty Christmas shoppers who buy now won’t be able to get their cash back they try to return unwanted gifts after the big day.
One shopper said she fell foul of the new rules when she tried to return a £45 dress.
She said: “M&S should have been clearer about the change. I was so upset.”
And angry customers have bombarded online message boards to complain.
One grumbled: “I don’t think that 35 days is enough time.
“In future I won’t be buying anything from M&S unless I’m absolutely sure I won’t return the item.”
But an M&S spokesman pointed out that the new returns deal is printed “clearly” on every receipt, adding that their rivals only offer 28 days for returning goods.
They said: “Our returns policy is the best on the high street.
“We offer customers a full refund or exchange on goods returned within 35 days.
“Many of our competitors offer just 28 days.
“The last date for return is clearly printed on the till receipt and the overwhelming majority of our customers return unwanted items well within this period – in fact, two thirds of them return within two weeks.”