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L.L. Bean Has Ended Its Lifetime Guarantee Policy And People Are Fessing Up

The century-old outdoor apparel company ended its lifetime guarantee policy on Friday because "a small, but growing number of customers" abused its offer.

Posted on February 9, 2018, at 1:25 p.m. ET

It is the end of an era. L.L. Bean told customers in an email and Facebook post on Friday that it is ending its legendary lifetime guarantee policy.

The outdoor gear retailer had allowed customers to return products for a refund after years, or even decades, as part of its return policy — but some people were abusing it.

HBO / Via

Because "a small, but growing number of customers" have interpreted the "guarantee well beyond its original intent," the company said it is changing its policy.

@llbean / Via Facebook: llbean

"Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years," the company wrote in a Facebook post. "Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales."

L.L. Bean did not immediately respond to a request for comment by BuzzFeed News.

Now, customers will have just one year to return items with a receipt if the product is "defective due to materials or craftsmanship," according to the company's website.

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

After one year, the company said on Facebook it will work with customers "to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way."

People took the news...personally.

@austingardner07 / Via Twitter: @austingardner07

"Feeling chastised by the update to the #llbean return policy and I'm not even one of the people they're talking about," said one person.

@pinkglitterinc / Via Twitter: @pinkglitterinc

Some people supported the policy change with the enthusiasm of a protective dad.

@bradleyvandalen / Via Twitter: @bradleyvandalen

Some people fessed up about their own behavior.

@lindseybreton / Via Twitter: @lindseybreton

One person said the change spells the end of a Sunday family tradition.

@owltastic / Via Twitter: @owltastic


@Tony_Fontana / Via Twitter: @Tony_Fontana

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.