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Origins did not honor its posted return/exchange policy-against California law

Posted Mon June 6, 2011 11:14 pm, by Christina S. written to Origins

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I went to complete an exchange of product at their Rolling Hills location by the manager Brittany. Their return/exchange policy simply states that when you don’t have a receipt, you will be refunded in the form of a merchandise credit. I wanted to exchange, but they refused my exchange because I am a former employee of months ago. Actually, Kathy A, the district manager, didn’t cite a reason. She simply said that “corporate” said that they were not accepting my exchange/return. This was not entirely true, as I was in another city and could have easily exchanged. However, it’s not even about my exchange now. It’s the fact that they are breaking the law. In my ten years of working for the company, I was never able to refuse an exchange or return for credit except in the case of receipt manipulation. In fact, I had people literally bring me back empty bottles and had to take them back because that’s what Origins said its policy was.

While I understand that it’s not a great “feeling” for the store to have to do an exchange for a former employee, I did not steal the product, and it’s not my concern that it “sucks” for them. I didn’t even buy all of the product that I wished to exchange. Some friends thought it would be funny to buy me Origins after I stopped working for the company. At what point does a former employee get treated like a customer? Six months? a Year? Five years?

I am in California, and California law states that while you do not have to accept returns, but you DO have to post clearly what stipulations you have for your return/exchange policy (for instance, if you require information and may add that information to keep track so as to refuse returns from certain people in the future.) Their return policy has no timeframe and even clearly states what happens when you don’t have a receipt.

I am furious that because they’re a big company, they think that they can literally tell a lie that shows their blatant disregard for the law, and think that I will either be too dumb or too scared to question them as to this violation. I am angry that I found another customer who was refused an exchange because there is a “dollar limitation” even though that is also not posted.

When I wrote to origins.com, they claimed that their policy is that there always has to be a receipt, and that it has to be within 30 days. I told them that ignorance of California law does not preclude them from it.

Honor their posted policy, or change their policy. Either way, they need to follow the LAW.


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by Michelle O. Posted Thu June 9, 2011 @ 11:34 PM

your letter and comments are well written and I agree with you, that
it shouldn't matter that you are a former employee.

I am not sure that your interpretation of the CA law is completely
correct, but not being an attorney, I am also not sure that you are
incorrect. I do know, and verified tonight, that the law provides for
a 7 day return period, with proof of purchase, unless the retailer
posts a more restrictive policy - if it doesn't follow these
guidelines, and for example, they charge a restocking fee, this must
be disclosed - in your case, you don't have proof of purchase - they
are not being more restrictive than the law allows, so I don't know
that you are covered.

I have been a retail mgr for many years, and it is my habit to err on
the side of the consumer, but I still say no to some returns.


@michelle by askchibi Tue June 14, 2011 @ 1:53 PM

whole situation seems peculiar to me by Michelle O. Tue June 14, 2011 @ 3:56 PM

i had figured... by PepperElf Fri June 17, 2011 @ 7:39 AM

pepperelf by askchibi Sat June 18, 2011 @ 11:19 PM

only thing i can suggest then is... by PepperElf Sun June 19, 2011 @ 3:09 PM

what’s really funny by askchibi Sun June 19, 2011 @ 6:51 PM
by Chadg Posted Tue June 7, 2011 @ 8:11 AM

Is there a line in the policy that state "All returns subject to
manager approval" or "We reserve the right to deny any return at our


it may also depend on by PepperElf Wed June 8, 2011 @ 12:14 PM

Another issue could be if they were purchased in a dept. store or an Origins retail store. by Maegan Z. Wed June 8, 2011 @ 4:52 PM

@maegan by askchibi Thu June 9, 2011 @ 7:10 PM

@pepperelf by askchibi Thu June 9, 2011 @ 7:14 PM

did they state why? by PepperElf Thu June 9, 2011 @ 11:24 PM

@pepperelf by askchibi Sun June 12, 2011 @ 1:16 PM

hopefully corp will talk to the store then by PepperElf Tue June 14, 2011 @ 3:04 PM

@chadg by askchibi Thu June 9, 2011 @ 7:06 PM

@askchibi by Meb Sun June 12, 2011 @ 7:37 PM

@meb by askchibi Tue June 14, 2011 @ 2:00 PM

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