Lucy Morris | Fashion and Beauty Editor | Friday, 6 January 2017

True Story: How To Return A 17-Year-Old Top To Gap And Get A Full Refund

True Story: How To Return A 17-Year-Old Top To Gap And Get A Full Refund

The Debrief: And our very worst crimes against retail...

All hail the greatest clothing refund in the history of shopping. A longtime Gap shopper returned a 17-year-old maroon shirt (with its label still attached) and in the process become a living breathing hero to shoppers everywhere.

First purchased at the dawn of Y2k and after nearly two decades of taking up closet space this piece, which is old enough to be considered vintage, is now back in the hands of Gap thanks to this bargain hunter.

This icon's heroic retail heist came to the web's attention via an image that recently surfaced on Reddit. The picture shows an internal memo by a furious Gap manager alongside the offending article. It reads: 'Who on Earth accepted this as a return?!?!?! This item is from the summer of 2000! That was almost 17 years ago! Our return policy is 45 days! If you're not sure, ASK! - Management'. 

While it seems unbelievable that such a major corporate enterprise like Gap would be so lax on its refund policy, team Debrief has had firsthand experience both in front of and behind the till dealing with horror-story returns. Here are our worst crimes against retail... 

Tales From Behind The Till

The Milk Dud

While working in River Island, one of my colleagues accepted a bikini return as it still had all the labels on, including the hygiene strip. What she didn’t notice until too late there were breast milk stains on the inside of the top.

The Well-Worn Pair

I once accepted the return of a pair of men’s jeans. Everything seemed fine until I went to hang them back on the rail and a pair of (worn) boxers fell out the leg!

Dealing With Red Tape

I had to contend with multiple period-related incidents from people trying on white jeans in the changing room.

Seasons Greetings 

There was one time, around Christmas, when the new weekend temp radioed for a manager to come to the fitting room as she’d found a bag ‘that has a funny smell coming out of it’. It was a paper H&M bag filled with diarrhoea. Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like that gem. 

Crusty Feet Chancer

As a teen I worked in a women's shoes shop that specialised in wide fitting footwear, and we had one regular customer who had really swollen crusty feet who would come in with stretched out crust-covered shoes and try and return them.

Tales From The Returns Line

The Zara Offender

After wearing a pair of Zara shoes on a night out they got scratched, so I took them back and persuaded the manager to give me a full refund. I took that money and bought a pair of Doc Martins instead.

The Workwear Heist

I once worked in a department store where staff got 50% off workwear. I found my dream pair of Whistles trousers were on promotion so with my discount I got a huge 70% off the RRP, costing me about £40. Like most things in my closet I wore them for five months but got bored of them, so I did what any person would do and put them up on DePop. I lied and said I’d hardly worn them and sold them for £45 in the end. While the DePoper thought they were getting a huge discount they didn't realise I had made five quid in profit and worn the trousers for five months! Shameful or entrepreneurial?

The Chronic Make-Up Smudger

More than once I've left half my face on the inside of a top I tried on in the changing room. Obviously, even if I like the piece I never buy the exact one I just stained. 

Just Plain Old Thieving

I've accidentally walked out of a store with earrings in my hand and didn't realise. 

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Tags: GAP, Shopping