Am I stupid not to abuse a return policy?

I had a pair of LL Bean hiking boots, absolutely loved them, and wore them out eventually. I took them to a repair place that told me to just send them back, Bean has a lifetime guarantee. I did and they were replaced with a current model.

Now those have worn out, and I chatted with the CSR at Bean, who pointed out it’s a satisfaction guarantee, not a lifetime guarantee. (He was perfectly polite about it.) I feel that I’m well satisfied with the use I’ve gotten out of both pairs of boots and intend to buy more, but if I wanted to say that I’m unsatisfied I would get new boots for free. I intend to buy new boots, am I stupid?

No. I would call it supporting a company you admire and whom has done good by you in the past.

A little. I know some pretty upstanding people who wouldn’t hesitate to do this.

This would fall under the category of ethics. I think the answer is pretty clear, ethically.

If you choose to do the wrong thing, at least you know it pretty clearly. :)

You’re stupid stupid stupid! Stupid, honest, moral, and upstanding. Yeah, I wouldn’t do it either :)

Good. I’m terrible about bartering or pushing for deals or whatever, sometimes I feel like a sucker.

Nah, buy the boots and support a cool company.

Don’t do it. But then, make up for it by driving over a defenseless turtle.

As ElGuapo mentioned, the ethical answer is pretty clear (no, you’re not stupid). The commercial/economic answer is equally clear (yes, you’re stupid).

You just have to decide which is worth more to you: the price of the boots or your perception of your ethical identity.

Personally, I think I’m economically stupid everytime I leave a tip at a place I’m not a regular or whenever I make a donation. I get over it.

I think if you feel doing something is wrong then it’s not stupid to skip doing it. The type of person who’d call you stupid for not getting the second pair of free boots is also the type of person who would not feel wrong about doing it.

It’s not stupidity. It’s honesty. Nothing bad about that.

I used to work for a major competitor of LL Bean, one that had a comparable policy (lifetime returns, no questions asked).

There were people who purchased five dress shirts and then returned them all for five new dress shirts when they finally wore out after years of everyday wear, and did this over and over again. There was one person I particularly remember who purchased an attache case and returned it after 17 years because the (cloth) handle finally fell off. Those people were almost unanimously regarded as scum of the earth.

So it boils down to: would you rather be an honest “idiot” or a “clever” asshole?

I would return something that I felt hadn’t delivered on it’s promise to me, but if I truly wore something out I would feel I got my monies worth and that buying another would be that proper move. Just me though.

Third option is to support your local shoe repair shop.

No, not stupid, not even a little. If the people you know wouldn’t hesitate to lie to get a new pair of boots, then I question the definition of “upstanding”.

Here’s another ethical question for you all.

Say I bought an item from a store. I like the item, and am satisfied, however the very next day, literally like 18 hours after I bought the item, the store dropped the price on it by $20. The store will not price match.

Would I be unethical if I bought a second item for the reduced price and then returned it using the original receipt, thereby granting myself a price match? I feel this is kind of hinky, but then again, I also feel like I was taken advantage of by buying the item at full price literally hours before the price drop that any sales associate in the store could have told me was coming.

Hell, I do that all the time. To me, it’s more an issue of the store being idiotic with respect to their policies. No price adjustment ,period, but you allow returns? Might as well have a policy that customers do a silly dance when they return: you’re throwing up nothing more than a procedural barrier.

I’d understand a policy of “we’ll only do price adjustments if the item is still in stock”, to discourage speculation and hoarding. I don’t understand, at all, the issue you’re facing. There’s no logic to it, economically or customer service-wise.

Seconded! That guy is obviously one clever asshole.