Retail manager’s rant over 17-year-old shirt and vest ensemble goes viral

WHEN is it too late to return an unwanted item of clothing for exchange?

While most of us realise that returns need to be made in a timely manner to qualify for a refund, it seems one shopper hasn’t clued on — but they managed to get away with it anyway.

A hilarious post on Reddit appears to show that a cheeky consumer tried to return a Gap shirt and waistcoat combo to the store almost 17 years after it was stocked.

Astonishingly, whoever was working that day appears to have accepted the return — which still had the tags on — if the posted image is to be believed.

The outfit is accompanied by what appears to be an irate note penned by the store manager, reading: “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!”

Several Redditers commented on the noticeably outdated style of the outfit, dubbing it “The Chandler Bing collection”.

The post quickly went viral, attracting comments from retail workers who discussed how the shirt, a size XL which retailed for $US24.50 at the time, could have been refunded.

“I’m amazed that their [point of sale] software would allow a return that old without a manager’s approval,” one commenter wrote.

“Also amazing that the manager didn’t know who accepted the return, which would be nearly impossible at any GAP,” another added.

But one possible explanation was raised by a retail worker who suggested: “I’m sure the employee scanned the barcode and it came up blank in the system. The customer was probably throwing a fit, so the employee just shrugged, rung them up for store credit, then moved on with their life ... GAP lost a couple dollars but the customer is happy and they can throw this on the clearance rack. NBD [no big deal].”

Another noted that that some cashiers at Gap still had the ability to manually enter returns.

Former Gap workers pointed out that the company apparently had a no-time-limit returns policy at the time of the sale.

“On the back of the receipt it actually said that they return it any time, as long as it was unwashed/unworn,” one former worker said.

“Yes, they’ve changed the policy, but that wasn’t part of the agreement when it was purchased.”

Another said: “I worked for Gap from 2001-2005 and the deal was that as long as it was unworn they had a receipt we had to take a return, which could mean accepting Levi’s which Gap used to sell when it opened in 1969!”

And finally: “If someone can manage to keep their original receipt from a clothing purchase for almost 17 years (and have it be in readable condition), damn ... They deserve that return.”

Sourcing and supply chains are a little bit of a mess right now, and those not suffering as a result of that have figured out how to bend with the changes of the market.

Natalie Johnsonreturns, gap