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Burton and Dorothy Perkins shoppers struggle to return online purchases after Boohoo takeover

Burton and Dorothy Perkins shoppers have been left struggling to return clothes because they are unable to generate return labels online and the retailers no longer provide paper versions, can reveal. The brands' new owner Boohoo has apologised for the problems and says it will honour returns even if they arrive late – we've full help on what to do below.

Online fashion retailer Boohoo bought the Burton and Dorothy Perkins brands from Arcadia Group earlier this year after Arcadia collapsed into administration, though the deal only covered stock, websites and digital assets, and Burton and Dorothy Perkins' 214 remaining stores were closed.

The closures mean in-store returns are no longer possible, and both Burton and Dorothy Perkins have phased out despatch notes and returns labels in parcels "to reduce impact on the environment". Instead, shoppers who need to send items back are now directed to an online portal to generate their own label.

But in recent days shoppers have found they're unable to generate Royal Mail returns labels via this online portal, simply getting an error message when they try. What's more, if they've tried to get a Royal Mail label, they're then unable to generate any other kind of returns label either, leaving them struggling to send back items. 

For full info on your rights when buying goods online, see our Consumer Rights guide.

'Your website is refusing to send a label - I can't afford not to be refunded'

While Burton and Dorothy Perkins haven't said how many customers are affected, we've seen dozens of complaints about this on social media in the last week. Here are just a few:  

How to make sure you get a refund

If you need to return an item you bought online from Burton or Dorothy Perkins, here's what you can do:

  • If you haven't started a return yet, DON'T choose a Royal Mail return – try another option instead. When you opt to return an item to Burton or Dorothy Perkins, you have to choose what kind of returns label you want to generate. Boohoo says the problem occurs when customers choose to print a Royal Mail returns label. 

    If you can, choose a different returns method instead – for example, ParcelShop (which enables you to drop the parcel off at one of 4,500+ locations) or MyHermes (where you can arrange for the parcel to be collected from your home). Boohoo says all options other than Royal Mail should be working fine.

  • Already tried and failed to generate a Royal Mail return label? You WON'T be able to generate any kind of returns label – so contact customer services instead. Annoyingly, if you've attempted to generate a Royal Mail returns label and got an error message, you won't then be able to just choose another option instead, as the system will say (incorrectly) that you've already generated a returns label.

    So instead you'll need to contact customer services. While phone lines remain shut, you can email Burton or Dorothy Perkins via their websites, or contact Burton or Dorothy Perkins on Twitter.

    Don't worry if you don't get a response immediately. Boohoo has told us it will honour all returns, even if it takes longer to return the item than the usual 14 days stipulated in its returns policy. 

It's worth noting that separate to Burton and Dorothy Perkins' own return policies, you do have the right under consumer law to cancel your entire order within 14 days of receipt and then return the item(s) within a further 14 days. Technically you can do this by completing a cancellation form on the Burton or Dorothy Perkins websites and including that form in the parcel you return. However, crucially, if you do this you'll need to pay to return the item, so it's best to follow the process above and use the retailers' own return policies instead. 

If you find you've followed these tips and are still having problems, please let us know at

What does Boohoo say?

A spokesperson for Boohoo said: "We are very sorry that the transition of ownership of these brands has caused an issue for these customers. The Royal Mail returns problem is being resolved as quickly as possible, but all other return options are working. The customer services team are reaching out to support the customers who are experiencing problems and all returns will be honoured even if they exceed the 14 day return policy."

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