Boohoo introduces £1.99 returns fee – here’s what shoppers need to know
Online retailer Boohoo has introduced a £1.99 returns fee, which means shoppers will now be charged to send back unwanted items.
Many customers have complained about the change saying they used to order items in multiple sizes and then return those that didn't fit - something they'll now be charged to do. Boohoo has no physical stores for shoppers to try on clothes or to return them for free.
Boohoo blamed the new £1.99 returns charge, which took effect on 5 July, on the rising cost of shipping. Until now, the service had been free to use.
We explain everything you need to know below. You can also read our Cheap online shopping guide for tips on how to cut costs.
Boohoo now charges for unwanted returns - but it's still free to send back faulty goods
Shoppers using Boohoo's standard service will now be charged for each parcel they return - regardless of the postal service they select to use. If you try to return multiple items from different orders in the same parcel to minimise postage costs, you may be charged multiple times. Boohoo returns must be made within 28 days of receipt.
It's important to note, however, that this fee only relates to returning unwanted items. If items you've ordered are faulty, or not as described, then you're legally entitled to have returns postage either covered in advance or refunded to you by the retailer. In this scenario, you need to contact Boohoo's customer services team before sending items back.
Boohoo says it's yet to decide whether to roll out a returns fee to its Burton, Coast, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Nasty Gal, Karen Millen, MissPap, Oasis, PrettyLittleThing, and Warehouse brands. However, Wallis - which Boohoo also owns - already charges for returns. Here, the cost varies depends on the method of return chosen.
Here's how Boohoo's returns fee will be debited
How you'll pay for the returns fee depends on the method you originally used to purchase items:
- If you paid via debit or credit card - your refund, minus the £1.99 fee, will be returned to the account you paid with.
- If you paid with a gift card, store credit or voucher - a replacement to the value of the refund will be issued, minus the £1.99 returns fee.
- If you paid using a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service - how the fee will be debited depends on the BNPL provider used. Clearpay, Klarna, and PayPal's "Pay in 3", for example, will take the £1.99 fee straight off the refund due. Of course, you'll only be refunded what you've already paid in instalments - for example, if you've paid a £20 instalment towards a £60 order, you'll get back £20, minus £1.99. See our Buy Now, Pay Later guide for more info on how these schemes work - and what to watch out for before using them.
Want to avoid the £1.99 fee? You could sign up to Boohoo Premium
The only way to completely avoid the £1.99 returns fee is by signing up to Boohoo Premium. This gives shoppers free returns for one year, as well as free next day delivery, which normally costs non-Premium customers £5.99 per order. Boohoo Premium does cost £12.99 a year though, so weigh up if it's worth it first.
If you do take out Boohoo Premium, diarise to review whether you want to keep the service after a year as you'll then be charged the same £1.99 returns fee as standard shoppers.