H&M faces continued backlash over returns fee

H&M chief executive Helena Helmersson remains defiant over charging for returns
H&M chief executive Helena Helmersson remains defiant over charging for returns - TT News Agency/Jonas Ekstroemer via REUTERS

H&M is facing backlash for charging for returns as shoppers say its inconsistent sizing means medium size could really be a small or an XXL.

Asked about issues with sizing, Helena Helmersson, the chief executive of H&M, appeared to acknowledge the problem, telling the BBC: “There’s always improvement to make.”

However, she added the chain has “lower returns” than many of its competitors.

Social media users have criticised the Swedish-based group over the additional fees.

On Trustpilot, a reviews site where the brand has a score of 1.7 out of 5, one customer said they were charged for returning an item that was “three sizes bigger on the label inside the clothing” in August.

“I’m about five different sizes in H&M so how about they sort their abysmal sizing out before charging for returns,” wrote another on Twitter.

In June this year, the high-street retailer introduced a £1.99 fee for customers who are not H&M members making online returns.

No charge in store

The H&M website announced on Sept 20 that shoppers would also be charged £1.99 to return items in store. However, the brand later said this was an inaccurate update which has since been corrected, and that in-store returns remain free for all customers.

A spokesman for H&M said: “We want to ensure that our customers don’t want to return purchased items and strive to help them to find the right size and fit from the outset.

“By reducing returns rate, there are also environmental benefits as it results in less transportation and therefore less emissions.

“As we have communicated before, we started charging a fee for online returns in multiple markets some time ago.

“This system is currently in place in a selection of countries mostly in Europe as well as the US. The rollout is continuing to more markets going forward.”

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