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H&M is a store known for its stylish trendy pieces and low prices. These prices sometimes even have specials that make the clothes ultra-cheap. This is why everyone was excited when they announced their grand opening in the Mall of San Juan and Plaza del Sol.

The thing is, they have some issues with their service in Puerto Rico, service that can negatively impact their sales and reception on the island.

Let's start with their return policy. On the H&M website, their return policy is clearly stated:  

You have 30 days to decide if an item is right for you. H&M will refund or exchange an item, provided that it has not been damaged, soiled, washed, altered or worn and that all labels and tags are attached.” Furthermore, they specify how items are to be returned. In the “Return In Store” section, it says as follows: “Returns in-store are free. Just bring the item(s) you wish to return to any U.S H&M Store. Make sure you also bring the Packing Slip and the credit or debit card you used for your purchase. If there are any issues with your order, such as wrong or missing items, please return via mail, not in-store.  The same applies to all orders shipped to Puerto Rico”.

Returning by mail wouldn’t be such a hard issue even with all the hassle of sending back a bulky package if returning by mail were fee-less—which is not. You’d think that if Puerto Ricans were unable to return items by mail, their mail fees would be waived. That is not the case. H&M’s policy states that “the easiest way to return by mail is via USPS, using the self-adhesive return label found on your Packing Slip. This label is pre-paid and pre-addressed, and the return shipping fee of $5.99 will automatically be deducted from your refund.”

The second issue they have with their service in Puerto Rico concerns the use of gift cards. The H&M gift cards, that can be found and bought in convenience stores, like Walgreens and CVS, can’t be used in the stores located on the island. They can only be used in the United States or online.

In the gift cards terms & conditions, there is nowhere written that they can’t be used in the stores of our island. The terms & conditions only state: “H&M Gift Cards and H&M Merchandise Cards may be used in H&M stores and online on hm.com in the country where the card was bought or where the H&M Merchandise Card was issued.”

We learned about this problem after when we tried using our H&M gift cards. We received some H&M gift cards, bought in Walgreens over the Holidays, and when we tried to use them in-store, we were told that they were not a viable payment method. We were told to call Customer Service to see what could be done about the problem. When we talked to their Customer Service to see what was the problem, they said: “Puerto Rico has a different electronic payment system.” Apparently, the gift cards don't work with this system. We were also told that they didn't know when the problem would be fixed.

It's frustrating having to deal with this kind of problems especially when we are included in their policies as part of the United States, but at the time of payments, shipping or returning, we are not treated as such.

Below are some screenshots of their policy page at the time of writing this article.

 

 

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Arhiadne is a freshman at UPR. She's currently in the Humanities Faculty but is thinking about changing to the Faculty of Business Administration because she wants to open her own restaurant someday. However, she usually doesn't have much to say about herself because, according to her, she only knows how to binge-watch Netlfix.
Antoinette Luna is a Performance Studies and Comparative Literature major at the UPR. Her passions include writing, reading, and anything crafty. She loves to sew, write, and make things from scratch. DIY is the name of her game. Around campus, she is known as a bubbly young woman who goes by just Luna. Her future goals include traveling, traveling, and more traveling. Outspoken transfeminist, and wannabe activist, she's out to set fires.
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