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I returned my Stella McCartney bag to Saks. Where's my money?

Julie Kuklenski returned her Stella McCartney cross-body bag to Saks. But the company won't return her money. What's going on?

I ordered a Stella McCartney cross-body bag from recently. I made this purchase while Saks was offering a promotion on designer handbags and received $200 off the original price of $950. I received the wrong bag.

I called Saks, and a representative said that this item was sent from a store and not their warehouse. I received a return label and returned it via FedEx; it was received by the Saks return center.

I called Saks five times after I received the new handbag and finally received an adjustment of $209. I did not love the color (brownish red), as I was looking for a vegan leather handbag in a chocolate brown.

I decided to return the bag, and I did so well within the 30-day window to return from the delivery date. The tracking shows that the bag was received by the return center, and I have called several times to check on my refund. A representative promised a refund within 7 to 10 days, but I have not received it. Can you help me get my money back?

Julie Kuklenski, Evergreen, Colo.

Saks should have sent you the right bag the first time. But I think you confused the company with your exchanges and returns. It looks like it started the 30-day clock when it delivered the first bag, not the second one.

I list the names, numbers, and email of the Saks customer service executives on my consumer advocacy site, A brief, polite email to one of them might have cleared things up for you and resulted in a quick refund.

Saks promises its returns are "easy," and, as you note, it gives you 30 days to return your item. However, it doesn't specify when the 30 days starts. Is it when the first incorrect item is delivered, or the correct item? If you were past the 30 days, someone from Saks should have told you before you returned your bag.

Saks found itself in a difficult position. It had accepted your return, so it either needed to refund you or return the bag to you. It seemed to want to do neither.

If there's a lesson here, maybe it's that you need to be sure that you want an item before you order it online. Or, if you're not sure, maybe go to a Saks location to take a look at the item before buying it. None of that would have prevented Saks from sending you the wrong bag, but once it replaced the bag with the correct one, your problem would have been solved.

I contacted Saks on your behalf. A representative called you and reviewed your order. Saks refunded you the full amount for your returned bag, as promised.

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him at

© 2023 Christopher Elliott


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