Serial returner

Feifei’s wearing a lovely new coat today. In fact she’s had a lovely new coat every day for the last month. How can she afford it? Learn an expression for a person who frequently buys but then returns items from shops.

Summary

Feifei’s wearing a lovely new coat today. In fact she’s had a lovely new coat every day for the last month. How can she afford it? Learn an expression for a person who frequently buys but then returns items from shops.

Transcript

Feifei
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak with me, Feifei…

Neil
…and me, Neil. Nice coat you were wearing this morning, by the way.

Feifei
Thanks! In this programme we have an expression which describes a certain kind of shopper who likes to return items they’ve bought and get their money back.

Neil
What’s wrong with that?

Feifei
Nothing if there’s a problem with the items, but shops, particularly online retailers, say they’re losing lots of money because people are regularly returning items – possibly even after they’re used them. They’re called ‘serial returners’.

Neil
And this isn’t about breakfast cornflakes, is it?

Feifei
No, Neil. The ‘serial’ in this expression means ‘repeat’. You might have heard the expression a ‘TV serial’ – it means there are many episodes.

Neil
And that was a nice new coat you had on yesterday, by the way, Feifei.

Feifei
Thanks.

Neil
Very different from the one you were wearing the day before that… and the day before that.

Feifei
What are you suggesting, Neil?

Neil
Nothing, nothing… shall we hear some examples of our expression – ‘serial returner’?

Examples
Oh no, this customer has sent back an order for the fifth time this month. If we don’t block these serial returners, we’re going to go out of business!

A: I buy about £400 worth of clothes every month.

B: No way! You must be rich.

A: Not really. I return about £200 worth. I’m one of those serial returners.

And in business news, online clothes shops are introducing new measures to make it harder for so-called serial returners to get refunds on their orders.

Feifei
You’re listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. In this programme, we’re looking at the expression ‘serial returner’. It’s used to talk about people who return lots of items they’ve bought – usually online.

Neil
So, as I was saying, you’ve had a nice new coat on every day for the last… well, month. Did you win the lottery?

Feifei
No, there is a perfectly innocent explanation.

Neil
Yes – you’re a serial returner, aren’t you?

Feifei
Absolutely not! I just knew we were going to make this programme on the expression ‘serial returner’ and thought I needed to do a little… research.

Neil
Ha! It’s very important to do proper research, I agree.

Both
Bye!

Neil
Which one’s your favourite?

Feifei
The pea-green one with the furry collars.

Neil
Are you going to keep it?

Feifei
Nah – too expensive!

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