General query on refunds

Hi Guys, I’ve no doubt that someone on here will know the answer to this,

So I purchased my kids new school uniform from Marks and Spencer, I then returned the unwanted goods to my local store and the refund was put through. However here I am 4 days later and the money has not as yet hit my account, now luckily enough I’m not dependant on it but am just wondering why when you pay for something the money tends to leave you account fairly instantly but when you return something and they are effectivly paying you that the process takes so much longer?


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Refund are not instant. They are never instant. Marks and Spencer states that it takes around 3 to 5 days to refund and that will be working days. You are still within the refund window. Why is simply because refunds are processed differently.


To be fair I’m not really complaining about marks, I’m more just wondering why the process in general takes longer with any retailer, I would have thought it should be as quick as when you purchase from them.

I think it has something to do with when you purchases something you are only authorising the purchase. With high street banks it is deducted from your account a few days later when the purchase settles. Monzo just takes the authorisation straight away to make life simple. Cancelling a authorisation can be quicker but once it goes into settlement, the same will occur the other way around with refunds. The payment authorised to be returned and take a number of days for the authorisation to deduct the money in settlement and credit your account.

I may be wrong so I am happy to be corrected in any aspect.


3-5 working days for things returned to a store that sells clothing and 7-10 days for clothing returns to food halls. (returns to foodhalls are not processed immediately, go through Doddle returns). As Chapuys said, the retailer doesn’t get your money straight away either as it’s ringfenced or set aside in both situations (shown as pending).