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: Oh, thanks.
Neil: Very different from the one you were
wearing the day before that… and the day
Feifei: What are you suggesting, Neil?
Neil: Nothing, nothing… shall we hear
some examples of our expression –
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
B: No way! You must be rich.
A: Not really. I return about £300 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
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.
Neil: Now, 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!