Did you get a dismal Christmas present? The reasons you can and CAN’T get a refund on your unwanted gift are revealed
- Unwanted gifts are not sufficient excuse for a refund this holiday season
- The law protects customers if products do not meet expected standards
- Shoppers can return products without a receipt but they need proof of purchase
- Items don’t need to be in their original packaging to be returned
Australians hoping to return that dud Christmas gift from their long-lost aunt may find it more difficult than they hoped.
The rules around exchanging and returning products are back in the spotlight after Christmas and with many shoppers ready to hit the stores for the Boxing Day sales.
What you are allowed to return can vary dramatically, according to consumer rights group Choice.
Shoppers wanting to return unwanted Christmas gifts (pictured) may be out of luck (stock)
Unwanted gifts are not a good enough reason to get a refund for a product, but some stores will allow exchanges or refund a product for store credit.
Likewise, changing your mind about a purchase or finding a cheaper alternative are not likely to guarantee a refund on your original purchase.
The main catalyst for a refund is usually because a product has been deemed faulty or doesn’t match up to how it was advertised.
‘If a product or service does not meet the consumer guarantees, you are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund,” Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson told Ten News.
‘Products must be of acceptable quality, match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising,’ Mr Anderson said.
To get your money back you will need proof of purchase but the item doesn’t have to be in its original packaging.
Consumers are being urged to know their rights this Christmas about what they can and can’t refund at the cash register (stock)
Even if you don’t have the original receipt if you can show you bought the item on a credit card or bank statement it should be adequate proof for a return.
Consumers should also be aware that a ‘no refunds’ sign in a store has no legal basis, as the law applies to all stores regardless of their policy.
People having trouble getting a refund were advised to speak to a more senior staff member or lodging a formal complaint.
Above all don’t hesitate to show your knowledge of Australian Consumer Law as you head to the shops this holiday season.