Consumer guide to returning goods
Thinking of returning that Christmas pressie? Read this first.
My child's gift broke:
Minor fault: The retailer can choose between repairing it, replacing it, or giving you a refund. If the retailer refuses to fix the problem or takes longer than is reasonable, ask for your money back.
Serious fault: The buyer gets to choose between a refund, asking for a replacement or keeping the goods but receiving a discounted price.
I'm told I can have a credit note as a refund:
A refund means exactly that - a full cash refund - not a credit note, and not a refund less deductions for anything related to the failure of the goods.
No refunds on sales goods:
Retailers who refuse refunds on Boxing Day sales items are breaking the law. The retailer is legally obliged to replace, repair or refund faulty goods.
I hate my new jumper:
A retailer is not legally obliged to exchange or refund goods because you change your mind or don't like a gift. However, some retailers offer exchange or return policies. Generally the tags must still be attached.
Look for return conditions on a retailer's website or the sales receipt. If they don't have an exchange policy, consider listing the new Christmas reindeer jumper on TradeMe.
My wife doesn't like her new necklace. Can I get a refund?
No. If you change your mind, all you can do is politely ask for your money back. The retailer is under no obligation to refund you.
Many online clothing retailers offer exchange policies for items that do not fit. This is a decision made by individual retailers and is not legally required. If a jumper doesn't match its online description, the company must replace or refund the goods and cover postage.
Our new fan short-circuited and burned a hole in the wall:
The shop must pay for replacing the fan and reimburse you for the damage.
I changed my mind on a flat-screen telly:
There are exceptions to the rules. If you signed a credit contract for a new television but the goods are yet to be delivered, you have the right to cancel the contract within three days of purchase.
A toaster must be a toaster:
Goods must also be fit for their purpose and be of acceptable quality. A $200 toaster should last you longer and be of higher quality than a $10 one. You can take the items back if they are not up to scratch.