CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
Carol Eagles, the manager of Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk, says changing you mind about something you have bought is a recurring issue for many.
How to change your mind
Y ou don’t have an automatic right to get your money back if you just change your mind about something you’ve bought and there’s nothing wrong with it.
It’s the same no matter how expensive the item was. It is down to the seller whether they offer you anything.
There are certain steps you can take, depending on where you bought the item.
If you bought the item from a shop:
If you’ve changed your mind about something you bought in a shop, first check its own policy on returns. Even though it doesn’t have to do so by law, lots of shops will say you can return items within 14 or sometimes even 30 days, as long as the goods are not used.
Take your receipt with you and return the item in its original packaging.
If you bought the item online, phone or by mail order:
You automatically get a 14-day ‘cooling-off period’ when you buy something you haven’t seen in person, unless it’s bespoke or made to measure.
The period starts as soon as you receive your order, and there doesn’t need to be anything wrong with the item for you to get a refund.
You won’t get a cooling-off period when you buy:
• something that deteriorates quickly
• an item that was personalised or custom-made for you
• anything from a private individual rather than a business
• a CD, DVD or software, if you break the seal on the wrapping Use your cooling-off period: You need to tell the seller you don’t want the item within 14 days of receiving it. Once you’ve told the seller, you’ve got another 14 days to actually send back the item.
You can use our template letter which you can download from www.citizens advice.org.uk to let the seller know you’re cancelling.
Fourteen days is the absolute minimum cooling-off period that a seller must give you. How to return the item: Most sellers give instructions on how to return items and often include return labels with your order. You usually have 14 days to return the item after telling the seller.
You may have to pay the cost of posting something back to the seller. The seller should have told you this when you bought the item.
You don’t have to return the item in its original packaging, but you do need to make sure it’s packaged in a way that means it doesn’t get damaged. The seller has to pay you the refund within 14 days from when they receive the item.
Further information can be found on our website www.citizens advice.org.uk or you can contact your local Citizens Advice office for help.