Re­funds and Ex­changes - A mat­ter of pol­icy

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

The Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau Serv­ing the At­lantic Prov­inces (BBB) re­minds con­sumers to take an ex­tra few min­utes to in­quire about a store’s re­fund, re­turn or ex­change pol­icy be­fore pur­chas­ing any good or ser­vice.

With the hus­tle and bus­tle of the Christ­mas sea­son upon us, con­sumers should be aware not all stores of­fer a cash re­fund nor are they obliged to do so. Any store can of­fer to ex­change the item, pro­vide a cash re­fund mi­nus a re­stock­ing charge, of­fer a credit note or sim­ply main­tain a pol­icy of ‘all sales fi­nal’.

Shop­pers should ask for a gift re­ceipt and en­close it with the present. Also, don’t re­move elec­tron­ics or sim­i­lar prod­ucts from their boxes be­fore wrap­ping, as the orig­i­nal pack­ag­ing may be re­quired for a re­turn.

If you are the gift re­cip­i­ent, do not as­sume you have the right to re­turn or ex­change an un­wanted present. Like the shop­per, you are bound by the mer­chant’s re­turn pol­icy.

Look for a posted re­turn pol­icy when shop­ping online. If re­turns are per­mit­ted, ask what pro­ce­dures and time­frame needs to be fol­lowed.

Your BBB also re­minds con­sumers to in­quire as to whether spe­cial con­di­tions ap­ply to the Christ­mas sea­son such as no re­turns on Box­ing Day, as it of­ten can be the busiest day of the year for mer­chants.

As well, if you place an item on lay­away, al­ways ask if your de­posit is re­fund­able should you change your mind.

The Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau en­cour­ages stores to post signs out­lin­ing their poli­cies, in a prom­i­nent place in or­der to elim­i­nate fu­ture prob­lems.

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