That unwanted gift...
While many of us will hopefully receive everything on their wish list for Christmas, it is likely there will be at least one present you can live without. A shop does not have to give you a refund if you:
• Decide you don’t want the goods.
• Find the same thing cheaper elsewhere.
• Bought something for someone else that they don’t like or already have.
• Bought clothes that don’t fit or something that doesn’t match what you already have.
Many retailers are willing to give the buyer an exchange card at the time of purchase, which can be used if the person receiving the gift would rather exchange it for something else at the shop. Before you buy something you are unsure about, ask whether the shop has a ‘change of mind’ returns policy. This usually says:
• You have a limited time to return the goods.
• Goods can be exchanged for other goods or a credit note. • Proof of purchase is required.
However, if the gift is faulty or not of acceptable quality the Consumer Guarantees Act gives you certain rights. You have the right to take the goods back to the shop and they are required to put the problem right. If the goods can be repaired in a reasonable time, you must allow the trader a chance to repair. They may choose to refund or offer replacement goods. If they will not or cannot fix the problem, then you can insist on a refund of your money. You may need to provide proof that the goods were bought at that shop if the goods were a gift. It is not required by law that you have a receipt — any proof will do, such as an Eftpos or bank statement that identifies what was purchased.
For free and confidential advice and information visit Palmerston North Citizens Advice Bureau, Hancock Community House, 77 King St. Mon-Fri from 9 am-4.30 pm, call 357-0647 or 0800 367 222. We have a free legal advice service by qualified lawyers most Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm, and a JP is available on Tuesdays from noon to 2.30pm. No appointment is necessary.