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Refunds: Know your rights

refunds know your rights
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When it comes to refunds, it’s useful to know your rights. Whether you’re a seasoned shopper or avoid spending in the stores as much as possible, there will have been a time when you will have needed or wanted to return an item. Contrary to popular belief, unless an item is faulty, not as described or not fit for purpose, stores aren’t obliged to provide a refund or exchange goods if you want to return them, so it’s important you know your rights and also what the shops policies are before hitting the high street!

When can you return goods?

You can only return an item that isn’t faulty if the store has a returns or exchange policy which states they will accept non faulty returns as long as you have proof of purchase and they are returned in their original packaging, un-damaged. Most stores will have a returns or exchange policy out of goodwill and to retain their customer base and these policies usually state you have 28 days to return your goods, although this is often extended over Christmas or you can request a ‘gift receipt’ if the item if for a present. If you’re unsure about the stores policy, ask a member of staff, check online or call up their customer services team for further clarification.

refunds know your rights

What’s not included?

Most retailers that accept return will stipulate that certain items aren’t included. Items such as DVDs, CDs or Computer software that has had the seal broken will not be accepted, perishable items such as flowers or food, goods that have been made to order or personalised and certain underwear will probably not be included in their returns policy for hygiene reasons. If you do need to return items that are included, then make sure you keep the receipt or have proof of purchase (credit card or bank statement), take the same card you paid with and take back all original packaging, including any cable or wire ties.

What should stores do?

Items that are faulty should either be repaired or replaced by the retailer but you need to return the item as soon as possible. You have the right to reject a faulty item within four weeks of purchase and ask the retailer to repair or replace the item if it’s less than six months old. Retailers have the responsibility of proving the item was satisfactory when sold, if it’s not, the ‘Sale of Goods Act’ gives you the right to have it replaced or repaired for free. If the retailer refuses to do this, you are then entitled to get the item repaired and then claim compensation from the retailer to cover your costs. Remember, items such as electrical goods usually come with some form of warranty as well, so check how long your goods are covered for and use that. You still have rights under the sale of goods act so if a retailer is trying to worm their way out of their duties or claiming you aren’t covered under warranty, don’t give in to them. Depending on the fault, even if the warranty period has expired, you may still be entitled to a repair or replacement.

Check the returns policy

If you’re unsure the item you’re buying is going to be suitable, fit or required, then always check whether your goods are covered under their returns policy if they have one. If you’re purchasing expensive made to order items, think carefully before committing to buy as these are rarely covered and if an item is faulty, return it as soon as possible along with receipts, packaging and warranty information.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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