CAB: Refunds for those unwanted Christmas gifts

R_CAB-wideRefunds are not your right if you change your mind.

A shop doesn’t have to give you a refund if you:

  • Decide you don’t want the goods after all
  • 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.

But the shop may have a returns policy or offer exchange cards. Before you buy something you are unsure about, ask whether they shop has a return policy or offer exchange cards.

Change of mind return policy

Some shops have a ‘change of mind’ return policy decided by the shop owner. Check the terms and conditions of the policy before you buy. The policy usually says that:

  • 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 — this could be a receipt or maybe even an eftpos or credit card statement that identifies what was purchased.

If the shop told you about their return policy before you bought the goods then this is part of your contract with them and they must follow the policy.

If the shop doesn’t have the return policy, you can ask the shop if you can return goods if they are not suitable. If the shop agrees to do this, get the agreement in writing when you buy the goods. They may also have an exchange card you can use.

Exchange Cards

Exchange cards are cards that you can give to a person with a gift that allow them to go back to the shop and exchange the gift for something that they like better. They usually have an expiry date so make sure that there will still be time after the person has received the gift for them to return it.

What if the gift is faulty?

If your gift isn’t wanted because it is faulty, your rights are very different and are covered under the Consumer Guarantees Act which sets out a number of guarantees that all goods sold in NZ must meet (such as being of acceptable quality, Fit for a particular purpose). You have the right to take it back to the shop and ask them to fix the problem. Depending on how serious the fault is, the retailer may have to repair or replace the gift, or offer you a refund.

R_CAB_aboutFor more information call/email or visit your local CAB.

Christmas and the New Year

For Christmas and the New Year holidays, we will be closed from 23 Dec to 12 January 2016.

Telephone messages during that period will be attended to daily.