Your rights as a Christmas shopper
Whether you're a "buy one year in advance" shopper or a last-minute shopper, as a consumer you have rights relating to your purchases.
One common myth is that retailers MUST allow you to return non-faulty goods. This is false. Retailers have no legal obligation to allow refunds of non-faulty products. However, retailers usually have a returns policy. This may allow for unopened or unused goods to be accepted for a refund, within a specified time-frame. This time-frame is usually 14 days or 28 days. Retailers may extend this time-frame around the festive period.
We advise that you check the store's returns policy before purchasing any products. A published returns policy forms part of the legal contract of purchase, and the retailer must honour the policy.
For online purchases, different rules apply. Consumers have 14 days to cancel orders, and 14 days from receipt of the goods to return the goods. You may have additional protection if you made your purchases with a credit card.
Legally, goods must be of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described. This means that the goods purchased must be as you would reasonably expect them to be, free from fault or defect.
If you find that the goods are faulty, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund. You must inform the retailer within 30 days of purchase. If the 30 day period is missed, or the defect is discovered beyond the time-frame, you must give the retailer an opportunity to repair or replace the goods. If a repair is unsuccessful or the goods cannot be replaced, the retailer is obliged to give you a refund. However, they have the right to offer only a partial refund.
We advise that once a fault is discovered, you act quickly. If the claim is brought within 6 months, the retailer must prove that the fault was not present at the time of purchase. If the 6 months are exceeded, you will have to prove that the fault was present at the time of purchase.
When you discover a fault or defect, we advise that you contact the retailer immediately.
If you have been refused a refund which you believe you are entitled to, or want more advice, get in touch with our office to book an initial consultation.