02.Can I get a refund?
Refunds for goods
If a product you bought does not meet any of the four key consumer guarantees and you couldn’t have known about the defect at the time of purchase, you’re entitled to compensation. If the product is faulty or defective, you can get a refund.
You may be offered a replacement product, repair or credit note instead, but if a refund is what you want, don’t settle for anything less!
If you can’t transport it, call the retailer to arrange for them to collect it — they’ll have to pay any freight costs. It’s the retailer — not the manufacturer — who owes you compensation, so don’t let them convince you otherwise.
Some points to remember
- You need proof of purchase (for example, a receipt) to claim a refund.
- If the fault develops sometime after the purchase, you may only be entitled to a partial refund.
- Retailers sometimes display warnings to consumers that ‘no refunds or exchanges are given’. 'No refund' signs are illegal; signs cannot take away your legal rights.
- If you paid in cash, the refund is in cash. If you paid by credit card, your account should be credited.
- Retailers are not required to make refunds if you simply change your mind after the sale, although some may.
- Some retailers give ‘no questions asked’ cash refunds if you change your mind, while others may provide refunds, exchanges or credit notes within a certain time period. The best thing to do is check the store’s refund policy before you buy the goods.
- You don’t have refund rights if you buy goods through an auction or private sale (unless goods have been misrepresented). So caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.
- Your contract is with the trader or retailer who sold you the goods, not with the manufacturer or supplier. However, there may be occasions where you prefer to take a defective product straight to the manufacturer, such as if you’ve lost your receipt or if it was a gift and you don’t know where it was purchased.
Refunds for services
- The service of a tradesperson, professional or other service provider must be of a standard and quality you would expect from a competent person in that trade or industry. If services provided are not up to this reasonable standard, you are entitled to a refund or repair.
- You may also be able to claim compensation for the extra costs, like loss or damage, associated with the poor job. Signs like ‘no responsibility for loss or damage’ are misleading as consumers must be compensated if these tradespersons’ and other professionals’ services are not performed with due care and skill.