The rules and laws around getting
refunds seem to be confusing, so much so that most people do not understand
whether they would be entitled to get their money back for a purchase or not.
The truth is that every situation is different, and it’s important that you
know what rights you have for your circumstances.
If the goods are faulty
If the item you have bought has a
fault, or develops a fault after you have made the purchase then you are
protected under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and are entitled to a refund, though
this usually only lasts for a set period of time. If the item is faulty when it
is purchased then you have the right to return it direct to the retailer where
you bought it. This is also the case if a fault develops on the item within a
set time-frame – legally this is a year but most stores offer a one year
guarantee. However, they aren’t legally obliged to offer a year and anything
over six months may fall under the manufacturer’s warranty.

It’s worth saying that if the
fault develops after one year and you have not purchased an extended warranty
that you may have to accept that you won’t get your money back. If you find
yourself in this case, for example with a mobile phone, you may still be able
to find somewhere where you can stuff for free, such as an electronics
recycling website.
Unwanted goods
If bought in store, you may be
surprised to know that you do not have an automatic right to a refund for a
product just because you have changed your mind. Of course, many retailers may
offer you one at their discretion, but you should not count on this being the
case. It’s more common that you would be offered a gift card for the same
amount, provided can provide proof of purchase.
If bought online, you have a
seven day period where you can change your mind. This has to be seven days from
the moment the order was placed. The item would also have to be returned in
exactly the same condition as when sent to you, e.g. if you bought an item
which was sealed like a computer game, you wouldn’t be allowed to return it if
the shrink-wrap has been removed.
Damaged goods
In the event when the goods have
come to you and they have been damaged in their transit then you have the right
to a full refund direct with the retailer. This is because it is their
responsibility to ensure your purchase gets to you in the condition it is
intended. They will have taken out insurance with the delivery company in the
event that their products do get damaged, so do not accept it if they tell you
to contact the courier instead.
With all of the above, it is worth
stating that your rights are only in place if you have proof of purchase. This
doesn’t necessarily need to be the original receipt – if you don’t have this
you can go back through your credit/debit card statements to find when and
where you bought it.
What are Your Rights When it Comes to Getting a Refund?
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