What can you do if a retailer refuses to take something back?
However, most consumers find themselves in a dispute with a retailer or service provider at some point, so it is vital to know your basic statutory shopping rights - just in case something goes awry.
This applies even if you buy things in a sale or with a discount voucher. It also applies to any freebies that come as part of a purchase, for example software bought with a new laptop.
You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though, which is why we've come up with some top tips to help you get your just desserts.
Keep your receipts
It is also worth noting that, legally speaking, only the person who paid has a right to return faulty goods. If you are buying something as a gift, it is therefore a good idea to note this on the receipt to indicate that you are transferring the right of return to the recipient.
Get on with it
If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them. After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.
Another reason to deal with any issues as quickly as possible is that, while it is the retailer's responsibility to prove that goods were not faulty when they sold them within the first six months, this responsibility falls on you after that time.
Know what you want
Before approaching a retailer or service provider with a complaint, you must first decide what your ideal outcome would be.
Do you, for example, want to exchange or repair the existing goods/continue the service if the problem is rectified? Or will you only be happy with a full refund? After all, it's difficult to argue your case if you don't even know what outcome would appease you.
Be calm but firm
Stay cool, calm and rational and you're be more likely to get results than by ranting and raving. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off with excuses, though.
If, for example, the retailer claims that you need to return the goods to the manufacturer, point out that your agreement is with the shop you bought it from, not the manufacturer; making it their responsibility to deal with your complaint.
Useful phrases to use include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982". This should help to show the retailer or service provider concerned that you mean business.
Use a credit card
If you are unable to claim a refund from the retailer, for example because the firm has gone bust, you will therefore have another course of action open to you.
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