What to do if you want a refund

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Let’s think ahead a bit this week with the Christmas countdown. It’s highly likely that at some point, you or someone in your family will want to head over to the customer service desk to ask for a refund…

It’s really important to be clear about your rights when it comes to refunds and exchanges, and they do differ slightly from state to state.

Firstly, what is the difference between an exchange and a refund? A refund is where you receive money back for the goods provided. An exchange is where you ‘swap’ the goods for something else of equal or lesser value.

What if you change your mind?

It is not a legal requirement for a store to provide you with a refund if you have simply changed your mind about a purchase. However, most stores do have their own in-store policies where they may offer a refund or an exchange, or in some cases a credit voucher to use in store.

When must a store offer a refund?

A store is required to give you a refund if:

  • The item is faulty.
  • The item didn’t match the description.
  • The item doesn’t do or perform as described by the salesperson.
  • It doesn’t do what you asked for.
  • You discovered it was faulty after you used it.

What if you don’t have a receipt?

You need to be able to prove that the item was purchased from that business. You could show:

  • A layby agreement.
  • A credit card statement.
  • A confirmation or receipt number.

What if it was a gift?

You can only return or get a refund if you can prove your purchase as above. So remember to hang on to your receipts!

There are some great apps for you to use on your smartphone to help with this:

  • Evernote
  • Shoeboxed
  • Tiny Scan
  • CamScanner
  • Genius Scan

Remember that laws vary across the states, so be sure to check your state or territory Government websites for further information about your consumer rights.

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