Huw Worthington of Worthingtons Solicitors advises on consumer rights to return goods when you have simply changed your mind about an impulse buy.
The key point is that there is no automatic right to a refund just because you have changed your mind.
Shops vary in attitude in relation to a “no quibble” policy and you should be particularly aware of the time limits which again vary from shop to shop. Customers have statutory rights where items are faulty, substandard or not as described but it is harder to get a refund if you have merely changed your mind or if you have won the item and just don’t like it!
Complications arise with unwanted Christmas presents and whilst it appears unromantic it is easier to get a refund if you return items undamaged, in original packaging and with a receipt. Without a receipt a store may have a policy or replacing, giving a credit note or vouchers for other purchases in the same store. Remember items such as underwear, swimwear and cosmetics may be excluded if they are opened, presumably because they are difficult to resell.
Rights to a refund also vary depending on where something was bought and how it was paid for. For example, buying online gives additional EU protection entitling a buyer to an absolute right to cancel within 7 working days.
Finally, if you have paid with a credit card for over £100 remember that the card company is jointly liable for ensuring that the goods provided are up to scratch. The trick here then is if you are struggling to get a refund from the shop request a chargeback from the credit card provided.
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Huw Worthington, is a founding Partner of Worthingtons Solicitors Northern Ireland and is head of the private client department.