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Can I take this Christmas gift back?

Christmas shopping? ... Know Your Rights

Rachael Kitchman, Solicitor at Graham & Rosen looks at your legal rights if there are problems with your Christmas presents.

It's that time of year again when we are busy buying presents for our friends and family.  we all want to buy that perfect present for someone special but things don't always go to plan.  The good news is that the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 strengthens your consumer rights and makes the law clearer and easier to understand.  Unfortunately, some retailers don't always play by the rules so its important you know  your rights should you need to return a gift.

High Expectations - the goods you receive should be of a satisfactory quality, so not faulty or damaged.  They should also be fit for purpose and be as described and so match any description of the product of any models or samples you were shown before purchase.

Can I have a refund? - If the goods are not compliant, then yes, you can have a refund but you must act quickly; you only have 30 days to return an item and the refund should include any delivery charges.  Some retailers offer a longer period over Christmas but don't assume this to be the case, ask before you hand over your credit card.

Out of time? - If 30 days have passed and the item is faulty or damaged, you must give the retailer the opportunity repair or replace the item.  If you are still unhappy you can ask for a refund or a price reduction if you wish to keep the goods.

Unwanted gift - can I have a refund/exchange?  No, a retailer is not legally obliged to do sounless the goods are faulty.  However, many retailers will offer a refund or allow you to exchange goods for a limited period of time.  They key is to ask at the till before purchase.  If you buy online, however, you do have the right to cancel up to 14 days after receipt but may have to incur the cost of returning the item.

Can the recipeint return the present? - The person who bought the gift needs to return it as the contract is between the purchaser and the retailer.  However, more and more retailers now have policies in place enabling the recipient to obtain a replacement or exchange by using a "gift receipt".

The retailer says the manufacturer is at fault - The fault may have been caused by the manufacturer but your contract is with the retailer and they are under a duty to make things right.  However, if you have lost your receipt and the item comes with a warranty you might want to contact the manufacturer direct.

Love it or hate it there are presents to be bought; but by knowing your rights you can buy with confidence this Christmas.

Happy Shopping!




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