Your consumer rights returning unwanted Christmas gifts



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Once the glamour of Christmas has worn off you may find yourself with one or two gifts that you’re not that keen on.

It’s important know your consumer rights when it comes to returning unwanted gifts as you may not be entitled to a refund or replacement.

Under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) You can ask a business for of a free repair, replacement or refund, but you are not always entitled to one.

For example, the consumer guarantees do not apply if you got what you asked for but simply changed your mind, found it cheaper somewhere else, decided you did not like the purchase or had no use for it. 

Queensland Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Stirling Hinchliffe, said consumers are automatically protected against product faults.

“Under the ACL you are automatically covered by a number of consumer guarantees such as acceptable quality,” he said.

“If a product or service you buy in Australia fails one of these consumer guarantees, you may be entitled to some kind of remedy.

“For products, consumer guarantees include that the goods are of acceptable quality, are safe, durable, free from defects, acceptable in appearance and finish, and are fit for the purpose for which they are usually sold.

“They must also match the description, sample or demonstration model and comply with any extra promises the seller makes, such as what you can use the goods for."

However, Mr Hinchliffe warns consumers are unlikely to receive a refund or exchange if they simply do not want the gift they received.

“However, if you change your mind, don’t like a gift you were given, or you have caused the problem yourself by misusing the product, you are not entitled by law to a remedy.”

According to Mr Hinchliffe, many stores offered refunds and exchanges for changes of mind for a certain time period as a gesture of goodwill.

“If you want the person you’re buying for to have the option to return or exchange a gift, check the store’s policy before you buy it,” he said.

Find out more about your rights as a consumer on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website



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