Returns: Repair, Replace or Refund?

A few days ago I bought an item at a store. It’s not an owner/operator store, but a nationwide chain store.

At the checkout, the sales assistant said to me “If there any problems, you can bring [the item] back for a store credit or replacement. We don’t give refunds.”

It’s actually illegal to say this. Because, by law, if an item is faulty the store MAY have to give a refund. But not always – it depends on the fault.

An example of a good store policy sign

  An example of a good store policy sign

This sign gives the impression that the store will not give refunds or exchanges, under any circumstances.

This sign gives the impression that the store will not give refunds or exchanges, under any circumstances.

If it’s a major fault, the customer can choose a refund, replacement or repair. On an item of clothing, a major fault would be something like the fabric tearing or fraying at the seam (on the first wear, and providing the garment is the correct size), or the colour running even though washing instructions were adhered to.

With a minor fault, the store gets to choose whether to repair, replace or refund. Buttons coming off, for example, is a minor fault.

If you simply change your mind, no matter what the reason is, then it’s entirely up to the store as to whether they refund, give store credit or do nothing at all.

To avoid any problems, always keep your receipts until the refund/return time has lapsed. The time frame will depend on the garment and it’s intended use. You can’t expect to return a garment that you’ve worn dozens of times before the problem arose.

Always wash in accordance with the instructions on the garment.

Lastly, deal with it as soon as you possibly can. Even if it’s a genuine fault, you’ll have your work cut out if you leave it for a few months before attempting to get a refund.

For more information, click here.

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