Christmas and January sales: Returning faulty or broken goods and presents, your rights explained by expert

THIS is the time of year when people head off to the January sales to bag the bargains.
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Customers may be spending their festive season scanning the aisles, but as with every year, there’s a fair chance some will be spending time battling with shop staff about faulty or unwanted gear.

News Streetwise columnist and consumer expert Richard Thomson says that knowing where you stand is essential to ensure you receive a square deal.

Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur RahmanCommercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Whether the purchase was made instore or online, the retailer is responsible for supplying goods that are of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described. If not, they are legally obliged to refund the purchase price or offer a repair or replacement.

This will depend on when the goods were bought. Between zero-30 days, you can claim a full refund for faulty goods that do not comply with the legal requirement of satisfactory quality or fitness for purpose.

From 30 days to six months, the retailer must provide one opportunity to repair or replace the defective product before you can claim a refund. If it has been over six months, a customer has to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace the goods before you can claim a partial refund, and the consumer has to prove the product is faulty.

If a customer simply wants to return goods which are unwanted, high street stores are not legally obliged to accept them. Many have returns policies so it’s worth checking out with management but you must be able to provide a receipt or alternative proof of purchase.

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