Money mensch: Sales warning

By Martin Lewis, December 18, 2008

A warning to anyone taking advantage of the sales at the moment. Don’t assume that if you buy something in store and it’s the wrong size, that you can take it back and get a refund. You have absolutely no legal right to return goods.

The law is simple. If there is no fault, there is no need to return. If there is a fault, which generally means the goods were not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, and you return the goods quite quickly, then you usually do have a reasonable right of return. But if the size is wrong, that’s your problem.

However, many shops do have returns policies where they allow you to take the goods back. That’s their policy, not a legal right. Also, you should note that often shops change their returns policies in the sales, so check before you buy.

So, if you argue for a full refund, rather than a credit note, it’s simply not true. If there is no fault with your purchase, then you have to obey the store’s policy. The only time this is different is if you are buying online or from a catalogue. Then, the distance selling regulations say you do have a right to return goods, for good reasons or none, within seven days.

Last updated: 2:52pm, December 18 2008