Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert took to the nation’s screens again tonight to issue financial advice in the run-up to Christmas. One topic Martin focussed on was refunds. What can you do if you buy an item you no longer want or is faulty? And what about if it’s a gift? The finance expert shared his words of wisdom as he quizzed two families on the topic.
However, if you changed your mind, “the shop may have a published returns policy which allows you to bring them back, but it doesn’t have to have one…so always be aware especially this time of year,” said Martin.
He added that’s it’s different if you bought online, “then you do have a no-fault right of return, unless goods are perishable or personalised,” he said.
The Money Saving Expert also looked at gifts which are faulty.
Again, anyone trying to take back an item someone else bought which is faulty has no legal right to a refund.
“While the item certainly was faulty, and therefore normally if you take it back within a month, you should get a full refund, in this case, you were taking back a gift,” said Martin.
“You have not made the purchase yourself, so legally, you don’t have a right to return it.
“Only the person who made the purchase returns it.
“The way around that is to have a gift receipt and if a store doesn’t offer a gift receipt, then write on your copy of their copy of the receipt if you’re purchasing in store that this is a gift and say who it’s for and that transfers the rights.”
A fourth example Martin examined was if you buy an item that isn’t what you wanted, how long do you have to notify the retailer you’re sending it back?
The answer is 14 days, although many people think it’s 28.
“The reason for that is, technically you have 14 days in which to notify the company you’re returning the goods and 14 days after that to send it back,” the expert detailed.
“So, the maximum possible return time is 28 days but the notification, under the law, must be done by 14 days; some stores, of course, may give you longer.”
Lastly, Martin quizzed the two families on how to proceed if you buy an item which breaks after six months and the shop says no to a refund but offers you a £20 voucher towards another one.
“Legally, can you go to the credit card company you paid for it with, and under the section 75 rules, demand a refund?”
The options were: A. Yes, as long as it cost over 100 pounds. B. No, but you can ask for a repair or replacement. C. No, you can only go to the card if the shop had refused you totally.
The answer is B, which is “a bit complex,” said Martin, explaining: “So you took the item back after six months, it was definitely faulty because you’ve taken it back more than a month after you bought it, you don’t have a right to a refund under the law you have a right to repair or replacement in the first instance, with the shop.
“But as you bought it on a credit card and it cost over £100, that means the credit card company is jointly liable.
“So you have exactly the same rights with the credit card company, as you do with the retailer, as the retailer should have given you repair or replacement, the credit card company legally should be responsible for repair or replacement too, you can choose which one you go to as they’re jointly liable.”