Get the most out of your Christmas presents with January returns

December 28, 2022

  1. If it’s unused and unopened, return it. Many people purchase extra presents in the run up to Christmas in case they’ve forgotten someone or they receive an unexpected present. Check to see if you can return these unused products for an exchange or a refund. Online stores must always offer you at least 14 days after delivery to change your mind about your goods with many webstores offering even longer. When you buy in a physical shop, change of mind returns are based on the shop policy but many allow returns and have extended return periods in to January. Some exceptions may apply in terms of hygienic products.
  1. Spend your vouchers straight away. Gift vouchers can be a good way to give a personal gift that still allows an element of choice, but they can also be easily lost or forgotten about. Your consumer rights mean that gift vouchers must be valid for at least 5 years but it’s still a good idea to use them as soon as possible. Remember that in some cases maintenance fees can run down the amount you have to spend. If the store you bought from closes down it can be very difficult or even impossible to get a refund on your voucher. 
  1. If something isn’t working, bring it back.  CCPC research has found that consumers consistently underestimate how strong their rights are when a good or service turns out to be faulty. You have consumer rights for up to six years after you buy something. These rights became even stronger in 2022 when the new Consumer Rights Act was introduced and now include the following:
    • Right to a hassle-free refund within the first 30 days if a good is faulty or not as described.
    • For the first year the law sides with the consumer if a good is faulty. This means that the trader should provide a replacement, a repair or failing that a refund (unless they can prove the product wasn’t faulty when it was sold). You can also agree on a reduction in price.
    • Depending on how long the product should reasonably last, the trader can be responsible for resolving issues for faulty products for up to six years. 
  1. Gifts come with consumer rights included. This means that you have the same consumer rights for a gifted product as you do with something you bought yourself. You can make a change of mind return during the returns period or bring back a faulty good. While you may need a proof of purchase, the business can’t refuse to deal with you because you didn’t buy the product yourself. The business also can’t require you to accept a refund on to the same payment card used to buy the product.
  1. If in doubt, check with the business if you can return or exchange: If you can’t find the receipt or you have an unwanted gift, it is worth checking with the business if they will provide you with an exchange or a credit note so that you can purchase something you will use. And if that fails you can always consider selling an unwanted gift or donating it to a charity.
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