The Ins and Outs of Refunds

With the post-Christmas sales nearly over and the back-to-school preparations in full swing it is important to know your consumer rights. This information will help you to know whether you may receive a refund under Australian Consumer Law.

First up, you are guaranteed that the goods you buy:

  • are of acceptable qualitymatch the description, sample or model you were shown are fit for their intended purpose
  • have clear title, unless otherwise stated
  • do not have any undisclosed securities (money owing on them)
  • come with a right to undisturbed possession
  • will have spare parts and repairs available for a reasonable amount of time after you buy them
  • will have express warranties honoured.

You are also guaranteed that the services you buy are:

  • provided with due care and skill
  • fit for purpose
  • completed within a reasonable time.

If one or more of these guarantees are not met, you are entitled to a ‘remedy’ – this means, the trader has to put right the fault, deficiency or failure. Depending on the circumstances, this may take the form of a refund, repair, replacement or compensation.

However, you are not entitled to a refund if you:

  • simply change your mind or no longer want the goods or service
  • realise you can’t afford the goods or service
  • found the same item or service at a cheaper price elsewhere
  • chose the wrong size or colour or type of service
  • knew about the particular fault prior to purchase
  • were responsible for causing the fault
  • insisted on the service being done despite warnings it may not meet your needs
  • took action that voided or damaged the outcomes of the service or product.

Some traders may offer a refund, replacement or credit policy out of good faith if you are not happy with a product or have simply changed your mind – however by law they are not required to do so. Always confirm the store policy of the place you are buying from before assuming this.

If you’d like to learn more about consumer guarantees applying to goods, consumer guarantees applying to services, or further info on getting a refund, have a look at the Office of Fair Trading website. You can also download the Office of Fair Trading’s free BuySmartQLD app for iPhone and Android mobile devices. The app includes handy information on consumer guarantees. You can also use it to store photos of your receipts in case they fade and to set a reminder for the expiry date of your gift cards. We also recommend having a look at our website for info on receipts and other types of proof of purchase to assist if you are entitled to a refund. (Article courtesy of the Queensland Office of Fair Trading)