Len Dastard on your rights to returning Christmas gifts
Saludos grasa pavos! Ha ha ha, it is I, Len Dastard! I am a litigation executive, dealing with contract disputes for a living. However, to mask my true identity from many maridos de muchas putas, I pose as a retired Mexican wrestler who fought in the ring as El Bastardo, Murderer of Dreams.
You doubt my word? I will rip your throat out, you pedazo de mierda puta. Ha ha ha. Just my little joke, of course. Ha ha ha.
Now Christmas is out of the way you might be wondering what rights you have to return one of the many unwanted gifts you received. It is advisable to look at the individual retailers website to check their returns policy and see what they offer by way of refunds or exchanges.
The reasons for returning an item can mean different rights. If you are returning an item because you don't want it or you have simply changed your mind then the shops returns policy will prevail.
There is a big difference with items purchased online. The Distance Selling Regulations allow a seven day cooling off period (starting when you receive the goods) in which time you can return the goods. Contracts for services differ and the cooling off period is seven days from the start of the service. There are exceptions to these Regulations such as perishable goods and personalised gifts.
If you are returning an item because it is faulty you are afforded more rights by law. These rights are given under Sale of Goods Act 1979. Knowing the basics of this Act should, in my opinion, be made a compulsory training topic for those working in retail. It is not a massive Act but it is so important.
When you buy a product it should:
• match the description;
• be of satisfactory quality - appearance and finish, freedom from minor defects, safe to use, in good working order and durability; and
• be fit for purpose.
Getting to know the above is important, but it is always advisable to know exactly which section of Sale of Goods Act 1979 you intend to rely on as opposed to just quoting the Act.
If you are returning an item that is faulty you will not need to provide the receipt if this is lost. You will still need to show proof of purchase which could be from your bank statement. Sadly this rule does not apply if you are returning an unwanted item. The store's returns policy once again kicks in and if they insist on you providing a receipt under their policy then there is no law which states you do not have to provide this.
For future reference - when you buy a gift for a loved one, be sure to ask the shop assistant to write "GIFT" on the receipt so the shop is aware that it is for someone else; the recipient of your gift does not have a contract with the retailer - you do. However, by writing "GIFT" on the receipt you can then rely on Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999 to transfer the rights to another person.
Have you already tried to return an unwanted or faulty item? Do you dream of me wrestling your wife into breathless submission while you watch on from the wardrobe? Either way, contact me at Bitterwallet.