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Your rights with gift exchanges and refunds:

As many shoppers head to the shops to return or exchange unwanted Christmas gifts, consumers are being urged to know their rights.
By Motherpedia
Date: December 27 2011
Tags: shopping,
Editor Rating:
shopping-returns

As many shoppers head to the shops to return or exchange unwanted Christmas gifts, consumers are being urged to know their rights.

Consumer watchdog Choice says people should know where they stand.

If goods are faulty or don't do what they were advertised to do for a reasonable period of time, the customer is entitled to a refund, exchange or repair. This is the case even if the item was purchased online or in a sale.

"Don't let the store brush you off by saying you have to deal with the manufacturer," Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said in a statement.

"The store where you bought the item must sort the problem out for you."

She said consumers should not be deterred by "no refunds" signs if they are returning faulty goods.

"These signs are illegal and can't take away a customer's right to a refund if the item is defective or doesn't match the advertised description."

But if shoppers change their mind because they don't like the colour or fit, the store is not compelled to give a refund.

"However, some stores have generous refund or exchange policies and they may give you a credit note or offer an exchange as a gesture of good will," Ms Just said.

Stores are not obliged to offer a refund or exchange when an item was labelled "seconds" or was discounted due to defects that were made clear at the time of purchase.

Have you exchanged an item? Tell us about your experience?

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