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Getting Refunds on Items I don't want

Getting refunds on items I don’t want

When you purchase something, you may realise at a later point that you don’t actually want the item/service, or the item/service was not satisfactory, so you’d like a refund.

This section informs you on when you can get refunds on items/services.

What rights do I have as a consumer in New Zealand?

In NZ, your consumer rights are mainly covered by the Fair Trading Act (FTA) and the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).

The FTA protects you from misleading and deceptive behaviour by sellers, and the CGA protects you by making sure you have been sold something of an acceptable quality, and reasonably matches what you were sold.

You only have consumer rights if you buy from a registered trading company.

Can I get a refund if I’ve changed my mind?

Generally, you can’t get a refund for an item if you’ve simply changed your mind or your circumstances have changed.

There are some exceptions:

  • you’ve signed a credit contract, the product hasn’t been delivered to you, and it’s been less than 3 days since you were given a copy of the credit contract;
  • door-to-door sales, you’re allowed to change your mind within 5 working days;
  • store policies that allow you to exchange goods within a certain time frame;

You can also try to negotiate with the store/service provider.

How do return policies work?

If you purchased from a shop with a return policy which allows returns and exchanges, you can return the product even though it is not a faulty product. For instance, a sign at the store counter or conditions on the receipt may permit you to exchange goods or offer a no-questions-asked refund. In cases such as these, the policy will form part of your sale contract and the business will be legally required to exchange or return the goods as promised.

Generally, to return an item, you will need to bring your receipt, the item (in the original condition, sometimes with the original packaging and tags), and return it within the return policy timeframe.

Can I return the product if it was given to me as a gift?

Unless the retailer has a returns policy which allows this (or there is a serious problem with the goods), you do not have a right to return the product just because you don’t like it. Some companies provide exchange cards where you can exchange sizes or you may be able to swap it for store credit or a store voucher within a certain amount of time – this is also dependent on store policy.

I bought an item on credit, can I cancel my credit purchase if I change my mind?

If you have purchased the goods on finance (this does not include any purchase on credit card), you have 3 working days to cancel the contracts (both the finance and sale parts of the contract) by giving the seller a written notice.

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