Your rights to return Christmas presents
31 December 2012
Retailers are under no legal obligation to exchange or refund a gift unless:
it was faulty when bought
it is not as described
it is not fit for purpose.
REMEMBER: If you receive a gift which does not fit you properly or you simply do not like it, you have no automatic right to return it. However, most retailers go beyond their legal duty and will therefore provide you with some form of remedy.
If you receive a gift which is faulty, you will be within your rights to take it back and ask for a full refund, as long as you do so within a "reasonable time".
Most retailers offer a 28-day returns policy, but for gifts bought months previously, there is less chance a shop will take it back. If it does, it will probably require proof of purchase such as a gift receipt or, in some circumstances, a credit card or bank statement showing when and where the item was bought.
If you take an unwanted gift back to a store, it is legally allowed to issue you with a credit note, but if the product is faulty or not fit for purpose, it must offer a refund.
GIFTS PURCHASED ONLINE
If you are buying online, you have additional protection alongside anything the retailer offers. Under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, you have seven working days from the date the item was delivered to cancel the order and return the item, even if it is just because you did not like it.
This doesn't apply to all goods – CDs, DVDs and software (where the seal is broken), perishable items and personalised goods are not included.