Not what you wanted?

THERE isn't a worse feeling, after battling the Boxing Day sales crowd, than getting home and finding the fancy new product you purchased is not what you expected.

Never fear, as a consumer you have rights - even if the item was purchased during the sales.

Shoppers looking to bag a bargain at the post-Christmas sales should understand the rules relating to refunds and returns.

One big misconception is that sale items are not refundable.

It is illegal for retailers to have signs reading "no refunds", even for sale items.

Acting Premier Andrew Fraser said bargain hunters should be aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to dealing with refunds and exchanges.

"Whether you are chasing a bargain or wanting to exchange some socks or a daggy shirt Santa put in the stocking, there are rules around refunds and exchanges," Mr Fraser said.

"Both customers and businesses have their rights and responsibilities and it's important everyone knows what the rules are."

While there is no legal requirement for a store to offer a refund if a customer changes their mind, some stores may allow this under certain circumstances as a sign of goodwill.

In most cases, the business will refund in the same way you paid.

Do not expect a cash refund if you did not pay cash as electronic transactions are usually reversed.

"The best advice is hold on to your receipt and ask at the store if you have any questions," Mr Fraser said.

For information on consumer rights or the Australian Consumer Law visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or call 13 74 68.

Under Australian Consumer Law a refund must be offered if:

  • The product is not of a particular standard of quality or is not safe
  • A reasonable consumer would not have made the purchase if they knew the product was faulty
  • There is a significant difference between the demonstration model to the product received
  • The goods are not fit for their ordinary purpose or a purpose a consumer was made known about

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