GIFT RETURN: You can often return a present to the shop it was bought from, but not just because you don't like it.
GIFT RETURN: You can often return a present to the shop it was bought from, but not just because you don't like it.

Can you return unwanted Christmas gifts?

HAVE you ever wondered if an ugly or defective sweater that has ended up in your Christmas sock is created equal when it comes to refunds and exchanges?

Well, before you decide to try and return the gift to the store it came from, you should find out your consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Queensland's Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said the ACL gave people rights when it came to faulty products or services, but not for a change of mind.

"Under the ACL you are automatically covered by a number of consumer guarantees such as acceptable quality," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"If a product or service you buy in Australia fails one of these consumer guarantees, you may be entitled to some kind of remedy.

"For products, consumer guarantees include that the goods are of acceptable quality, are safe, durable, free from defects, acceptable in appearance and finish, and are fit for the purpose for which they are usually sold.

"They must also match the description, sample or demonstration model and comply with any extra promises the seller makes, such as what you can use the goods for.

"However, if you change your mind, don't like a gift you were given, or you have caused the problem yourself by misusing the product, you are not entitled by law to a remedy."

Some stores may offer refunds and exchanges if you change your mind, but often that offer is only valid for a specific time period and as a gesture of goodwill.

Before you going shopping for another present, take heed of the wise words; "If you want the person you're buying for to have the option to return or exchange a gift, check the store's policy before you buy it," Mr Hinchliffe added.


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