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QuestionCan shops stop giving cash refunds if stated when purchasing the product that you can only return a product for in-store credits?
AnswerThe Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives consumers a number of protections when returning goods, but there are certain provisions. Importantly, sellers are not obligated to accept a return if a customer has simply changed their mind (unless, the sale is covered under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (as replaces the Distance Selling Act) in which goods can be rejected for any reason for a standard period of 14 days after receipt). For transactions completed in person, the main grounds for refusing goods (i.e. returning goods) is that they are faulty, not as described or not fit for purpose, among others. Section 20, subsection 16 states: “If the consumer paid money under the contract, the trader must give the refund using the same means of payment as the consumer used, unless the consumer expressly agrees otherwise.” Thus, if the goods were paid for in cash, the customer has a right to a refund in cash. Even if the store clearly presents the term that refunds will only be made in store credit this would be in violation of the consumer’s statutory rights, as noted in section 31 subsections 1 and 2: “[...] a term of a contract to supply goods is not binding on the consumer to the extent that it would—(a)exclude or restrict a right or remedy in respect of a liability under a provision listed in subsection (1), […]” Wherein subsection 1 lists: “[…] (a)section 9 (goods to be of satisfactory quality); (b)section 10 (goods to be fit for particular purpose); (c)section 11 (goods to be as described); […]” Therefore, a retailer cannot place a term on the contract of sale which limits the customers right to a cash refund if such right is valid under the act.
ReferencesConsumer Rights Act 2015, available [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents]
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