Returning rubbish presents
Received a pile of rubbish presents instead of what you actually wanted for Christmas? Are you questioning whether your family actually know you at all? Did they really think you’d like a reindeer t-shirt (complete with red pom-pom nose) to wear down the pub with your mates?
If you’re in the same boat as many of us, you’ll have politely said ‘Oh, thank-you, that’s, errrm, nice” on Christmas day whilst secretly wishing you’d had a couple more egg-nogs before opening the pile of junk which has been disguised as a present.
So, can you take it back to the shop?
Returning presents you don’t like
If you have been given something you don't like, already have, or want to swap for something more suitable, check whether the sender thoughtfully provided you an exchange card. Exchange cards should allow you to swap the goods for something of equal value (or more if you add the difference) from that store. Make sure you use them promptly; exchange cards may only be valid for a short time after Christmas.
Didn't get an exchange card? If you know where the gift came from, and it is in its original wrapping, take it back to the store to ask whether they will agree to exchange it. Otherwise, you make have to ask the person who gave you the gift if they could exchange it for you, or if they have the receipt.
Remember though, it’s up to the store if they want to exchange the goods. They are under no legal obligation to exchange the item just because you don’t like it. But many do as it is good business practice to keep customers happy.
Your best bet is to take the gift back and ask. If they're unable to give you a refund, ask if they'll exchange the gift, or give you a credit note for the store.
Returning faulty presents
If a gift turns out to be faulty, the Consumer Guarantees Act gives the receiver of the goods rights to get the problem sorted out. If it’s a minor fault, you can take it back and the trader can decide if to repair, replace or refund the item. If it’s a serious fault you (not the trader) can decide on whether to get a refund, replacement or compensation.
You may have to ask the person who gave you the present for information about where the goods were bought, and also for information that proves proof of purchase. A manufacturer's warranty may apply to you too, even if you didn't buy the goods yourself – but check the fine print.
If you’re not sure about your rights and responsibilities as a retailer or a customer, contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for advice or [link] visit our website for more information.