Current Affairs

Retailers and exchanging Christmas gifts

Is a retailer obliged to give you an exchange after the big day?

By Kevin Milne
Retailers and exchanging Christmas gifts

Every Christmas I have the same problem with at least one of the presents I get – I need to take it back to the store because it’s the wrong size or colour, but obviously I don’t have a receipt allowing me to do that. I hate to ask the giver for the receipt because that would indicate the cost of the item. Is there a solution to this issue?

While a store is obliged to replace or fix faulty goods, it is not obliged to replace any goods because they are the wrong size or colour. Most would, of course, if they have proof of purchase – that’s when you run into the receipt problem. Yes, it’s awkward to ask the giver for the receipt, but you’re usually going to have to ask them where the goods were purchased anyway – and that’s a giveaway there’s something wrong. So why not tell the giver the problem and ask if they mind exchanging the gift for you. If you don’t feel up to doing that, then you’ll have to rely on good luck – good luck that you can establish who the retailer is because of the packaging and that the retailer is prepared to do the swap even without a receipt. Of course, all this is unnecessary if the giver includes an exchange card. Father Christmas was telling me just the other day how he wished everyone included exchange cards.

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email, or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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