Refunds for change of mind
Generally, a store does not have to give a refund or replacement if a customer simply changes their mind about a product.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, the customer is only entitled to a refund or replacement for a major problem with a product covered by consumer guarantees.
Consumer guarantees that apply automatically
- for products:
- Acceptable quality
- Products will match description or sample
- Products will be fit for purpose
- Title, possession and security
- Repairs and spare parts
- for services:
- Due care and skill
- Services will be fit for purpose
- Reasonable time
Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), products bought from an Australian business are automatically covered by consumer guarantees regardless of any other warranty.
If a consumer identifies a problem with a product that means it does not meet a consumer guarantee, the store or seller may have to provide a ‘remedy’, such as:
- a refund
- a replacement
The type of remedy a consumer is entitled to depends on the nature of the problem
Minor problems with products
A minor problem can be fixed within a reasonable time.
Consumers must give the supplier the chance to fix the problem. The store chooses whether to:
- provide a replacement that is identical, or of similar value
- repair the product within a reasonable time, or
- give a refund.
The consumer’s rights to a remedy apply to the replacement product in the same way as the original product.
When consumers do not have the right to return a product
Consumers do not have a right to return a product if they:
- changed their mind and no longer want the product
- ordered the wrong product
- found the product cheaper elsewhere
- found a better product elsewhere
- were aware of the relevant fault before buying the product – for example, if the fault was written on the product’s tag, or for online purchases, indicated in any photos or descriptions of the item online
- damaged the product by misusing it – for example, if they dropped a mobile phone in the water
- used the product for a long time and the problem is as a result of usual wear and tear.
An in-store refund policy is not a cooling-off period. Unlike door-to-door sales and telemarketing contracts, standard consumer purchases do not have an automatic ‘cooling-off’ period, unless one is stated in the terms and conditions.