When you need to give a refund, repair or replacement
Under the Sale of Goods Act, when you sell something to a customer you have an agreement or contract with them, and they have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement if the goods don't conform to that contract. What you sell must:
- Match the description
- Be of satisfactory quality
- Be fit for purpose
Check the products you sell carefully because if they don't conform it's down to You (not the manufacturer or your supplier) to resolve the matter with the customer. And that can be any time up to six years from the date of purchase.
You can't remove a customer's legal rights, for example by displaying a notice saying 'we do not give refunds under any circumstances' or 'we only give credit notes for items found to be faulty'.
When you don't need to give a refund, repair or replacement
Customers don't have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement if they:
- Accidentally damage the item
- Misuse it and cause a fault
- Try to repair it themselves, or had someone else try to repair it
- If they knew it was faulty before they bought it
- If they decide they no longer want the item
Refunds and exchanges for goods sold online, by phone or by mail order
The same Sale of Goods Act laws applies to all goods but if you sell goods online, by phone or by mail order your customers will have additional rights.
If someone wants to cancel their order
If you sell goods online, by phone, or by mail order, customers have the right to cancel their order any time from the moment they place it, up to seven working days after they receive the goods or service (even if the goods are not faulty). The seven-day cancellation period could be extended if you don't tell the customer about their right to cancel.
Customers can claim a full refund if you don't deliver or provide the goods or services they ordered within 30 days.
If someone wants to return any items
Some items bought online or by mail order can't be returned if the customer changes their mind, for example:
- CDs, DVDs or software if the seal on the wrapping is broken
Perishable items such as food and flowers
Tailor-made or personalised goods
Newspapers, periodicals, magazines
Betting, gaming, lottery services
For more detailed information on the Sale of Goods Act and how you must comply go to www.oft.gov.uk/business-advice/treating-customers-fairly/sogahome/sogaexplained