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Christmas presents, returns – your rights

Christmas presents returns your rights on blue and white contrasting background So, the jumper doesn’t fit, you don’t like the hideous ornament that your aunt bought. What can you do?

  1. If the item is not faulty the store is under no legal obligation to refund or exchange with or without proof of postage, but many of the big stores will
  2. If you are the giver and taking something back with your proof of purchase and the store will refund or exchange remember that although the store may do this, there may be a time frame for returns, so if you bought a bargain in the Summer, the store may not refund/exchange or will only give a gift card.
  3. If the item is faulty you still have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and so long as you have proof of purchase you are entitled to refund/repair or replacement depending on when the item was bought.
  4. If the store takes back items without proof of postage, you will be given the price that the item is at that time, so if in the sale that’s the price you will get
  5. If the giver has given you a gift receipt it should mean that the store will give you a refund, but again likely to be on a gift card.
  6. As the store is under no legal obligation to give you a refund for non faulty items it is likely you will be given a gift card if anything.
  7. If you get a gift card Looking a Gift Card in the mouth? provides some important information you need to know!
  8. What to do with the ghost of Christmas Present? ideas for what to do with unwanted presents.

What are your rights when returning items at Christmas?

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


For a present you won’t want to return! GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! Full of information, advice, stories, consumer rights and template letters!

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By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

2 replies on “Christmas presents, returns – your rights”

Is there a legal time frame for returns? Or can shops state whatever returns policy they want? I bought trainers as a present from Sports Direct in November online. They are too small and need to exchange for the bigger size. The returns states 14 days. Can I still take them to a shop to get the exchange ( would like to try on)? What advise would you give please?

Please see post above. Stores are under no legal obligation to take back items where there is no fault. Anything more than 14 days for online shopping is down to store’s terms and conditions therefore as anything they give is above legal minimum. Sports Direct is an appalling company for customer service, so you will have to ask and cross your fingers. They are likely to exchange but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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