Many Happy ‘Returns’ – Advice from Trading Standards

It’s estimated that each year UK consumers return over £140m worth of Christmas presents*. Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards has launched a straightforward ‘know your rights’ guide to help consumers.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “We want to help ensure that shoppers know their consumer rights and what to do if things go wrong.”

Shoppers Guide

Under the law, a shop only has to accept a returned item from the person who originally bought it, (although many shops are happy to overlook this), so you may need to ask the buyer to return the item on your behalf.

If you have a gift receipt, the recipient can change it themselves if necessary.

If the goods are faulty or misdescribed you have up to 30 days in which you can return them for a full refund. After 30 days you still have the right to a repair or replacement (and a full refund if this is not possible).

There is no legal right to return goods that are not faulty if they were bought from a shop, (if for example you just changed your mind). However, many shops do have their own returns policies, affording customers extra rights.

When shopping from home, for example on the internet, you have additional rights. In most cases you can change your mind and cancel your order up to 14 days after delivery (you may have to pay the return cost).

If you paid by credit or debit card you may be able to claim against the card provider if the item wasn’t delivered or was faulty and the trader disappears or goes bust.

Always keep your proof of purchase (e.g. a receipt), you may be asked for it when returning goods.

To make a consumer complaint phone 03454 04 05 06 or visit for more information on your consumer rights.

* Source: Comparison website GoCompare