A very 2020 Christmas message about those unwanted gifts

Published Thursday, 17 December, 2020 at 03:27 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Stuck with an unwanted gift? The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has some tips when looking to return purchases during the festive season.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said understanding your consumer rights is so important during this time of year.

“We know Christmas is a time for giving, but it’s also the time for returning, with retailers faced with increased returns and exchanges following Christmas and Boxing Day sales,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Refunds aren’t always an automatic right if you or your loved one wants an exchange because you changed your mind, bought the wrong size or chose the wrong colour.

“If a business offers you a refund or replacement in these situations, it’s their choice and not a legal requirement.”

Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), products and services must be of acceptable quality, fit for a specific purpose, match any sample or demonstration model, have no undisclosed debts or hidden charges and match the description given to you by the business or manufacturer.

Express warranties, warranties against defects, and extended warranties can also be offered to you in addition to your automatic legal rights under the ACL.

Tips for wanting to return unwanted goods:

  • Faulty goods – consumers are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. What you are entitled to depends on whether the issue is a major or minor fault.
  • Refunds and exchanges - in most cases, a business cannot place fees or conditions on a refund or exchange, this includes restocking fees and returning a product in its original packaging.


  • Signs stating ‘No refunds on sale items’ – these are unlawful because they imply it’s not possible to get a refund under any circumstances.

Ms Fentiman said it’s also important to remember, your consumer guarantees can still apply after any warranties you’ve got from a business have expired.

“So, remember to keep your receipt and make sure you understand the businesses refund policy before buying,” she said.

For more information visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.




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