Make sure you know your consumer rights

Did you give or receive a Christmas gift that will need to be returned? Here is a way to ensure Queenslanders know their rights when it comes to refunds and exchanges.

Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said it was important Queenslanders knew what they are entitled to.

“According to Australian Consumer Law, shoppers are entitled to a refund or replacement if an item is faulty, damaged or dangerous,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Queenslanders should also remember that while many retailers are happy to exchange or refund items if you change your mind, they aren’t always legally obliged to.

“Take the receipt with you if you need to return, replace or exchange an item, this will help streamline the process.”

Mr Hinchliffe also said “No refunds on sale items” were illegal and that consumers were entitled to a refund or replacement of a faulty, damaged or dangerous product, even if they purchased the product on sale.

The Palaszczuk Government also wants to ensure Queenslanders taking advantage of Boxing Day sales are not misled when it comes to price tags.

“When hitting the shops, make sure you pay extra attention at the cash register to ensure the scanned price was the same as the price you saw on the shelf,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“In sales after Christmas, retailers often mark down prices or hold promotions – which is great for shoppers, as long as the discounted price isn’t misleading and the original price hasn’t been inflated.”

Mr Hinchliffe also encouraged Queenslanders who receive gift cards for Christmas to use them wisely so their value does not go to waste.

“If you receive a gift card, try and use it as quickly as possible to ensure you don’t let it expire and to minimise the risk of the business going into administration or liquidation,” he said.

“It’s also a good idea to treat the cards like cash. If your gift card gets lost, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use any remaining value on the card, so keep them in a safe place.”

Hot tips:

If you’re claiming a refund or replacement because the product was faulty, you don’t need the original packaging.
Remember that retailers aren’t legally obliged to exchange or refund items if you change your mind.
“No refunds on sale items” signs are illegal – if a product is faulty, damaged or dangerous you are entitled to a refund or a replacement.
Keep your receipts. Take a photo of your receipt or store it with the ‘Buy Smart’ app, available from the Office of Fair Trading website.
If you suspect any misleading price signage, report it to the Office of Fair Trading.
If you receive a gift card, set a reminder on your phone or calendar to remind you to use the card before it expires.
For more information on consumer and business rights and responsibilities, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading

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