We all love a sales bargain but Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow blogger and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results (RRP £15) says it's essential you assert your rights if you want to return items. Here are Helen's top tips:
1. Unwanted gifts
If you're taking an unwanted present back to a store just because you don't like it, the store does not have to give you a refund of exchange it. Many of the larger stores will though.
2. Faulty items
However, if you have been given an item that is faulty, such as a kettle that doesn't work you are entitled to a replacement, refund or repair. If the item is less than four weeks old you can demand a refund, however with gifts, companies may relax this rule and you should persevere if a refund is what you want.
3. Fit for purpose
If you buy something in the sale and it's faulty your rights remain the same under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. They must be, as described, fit for purpose, be of satisfactory quality and last a reasonable length of time. However, if the fault was pointed out at the point of purchase and formed part of the reason for the reduced price you cannot return the item as faulty.
4. Proof of purchase
When you take an item back, you will need a proof of purchase which may be the receipt, gift receipt or a credit card statement.
5. Online returns
If you're ordering items in the sale online, the law changed in June 2014. The Distance Selling Regulations 2000 directive was repealed and you now have 14 days in which you can change your mind and return the item under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (came into force June 2014). You are still covered by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 so that if the item is faulty you can expect the trader to pay for all postage and packing costs. However, if you just change your mind the refund of p&p will be determined by the trader's terms and conditions.
There's more great advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.