Retail stores within rights to say 'no refunds'
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, December 21, 2012 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Friday, December 21, 2012 8:08PM PST
Retail stores have no obligation to provide a refund or exchange for an unwanted product, as one CTV viewer learned the hard way after a day of Christmas shopping.
Christina Chan said she was “sweet-talked” into buying a product she didn’t want, but wasn't told about the store's no-refund policy until after she paid.
She wants her money back and wants to know her rights when it comes to store return policies.
There are no laws in British Columbia that state retailers must provide a refund or exchange, unless the item in question is defective.
While some stores offer full refunds within two weeks, others can offer exchange or store credit only. Having a policy that dictates “all sales are final” is also perfectly legal.
Return policies are set by each store.
Stores are urged to visibly display their return policies to customers, but there is nothing forcing them to be upfront about their policies, or provide adequate signage.
Consumer Protection BC recommends consumers ask about the store's policies before they purchase a product to avoid miscommunication and hurt feelings.
“We would always advise that if a consumer is unhappy with their interaction with a business that they try to speak with the business about it first,” said Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith of Consumer Protection BC.