Refunds, Store Credits and Gift Card Guidelines

Know what your rights are when a consumer is asking for a remedy under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA)

When can a consumer ask for a remedy?

A consumer can ask for a remedy under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). Consumers might be able to get a repair, replacement or refund if: 

  • products or services don’t do what they are meant to or are defective 
  • products or services are different from their description, for example, on packaging or in advertising
  • products don’t match the sample or model they were shown
  • products or services are not reasonably fit for a particular purpose that you informed the consumer about 
  • you did not have the right to sell the product
  • delivery is late or never arrives, or products are damaged in transit. 

As a retailer you have the right to:

  • refuse a consumer’s offer to buy a product or service (so long as you don’t breach the Human Rights Act or the Commerce Act) 
  • ask questions about and inspect any product or service a consumer says does not meet the CGA guarantees 
  • decide to repair, replace or refund a product — or fix a problem with a service if it can be fixed 
  • refuse a refund or any other remedy if a consumer changes their mind about a product or service 
  • refuse a refund or any other remedy if the consumer damages the product after the sale. 

Do I need to offer a store credits for a ‘change of mind’ return?

You are not obliged to offer a remedy for ‘change of mind’ returns, but many retailers choose to do so. You may choose to offer a store credit rather than a refund or exchange for ‘change of mind’ returns.

If you do offer this for change of mind returns, we recommend that you have a change of mind policy that outlines the exchange period, what the consumer is entitled to when they change their mind, and expiry dates for any store credit you provide. 

See our guide to the Consumer Guarantees Act

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What are your rights when it comes to gift cards and vouchers? 

If a customer does not spend the full amount of the gift card, they can redeem the remaining balance at a later date. You can give change in cash if the amount is less than $5. However, you do not need to do so unless the terms of the voucher state this. 

If a gift card is expired, you have no obligation to accept it. If no expiry date is stated, there is no limit on how long customers can use the gift card.  

We recommend that gift cards and vouchers have clearly stated expiry dates. 

If a customer loses their gift voucher you don’t have to replace it. However, you might choose to do so if it was made out to the customer specifically and is not transferable to anyone else. 

If you have any questions, contact our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or email [email protected].

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