08 May 2010

Consumer Warning: Know your rights when treating mum this Mother's Day

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading

The Honourable Peter Lawlor


Know your rights when treating mum this Mother's Day

Queensland consumers searching for a last minute Mother's Day gift have been encouraged to check their refund rights before making a purchase.

Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor said the rules on warranties and refunds still applied even when products were on sale or had been discounted.

"Many retailers hold special sales leading up to celebrations such as Mother's Day but this doesn't mean the normal rules go out the window," he said.

"It is illegal for traders to have a 'no refund' policy, or to not allow refunds on sale items that prove to be faulty.

"Equally, consumers should be aware of refund rules when they purchase a gift for someone else.

"Particularly for items such as clothing, it's important to know that retailers aren't required to offer a refund if a purchase is the wrong size.

"Check with the trader before you go ahead with a purchase to see if you can exchange goods if they are the wrong size or aren't suitable.

"Some stores try to generate goodwill and return business by offering a refund or exchange if a gift is not suitable, however they do not legally have to do this."

Mr Lawlor also encouraged shoppers to budget wisely to ensure they didn't end up spending more than they could afford on a gift for mum.

"Mother's Day is a time when people want to spoil their mum, but I'm sure no mother would want a loved one to get themselves into financial trouble by buying a gift which is beyond their budget," he said.

"Beauty products are particularly popular gifts and there are always many offers of free 'gifts with purchase' or items which you can purchase at a 'special' price once you spend a certain amount.

"I would encourage people to set a budget before they set off to do their gift shopping as these deals often induce people to spend more than they had originally intended.

"Shoppers should also pay cash for their gifts where possible rather than using credit cards."

"If you have problems with a purchase speak to the trader in the first instance. If you are unsatisfied with the response contact the Office of Fair Trading for advice on 13 13 04."

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