You’ve probably walked into a store and seen a sign hanging up that says “no refunds”.
Or maybe it’s “no refunds after seven days”. Perhaps instead it’s a sign that promises to exchange, repair or give a credit note but not a refund.
We've all seen these signs but what we might not know is that they’re illegal – all of them.
The same messages are also illegal if they’re printed on a receipt or an invoice.
The reason such messages are against the law is because they imply a refund is not possible even when a product is defective, said Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean.
“Consumers aren’t always entitled to refund – for example, if they have just changed their mind,” Mr Kean said.
“However, they certainly do have the right to a refund if there is a problem with a product, and to suggest otherwise is illegal.”
The consumer law states you’re entitled to a refund if the item purchased is not of an acceptable quality, does not match the description given or is not the same as a sample or demonstration model shown.
Whether it was on sale at the time is irrelevant – you're still entitled to a refund.
Changing your mind, choosing the wrong colour or finding out later an item doesn’t fit are not grounds for an automatic refund.
The Fair Trading Department said some businesses will still offer a refund under those circumstances but that they are doing more than what is required under the law.
Displaying these “no refund” messages could see a shop owner prosecuted and penalised up to $11,000, Mr Kean said.
Last month Fair Trading conducted a blitz of 561 retailers across metropolitan and regional NSW and found one in five businesses were displaying the illegal signs.
Mr Kean said most retailers claimed they did not know the signs were illegal.
“Ignorance is no excuse and these businesses will be inspected again to ensure they are complying,” Mr Kean said.