Can I get a refund? Here's what the CPA says about it
Good to know with Wendy Knowler is a monthly consumer podcast series that gives subscribers insights into the most common mistakes made by consumers in South Africa. If you are in the market for a car, planning your wedding or wondering how to change your travel plans – this series will have something for you. Subscribe so that you don't miss out on the series, here.
In this episode, Wendy Knowler answers the most frequently asked Consumer Protection Act question asked by consumers across South Africa.
Does the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) require the retailer to refund unopened goods bought in error with a slip, two days after purchase? No.
Legally, retailers aren't compelled to take back non-defective goods at all. The CPA doesn't cover the return of non-defective goods, at all. It only refers to the return of defective goods.
Here's what you need to know about refunds, exchanges and store credits:
1. If a product develops a defect in the first six months after purchase, the store's 'no cash refunds' sign is illegal.
2. If a consumer is trying to return a 'change of heart' purchase, the product must be returned with a receipt, in the original packaging, with the tags attached to it.
3. Retailers can insist on a receipt and, send faulty electrical appliances for a technical assessment but, cannot insist on the original packaging after the CPA warranty has expired.
4. In the case of a faulty product, the retailer may not repair the product if they've requested a refund or exchange.
5. When something is bought online, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT) takes preference over the CPA, allowing the consumer a week to return a 'change of heart' product for a full refund. But, the consumer has to send the goods back at their own costs.
6. If the goods were bought as a result of direct marketing, the Consumer Protection Act gives consumers five business days to cancel an agreement made through an unsolicited phone call, in writing. The retailer has 15 business days to process the refund.
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