ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

5 things you should know about returning those faulty purchases

You may find yourself buying products you don't really need this holiday season.

Should that happen, consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says consumers have zero right of return when it comes to non-defective items.

Read: Want to return your purchase? Consumer law doesn't protect buyers remorse

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) protects consumers only in terms of defective products. It does not cover unwanted gifts or goods.

If something you bought is just fine but you don't like it for whatever reason, there is no legal right of return.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Knowler says while retailers may have their own store policies, the legal grounds are set by the CPA.

Here are five things you need to know about the CPA regulations:

1. The act allows the right to return defective goods within six months of purchase.

2. After six months, some retailers will insist on the original packaging of the defective item when the manufacturer’s warranty kicks in.

3. The retailer has the right to send the defective item off for technical assessment before replacing, repairing or refunding it. This is in order to rule out user abuse.

4. Ultimately, consumers can choose if they prefer a refund, repair or replacement of the faulty goods.

5. Consumers will always need proof of purchase when claiming for a defective product.

According to Knowler, many retailers and consumers are not fully informed about the rights outlined in the CPA.

A lot of stores are still getting it wrong when it comes to the return of defective items.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

We have the right to expect that goods that we buy are fit for purpose, perform without defect for at least six months, whether that’s a pair of shoes or a drone, and everything in between.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Listen to the entire ConsumerTalk discussion on The Pippa Hudson Show:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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