Can I return it without a receipt? Crucial questions to ask before buying festive gifts

mirror– Every year after Christmas I receive a flurry of complaints from consumers asking me what their rights are in relation to Christmas disasters.

The top three issues I see year on year are the late delivery of presents, problems with returning unwanted gifts and the Christmas Turkey being delivered too early or too late.

With this in mind, here is what you need to know if you find yourself in any of these situations.

Late deliveries

Big platforms such as Amazon are clearly still delivering many products within days, but we are starting to get to the time when some retailers will fail to deliver in time for Christmas.

When ordering Christmas presents online you should specifically ask if the delivery will be on time and state that you are placing the order in reliance of this.

Most websites have a notes or messages box where you can type this during the checkout process.

Problems with returning unwanted gifts

You should always check what the retailer’s returns policy is.

Many retailers have extended policies over the festive period, meaning that you (or the recipient of your gift) will get longer to return the item.

You also need to ask if store-purchased gifts can be returned if the recipient doesn’t like the product. The law only affords you this right if you shop online.

You should also consider the two fundamental requirements when returning goods, namely:

1) You must have a proof of purchase

2) The goods must be returned in pristine condition in the original, undamaged, packaging.

You should ask for a gift receipt and consider how you wrap the gift so that the packaging does not get damaged when the recipient unwraps it.

What about late turkeys?

Every year I hear complaints of Turkey’s arriving too early or too late.

If you order your turkey online you must ask for reassurance as to the delivery date, so that an actual date becomes part of the contract between you and the seller.

Finally, with retail looking so vulnerable in the current climate, I strongly advise that you use your credit card when making your purchases.

This will give you the protection of being able to use either the chargeback scheme or section 75, if something goes wrong.

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