Contrary to popular belief, you do not have any right to return unwanted goods, only those that are damaged or faulty. However, many retailers will offer either a refund or exchange and many have extended the period in which they will allow returns after Christmas.
Someone doubt about” is it morally wrong to return Christmas presents?”
That is an issue for your conscience. However, if you are uncomfortable
with the idea but really don’t want the gift, there are ways to make
sure it ends up in a more loving home. You could hold a gift-swapping
party with friends who have similar unloved presents, or offer the gift
up on a website such as Freecycle, which encourages recycling by
allowing you to advertise and pass on an item, free, to another person.
Your chances of an exchange or refund is greatly enhanced if you have
the receipt or other proof of purchase, such as credit card bill.
M&S, for example, will give you a full exchange or refund with a
receipt or gift receipt until 15 January if you (or someone else) bought
the goods between the 1 October and 12 December.
If you do not have a receipt, M&S will still let you return the
goods but only at the current selling price – which could be
substantially less than they were bought for if they are now in the
sale. Without a receipt, it will also only refund you in the guise of a
credit note. Some stores, such as TK Maxx, will not allow you a refund
or exchange without a receipt.
If the goods I ordered arrived after Christmas, you can only be
certain of a refund if delivery by Christmas was guaranteed by the
retailer. Online retailers have up to 30 days to deliver goods unless
otherwise agreed, so last-minute shoppers may have been caught out.
If the goods were dispatched directly to you, you can often use the
dispatch note as proof of purchase and can get a refund on this basis,
depending on the retailer’s terms and conditions.
Amazon, for instance, promises not to tell the gift giver you are
returning an unwanted present. It will give you a gift certificate for
the value of the goods if you provide the order number that came on the
packing slip when the goods were delivered. If you don’t have the slip,
you can contact customer service for the order number. You have to
provide the sender’s name and email address, and the phone number of the
address to which the gift was shipped.
Amazon Items purchased from Amazon.co.uk and dispatched during the
period from 1 November 1 to 31 December inclusive may be returned at any
time before midnight on 31 January.
John Lewis has no set time limit for the return of unsuitable products, a
generous rule that applies all year round. If you can provide proof of
purchase or a gift receipt you can get a full refund or exchange. This
refund can be put back on to your debit card or be given back in gift
TK Maxx’s refund policy is still 14 days instore and 28 days online. For
a refund, TK Maxx needs the original purchase receipt, and, if
appropriate, the original card used to purchase the item.
Marks & Spencer has extended its returns policy; if you bought
between 1 October and 12 December you can get an exchange or refund up
until 15 January.