The local shop that says ‘no’ to your request for a refund is breaking the law, according to Hornsby MP and Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean.
Yet 20% of businesses across the state visited by inspectors are doing just that, a recent blitz on illegal ‘no refund’ signs found, when 12 consumer protection officers visited 561 retailers at 52 locations across NSW.
Retailers aren’t allowed to put up ‘no refund’ signs in their shops or print similar messages on receipts or invoices under consumer laws, as the signs imply a refund isn’t possible even when a product is defective.
“Consumers aren’t always entitled to a refund,” said Mr Kean, “such as if they have just changed their mind. However, they certainly do have the right to a refund if there’s a problem with a product, and to suggest otherwise is illegal,” Mr Kean said.
In the swoop 120 businesses – or about one in five – had illegal messaging about refunds on signs, invoices or receipts. The area with the highest rate of non-compliance was Fairfield, where all 15 traders visited had illegal information about refunds. Clothes shops were the worst offenders, with non-compliance detected in more than half the premises visited.
Offending traders were educated about the law, had the unlawful signs removed and provided with alternate signs with legal wording.
“Most of the offending retailers visited during Operation Refund claimed to be unaware of the law, or the fact that they could be penalised up to $11,000 if prosecuted.”
These businesses will get repeat inspections to ensure they’re complying with legislation.