Don’t get caught out returning unwanted Christmas gifts – we round-up refund deadlines from shops

FRIENDS and family who don’t like what they’re given at Christmas today should be covered under special festive refund rules that gives them longer to take things back.

Outside of Christmas, most chains have goodwill policies that allow shoppers to return items within 28 or 30 days if they change their mind.

 Retailers have launched their Christmas refund periods giving you longer to return unwanted gifts


Retailers have launched their Christmas refund periods giving you longer to return unwanted giftsCredit: Getty – Contributor

But all 15 of the major high street and online retailers we spoke to, including the likes of Asda, B&M, and Debenhams have extended return rights over the festive period.

B&M, Debenhams, New Look, Primark, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have the most generous policies, with a deadline of January 31, 2020 for returning gifts.

While at the other end of the scale, House of Fraser has the quickest turnaround, only giving you until January 6. See the table below for the full details.

That said, these extended refund rights may have tighter restrictions over what you’re given in exchange.

Under usual refund policies, where you have the receipt, most retailers will offer you a full refund – on card if that’s how you paid or by cash.

Where you’ve got a gift receipt, you’ll usually be offered a gift card.

But where returns are made after the goodwill period, but before the Christmas returns period ends, gift cards or exchanges for something else are more common than refunds.

Whether you bought items online or in-store or in the sale may also have an impact on how you’re refunded.

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House of Fraser and John Lewis, for example, only exchange items in store, while M&S limits exchanges in store to clothing and homeware,

New Look, meanwhile, offers exchanges or credit notes only for returned sale items, while Choice doesn’t allow online orders to be returned or exchanged in stores.

 Retailers have launched their Christmas refund periods - here's what you need to know


Retailers have launched their Christmas refund periods – here’s what you need to know

And before you kick off, while retailers legally have to provide a replacement, fix or refund for faulty goods, the same rules don’t apply for unwanted items.

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, shops only have to provide a refund for unwanted items if they’ve been purchased online and you’re making your claim from the time of ordering up to 14 days after receiving the goods.

You then have an additional 14 days from notifying the company to return the items.

Here, most items are covered with the exception of personalised goods, fresh items, and certain services, for example hotel bookings.

But despite the rules, some retailers still have incorrect information on their websites.

Clothing retailers Choice and Blueberries’, for example, state that customers must return unwanted purchases within 14 days of receiving them – not within 14 days of requesting a refund, as the rules state.

Blueberries revised its returns policy as soon as we contacted it, although Choice hasn’t responded to our requests for comment.

Its website still says: “For UK Online Orders, returns are able to be processed provided that the item(s) are returned within 14 days of receipt.”

If you’re in the festive spirit, Greggs’ Christmas menu including festive bake and pigs in blankets has gone on sale.

While Wilko has launched a massive 50 per cent off toy sale including Fisher Price, Harry Potter and Marvel that could be perfect for stocking up on Christmas presents.

And we look at the odds of having a white Christmas this year.

Moment man throws a tantrum after he is declined a refund on his game and destroys the entire shop


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