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When Am I Not Entitled to a Refund?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 7 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Refund Sale And Supply Of Goods Act

It seems that most people buy things in the expectation that they will be fully entitled to get their money back by way of a full refund if there are any problems, if the item isn’t suitable or they just change their mind. You would probably be surprised at how many common scenarios there are that you would expect entitle you to a refund...but in fact don’t.

The Sofa Won’t Fit in the House!

Oh dear. If you buy a sofa, a bed or anything else that needs to be a certain size to fit where you want it to go, the responsibility is on you to make sure that the item will fit through the door, or will go up the stairs. Or fit into the place in the kitchen where you wanted it to go, in the case of appliances like washing machines or dishwashers.

If the furniture doesn’t fit, you have a big problem and will have to do some serious negotiating with the retailer as the law doesn’t say that the goods you buy have to be fit for your purposes, just that they must be fit for the purpose which they are commonly intended – unless you specifically request something.

So, if you are told by a furniture retailer that a sofa is four feet long, and you have a space four and a bit feet long intended for it, you would be within your rights to complain if it didn’t fit because the sofa was longer than it had been described. But if you don’t measure the space and just assume that it will fit, you will have to fall on the mercy of the retailer and you may have to accept a credit note. By law, the retailer doesn’t even have to give you that, let alone a refund. The moral of the story is always, always measure up if size is crucial. The same applies to curtains, bed covers and carpets.

The Dress Doesn’t Fit Me!

When you buy clothes without trying them on, always check first whether the store has a policy that allows you an exchange or refund if you are not happy or change your mind. The Sale and Supply of Goods Act only entitles you to a refund or any kind of redress if the goods that you buy are ‘not of satisfactory quality’ and if there’s nothing wrong with the dress or shoes that you’ve bought – except that it doesn’t fit you – you are legally entitled to absolutely nothing. Most stores are lenient with their policies but it pays to check, as anything over and above your legal rights under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act is at the discretion of the shop.

It’s Gone Wrong and I’ve Only Had it Six Months!

The Sale and Supply of Goods Act does say that if an item is faulty, and it’s less than six months old, as a rule you should be entitled to compensation from the retailer as it’s judged to have been faulty when you purchased it.

The entitlement to compensation has to be reasonable though, so if you have bought something perishable, or something you wouldn’t usually expect to last for six months, you can’t rely on this. Even if you buy something that you would reasonably expect to last more than six months, and it goes wrong, a refund isn’t the obvious answer.

If the item becomes faulty very quickly, or has never worked, you would be fully justified in demanding a refund. But if you have had a television for five months before it develops a problem, you’ve had five months use from that set and can’t reasonably insist on your money back – although it never hurts to try for a refund first. In that scenario, you may have to accept a repair – or a replacement television if the set can’t be repaired.

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Richie- Your Question:
I have purchased a laminate floor online which was labelled as express click. My carpenter quoted me a price for this type of flooring. The flooring arrived and the carpenter came to start work. He then noticed the flooring was not express click and informed me he was unable to fit the floor alone due to the type and required an extra man to complete the job. I contacted the company and requested a refund. Having no response I instructed my carpenter to starts works agreeing to pay him extra for the additional labour required as I could clearly see he was unable to fit it himself. I then received a reply the following confirming the flooring had been incorrectly advertised and apologising and offering a refund. At this point it was too late so I requested a refund of the additional costs to me to have the floor fitted explaining the scenario. They refused and offered me the cost of two packs of flooring as a gesture of goodwill. Do I have any rights to persure this further. As I am out of pocket due to their incorrect advertising ?

Our Response:
It would have been better to call the company for a repsonse - how long did you wait? It's not clear from your comment.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 8-Dec-17 @ 3:26 PM
I have purchased a laminate floor online which was labelled as express click. My carpenter quoted me a price for this type of flooring. The flooring arrived and the carpenter came to start work. He then noticed the flooring was not express click and informed me he was unable to fit the floor alone due to the type and required an extra man to complete the job. I contacted the company and requested a refund. Having no response I instructed my carpenter to starts works agreeing to pay him extra for the additional labour required as I could clearly see he was unable to fit it himself. I then received a reply the following confirming the flooring had been incorrectly advertised and apologising and offering a refund. At this point it was too late so I requested a refund of the additional costs to me to have the floor fitted explaining the scenario. They refused and offered me the cost of two packs of flooring as a gesture of goodwill. Do i have any rights to persure this further. As I am out of pocket due to their incorrect advertising ?
Richie - 7-Dec-17 @ 9:45 PM
Elaine - Your Question:
I ordered made to measure bifold wardrobe doors. Once fitted they do not close and the edges are very sharp, with a very poor finish. Supplier has tried to alter fitting but agrees they are not fit for purpose. The manufacturer says it's a fitting issue and won't come out and see the doors. Stalemate- leaving me with poor quality, expensive, non closing doors! What can I do?

Our Response:
When you say the supplier has agreed they are not fit for purpose - is this who you paid for the doors? If so the contract is with them (they are the retailer) and must refund under Consumer legislation (they should then follow up with the manufacturer). If you bought them directly from the manufacturer and they are not fit for purpose or they are of unsatisfactory quality, the manufacturer should refund you. If they do not, refer it to trading standards - you may have to reclaim via the small claims court, but hopefully it will not go that far.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 8-Nov-17 @ 11:22 AM
I ordered made to measure bifold wardrobe doors. Once fitted they do not close and the edges are very sharp, with a very poor finish. Supplier has tried to alter fitting but agrees they are not fit for purpose. The manufacturer says it's a fitting issue and won't come out and see the doors. Stalemate- leaving me with poor quality, expensive, non closing doors! What can I do?
Elaine - 1-Nov-17 @ 10:14 PM
With reference to my previous comment, no it was not made to measure. The website offers items made to order in set sizes (9-12m, 12-18m etc). I ordered 12-18m as this is the size I order from other made to order websites and high street stores. The items from this website are at least 3cm shorter than clothes from other retailers.
Unhappy - 20-Oct-17 @ 2:25 PM
Unhappy - Your Question:
On 1st September I ordered some handmade clothes for my baby. They arrived on 19th October (website states 4-6 week turnaround). They are way too small. I ordered 12-18m. In comparison with various other brands of clothes they are very small, more like 6-9m. The company won't offer an exchange or refund. I would argue that the clothes are not as described, as they are not anywhere near to being the average 12-18m sizing. Am I entitled to an exchange or refund? Thanks

Our Response:
When you say they were handmade, were they "made to measure " for your baby? In which case, did the retailer take measurements etc?
ConsumerRightsExpert - 20-Oct-17 @ 2:22 PM
On 1st September I ordered some handmade clothes for my baby. They arrived on 19th October (website states 4-6 week turnaround). They are way too small. I ordered 12-18m. In comparison with various other brands of clothes they are very small, more like 6-9m. The company won't offer an exchange or refund. I would argue that the clothes are not as described, as they are not anywhere near to being the average 12-18m sizing. Am I entitled to an exchange or refund? Thanks
Unhappy - 20-Oct-17 @ 12:46 PM
Rs - Your Question:
I recently made a hair appointment which requires a £40 deposit to secure.The appointment was made on Thursday and I was due to attend on Sunday at 9am. I received a text from the stylist at 11pm on Saturday evening saying that she would need to push the appointment back to 1pm on Sunday. I replied and said that this was not possible because I was travelling on Sunday evening to attend a wedding abroad and this was the reason why I booked the earliest slot available. I then requested a refund of my deposit. I was then told that I would not be able to get a refund due to the fact that she had already purchased the hair extensions required.i explained again that incouod not attend and that the cancellation was no fault of mine I also mentioned that she gave less than 24 hours notice etc.how do I go about getting my money back as she is no longer responding

Our Response:
If she will not refund you, you may need to consider the small claims court. Hopefully the threat of doing so, will compel the stylish to refund you.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:47 PM
I recently made a hair appointment which requires a £40 deposit to secure. The appointment was made on Thursday and I was due to attend on Sunday at 9am. I received a text from the stylist at 11pm on Saturday evening saying that she would need to push the appointment back to 1pm on Sunday. I replied and said that this was not possible because I was travelling on Sunday evening to attend a wedding abroad and this was the reason why I booked the earliest slot available. I then requested a refund of my deposit. I was then told that I would not be able to get a refund due to the fact that she had already purchased the hair extensions required.i explained again that incouod not attend and that the cancellation was no fault of mine I also mentioned that she gave less than 24 hours notice etc...how do I go about getting my money back as she is no longer responding
Rs - 8-Oct-17 @ 1:43 AM
We had a composite front door fitted 2 months ago for a lovely £1500. The company had to come out a month ago to re-sit the door as it was catching at the top. They also replaced the chrome handle which has started to Pitt. They are due back agin on Friday as the screws holding the house number in place have all gone rusty! And tonight is the final straw....its raining and water is coming into our hall way via the doors windows. It is going to ruin the hall flooring. I will be phoning the company first thing in the morning. Am I entitled to a refund,compensation, can I get them to pay for new flooring etc. I have taken photos and videos as evidence. Thank you
Colin - 4-Oct-17 @ 11:00 PM
Disappointed - Your Question:
I recently bought a fitted kitchen supply only from an independent supplier, As I started to fit the the units it became quickly apparent that there were problems, chipped laminate edges, scuffs, black marks, holes. I contacted them and they came out,Firstly said that some of the damage would not be seen when fitted, but agreed to take it back and remake. 2 weeks later it came back with some panels replaced but the black mark had just been sanded out making the finish shiny and some chips just filled and the edges are still chipping. I am so disappointed as this was a big investment. What I wanted to know is, I have started cutting the units to fit pipe work etc would I still be able to say the quality of the goods and workmanship are not up to standard and return the lot and get a refund.

Our Response:
If the faults have only become apparent after you started fitting them, you should still be able to get a refund.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:31 PM
I recently bought a fitted kitchen supply only from an independent supplier, As I started to fit the the units it became quickly apparent that there were problems, chipped laminate edges, scuffs, black marks, holes . I contacted them and they came out,Firstly said that some of the damage would not be seen when fitted, but agreed to take it back and remake. 2 weeks later it came back with some panels replacedbut the black mark had just been sanded out making the finish shiny and some chips just filled and the edges are still chipping. I am so disappointed as this was a big investment. What I wanted to know is, I have started cutting the units to fit pipe work etc would I still be able to say the quality of the goods and workmanship are not up to standard and return the lot and get a refund.
Disappointed - 22-Sep-17 @ 9:36 AM
We recentlyvisited a wedding dress shop for my daughters wedding. She had seen a very specific blue dress.When we asked for this dress we were told that that designer did not produce the dress to her size. We were dissapointed so the retailer told us she would tryand source asimilar dress elsewhere. At the same my wife tried on a dress ,liked it and ordered it in the colour Blue. When my wife's dress arrived we were informed that a blue wedding dress in my daughters size had been found. . my daughter tried this dress on liked it as did my wife hers . however it was not identical to her original choice. We were told this could not be achieved as it may infringe design copyright if supplied by another manufacturer. We asked for alterations to be made to make it closer to original choice. This was agreed but we were told we must pay for dress prior to alteration.We paid for both dresses and my wife took hers home. Four weeks later we returned for a first fitting but did not feel right about the alterationwe asked for all money back . we were told this was only a first post alteration fitting and that details were still to be added after this sizing was confirmed. At same time we happens to have my mothers dress in car and as we may have to change our colour scheme demanded a refund on that too.We have no problem with quality of this dress but colour would be wrong.Can I take legal action please.
Pd - 24-Aug-17 @ 10:41 AM
I recently purchased a wedding dress for my daughter from a bridal shop. She loved the sample she tried and decided that was the dress she wanted. However when they asked for a deposit they told her they would order a size 20 (the sample was size 12 or 14). As you can imagine she wasn't very happy, however they said they knew what they were doing so she went ahead. Once the dress was ordered and available to try on she didn't feel it look right because the bodice appeared much bigger. Again she was told it would be taken in. She tried it again last week but still felt unhappy, Its only now that I paid in full (nearly £1000) that she doesn't want it because of the size and it just doesn't look as it did when she tired the sample. Shes lost weight but the shop knew this was her plan and maybe should not have ordered such a large size. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a shop tactic to make money on adjustments.She's so upset because they said that they will not refund or change it. I am even more unhappy because I wanted to buy my daughters dress for symbolic/emotional reasons and now I have no money and the wedding is at the end of August. Where do we stand legally if we want to get a refund? bear in mind the dress has not been altered and is still in the condition as ordered. Many Thanks
juliette - 6-Jul-17 @ 9:54 PM
I went to an expensive bridal shop to buy my daughter a prom dress, we found one but it didnt fit right so she got measured, was told an extra inch was left so she could sit and eat comfortably, we went to collect dress when it arrived but it was way too small, she could hardly breath in it, they measured her again and said the measurements were exactly the same as the first time, we have got a seamstress coming in 3 days to have a look, im not sure there will be enough material in the dress to even alter, her prom is in 2 weeks! Where will I stand if the dress wont be able to be altered?
Sue - 9-Jun-17 @ 2:24 PM
Debbie - Your Question:
I bought a sofa from charity shop but when it arrived it wouldnt fit through the door. The delivery drivers have left it on my drive. What are my rights as been told I will not get a refund.

Our Response:
While a charity shop still has to comply with the consumer legislation, you as the buyer have a responsibility to check obvious things like size at the time of purchase. The retailer will not have to refund you.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 23-May-17 @ 12:21 PM
I bought a sofa from charity shop but when it arrived it wouldnt fit through the door. The delivery drivers have left it on my drive. What are my rights as been told i will not get a refund.
Debbie - 22-May-17 @ 2:56 PM
Dee - Your Question:
I bought a display cabinet, it looks big and bulky in my room, it also has an electrical fault on one of the interior lights. It was in the sale and I asked if I could exchange it for something smaller and was to!d no. Thank you

Our Response:
If the item was faulty the retailer should have replaced/refunded within 30 days (if you made your complaint in time). After 30 days but up to 6 mothns you can ask to have faults repaired or a replacement. If there is nothing wrong with an item that you bought in a shop you can't always take it back, you must check the retailer's policy on this. If you buy an item online from a business/retailer you have 14 days to inform the retailer that you want to return it and a further 14 days to actually return the item.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 10-May-17 @ 2:13 PM
I bought a display cabinet, it looks big and bulky in my room, it also has an electrical fault on one of the interior lights. It was in the sale and I asked if I could exchange it for something smaller and was to!d no. Thank you
Dee - 9-May-17 @ 7:55 PM
dalyboy13 - Your Question:
I paid up front £2000.00 for a pair of sofas at scs I now need to cancel order six days later where do I stand please

Our Response:
You have an automatic 14-day ‘cooling-off period’ when you buy online or by mail order unless it's made-to-measure or bespoke. If you buy something in a shop you can't automatically cancel/return it...you will need to check the retailer's terms and conditions to see what their policy is on this.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 8-May-17 @ 2:13 PM
i paid up front £2000.00 for a pair of sofas at scs I now need to cancel order six days later where do I stand please
dalyboy13 - 7-May-17 @ 9:23 AM
Hi, we recently ordered two made to measure Rockdoors and we chose the colour black. We were told we had to give £1000 deposit for them to order the doors.When they arrived they do not look black but more of a dark brown colour in the light. This is not what we expected as when we ordered black doors we expected them to be black! Have we any rights to get our money back as they weren't what we expected to order? The picture on the website looks as if it is black. Thanks.
Sean - 25-Apr-17 @ 7:57 PM
Maisie - Your Question:
In November 2016 I purchased a mother of the brides outfit which consisted of a dress and coat, the coat was too big but they said they could alter it nearer the time at a charge. I bought it as the outfit was unavailable anywhere else in the country. Today I tried it on before making arrangements with the shop to take it in to find out that the coat is a size 12 and the dress is a 10. The owner was very apologetic and said they will do the alterations free of charge but will not reimburse my mileage which is 120 miles return. My question is as I feel I was missold an outfit as size 10 which it states on the receipt, am I entitled to a full refund? I was intending to sell it afterwards but because the coat is a 12 and altered I feel I will struggle to sell it.

Our Response:
Well you tried it on at the time and accepted that it could be adjusted. What difference does a label/size make? A retailer does not have to consider customer ability to re-sell a garment after purchase. You should be grateful the retailer has offered to do the alterations for free.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:43 PM
In November 2016 I purchased a mother of the brides outfit which consisted of a dress and coat, the coat was too big but they said they could alter it nearer the time at a charge. I bought it as the outfit was unavailable anywhere else in the country. Today I tried it on before making arrangements with the shop to take it in to find out that the coat is a size 12 and the dress is a 10. The owner was very apologetic and said they will do the alterations free of charge but will not reimburse my mileage which is 120 miles return. My question is as I feel I was missold an outfit as size 10 which it states on the receipt, am I entitled to a full refund? I was intending to sell it afterwards but because the coat is a 12 and altered I feel I will struggle to sell it.
Maisie - 18-Apr-17 @ 3:00 PM
Fee - Your Question:
My daughter purchased a wedding dress and tried on a sample with 3inch heels and dress was the perfect length. When ordering we were told sample was a standard length so we went with this. On arrival the dress was much shorter and she will now have to wear completely flat shoes. We paid for the dress in full and I called the shop the next day to,say I was unhappy. Was told that they have measured it and it's a proper standard length. The manageress told me that they have written on the contract she signed that standard length was ordered no extra required so there must have been some issue for them to write this. This was most definitely not the case. No bridal shop assistant , in the 3 times we visited the store,said they thought the dress size was too short for her. Nor did any of the wedding party think this either. There is not enough material to lengthen it. What rights do we have and should I put my complaint in writing to them? The shop still have the dress although I paid in full.

Our Response:
We'd say the shop/retailer is at fault. The dress tried on (sample) was a standard size and was the perfect length. The bridal shop put the order in for you and didn't question or advise further. They should offer a refund or arrange to for a longer dress.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 27-Mar-17 @ 10:49 AM
My daughter purchased a wedding dress and tried on a sample with 3inch heels and dress was the perfect length. When ordering we were told sample was a standard length so we went with this. On arrival the dress was much shorter and she will now have to wear completely flat shoes. We paid for the dress in full and I called the shop the next day to,say I was unhappy. Was told that they have measured it and it's a proper standard length. The manageresstold me that they have written on the contract she signed that standard length was ordered no extra required so there must have been some issue for them to write this. This was most definitely not the case. No bridal shop assistant , in the 3 times we visited the store,said they thought the dress size was too short for her. Nor did any of the wedding party think this either. There is not enough material to lengthen it. What rights do we have and should I put my complaint in writing to them? The shop still have the dress although I paid in full.
Fee - 25-Mar-17 @ 6:30 AM
Kelly - Your Question:
Bought a sofa & told the guy the measurements and ask him if it would fit through my door. He said yes it would, sofa came it cannot fit. He's charging us more for a 2x2 sofa which the delivery guy says will fit. So we asked for a refund and he's now saying that we won't be refunded the delivery cost. What should I do? Please help!

Our Response:
Did you buy it from a shop? You haven't said.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:30 PM
Bought a sofa & told the guy the measurements and ask him if it would fit through my door. He said yes it would, sofa came it cannot fit. He's charging us more for a 2x2 sofa which the delivery guy says will fit. So we asked for a refund and he's now saying that we won't be refunded the delivery cost. What should I do? Please help!
Kelly - 22-Mar-17 @ 7:54 PM
I purchased an expensive pair of ready made curtains.. (£225) they are beautiful and pleat I arranged them and hung them and disposed of my packaging and receipt as I had no notion of returning they seemed perfect.. I kept them open and tied back for a week then decided to close them. I have noticed each curtain is faulty and has a very thick seam in the middle of each which looks like a manufacturing fault. What can I do?
Bo - 8-Mar-17 @ 10:51 PM
I ordered made to measure pencil pleat curtains from marks & spencer. I specifically asked the assistant in store if they came ready-gathered and she said yes - they would be ready to hang. They arrived un-gathered. I have spoken to several people up to the Manager, and I'm told it's the "industry standard" that they arrive that way. Also it makes no mention of it on the website, Ts&Cs, or order form, and their message was it's down to the consumer to do their research. Well, I asked and was given wrong information. How is the average consumer meant to know what the industry standard is? While they are going to look into and are sending me a goodwill voucher it doesn't alter the fact that I'm left to gather my curtains - I probably wouldn't have paid £300 if I'd have known - I'd have bought ready made. I've bought made to measure curtains from small shops before and they hang them etc as part of the service so I didn't know what to expect.
nesty - 6-Mar-17 @ 3:42 PM
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