Business South
Entrepreneurship facilitators

Returns and Refunds

Wednesday - 19 January 2022

refund with credit card

Its that time of year when returns and refunds rise – Christmas gift giving season. So here are some tips on how to handle the situation when it occurs.

Dealing with Customers for Returns or Refunds

When you are dealing with customers and refunds, it is best to be cool and calm at all times. [easier said than done on occasion]. When a loud-voiced customer demands a refund, even though legally they are not entitled to one, try and deal with the situation rationally and calmly.

Why? Because statistics show that a happy customer will become a loyal customer. These days business is becoming really competitive and trying to build up loyal customers is probably the hardest part. But, if you succeed it will be worthwhile.

It is always a good investment to have all staff trained on your service standards. Trained how to handle customer complaints. Customers don’t want to be bandied from one person to another to another. Ideally, they’d like the first person they approach to fix the problem.

As a basic rule of thumb, a customer has no automatic legal right to return goods to a business and seek a refund.

However, a customer is entitled to a refund on goods purchased under the following circumstances:

  • If the customer was induced into buying the goods by misrepresentation.
  • If the goods have a fault about which they could NOT have known at the time of purchase. Customers CANNOT complain about defects that were pointed out to them at the time of purchase.
  • If the goods are NOT of merchantable quality – a basic level of quality and performance that would be reasonable to expect, bearing in mind the price and the way the goods were described.
  • If the goods do not do the job the customer was led to believe they would do.
  • If the goods don’t match the description given when ordered.
  • If the goods don’t match a sample shown when ordered.

A customer may also claim compensation for any loss or damage caused by faulty goods.

Businesses do NOT have to provide a refund or credit note if a customer has discovered AFTER THE PURCHASE that they could have purchased the goods at a cheaper price elsewhere.

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