Know your rights when returning gifts

Christmas wrapping macro shot.
Christmas wrapping macro shot.

THE Consumer Council has issued advice for people in Cookstown and Magherafelt wondering what their options are regarding a Christmas gift they can’t use or recycle.

Philippa McKeown-Brown, Head of Consumer Education said none of us wants to seem ungrateful but sometimes we can end up with a present we just won’t use and can’t offer to someone else. For those situations the Consumer Council has some advice: Check if the store will offer an exchange, credit note or refund. Bring a debit or credit card statement showing the purchase if you don’t have a receipt. Don’t throw away packaging or remove labels as it may look like you’ve used the item.

Note that some things can’t be returned, for example music, films and games which have had the seal broken; personalised gifts; and perishable gifts like food hampers.

Even if something was in the sale you may be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund if the product is not as described or not fit for purpose. If you don’t have a receipt and the item isn’t faulty it’s likely you’ll only be offered the item’s current, cheaper value.

“The Consumer Council has produced guides called ‘Online Shopping Tips’ and ‘Safer Ways to Pay’. To request free copies, phone us on 028 9067 2488 or e-mail You can also get in touch on facebook and twitter,” added Philippa.