Signs that state ‘no refunds’ are unlawful, because they imply it is not possible to get a refund under any circumstance – even when there is a major problem with the goods or service.
For the same reason, the following signs are also unlawful:
Signs that state ‘No refunds will be given if you have simply changed your mind’ are acceptable.
You do not have to give a refund when a consumer simply changes their mind about the service.
But you can have a policy to offer a refund or credit note when this happens. If so, you must abide by this policy.
When goods fail to meet a guarantee, the consumer has a right to a remedy – an attempt to put the situation right. Common remedies include repair, replacement and refund.
As a supplier, you must give a remedy when your services are not provided:
Whether you offer a repair, refund or other remedy depends on whether the problem is:
Consumer guarantees apply to both.
When services fail to meet a consumer guarantee, the consumer can also claim for consequential losses – compensation for costs to the consumer in time and money because something went wrong with the goods or services.
A major problem with services is when:
When there is a major failure with a service, the consumer can choose to:
The consumer gets to choose, not you.
For example, a consumer has signed a building contract that sets out the specifications for her new house. When the house is completed, the consumer notices a few windows are not in the right place. Because the builder has not met the standard required by the contract, the consumer is entitled to compensation.
For minor problems that can be fixed, the consumer cannot cancel and demand a refund immediately.
They must give you, as the supplier, an opportunity to fix the problem. You must do this:
For example,a reasonable time to fix a problem with a haircut would be much shorter than the reasonable time to fix a problem with a landscaping project.
If you refuse to fix the problem or take too long, the consumer can:
A reasonable cost would be within the normal range charged by suppliers, and include:
A contract for services is cancelled when the consumer tells you they intend to cancel the services – verbally, in writing or, if this is not possible, by any other means.
A consumer can cancel a contract for services at any time.
Cancelling a contract for services gives the consumer the right to a refund.
The amount will depend on whether some or all of the services provided were unsatisfactory, or provided at all.
For example, a hairdresser has cut and permed a consumer’s hair. The cut is good but the perm has fallen out after a day. The consumer must pay for the cut but not for the perm, as another hairdresser will not need to cut her hair to fix the problem.
When a consumer cancels a contract for services that includes goods, these are also rejected. The consumer is entitled to a refund of any money or other type of payment made for the goods.
To get a refund, the consumer must return the goods to the supplier. If this involves significant cost to the consumer, the supplier must collect the goods at their own expense.
A consumer is not entitled to a remedy when you do not meet one of the consumer guarantees due to something:
This exception does not apply when you have not provided the service with due care and skill.
For example, it takes a qualified painter three weeks to paint a house but the job has taken four weeks. The sole reason for the delay was the weather, which is outside the painter’s control. The consumer would not be entitled to a remedy.
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