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Refunds and returns

Under the Sale of Goods Act, 1979 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, goods bought on the high street have to be of satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose, as described and last for a reasonable amount of time. This applies to both sale and non-sale items.

If goods are faulty, then you could be entitled to claim a refund, replacement, repair, or price reduction. If you simply change your mind about an item bought on the High Street, you have no legal right to return it. However, most High Street stores have a returns policy, although some may offer just a credit note or an exchange rather than a refund.

Which? Legal can help

It’s a different story if the goods are faulty. Our team of specialist advisers can advise on your consumer rights when returning goods for a refund, repair, or replacement. This includes guidance on:

  • Your consumer rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979/Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • The timescales involved in returning faulty goods
  • Your rights on getting faulty goods replaced or repaired
  • What your consumer rights are if a retailer refuses to provide a refund, replacement, or repair
  • The steps you should take to prove a fault is not caused by ordinary wear and tear


Sales of Goods Act 1979 - applies to contracts entered into prior to 1st October 2015

Consumer Rights Act - applies to contracts entered into on or after 1st October 2015 

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Meet your experts
Catherine Cain Catherine qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and joined Which? Legal in 2018. Catherine previously worked in private practice. See profile
Matthew Tribble Matthew qualified as a solicitor in 2013 and joined Which? Legal in March 2019. See profile
Victoria Helps Victoria joined Which? Legal in 2016. Before that, Victoria worked as a legal adviser for seven years at The Co-operative Legal Services. See profile