Christmas present problems?

You know that special feeling of festive panic when you realise the presents you carefully chose haven't quite worked out. We take a look at the most common Christmas present problems and what rights you have to correct any mistakes made in Santa's sack.
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Had a present delivered that isn't actually what you ordered?

Don't panic. Check you didn't make a mistake and order the wrong thing. If  it is not exactly what you ordered, you do not have to keep it. You need to let the seller know that you are unhappy, that this is not what you ordered, and that you will not be paying for it. It is the seller's responsibility to collect it from you but, if you prefer you can return it, and claim back the cost of doing so. Keep it safe though, if it gets damaged or stolen you are responsible for it. 

Got a Christmas present you don't want or wouldn't be seen dead in?

It feels awful to feel ungrateful but equally none of us likes to see our loved ones wasting their money. You don't actually have the right to exchange the present unless it is faulty. However, many shops do allow you to exchange items as a gesture of good will. If you have a gift receipt, you shouldn't have any problem at all. If you haven't, try your most charming smile, and see if it works. 

Realised you bought the wrong thing? 

The same as above. You don't actually have a right to take it back but most shops would allow you to do it as a gesture of good will if you have the receipt. If you don't, you'll just have to hope your most winning smile is indeed winning. 

Give a Christmas present that turned out to be broken?

Awkward! Giving someone a present that turns out not to work is a tricky social situation. Luckily legally it's pretty simple. If you bought the present from a shop, you made a contract with them. By law, it is part of that contract that the thing is of satisfactory quality. If it turns out not to work, the contract has been broken by the seller. This means that you can return the present to the shop and either exchange it or get your money back. If you told the shop when you bought it that it was a present for someone else, or got a gift receipt, they also have the right to return it.

For more help see our consumer section: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/topics/consumer-affairs 

December 2017
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