There are special distance selling regulations which entitle you to return items you’ve bought online, perhaps because they aren’t quite what you were expecting, or you’ve changed your mind. They don’t have to be faulty or broken for you to request a refund.
You’ll usually have to cover the cost of sending unwanted items back to the retailer and you must return the item within 14 days of receiving it. The goods must be returned in the same condition they arrived in, so don’t take off any packaging or labels when unpacking them. You won’t however, be able to cancel goods that have been personalised for you, or which could pose a health or hygiene risk such as earrings, or make-up that you’ve opened.
If the goods you’ve received are faulty, then under the Consumer Rights Act, you can request a refund, but you’ll have to send the item back within a fixed period. This is usually 30 days but can vary from retailer to retailer. If you don’t send it back within this timeframe, the retailer may only agree to a repair or exchange rather than a refund.
If the item you’ve bought develops a problem after several weeks, you’ll have six months to return it and the shop must agree to a refund unless it can provide evidence that it wasn’t faulty when you bought it. If you want to send something back after six months, it’ll be up to you to prove to the shop that there was a problem with the goods at the point of purchase. You can complain about something you’ve bought up to six years after you purchased it (five in Scotland) but it’s likely to be harder to get your money back the longer you leave it.
With any request for a refund, you’ll need to have proof of your purchase, which will usually take the form of a receipt or if you no longer have that, a bank statement showing the payment. Some shops will only accept a receipt, so check their returns policy when buying and if in doubt always hang onto it.