The ACCC is all about consumer rights this Christmas. Consumer guarantees are on their radar, right in time for the holiday spending (and returning) frenzy.

The latest retailers to feel this festive heat are Harvey Norman and Apple. Harvey Norman franchisees paid $148,000 in fines for telling customers they could only return items within 14 days, or in some cases not at all. Apple narrowly avoided court enforcement proceedings by promising to stop misleading customers about their consumer guarantee rights. (Who hasn’t had that argument at the Genius Bar?!)

With Christmas nearly upon us, the ACCC is sure to keep coming after those who have been naughty this holiday season. That means that it’s more important than ever to be aware of your obligations under the consumer guarantees.

With that in mind, our Very Nailed Christmas gift to you is our top 5 things you need to know about the consumer guarantees.

  1. You don’t have to provide a refund for a change of mind, or the wrong size, or an unwanted gift. But ‘no refund’ signs are a no-no.
  2. If a customer returns goods that have a minor problem, you can choose to give a free repair instead of a replacement or refund.
  3.  If a customer returns goods that are majorly faulty or don’t do what they are meant to do, then they can choose whether to have a replacement or refund.
  4. You have to accept the return of faulty goods for a ‘reasonable’ time, which will depend on the circumstances and nature of the goods. You can’t set a time limit on it.
  5. You’re entitled to ask for proof of purchase but customers can show proof by using something other than a receipt, like a credit card statement.