20th December 2023

What to do if you've received any unwanted or faulty gifts this Christmas

Consumer Tips

If you've received any Christmas gifts you don't want or, even worse, that don't work, then it's important you know your rights.

Most shops will allow you to return unwanted gifts, as long as you have either a gift receipt, or ask the person who bought it for the original receipt.

But there's some important things to be aware of.


Returning faulty goods

As a consumer, the Supply of Goods and Services (Jersey) Law 2009 protects you if your goods are:   

  • Faulty or damaged   
  • Useless   
  • Not what was advertised or matching the description   

These terms apply whether your goods were bought new, in a sale or even second hand. Usually you'll be required to provide proof of purchase when returning goods, such as a receipt.   

If goods are faulty, within a reasonably short period of time after the sale took place, a consumer is entitled to a full refund or compensation. However, consumers could alternatively select a repair or replacement, which would then be at the company’s discretion to accept.


Returning unwanted goods

When returning unwanted rather than faulty goods, consumers will usually have to follow the company’s internal returns policy.

These ‘goodwill’ policies may offer either a refund, exchange or credit note. It’s worth noting that company’s aren’t required by law to have a returns policy. Time limits may be imposed on these returns, such as 28 days, and may increase around the Christmas period.


Returning online goods

When buying online goods, you have additional rights for returns. This is because of the ‘expectation versus reality’ phenomenon, where the image online may look nothing like the physical item you receive.

Under the Consumer Contracts regulation, you have the right to return items if you change your mind. Once your goods have been received, you have 14 days to request a return. Some companies will do pre-paid returns, but some will require the customer to pay for their own postage.   


Gift cards

Expiry dates for gift cards can vary enormously. These can range from just a few months to even a year.

When receiving a gift card, make sure to check the expiry date to ensure you use it in this timeframe. The gift giver won’t get their money back if you don’t spend it!  

If you lose a gift card, then you may be able to have one reissued for a small fee. However, this is ultimately within the retailer’s power.