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Why you should keep your receipts.

Q. I tried to return a handbag to Jenners in Edinburgh where I purchased it only 6 weeks ago since the stitching came away in 2 separate places. I did not have my receipt as it was bought by card and the receipt disposed of after checking off bank statement. Not only did the rather surly supervisor refuse to change my faulty bag, she also suggested I could have bought it from John Lewis. I was lost for words. Could I have insisted that they took it back?

A. This is an interesting question. The law doesn’t insist that a retailer hand out a recipe when you buy something so it can’t very well insist that you provide a receipt when you return something that’s faulty.

What the retailer should have done is ask you to provide some sort of proof of purchase. You mention that you paid for the handbag using a credit card so you should have been able to produce your credit card statement showing that you spent money in Jenners and the money you spent was exactly the same as the price of the handbag.

That doesn’t actually prove that you bought the handbag in Jenners but it should suffice as proof of purchase.

Having said that, some retailers are now insisting that even if you produce a credit card receipt for their shop showing the date you bought the goods and even if the prices match they won’t replace the faulty item unless the credit card statement that you show them specifies the item that you are returning.

So although there is no legal requirement to produce a receipt when you return faulty goods some retailers are making it difficult for you to exercise your consumer rights unless you actually have one.

It’s worth pointing out here that if you are returning goods because you have changed your mind or because they don’t fit then the retailer does have the right to insist that you produce a receipt once these sorts of returns are not covered by The Consumer Rights Act but by the shop’s own international policies.

So to be sure of a refund if something goes wrong you should really keep your receipts in a safe place.

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