Do I need a receipt?

‘I don’t care if it doesn’t work. We can’t take it back if you don’t have a receipt.’

Oh yes they can.

It’s one of the oldest clichés trotted out by shop staff when faced with a customer they don’t want to deal with. “I’m sorry, we can’t take that back if you don’t have your receipt.”

But it’s simply not true. The fact is that retailers are not under any legal obligation to provide you with a receipt so it would be rather unfair if they try to insist that you need to produce one when returning goods.

So if you are returning goods beccause they are faulty, and have therefore broken the terms of the Consumer Rights Act, then you don’t need to have a receipt.

You may, however, be asked for proof of purchase and for this you could use a cheque stub or a bank or credit card statement.

If you are returning goods just because you’ve changed your mind or they don’t fit you then the shop does have the right to insist on a receipt since they are taking the goods back in accordance with their own internal policies rather than because of any legal requirement they have.

Most retailers will allow you to return unwanted goods within a certain time frame – and it varies from retailer to retailer so if you think you may have to return something then ask how long you have at the time you are buying it.

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