Useful tips for dealing with customer returns, refunds and complaints.
Do I need to give a refund?
Yes, if a product doesn’t meet one or more of the ‘consumer guarantees’ (the basic set of rights which apply to goods you sell). In these situations, you must provide a remedy (repair, replacement or refund). If the problem is major, the customer can choose the remedy they want or if it’s minor then you get to choose.
Can I refer the customer to the manufacturer to fix the problem?
No. If a consumer guarantee hasn’t been met, you cannot refuse to help a customer with a problem caused by a manufacturing defect (however, you can seek reimbursement from the manufacturer in this instance).
Do I have to give a refund if the customer simply changed their mind?
No. Customer rights aren’t limitless so you’re not required to provide a remedy if the customer got what they asked for or simply changed their mind – such as poorly chosen Christmas gifts or a new outfit inspired by a NYE resolution that wasn’t achieved.
Do customers need to provide proof of purchase?
Yes. If a customer requests a repair, replacement or refund you can ask them to provide proof of purchase such as a receipt, tax invoice or credit card statement. (And remember: you must give customers a receipt whenever you sell them anything over $75). It’s also a good idea to encourage customers to take copies of receipts.
What do I do if a customer complains?
Make sure you have clear procedures on how your business will handle complaints. Remember that dealing with customers directly can be the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to resolve an issue before it becomes a big problem. It’s also important to think about your obligations and consider what’s best for your business’ reputation.
For more info check out this link from the ACCC.