Department store House of Fraser has agreed to amend its online returns policy after it emerged customers were being incorrectly told they had just 14 days to return an item bought online to claim a full refund.
MoneySavingExpert.com challenged the retailer on the policy this week after one of our users complained it didn't fairly reflect their legal right to return items bought online.
House of Fraser's returns policy – which was still on its website as of 6pm today – told customers: "Please make sure we receive your returned items within 14 days from the day you receive them, to be refunded in full by the original payment method.
"If you return your purchase after this period but within 28 days, you will be refunded with a House of Fraser e-voucher to the value of the items returned."
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In fact, under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, customers who've bought something online have 14 days to tell a retailer they want to return a product AND a further 14 days to send it back to qualify for a full refund via their original payment method – so if you're within that time period, don't be fobbed off with a voucher. (The rules are different for shop-bought goods – see Consumer Rights for full info.)
MoneySavingExpert challenged House of Fraser on its policy after being alerted by user Sally Wilkinson, who tweeted: "@martinslewis are you aware of House of Fraser's online returns policy? I have an e-voucher instead of refund. Fair?"
House of Fraser amending its policy
A House of Fraser spokesperson insisted the store does comply with Consumer Contracts Regulations, but said numerous updates to that section of the website had resulted in confusing wording, and the policy is currently being updated.
He says: "As a customer will tend to return their unwanted product within a few days of receiving their order and indicate their reason for doing so on the returns form it is very rare that we are contacted by a customer to indicate they wish to cancel their contract before they return the product."
He adds: "However, if a customer does contact us and states they wish to return their unwanted product, they are informed they have 14 days from that moment to return their product for a refund."
Spotted a policy that doesn't comply with consumer law? Let us know
If you've spotted a returns policy which is wrong or poorly worded, let us know. Email the details, with a link or screen grab if possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org.