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Returns Policy Fill out the template

Returns Policy

Last revision
Last revision 08/08/2023
Formats Word and PDF
Size 2 to 3 pages
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Last revisionLast revision: 08/08/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 2 to 3 pages

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Returns Policy

This document is a returns policy which can be used by a business in the United Kingdom which sells goods to a consumer in stores, online or both. The document will set out the process for returning an item where:

  • the consumer changes their mind; and
  • the consumer needs to return an item which does not meet the required standards under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

A consumer is an individual who purchases goods for personal use. Consumers have certain rights and protections.

Faulty goods

A consumer has certain rights available to them if they purchase an item and that item does not meet the standards as required under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The available remedies will depend upon how long the consumer has had the goods in their possession when they raise the matter with the business. In summary:

  • The consumer has the right to reject and return the goods (and to receive a refund) if they do not meet the required standards within the first 30 days. This is known as their short-term right to reject the goods.
  • If the consumer raises the issue after 31 days, they will have the right to ask to return the goods and to receive a repair or replacement.

If the goods are still faulty following the repair or replacement, the general rules say that a consumer can ask for a further repair or replacement or:

  • If they have owned the goods for 6 months or less, they can ask to return the item and receive a refund, or a price reduction to reflect the actual standard of the goods received (and therefore a refund for the difference).
    If they have owned the goods for more than 6 months, they can ask to return the item and receive a refund but this may be subject to a deduction for any use they have had from the goods. They may also ask for a price reduction as above.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, goods sold to consumers must be:
- of satisfactory quality
- fit for purpose
- as described
- match a sample or model seen or examined
- installed correctly (where this is the trader's responsibility).

When a consumer changes their mind

Different rules apply when a consumer changes their mind after they make a purchase. In most cases, a customer has the right to cancel within a certain period if they change their mind after making an online purchase, but no such right exists for purchases made in stores. However, many businesses will choose to offer what is known as a 'goodwill' returns policy, which will provide for a certain period of time for a customer to return an item which they have purchased in a shop if they change their mind.

Holding a returns policy

It is not obligatory to hold a returns policy but many businesses may wish to do so in order to:

  • Confirm whether they will offer a timeframe for returning faulty goods which is more than the statutory minimum;
  • Confirm whether they will offer a goodwill returns policy for items bought in store
  • Confirm the details regarding postage, shipping and proof of purchase
  • Confirm whether any items are excluded from returns.

A business may choose to offer a more generous return policy in order to promote good customer relations and a positive business profile.

How to use this document

This document should be completed with all the relevant information. The business should refer to its complaints policy so that customers know to refer to this should they wish to raise a complaint about the handling of their return. The business may wish to refer to its returns policy in its full terms and conditions of sale.

Once the document has been finalised, it should be displayed in a clear and accessible place for consumers. For online sales, this should be marked clearly on the website and for in-store sales this should be displayed in stores.

The business should then adhere to the returns policy when processing customer returns. Where a consumer is concerned that the business has failed to adhere to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or its returns policy, they may:

Relevant law

The main pieces of legislation which govern consumer rights are:

  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

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