Disappointing Christmas presents – Odette Vella


On Christmas Day, most of us would have given and received gifts in celebrations with our families and loved ones. While we’ve no doubt received many nice gifts, chances are we’ve also received a gift or two that we don’t really like. It is also possible that a gift turns out to be defective. What are our legal rights in these two situations?

If we’ve received a gift that we just don’t like, the first thing to do is look for the gift receipt. If we have it, we only have to follow the return conditions written on it. First we need to find the date when we have to return the unwanted gift. We must also pay attention to the conditions regarding how to return the product, such as keeping the original packaging and attached labels.

Unfortunately, some types of products are generally not tradable. These include made-to-measure or personalized products. Even items that come in close physical contact with the body, such as earrings, makeup, and underwear, are very often excluded from a store’s return policy for hygienic reasons.

If we do not receive a gift receipt, in order to redeem the gift, we will need to ask the person who gave us the gift for the original receipt. However, in this case, our right to return and exchange the unwanted gift depends on the store’s return policy and whether we are still within the time limit for the store to exchange the gift.

If our gift is defective, consumers have specific legal rights which sellers’ return policies cannot diminish.-Odette Velle

If we don’t have the receipt but know where the gift was purchased from, we can also try to speak to the seller and ask if it is possible to change the product without the receipt. In such a situation, we must always remember that any possible solution that the seller may offer us is completely voluntary.

It is also possible that our gift is defective. In this case, consumers have specific legal rights that sellers’ return policies cannot diminish. In the event that the property proves to be defective or non-compliant with the sales contract, we may request the repair or replacement of the property free of charge. If such solutions are not possible, we may request a partial or full refund.

If a credit note is offered to us, it is not in our interest to accept it. A credit note is not the equivalent of cash. Also, once a credit note is accepted, we cannot redeem it for cash.

With regard to gifts purchased online, if the sale transaction was made with an EU seller, the law provides for a withdrawal period of 14 days. During this period, the buyer can choose to return the purchased product without having to justify himself. However, in this case, we will still have to inform the person who gave us the gift that we wish to modify it.

In addition, while for such purchases the law allows the buyer to claim a full refund of the sum paid, the costs of returning the unwanted item may have to be paid by the seller. This rule applies as long as the seller has informed the buyer of these costs before the conclusion of the sale.

If we encounter situations where the seller refuses to honor a return policy agreed upon prior to the sale or refuses to provide us with remedies to which we are legally entitled, we may contact the MCCAA Office of Consumer Affairs for information. about our rights and aids.

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