Shoppers get 'refund leeway' in January

Australian shoppers may find that retailers are a bit more accommodating in their refund policies during the post-Christmas period, it has been suggested.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers' Association, said it was likely retailers would strive to be helpful when it came to refunds given the industry's tough times and the need to keep customers happy.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald that some retailers might also extend the refund period to account for the rise in returns after Christmas.

Consumers aiming to boost their spending power this January could also choose to compare credit cards and other money products in search of the best deals. According to the newspaper's own investigation, a local EB Games store had extended its usual seven-day ''trial period'' on games so an item bought before Christmas could be returned up until January 15th.

However, shoppers were also warned of the limits that retailers were prepared to go to, particularly for "change of mind" refunds.

"It's not uncommon for retailers to exclude goods such as unsealed CDs, DVDs and software, gaming consoles, computers, mobile phones, cosmetics, jewellery, personal-care items such as hair straighteners, underwear and swimwear, iPods, MP3 players and digital cameras – among other Christmas gift candidates," said the SMH.

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