We've all been there – receiving a well-intentioned gift that's not quite right. Suppose you received a kitchen gadget for Christmas or your birthday that isn't up your street, knowing your consumer rights when returning kitchen appliances is something of utmost importance.
Perhaps you received what you thought would be the best air fryer but it's not ticking the right boxes. Or, a well-meant understanding of your love of coffee resulted in being gifted a fancy (but utterly complicated) bean-to-cup coffee machine when you much prefer pods.
Whatever the reason is (maybe you realise it doesn't fit right with your kitchen appliance layout), it pays to know your consumer rights to set yourself up for hassle-free returns. If you weren't aware, you as a consumer have more rights when returning kitchen appliances than you may realise – even on gifted appliances.
What are my rights when returning kitchen appliances?
Your consumer rights when returning kitchen appliances all depend on whether the appliance was gifted to you, or whether it was faulty right off the bat. On the surface, it's typically harder to return items that were gifted to you as you've got no direct contract with the seller.
Fortunately, the consumer experts at Money Saving Expert assures you that if your item is faulty, irrespective of whether it was gifted or not, this can be overcome if you have the gift receipt or if the person who gifted you tells the seller they are passing on the rights by "conferring the benefit of the contract" under the Contacts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999. This means making it clear – ideally in writing – that the item being bought is being bought for someone else.
'If you have a gift receipt, you can investigate returning the item,' echoes Looeeze Grossman, founder and CEO of The Used Kitchen Company. 'Most stores have their own rules on returns so it's essential to be aware of what they are. Some will allow returns within a specific time frame, while others have conditions based on the item's condition.'
If you've been given a gift receipt alongside your kitchen appliance, the process can be pretty simple as returns can just be reimbursed with store credit or a refund. It's important to note that some stores may insist on refunds being made to the same card that was used to make the payment so they may issue store credit instead.
Alternatively, if you don't have a gift receipt but have been left with a faulty item, don't automatically assume you're not entitled to a return. With faulty goods, you just need to have legitimate proof of purchase. However, MoneySavingExpert warns that if you have no legal consumer rights and are simply utilising the store's return policy, you'll still need a receipt if that's what the policy says.
'If you're returning an appliance because it's faulty or not to your standard, be mindful that it will need to be returned in its original condition, minus signs of over or misuse,' advises Looeeze. 'Make sure it's in its original packaging and be ready to explain any faults or the reason for your return.'
However, Looeeze notes that it's important to be aware that if the appliances were purchased online, return policies may differ from anything that was purchased in-store. If a kitchen appliance was bought online, you have a right to reject it within 24 days for whatever reason, irrespective of whether it's faulty or you simply don't want it. Then, an additional 14 days to send it back should you receive the item and it's not quite what you expected.
But of course, these rights can get fuzzy if you've been gifted the kitchen appliance as there's a chance it's been well over that entire 28-day period we explained. Therefore, in the case that the kitchen appliance isn't faulty and you just simply don't want it, consumer rights will only apply to the original purchaser, so the store will likely insist that they be the one who returns it.
What to do if you're stuck with a kitchen appliance you can't return
So, if after all that you've been left with not many options because you've not been given a gift receipt and are equally not feeling comfortable asking for one from the person who gifted you. What are your options?
'If you don't feel comfortable asking for the gift receipt, there are various ways to resell your unused kitchen items on various platforms including Facebook Marketplace, eBay and now Vinted, which makes reselling quite easy. Simply snap a pic, write some words about it and get it listed on your favourite site.'
Better yet, buying secondhand is at the top of many people's priority list when it comes to home furnishings and appliances more than ever. Not only are you giving your unwanted kitchen appliance a new lease of life, but you'll also be contributing to a more sustainable kitchen culture.
'Instead of sitting in a box in your garage, appliances get used by people who really want them. Here's to a clutter-free, sustainable 2024,' concludes Looeeze.
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Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.
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