When you have a business you have to have policies that lead to a consistent approach to how you deal with your customers.

If you have employees, policies and rules take on an even more important role in your business. Here are the rules that my team and I follow for handling refund requests – in order of importance – that I have adopted in my 3 stores:

  1. We require proof of purchase. If the customer does not have the receipt they must at least know the date and time so we can find the purchase – plus what else was purchased in the transaction. We do this search using our EPoS that manages all sales. If we cannot find the purchase or are not sure for any other reason, the conversation stops there.
  2. If the goods are defective, we provide a refund.
  3. If the goods are not defective, we make a judgement call on whether to give a store credit depending on the request. For example, for magazines that could have been read in the time the customer has had them – no.
  4. If the goods were purchased more than a week ago, a store credit is unlikely.
  5. If the goods are not in their original packaging then no store credit.
  6. The louder the customer the less likelihood of a store credit.
  7. We use the technology to help us in enforcing our rules. It makes the no – if it is a no – less personal.

Some people try all sorts of scams to get store credits or cash refunds. It’s important we are wary and only letting through requests that meet reasonable requirements. It is also important we are consistent.

If you need to check on your customers rights under the UK Sale of Goods Act contact your local Trading Standards Department. Here is some helpful advice on Staffordshire Trading Standards’ website.