Dealing with dud dad’s day presents

30 August 2018

Dads who receive a gift that is heartfelt but not their heart’s desire are being reminded of their refund rights this Father’s Day.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said although dads were not entitled to a refund for every gift that wasn’t on their wish list, they could be if there was another problem with the goods.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), a trader is not required to give a refund for ‘change of mind’, but is required to provide a repair, replacement or refund if the goods sold do not meet a consumer guarantee,” he said.

“This means goods must be of acceptable quality, match the advertised description and be fit for purpose.

“People buying gifts for dad should make sure they keep proof of purchase in case something goes wrong with the product.

“Proof of purchase can be a tax invoice or receipt, but can also be in the form of a credit or debit card statement showing the transaction, or a warranty card.

“Even though traders are not required to provide a refund for unwanted gifts, it is worth checking with the store if they will provide a refund or exchange as a gesture of goodwill.”

Mr Bauer said people considering buying a gift for dad online should be aware the ACL applies to online sales, but obtaining a remedy from an overseas seller could be difficult.

“Overseas online businesses must provide the same automatic consumer guarantees as Australian businesses, and give you the right to ask for a remedy for faulty goods, or goods that don’t do what the seller says they will do,” he said.

“That said, you may experience practical difficulties in getting a remedy from overseas traders if there is a problem.

“In general, contacting these sellers can be more difficult, and returning goods can be an issue, so savvy consumers will factor this in when comparison shopping online.”

For more information on the Australian Consumer Law and consumer guarantees, visit the Office of Fair Trading website at