Make mum’s day with our consumer tips

6 May 2021

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding consumers of their rights to help them avoid dilemmas over Mother’s Day presents this year.

“For special events like Mother’s Day, it’s important for consumers to remember that whether they purchase a gift in-store or online if something is wrong with the product they have the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) on their side,” Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said.

“But it’s a good idea, especially when buying for someone else, to check the trader’s returns and refunds policy too. A little research before committing to purchasing a gift can go a long way.

“If the gift is faulty, breaks down, doesn’t do what it is supposed to do or is just not what you ordered, you have rights under the ACL and the trader must help rectify the issue.

“However, if you want to return the gift because it is the wrong size, mum doesn’t like the colour, or you’ve changed your mind, then the situation isn’t covered by the ACL.

“Many businesses will still offer refunds or credits in these circumstances in order to provide good customer service, but it’s not a legal requirement.

“So, if you’re not 100 per cent certain about the gift you’re purchasing, its important you check you’re buying from a trader whose refund policy will allow you to return it.”

General tips the OFT recommends you keep in mind when shopping for your Mother’s Day present both instore and online are:

  • Shop around and compare items before committing to a purchase. Ask friends and family for recommendations or do a quick online search for reviews before making a purchase, especially if you have never shopped with the trader previously.
  • Keep all your receipts, contracts, confirmation emails or text messages. You will need a receipt if you need to seek a replacement or refund.
  • Read and understand the terms and conditions of sale before making a commitment.
  • Make yourself familiar with the trader’s refund policy in case you need to return the item. Ask them to explain it if necessary, including whether they will offer a refund or exchange for a change of mind.
  • If the gift is being purchased online or is being ordered in, check delivery timeframes to see if the gift will arrive on time and whether any cut off times for orders apply for busy periods.

If consumers have issues with goods or services purchased from a business the OFT encourages them to approach the trader in the first instance to try and resolve the matter.

If this is unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint with the OFT at or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).