RETURNS AND REFUNDS: Consumer Protection Act (CPA)

Oosthuizen & Co Meyer de Waal creating waves within South Africa
July 25, 2011
August 5, 2011

In terms of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) section 56 (read with section 55), all goods purchased by a consumer are subject to an implied warranty of quality and suppliers can not contract out of this provision. This means that a consumer has the right to receive goods which are:

  • Of good quality and are reasonably suited for the purpose for which they are intended for.

If within 6 months after a purchase, the goods are found to be in contravention of the above, a consumer is allowed any of the three R’s:

    1. Replacement;
    2. Repair; or
    3. Refund.

A consumer is allowed recourse to any of the above three R’s .If a supplier refuses a consumer any of the above three R’s ( a consumer elects which of the R’s they would like), the Tribunal shall fine such supplier/business either 10% of its annual turnover or R 1000 000-00.

It is for this reason that if there are any suppliers/businesses that are still operating with ‘no return or refund policies’, that we recommend that they amend their policies as soon as possible. As for consumers out there, know your rights.

TAKE NOTE- there are two types of returns and refunds:

  • The ‘change of mind/good will refunds’- in terms of these, suppliers/businesses are not obliged to accept the returned goods and refund the consumers. If suppliers/business do honour these it will be out of good will.
  • Those that are imposed by statutes- Under the CPA, there are certain circumstances under which suppliers/businesses are obligated to accept the returned goods and refund the consumer with their monies.

For more information regarding returns and refunds, click on the following link (Reunds and Returns: You have rights as a consumer. Understand them. Enforce them).


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