How can a buyer return a product of proper quality?

With low-quality products, everything is clear – you need to contact the seller, point out the identified shortcomings and issue a return. What about a good product? Is it possible to return it if for some reason it does not fit?

We will understand in what situations it is possible to return goods of proper quality and what is needed for this.

List of non-food products of good quality that are not subject to return or exchange.

How can a buyer return a product of proper quality?

Many items can be returned to the store within 14 days of purchase. For example, clothes, shoes or standard cabinet furniture. However, there are some products that the law prohibits from returning or exchanging if everything is in order with them. This:

  • medications;
  • sanitary items;
  • perfume;
  • hygiene products;
  • cosmetics;
  • linen knitwear, stockings, socks;
  • plants and fertilizers for them, pesticides;
  • animals;
  • washing powders, dishwashing gels and other household chemicals;
  • firearms, parts and spare parts for them;
  • non-periodical publications – printed books, sheet music, calendars;
  • cable, textiles, materials for construction and finishing, the price of which is determined by the cost of a linear meter;
  • products made to order – according to individual sizes and with specific characteristics;
  • technically complex goods – their full  list is approved by Government Decree No. 924.

The seller has no right to arbitrarily expand the list of products that are not subject to exchange. The buyer’s main argument in this case is  Article 502 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation , in the second paragraph of which there is a link to the above list.

On a note. Article 502 states that when a buyer applies, the first thing to consider is the exchange of goods for a similar one – a different color, configuration, style, size or shape. And only if there is no suitable position, the buyer can get his money back.

Requirements for goods to be returned

The store may have a variety of requirements. Some, without any particular reason, insist that products must be returned only in the original packaging. Others refuse to talk in the absence of a printed cash receipt.

In fact, Article 502 establishes only three conditions:

  • The item has not been used.
  • Its consumer properties are completely preserved.
  • The buyer provided evidence of purchasing the item from this store.

Evidence may include testimony of witnesses, correspondence in the messenger, a stamp on the packaging, recordings from CCTV cameras, a printed or electronic receipt sent by the store to the post office.

Paragraph 1 of Article 25 of the “Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights” (Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights) adds one more requirement – the presence of factory or factory labels and seals.

Both sources are silent about the safety of the packaging. However, an analysis of judicial practice shows that sometimes this is important. For example, when the box contains the inscription “Keep in case of return.” Or when the packaging is part of the product, and violation of its integrity can be regarded as damage.

In these situations, the judicial authorities take the side of the seller. Therefore, the decision to keep the packaging for at least the first 2 weeks seems reasonable and practical.

Return period for goods of good quality

The return period for quality goods depends on the method of purchase.

The standard 14 days applies to offline purchases. This includes holidays and weekends. But if the last day turns out to be a non-working day, then the return period is extended until the next working day – the rule is enshrined in  Article 193 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation .

On a note. On non-working days, some shops are open. If this is the case, the seller may refuse to extend the return period. The court, as practice shows, is able to support both the seller and the consumer. Therefore, you should not delay your application until the last day.

For online purchases and remote purchases not made online, the return period is reduced to 7 days from the date of delivery. This is approved  by paragraph 4 of Article 26.1 of the PZPP. Before receiving the goods, the buyer can issue a refusal at any time.

The same paragraph contains a clarification that if the seller does not provide the buyer with information about the rules and terms of return in writing, then the return period is extended to 3 months.

How to return a product of proper quality

Before returning an item, please ensure it is in perfect condition. It must be free of damage and signs of use. Labels, tags and seals must be in place, and the packaging must be intact if possible.

Look at the list of goods that are prohibited from returning or exchanging. If your purchase is not there, prepare to go to the store:

  • Find a receipt or other proof of purchase from this store.
  • Check the date on the receipt – the item will not be accepted after 14 days.
  • State the reason for the return – select one of the criteria given in Article 502.
  • Make a written statement. In some cases you may not need it, but it is best to be prepared and bring it with you.
  • If the seller is ready to return the money, ask him to issue an invoice or a corresponding document. These documents will become your proof if the amount is never transferred.

As a rule, if the store processed the return in a timely and correct manner, the money arrives on the card within 3 days.

We prepare an application to return the goods

The form and method of address are not regulated. Large stores usually provide a special form that needs to be filled out. In small ones they offer to do this in free form. Some approximate content could be:

“On October 17, 2023, I purchased men’s trousers produced by the Len factory in your Clothes store. Model – “Ernest”, color – light brown, size – 48. The price at the time of purchase was 2000 (two thousand) rubles. The fact of purchase is confirmed by cash receipt No. 167 dated October 17, 2023 – I am attaching a copy.

The product retains the labels and tags of the factory and store. It has not been subjected to exploitation and has fully retained its presentation. The pants didn’t fit me.

At the time of contact – October 20, 2023 – the store does not have a similar product for exchange. In this regard, I ask you to return the money I spent – 2000 (two thousand) rubles. Basis – clause 2 of Art. 25 of the Law of the Russian Federation “On the Protection of Consumer Rights.”

If the seller does not make contact, ignores the consumer’s right to exchange or return, file a claim. It differs from a statement in that it is regarded not as an appeal, but as a tool for resolving the conflict between the two parties.

How to make a claim

Samples of claim statements for different situations are posted on the Rospotrebnadzor website. But you can make a claim in free form by entering the necessary information:

  • Name of the legal entity (trading company, store).
  • Buyer details: full name, contact phone number, postal address, email.
  • Description of purchase: name, series, number, size, color, model, style and other characteristics.
  • Reason for return. It should match what you indicated in the first application or during verbal communication in the store.
  • The essence of the conflict, the demands put forward, references to laws.

At the very end, list copies of documents that you are willing to attach and sign.

On a note. Copies of the receipt, invoice or act that was issued when registering the return, or the agreement between you and the seller will not be superfluous.

The buyer can present the claim personally to the store administration. But it is more correct to send it by mail – registered mail.

What to do if the seller refuses to return the money

The next step is a complaint to Rospotrebnadzor. It is submitted in person, by e-mail or regular mail, through the  “Reception of Citizens’ Appeals” section on the department’s website – this method is considered the most reliable, as it eliminates the loss of documents.

On a note. Rospotrebnadzor considers complaints only after a claim is presented to the store – this step cannot be skipped.

The purpose of the complaint is to convey the essence of the conflict, state your vision of the situation and support it with evidence. In the text of the appeal, mention the fact of purchase, tell us about compliance with the rules and return periods, filing a claim and the store’s inaction. Please attach the same evidence that accompanied your claim. Please include a receipt for your claim to be sent by registered mail.

If the complaint is filed incorrectly, Rospotrebnadzor will reject it without clarification or additional requests. In this case, the buyer will have to send it again.

Common mistakes when filing a complaint:

  • Inaccurate store address, incomplete name of legal entity

Rospotrebnadzor works only with specific data. Its employees will not look for the real legal address or name if you indicate them incorrectly. They will simply refuse consideration. It is easy to find information about any organization on  the Federal Tax Service website .

  • Anonymous application, no signature

This is usually done when they want to punish the seller and demand an audit of the business. This is a dead end, since Rospotrebnadzor is not authorized to consider anonymous requests. The return issue will not be resolved.

  • Illegible handwriting

No one will deal with him. If you are not sure of the clarity of your handwriting, it is better to type the text or use the electronic application form.

  • No requirements

Being carried away by the narrative, many forget to indicate their requirements. As a result, it is not entirely clear from the complaint what the consumer wants – be sure to voice a demand for a refund.

If you did everything correctly, but did not receive a response from Rospotrebnadzor within 30 days or you received a refusal, contact the regional prosecutor’s office. There is no point in writing an application to the Prosecutor General’s Office – the system is built in such a way that the appeal will in any case be redirected to local authorities, and you will waste time.

Another option is court. But here you need to be completely confident that you are right and prepared for legal costs. They may turn out to be more than the amount paid for the purchase.

Returning goods of good quality purchased remotely

The most common method of distance trading is online platforms. If you purchased an item from one of them, you can return it within a week after delivery without specifying a reason.

The requirements are the same: preservation of presentation and consumer properties, the ability to prove the fact of purchase – this is written in paragraph 21 of  the “Rules for the sale of goods remotely” .

On marketplaces, paperwork is completed automatically. Regular online stores, when returning goods of proper quality, must draw up a report – it serves as the basis for returning the money.

The period for returning the entire amount is 10 days. Allowed methods: cash transfer, postal transfer, transfer to a bank account.

The costs of the commission for transferring money are borne by the seller. But he is allowed to deduct transportation and delivery costs from the buyer – this must be remembered.

If the money has not arrived within 10 days, you will have to write a claim, contact Rospotrebnadzor and the court.

General recommendations

Each return stage performs its own functions. A written statement helps to record the date of the first application. And the claim becomes the basis for a complaint to Rospotrebnadzor. You cannot skip stages.

Most sellers value their reputation and try to avoid conflict situations that would force the buyer to contact Rospotrebnadzor. If a consultant or sales floor employee does not meet you halfway, ask to invite the administrator or store director. Most likely, the dialogue will be established faster.

Be sure to keep copies of receipts, statements and acts signed by the store. Your copy must have the signatures of both parties, the seal of the legal entity and the date.

When describing a conflict situation, do not give in to emotions, do not allow insults – formulate briefly, provide facts and reasonable arguments. The main thing is to act within the law and refer only to it, and not to morality and generally accepted values.

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