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Shoppers urged to know their rights

Shoppers make their way through a sea of cars in the parking lot of the Corral Centre recently.

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Shoppers make their way through a sea of cars in the parking lot of the Corral Centre recently. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

The Consumer Protection Office is reminding shoppers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities before and after they make their purchases.

Return policies

In Manitoba, all sales are final unless a seller’s return policy states otherwise. Many stores will accept returns or exchanges, but it is not mandatory and every store has its own policy.

The Consumer Protection Office has these five tips about return policies:

• Ask about a store’s return policy before making a purchase;

• If an item needs to be returned, do so as soon as possible and be sure the item is in good condition;

• Keep all receipts, because the seller will require proof of purchase to return the item;

• Be aware that sellers may offer a store credit instead of a cash refund and if merchandise is faulty they may repair it, replace it, or provide a refund or store credit; and

• Some sellers may provide a refund but add a service fee or restocking charge.

Warranties

If purchased items are damaged or not working as expected, many sellers and manufacturers offer warranties that will replace or repair the item.

All warranties are different, so consumers should read warranty instructions carefully and make sure they understand all the terms and conditions including what is and isn’t covered and how long the warranty lasts.

In Manitoba, sellers are responsible for sending damaged products back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. Even if an item includes instructions that specify the product should be returned directly to the manufacturer, consumers have the option of taking it back to the seller to return to the manufacturer on their behalf.

Deposits

Consumers often place a deposit with a seller to hold a product or service. In Manitoba, sellers are not required to return a deposit, unless they indicate otherwise. This is true whether the deposit is made for a purchase, such as an item of clothing or jewelry, or a service such as a manicure or hall rental.

The Consumer Protection Office has these three tips about deposits:

• Ask sellers for details about their deposit policy before placing a deposit,

• Get the terms and conditions in writing before putting down a deposit, and

• Only provide the minimum amount required for the deposit.

For more information, shoppers are encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800, 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free) in Manitoba, via email at consumers@gov.mb.ca or on the provincial website at gov.mb.ca/cca/cpo.

» Submitted

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 24, 2013

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The Consumer Protection Office is reminding shoppers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities before and after they make their purchases.

Return policies

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The Consumer Protection Office is reminding shoppers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities before and after they make their purchases.

Return policies

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