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Proof of purchase and receipts

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My new gripe is about retailer logic for requesting proof of purchase.   For example, I bought a paper shredder from WH Smiths in October 2008 for around 17.99.  It worked OK for a while, but didn't after a while.  So I took it back for a refund.

By that time, I'd lost my proof of purchase, the receipt.  This was unfortunate, but I didn't think it would matter because the shredder was engraved with WH Smith's logo, embedded in the plastic, so it couldn't have come from elsewhere.  The remains of a sticker for 17.99 was also attached.

I took it to an assistant, who told me, quite explicitly, that she had the authority to deal with this transaction. She immediately walked off for ten minutes, without explanation, and returned with the manager.  Clearly, she had no authority at all. Mistake 1 - here we go!  Mr Manager then agreed that I could only replace it for another one, but I wasn't entitled to a refund or vouchers for the full value without my receipt as proof of purchase.  I saw another one, but it was reduced to 14.99 in the sale.  I said I would only a straight replacement if I was refunded with cash or vouchers worth 3.99.  After all, I had paid 17.99 for it, not 14.99.

Paying for goods, proof of purchase I still couldn't find the receipt but did find an old bank statement that equated to this transaction

Mr Manager flatly refused.  It was a straight swap or nothing.  No vouchers worth 17.99, no cash refund.  With smoke coming out of my ears - Mistake 2 - I told him to "stick it" and took the old one home again.  Then I hunted around for proof of purchase.  I still couldn't find the receipt but did find an old bank statement that equated to this transaction.

You may know that bank statements don't prove anything.  They specify that unnamed goods, worth 'x' amount was purchased at retailer 'y' on 'z' date.  It doesn't specify what exactly was purchased.  I could have bought a book in WH Smith for 17.99 on the said date, not a shredder.

Nevertheless, I did ring WH Smith back and asked another assistant if this could be be an acceptable alternative to a receipt for 'proof of purchase.'  She said yes.

This is daft.  I took the old shredder back and got a full cash refund for 17.99 plus a fistful of discount vouchers for books over a tenner.

By: GrumpyOldWoman


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Misty

Misty

I'm so disappointed with WHSmith exchange policy even when things have WHSmith engraved on them and you want to exchange for an alternative!
Misty
7th Aug 16 07:45

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0
realitycheck

realitycheck

I think you need to try and see it from their point of view rather than getting so grumpy about this. It seems to me that WH Smith were very reasonable here.

Having a WH Smith branded item with "the remains" of price sticker on, doesn't in itself prove that you purchased it, or how much you paid. It's common practice for stores applying discounts to add a new sticker and not remove the old sticker, so with no receipt or bank evidence, the remains of a price sticker doesn't really mean anything.

£17.99 - £14.99 = £3, so asking for £3.99 in addition to a direct replacment isn't even good arithmetic.
realitycheck
30th May 12 09:36

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Chubb

Chubb

I think an offer of a replacment was resonable. To me you were unreasonable in demanding your money back. you needed a shredder it proved to be faulty so why not take the replacment you still need a shredder.
Chubb
10th Oct 11 23:53

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-17
garybournemouth

garybournemouth

I don.t know why you are getting you knickers in a twist when you are in the wrong. The onus is on you to provide proof of purchase. I work in a store and you are wrong when you say if it is own brand it could have only come from that store chain. Items could have been taken from the store and returned for a fraudulent refund, the items could have been taken from some ones skip etc. The reason a bank statement can be used it because this proves you made a purchase on a certain date. From the bank statement information the store can look up you transaction details and receipt.
garybournemouth
16th Aug 11 17:49

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-10
Manx Hound

Manx Hound

'Freddie' is quite right, no retailer is under any obligation to accept returned goods however most do so in the interests of maintaining good customer relations.

A warranty period is irrelevant as far as consumer protection legislation is concerned however, the goods simply have to be of 'merchantable quality' and one measure of this is how long they fulfill their intended function. For example a £5 watch may only last a year and still be acceptable however a £5,000 watch that failed after 2 years would most likely be regarded as substandard and the purchaser entitled to a refund whatever the manufacturer or retailer's guarantee.

Certain sectors however have fought long and hard to obfuscate and frustrate these general principles. The car industry is probably the most notable example where some manufacturers have spent vast sums of money fighting claims for 'defective goods', maintaining that it is somehow acceptable to endlessly repair (read bodge) rather than simply handing the customer back his money and accepting their failure with good grace.

'Proof of purchase' need not necessarily be the retailer's receipt. An extract from a credit card or bank statement is perfectly good 'proof'.
Manx Hound
22nd Dec 09 16:57

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-6
Freddie

Freddie

To clarify this for you, you have absolutely no entitlement to anything at all unless the goods are faulty. This is determined by the sale of goods act. If faulty, and within warranty, then a retailer is obliged to offer a refund if requested but can insist on seeing a proof of purchase. That is quite reasonable really.
Too many people think they can just return un-wanted items to shops. Why should shops suffer this burden? Prices are set at a rate that allows for the loss caused from returns. If people bought the right thing first time I'm convinced that prices would be lower across the board.
Freddie
22nd Dec 09 10:25

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3
El Tigre

El Tigre

If you don't return the receipt, there is a always a chance somebody else might find your lost receipt and then pretend to be you and try to get a refund. This is one reason why stores are hesitant to replace or refund an item if you can't find your receipt.
El Tigre
23rd Sep 09 11:54

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-24
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

Hadn't noticed that one; that comment at 18:35 yesterday wasn't me either! However, they do have a point!
grumpyoldwoman
13th Aug 09 08:43

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-10
MikeP

MikeP

Shrikishan is definitely a few watts short of a light bulb.
MikeP
12th Aug 09 19:54

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-3
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

shrikishan, I do not understand, If you wish to aquire a credit card why do you want a complete stranger to contact you?
grumpyoldwoman
12th Aug 09 18:35

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0
shrikishan

shrikishan

I want make a virgin credit card please contact me on it 9251633945 and e mail kishans@rocketmail.com
shrikishan
12th Aug 09 18:22

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-15
Clarite

Clarite

It is a misconception that the customer is always right, in this day and age, the customers quite often are over demanding and rude to staff who are by no means just other people doing a job to earn a living. If an item is faulty then please take it back to the shop that you bought it from, you can expect an exchange for the same value that you paid originally and for the same type of item but why should you get a refund as you have already used it for a few days before the sale? I work in a shop and believe me it is infuriating having to deal with demanding and rude customers. Common sense and ethical values should be brought back and we will all be the happier for it.
Clarite
22nd Jul 09 23:17

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-10
Mallory

Mallory

What the hell have celebrities got to do with this? I think you're the one who's misguided here; you seem to be under the impression that you're more important than the rest of us, and therefore shouldn't be subject to the store policies which the vast majority have to fall under. Newsflash - you're a consumer who isn't in the public eye, so therefore you're no better or worse than anyone else who that policy would apply to. Get over it. If you want to get special treatment - become an MP!
Mallory
1st Jul 09 10:34

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-10
Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

I think you're very misguided. In this day and age, when celebrity and cult status is at such a peak, do you honesty believe that some big nob or famous person with the same problem as I outlined in my article would get treated as I did.

How do you think MPs got away with fiddling and exploiting the expenses rules?

We live in a strictly hierachical society - those that aren't well known, important or powerful are not judged on their honesty or truthfulness.We all treated like robots with policies that are based on the crude notion that we're all potential criminals.
Grumpy xx
26th Jun 09 19:21

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-5
Mallory

Mallory

OK, well put it this way. If the manager was found out to have authorised this transaction without the production of a receipt, he could have faced trouble from Head Office. Would you really expect him to risk that for the sake of a customer who told him to "stick it"?

Also, the presence of a sticker doesn't necessarily mean that's what you paid - there could have been a reduced price tag on the shelf but not the product. Without the receipt, there was no proof of when you bought it. And may I point out that in your original gripe you don't say anywhere about the manager believing you...

At the end of the day, they're following store policy and you expected to be above that. Then you moan when you're not given special treatment.
Mallory
26th Jun 09 09:49

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-12

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