IfI purchased an item using a store credit and my credit card, if I return the item canI get the full refund on my credit card?

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IfI purchased an item using a store credit and my credit card, if I return the item canI get the full refund on my credit card?

I had purchased a multitool at a hardware store (in New York City) using some store credit and paid the rest on a credit card. I never opened the multitool and returned it less than a week later, undamaged. Am I legally entitled to have the full amount refunded onto my credit card? I do not need any more store credit; I have no intention of shopping at this store again. How can I legally get all of my money back?

Asked on January 31, 2011 under General Practice, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

By law in New York, every store owner is free to determine its own refund policy.  There are certain requirements, however, that must be met.  If the store does not make their own policies known then they must follow the policies set by law.  Also, stores must comply with a consumer's request for a refund or exchange if they don't inform consumers of their refund policy before the consumer purchases the item. Here is what the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York states:

"Merchants can post a sign with this information at the cash register or at the store entrance, or attach the information to each item.

The refund policy display must indicate:

  • If a store offers a full or partial refund
  • The length of time after purchase that refunds will be available
  • Form of refund: cash, credit or exchange
  • If refunds are available for sale items or items sold "as is"
  • If and when customers must present proof of purchase
  • If and when customers must show photo ID or other personal information
  • Any special conditions when using a gift card

If the store policy is not made known to the consumer in one of these ways, the store must honor a refund request if the request is made within 30 days of the purchase. (This does not apply to food, perishables, custom-made or custom-finished goods, and items with defects that the consumer was made aware of when the sale took place.)"  Guide yourself accordingly and good luck.


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