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Replacements, refunds and credit notes


If you buy unfit or faulty goods and you complain successfully to the retailer you are entitled to a replacement, a repair or a refund. If you take a refund it is worthwhile noting that The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980 does not state how a refund should be made. The retailer or supplier of services can give a refund in cash, cheque or a refund to a credit card account. The retailer could also issue a credit note. The differences between refunds and credit notes are explained below.

  • A refund means the retailer returns the money you paid for faulty goods. If you originally paid for the goods on a credit or debit card, the retailer may refund the credit or debit card instead of giving cash. If your consumer complaint is valid a retailer cannot insist on giving you a credit note instead of a refund.
  • A credit note is a paper note issued by a retailer to a customer when goods are returned. A credit note acts like a voucher that can only be used in the particular shop or chain of shops that issued the credit note. If you are returning goods that are faulty you do not have to accept a credit note. Instead, you can ask for a repair, a replacement or a refund depending on the goods in question and other circumstances. If you accept a credit note you may not be able to ask for a refund afterwards.
  • A voucher is a paper note or a card. Generally you can only use a voucher with a particular service provider or retailer. When you buy a voucher, the terms of the voucher should be stated (for example how long the voucher is valid for, etc.). You have no rights if you lose a voucher.

Remember, if you change your mind about a product you are not entitled to either return the goods or to a refund. A retailer may give you a credit note to the value of the goods but they are not obliged to do so.


Each consumer case is different and there are few hard and fast rules so contact the National Consumer Agency or other Consumer Protection Organisation to find out exactly what your rights are.

Where To Apply

National Consumer Agency

4 Harcourt Road
Dublin 2

Opening Hours:- Lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm
Tel:(01) 402 5555
Locall:1890 432 432
Fax:(01) 402 5501

Page updated: 15 January 2009



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Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.