Time limits for Return & Refund Policy - TermsFeed (2023)

Even if you run a successful e-commerce or retail business, there will be customers who are dissatisfied with their purchase. A Return and Refund Policy offers them a remedy when they face these situations.

It helps your business bottom line too by showing that you care. Your policy also affects your customer retention.

However, there's a risk of fraud in returns and refunds.

Customers may buy an item with only short-term use in mind or attempt to hold you responsible for the damage they caused.

Time limits help with this by enforcing decision-making but also reducing the chance of returns after items are well-used. Return windows of 14, 30, and even 90 days after purchase reduce the possibility of these bad faith returns.

There are consumer protection laws that control these return windows. Here is why you should be cautious with your time limits in your Return and Refund Policy.

Use our to generate a Return and Refund Policy for your store. Just follow these steps:

  1. At Step 1, select where your Return & Refund Policy will be used.

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  2. At Step 2, add information about your website/app and business.

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  3. Answer some questions about your business practices.

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  4. Enter an email address where you'd like to receive your Return and Refund Policy and click "Generate."

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    Done! You'll be able to instantly access and download your new Return and Refund Policy.

Purpose of Return and Refund Policies

The primary purpose for Return and Refund Policies is the preservation of customer relationships - customer retention.

Even with all precautions taken, there's a likelihood that one of your products may not work as expected. It's also possible the item will not appear the same way it does online.

Both of these options can prevent a customer from being happy with their purchase from your store.

(Video) Return & Refund Policy Generator

When customers experience shortcomings, they want solutions. One solution includes the right to return an item for a refund.

Return and Refund Policies also make purchases more likely. If a customer considers a new item, they want to purchase it risk-free in case it does not work out for them.

This kind of policy from your store offers that reassurance.

Finally, in some countries, Return and Refund Policies are required by law.

That includes set time periods for allowing a return and refund.

It's important to know these laws so you do not risk penalties.

Laws on returns and refunds

Most countries leave Return and Refund Policies to the discretion of the store.

However, there are jurisdictions where you need to draft a clear policy and offer minimum time limits for allowing returns and refunds.


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There are no federal laws requiring retailers to allow returns and refunds in the US.

As such, there are no minimum return windows specified by federal statutes either.

States may have different requirements.

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California, for example, requires stores to post their Refund Policy in a conspicuous place unless they offer full cash refunds or store credit within 7 days of purchase.

If a store does follow this requirement, customers may return items for a full refund within 30 days of a purchase.

Notices are not required for perishable food items or sale products marked "All sales final."

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Florida enforces similar requirements.

If a store does not post a conspicuous notice indicating that returns and refunds are not allowed, then the customer may return goods for a full refund within 7 days of a purchase.

US state laws are mainly concerned with notice requirements.

Return windows for customers to receive refunds vary by store and state. These policies and any time limits on them exist mainly for goodwill rather than legal reasons.

(Video) Is a Return & Refund Policy Legally Required?

Stores often provide return and refund policies are that consistent with their values and appropriate for their products.


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The U.K. is unique in that it has a specific law regarding returns and refunds, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

It entitles customers to a refund, replacement or repair when the item they purchased is faulty or does not resemble its online or catalog description.

If the store has no right to sell the item, due to no licensing or expertise, customers may receive additional funds beyond the purchase price if they suffer a defective product.

The time limit for making a return and requesting a refund is 30 days. For digital content, the time limit is 14 days.

The UK law doesn't require a return or refund if the items are not faulty.

Examples include clothing that fails to fit, unwanted gifts or mere mind changes.

There are exceptions on Internet or mail order items since it's often impossible to determine quality by photos alone.

That's why Return Policies for online stores are often more generous than those posted in a retail store.

Another law, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, makes it a criminal offense to mislead customers on their legal rights.

Under that law, you cannot make any of the following statements in your Return and Refund Policy:

  • That you do not issue refunds;
  • That you only authorize returns with an exchange for another item;
  • That customers can only receive store credit rather than a refund for a faulty good; and
  • That all items are sold as seen.

Even stating "No refunds unless goods are faulty" is illegal even though that's true under the law.

Avoid statements that are too limiting as well as those that are untrue.


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Like the U.S., Australian law allows retailers discretion when determining Return and Refund Policies - including time windows.

Australian consumer law offers many rights to your customers but the guarantee for a refund is not one of them.

If you sell products in Australia, you have the option to repair an item if it has a minor problem.

You can also offer a replacement instead of a refund if the item sold is seriously flawed.

As in the U.S., if you wish to offer a Return and Refund Policy, that is within your discretion.

However, stores cannot state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances.

(Video) Create Legal Pages like Terms & Conditions, Return, Refund Policy for Free

You also cannot refuse to help a customer who has a defective product unless they knew it was faulty at the time of purchase.

Therefore, it's safe to assume that you cannot rule out refunds entirely and you need to develop a way to help customers who come across defective products.

Examples of time limits on returns and refunds

Except where indicated, time limits on returns and refunds are stated within a Return Policy.

When you are on the website of an e-commerce store, you can find the policy in a footer link or within a FAQ.

Examples of time limits from U.S. stores

Since there are no minimum time limits for returns in the U.S., either on federal or state levels, you find diversity in Return Policies from U.S. stores.

Amazon offers the same 30-day window for American consumers as it does for U.K. customers, but also offers a longer holiday return deadline.

This shows flexibility to address specific circumstances, like the holiday return rush:

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There's also flexibility in determining the validity of a return.

Nordstrom is known for selling high-quality items. Its return policy does not contain time limits but consumers are required to contact customer service first to authorize a return:

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Target offers a general return deadline of 90 days. But it offers additional time limits depending on the type of product.

For example, items with the Target brand can be returned within a year after purchase but electronics must be returned within 30 days. You find other deadlines after clicking the "view return policy for more details" link:

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When you decide on a time limit for returns and refunds in the U.S., you have more flexibility than if you sold items in the U.K.

As long as you are conspicuous with your policy and comply with applicable state laws, you can create a Return and Refund Policy that works well for your store and industry.

Examples of time limits from U.K. stores

Since the UK law provides concise time limits, you find the least variety from U.K. retailer websites.

When you find something different, it's because the retailer offers more time than the law requires.

Amazon UK states its 30-day return deadline window at the top of its return policy. This keeps it in compliance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015:

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Tesco is one of the largest retailers in the U.K. Also in compliance with the Act, it indicates a 30-day return window for items and applies the 14 days to digital purchases (in this case, mobile phone contracts):

(Video) How to Add a Return and Refund Policy on Wix

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The UK law makes it clear that stores can offer more rights to consumers than required.

Marks and Spencer, a well-known department store, offers a 35-day return and refund window. This applies to both U.K. and U.S. markets:

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The following examples either meet minimum time limits or offer additional time.

Unfortunately, with its return window of 28 days, H&M may not be in compliance with the consumer laws:

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If you sell products in the U.K., indicate a minimum return time window of 30 days.

Even if you don't require purchases to be returned in a set amount of time, offer an inflated deadline or make it clear there's no time limit.

Unlike other countries, U.K. makes this a requirement for Return and Refund Policies and you do not want to risk penalties.

Examples of time limits from Australia stores

Since the law does not impose standards for time limits on returns and refunds, the policies are different between retailers.

This can include no time limits stated in the policy.

For example, Woolworths, Ltd offers products in many retail sectors but when you visit its detailed return policy, customers can return items at any time after purchase.

Customers just need to visit a store or contact customer service.

Other large retailers are stringent.

Booktopia limits its return window from two to five business days after delivery date or purchase:

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The New Internationalist Shop sells items to raise funds and buries its return policy under the heading "Guarantee." In this one-sentence description, it at least grants customers a 14-day return window to receive a refund:

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Horseland, a retailer selling equestrian equipment, also applies 14 days to its online purchases. There does not appear to be a return deadline for purchases at their stores:

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(Video) WWW.TermsFeed.com

Much as in the U.S., Australian retailers use the lack of regulation to promote flexibility in their return and refund policies.

This applies to time limits as much as actual terms. This is why you see return windows that vary from unlimited to just a few days.

Even if you are not selling in the U.K., where you're required to state the time window, it's best to offer a time limit on returns and refunds and make it clear in your policy.


How long does a company have to return a refund? ›

Up to 30 days – an immediate refund if the goods are faulty. Up to 6 months – a full refund in most cases if the goods cannot be repaired or replaced. Up to 6 years – some money back if the goods do not last a reasonable length of time.

Can I get a refund after 30 days? ›

If it's broken or faulty

Make sure you return the item within 30 days — after this point, the retailer can give you a repair or replacement, but you're not entitled to a refund.

How long does a customer have to return an item? ›

10 days after receiving the goods,

the consumer can return the goods if it is not suitable for the particular purpose, and. the consumer can cancel without penalty.

How long should my return policy be? ›

Every returns policy needs to be at least 14 days. Most people expect a policy of at least 30 days – and they're checking before they buy. With a 30-day policy, the average return takes only 12 days. Longer returns windows can lead to longer returns – but only slightly!

How far back can you request a refund? ›

Generally, you must file a claim for a credit or refund within three years from the date you filed your original tax return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

What are the laws on returning goods? ›

The only reasons they are legally bound to accept returns under the Consumer Credit Act is if the goods are not as originally described, could be regarded as 'not fit for purpose', or are faulty.

What is the 14 days Consumer Rights Act? ›

You automatically get a 14-day 'cooling-off period' when you buy something you haven't seen in person - unless it's bespoke or made to measure. The cooling-off period starts the day after you receive your order, and there doesn't need to be anything wrong with the item for you to get a refund.

What can I do if a company won't give me a refund? ›

Try to contact the trader

It's best to email or write to the trader - you can use a template letter. Keep a copy of anything you send, in case you need to check it later. If you can't contact the trader or they won't help, you can then ask your card provider or PayPal.

What to do if a merchant refuses to refund? ›

If asking the merchant for a refund didn't work, request a chargeback with your credit card issuer. Many card issuers let you dispute transactions by phone, mail or online. You may also be able to submit a dispute directly through your card issuer's mobile app.

Can I return goods after 6 months? ›

Section 34(2) of the CGST act says that any registered dealer can issue a credit note in relation to supply of goods or services up to a period of six months from the end of the financial year or the date of filing the annual return, whichever is earlier.

What does 7 day return policy mean? ›

- The product is returned in original condition (with brand's/manufacturer's box, MRP tag intact, user manual, warranty card, and all the accessories therein) Ineligible products: - Products that have a defect after 7 days.

What is a standard refund policy? ›

Typically, ecommerce stores offer a 15- to 30-day window in which customers can return a product and ask for a refund. Some businesses extend that period up to 90 days. Regardless of the time frame you choose, ensuring that you actually have a time frame is essential.

Which stores have a 90 day return policy? ›

Top Stores With the Best Return Policies
  • Walmart: 90 Days to Return, Flexible Options. ...
  • Amazon: Easy To Shop, Easy To Return. ...
  • American Eagle: Free Returns Anytime. ...
  • Athleta: Give-It-a-Workout Guarantee. ...
  • Bath & Body Works: Anything, Anytime For Any Reason. ...
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Easy-Peasy Returns With or Without Receipt.
Jan 3, 2023

Can I get a tax refund from 2 years ago? ›

The good news is that you can still receive unclaimed tax refunds if you file a return generally within three years of the due date of the return. Plus, if you decide to file a return for an earlier year to get a refund, you won't have to worry about a penalty for a late return. Need help filing that return?

Can I claim a tax refund from 5 years ago? ›

Statute of limitations

Generally, you must file your claim for refund by the later of: 1 year from the date of overpayment. 4 years after the original return due date . If you filed before the due date , you have 4 years from the original return due date to file a claim.

How long can a customer ask for a refund? ›

You can get a full refund within 30 days. This is a nice new addition to our statutory rights. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 changed our right to reject something faulty, and be entitled to a full refund in most cases, from a reasonable time to a fixed period (in most cases) of 30 days.

What are 30 day consumer rights? ›

Your consumer rights within 30 days

In the first 30 days after purchase, you have the right to reject the goods. This means you can return an item that doesn't meet the three criteria for a full refund.

What are your statutory rights for a refund? ›

Statutory consumer rights: a definition

In case of online, phone, or postal sales, customers may return an item without any reason for a full refund. That means, irrespective of whether an item is defective or not, it can be returned within 14 days after receipt.

What is the consumer law 6 years? ›

The law that might cover you for 6 years

If the fault occurs after six months, the consumer has to prove that the problem was down to a fault or issue at the manufacturer, as opposed to wear and tear or misuse.

Is the 14 day cooling-off period law? ›

14 days is the minimum cooling-off period that a seller must give you. Make sure you check the terms and conditions in case they've given you more time to change your mind - many choose to do so.

What does the consumer act say about returns? ›

7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Simply put, the law states that consumers have the right to be compensated for receiving products that are either defective or not as advertised. They may either return the item, request a replacement, or ask for a refund or repair.

What is the FTC 3 day rule? ›

The Cooling Off Rule provides that it is unfair and deceptive for sellers engaged in “door-to-door” sales valued at more than $25 to fail to provide consumers with disclosures regarding their right to cancel the sales contract within three business days of the transaction.

Can you sue a company for taking too long to refund you? ›

Can I sue a company for not issuing my refund? Generally, if you fully paid the tax and the IRS denies your tax refund claim, or if the IRS takes no action on the claim within six months, then you may file a refund suit. You can file a suit in a United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Is it illegal to not give someone a refund? ›

Customer Returns and Refunds Under Federal Law

While many retailers have decided this makes for the best business practice, they aren't legally required to accept returns. Rather, retailers are required to accept returns only if the sold good is defective or if they otherwise break the sales contract.

Can you dispute a charge if merchant refuses a refund? ›

If you're not satisfied with the merchant's response, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company and have the charge reversed. This is sometimes called a chargeback. Contact your credit card company to see whether you can dispute a charge.

How long does a merchant have to dispute? ›

You'll have at least 60 days to dispute a transaction if there's a billing error or fraud. But if there's an issue with a product or service that you bought, you might have up to 120 days to initiate a chargeback.

Why do merchant refunds take so long? ›

Once the merchant has received the item and verified that everything is okay with their return policy. They will issue a refund throughout their payment processor. the reason why it takes so long to process a refund is because there's few parties that are involved in the refund or purchase process.

Can you return something to Amazon after 2 years? ›

We cannot exchange items unless they are defective or damaged. Items that are returned more than 30 days after delivery, are in unsellable condition, or are missing parts will be charged a restocking fee at our discretion. We cannot accept items returned after 60 days.

Can I return an item after 28 days Very? ›

What is your Returns policy? We will refund most goods provided they are returned to us within 28 days of receipt complete, unused, in their original packaging and with any security tags intact. The Approval Guarantee does not apply to some goods or may only apply if certain conditions are met.

What products are not accepted for 15 days return? ›

Goods that are perishable or may otherwise deteriorate or expire rapidly - such as fresh groceries, meat, fruits, vegetables, and frozen goods.

Does 14 day return policy include weekends? ›

The 14-day cancellation period starts the day the goods are in the physical possession of the consumer (or when the last item in the order is in the consumers possession in the case of multiple goods). Weekends and public holidays are included in the 14 days.

What company has the longest return policy? ›

REI gives you a year to make returns – even for used items. REI's return policy is incredibly generous. Not only can you return open items up to 365 days later, but they'll even accept your return if the item is obviously used.

Can I return to Walmart after 4 months? ›

Generally, when you're within the 90-day purchase window (30 days for electronics), things should go smoothly. And whether or not you're within that window, and even if you have no receipt, we'll show you how you can still get a refund from Walmart.

Can I return something to Walmart after 60 days? ›

As long as you can provide a valid, government-issued ID, then you will still be eligible for a refund. Just remember that after 90 days, the store manager will have full discretion when it comes to granting you your refund.

What happens if a company does not refund your money? ›

If the seller doesn't resolve the issue, a government office or a consumer organization may be able to help. File a complaint with your local consumer protection office or the state agency that regulates the company.

What happens if a company won't refund you? ›

If you're not satisfied with a business's response to your complaint, consider these steps: Contact your state attorney general or consumer protection office. These government agencies may mediate complaints, conduct investigations, and prosecute those who break consumer protection laws.

Are refunds 21 business days? ›

How quickly will I get my refund? (updated January 30, 2023) We issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days. However, if you filed on paper and are expecting a refund, it could take four weeks or more to process your return.

What happens if a company doesn't refund? ›

Can you sue if a company doesn't refund you? You can file a suit in a United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims. However, you generally have only two years to file a refund suit from the date the IRS mails you a notice that denies your claim.

What are my statutory rights for a refund? ›

Statutory consumer rights: a definition

In case of online, phone, or postal sales, customers may return an item without any reason for a full refund. That means, irrespective of whether an item is defective or not, it can be returned within 14 days after receipt.

Can a small business have a no refund policy? ›

As long as your policy follows the applicable consumer protection laws, you can have as strict or as lenient of a no refund policy as you'd like. Just keep in mind that some customers may choose to shop elsewhere if they can find similar products from a business with more traditional return options.

Is it illegal to have a no refund policy? ›

'No refunds' signs are illegal. Businesses must give consumers a refund, repair or replacement, if goods or services do not meet a consumer guarantee. Businesses do not have to display any signs about their refund policy. However, if they do, the signs must not be misleading.

Can I dispute a charge if a company won't give me a refund? ›

If asking the merchant for a refund didn't work, request a chargeback with your credit card issuer. Many card issuers let you dispute transactions by phone, mail or online. You may also be able to submit a dispute directly through your card issuer's mobile app.

How do I report a company that won't give me a refund? ›

Report a business to Trading Standards

To report to Trading Standards, you need to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. We'll pass your report to Trading Standards and we can also give you advice about your problem. You can: use our online form - we'll get back to you within 5 days.

What happens after 21 days and no refund? ›

If you don't receive your refund in 21 days, your tax return might need further review. This may happen if your return was incomplete or incorrect. The IRS may send you instructions through the mail if it needs additional information in order to process your return.

What if it's been longer than 21 days and no refund? ›

If it has been over 21 days since your return was being accepted by the IRS (or 6 weeks if you filed a paper return) and the tax refund status has not changed or WMR has no updated message for delays, you can call the IRS and speak with an agent concerning your tax refund.

What happens if I don't get my refund after 21 days? ›

If you find yourself still waiting on your refund after 21 days of e-filing and six weeks of mailing your return with no updates posted to either the Where's My Refund tracker or your online IRS account, you can try to call the agency's refund hotline for more information.

How do I force a company to give me a refund? ›

Company Won't Give You a Refund? Here's How to Get Your Money Back
  1. Try to Work it Out with the Merchant First.
  2. Option 1: Request a Chargeback.
  3. Option 2: Consider Mediation.
  4. Option 3: Sue in Small Claims.
  5. Option 4: Pursue Consumer Arbitration.
  6. FairShake Can Help Make Arbitrating a Breeze.

What is Section 75 Consumer Credit Act? ›

If you used a credit card or point of sale loan to buy goods or services, then the transaction could be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This allows you to raise a claim against your credit provider if: you paid some (or all) of the cost by credit card or with a point of sale loan.

Does a retailer have to give a refund? ›

Typically a store is legally required to give refunds if a purchase breaches the customer's satisfactory rights.


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