Refund avoidance runarounds

I was reading an article on the choice website about kogan giving customers the refund runaround and this very much reminded me of a similar experience I had with Miniso.

I bought an air freshener from miniso and it didn’t work so I took it back. The sales assistant play around with it and I showed them how it was faulty - it wasn’t letting out any scent. They were hesitant to offer a resolution and when they did they offered to replace it with another product. I declined as it was a major fault with the product and I wanted a refund as I am entitled to under ACL. The manager then came and offered store credit. Again, I declined, I wanted a refund and get this, she had the audacity to say they don’t give refunds under any circumstances EVEN if it was faulty because it was more than 7 days since I bought it. She then told me not her problem, go email head office. I was pissed af and they too gave me the runaround! First they link me to a their refund policy - not relevant as I have already stated my case, second they offer a exchange which again, I don’t want and then finally they buckle! Get this, to get a refund you need to get a ‘refund letter’ from head office to then go back and then return it to the store!

See my email chain. Such a joke.!


Anyone else experience anything like this with another retailer? Getting a permission slip to get a refund is defo the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me. It was only an $8 freshener too, but I stood my ground cause of principle!


That is possibly the most detached, arrogant, and insulting exchange I have seen yet. While ‘blind Freddy’ will probably file it in their black hole because of the low value and their workload, you should make a formal complaint to the ACCC/Fair Trading regarding the company’s behaviour. If they have a facebook page where you can post, you might question why they do not adhere to the ACL except under duress, and be sure to leave a google review on them if able. They probably should and need to be ‘outed’ as a dodgy retailer.

Although you referenced the ACL you did not follow the pro-forma of quoting chapter and verse of the ACL, how the product failed, your rights, and how the ACL makes their contrary T&C meaningless, in a formal legalistic manner.

Making a letter of complaint complete and lawyer-like often helps to short circuit the BS, although sometimes businesses will stonewall worse than a guilty pollie as they know the chances of being prosecuted approach zero excepting in the most egregious cases.

The closest I came was a Harvey Norman franchise. We bought a toaster that would only burn bread, not toast it. Took it back but they did not have any other toaster we wanted and asked for a refund. They offered a store credit good for 6 months. Not happy but. While queued to get our credit docket we saw they had, as required at the time, posted ‘consumer rights’ that included a refund. We then asked for, were rebuffed, and then demanded the refund and had to stand our ground being subjected to time wasting attempts to keep our money in their account. Maybe 45 minutes later after ridiculous to and fro playing games with who knows who on the phone for ‘authorisation’ we got the refund, and never spent another $1 in that shop, that since closed.


It is incredible how much effort some businesses will expense to avoid honouring warranty. Ten out of ten for persistence, and for @PhilT for the win over Hardly Normal.

I went around a long route attempting to obtain warranty for a WesternDigital branded hard drive. The local retailer despite contacting them and advising them of a fault within the 12 months statutory period, refused to accept the faulty drive for replacement or return. I had a WD web tool report verifying the failure within the warranty period. I had moved to another part of Qld and had asked if I could bring the drive in on my next regular trip. When I turned up it was a useless exercise and I was instructed that I would need to contact WD per the WD website!

I eventually traced the supply chain through the authorised NQ distributor, and then to the Qld Agent for support. WD’s online tools had verified the drive as genuine, and reported a firmware failure that required a return. They refused support and referred me back to the retailer. Although it is a significant or major failure that should not occur within the reasonable life of the drive, and I made them aware the retailer would not assist.

From the online WD web site I was directed to obtain an RMA number, to securely pad and package, to insure and post the drive complete with printed report to Singapore. Approx half the value of a replacement in costs. Only the repair and return postage would be to WDs cost! Hopefully WD have improved since then?

The hard drive is now an expensive paper weight. It serves as a reminder. Firstly not to ever purchase any more WD products. Secondly that The ACL is not always easy to navigate or enforce. You need to be persitant and in the instance of WDs Qld Agent, obtain a trade service contact number to bypass their wholesale only front office protection. There is a point where the time wasted exceeds the value of the win. When you are working for yourself everything has a cost! Yes, I gave up after wasting more hours than I would admit too. I don’t miss the retailer either.

I have subsequently had a need to obtain warranty on a similar Samsung product, after two years of use. It was replaced with new within two weeks, after mailing it direct via AP at a reasonable cost to Samsung in Brisbane!


I could not find Miniso on Product Review but I did find some far from flattering reviews of them on Glass Door.



Yeah I did the whole fair trading/ accc thing and I’ve also posted it on their fb and google reviews. The fair trading people told me there was nothing they can do about the retailer making it a difficult process for me because the law doesn’t say anything about it.

Interested to know what wording you would use to make it sound lawyer like? Perhaps I should have a template for these things? I kind of wrote the whole thing while still feeling really pissed off so it was off the cuff.


Choice has beaten you to writting the templates & phone scripts for consumer complaints.


Thanks good pickup! Has anyone use them before and what was the success rate like?


A few years ago and before there were templates the ‘Letter of Complaint’ was called a ‘Letter of Demand’ and used those words. I did a ‘roll my own’ letter to an appliance manufacturer. It was not unlike the Choice (and similar) templates noting one needs to fill in the details in pedantic dispassionate detail.

In my instance a high end oven was 2 years out of warranty and developed a serious fault where they initially fobbed me off. I sent a registered 4 pager to their MD citing chapter and verse of the ACL, the failure, their claims of quality and reliability citing the sources and places published, and explicitly what I wanted from them. After not too much to and fro they replaced everything in the oven excepting the frame, racks, and heating element at no cost.

I no longer have a copy of that letter or I would sanitise and publish it as an example.


It appears that Sony has learnt nothing since their record fine in the 1970’s.

So perhaps this one might just give them a wake-up call.