Supermarket refuses to refund or provide credit note

I took a couple of unopened items back to the supermarket where I purchased them. I had the purchase receipt. I told the attendant there had been miscommunication in the family and we had doubled up. He flat out told me we don’t refund for ‘change of mind’ purchases. I reiterated it was not a change of mind return. He said they now only allow an exchange of items. In other words (and his words as well), they provide credit to the same value but do not provide a credit note. So I can’t get a refund and I can’t get a credit note. Hmmm. Apparently I can use the credit if I wish to shop the same day I return the unwanted items. That wasn’t convenient, nor was it the point. I noticed there was a sign stuck to the top of the front counter which ‘encouraged’ a pay-it-forward style charitable donation rather than refund. Who are they to decide whether I can afford to simply give something away? More importantly (and I asked the attendant this) - what are my consumer rights? Under consumer law, I believe I am entitled to a refund. I have not changed my mind. The goods do not meet my needs. And since when do supermarkets employ tactics like department stores? Do I have the right of refund or not? (N.B. I had other similar items to return (for the same reason) to another supermarket. I went straight to the other store and got a refund with NO problem whatsoever.)

Hello and welcome @Jayedubelu

No you are not. Unless the goods were defective or not fit for purpose.

The business may or may not offer some sort of ‘change of mind’ deal with their conditions. Up to them. Seems they offered a credit of the same value to be used to buy something else. Sounds fair to me.

Now I note you maintain it was not a change of mind return, but that is what it is.

A change in mind is when a purchase is made and later on, the purchaser no longer wants the purchase for some reason. In your case, the supermarket is correct that it is a change in mind as you decided you had no use for the purchase.

Being a change in mind, it sits outside the Australian Consumer Law and the supermarket can decide if they will accept a change in mind purchase and if they do, conditions associated with it. Each retailer/supermarket can chose their own conditions and can be different between retailers.

They can rightfully offer an exchange of a product with something else…and could rightfully refuse to offer nothing to you should they choose.

The ACCC outlines change of mind here.


They wouldn’t refund, nor would they issue a credit note. I could use the ‘credit’ so long as I shopped there and then. I didn’t have the time nor need anything there and then. At the very least, they SHOULD provide a credit note if they claim to offer an exchange for other items.
This is a supermarket! How can they (or any of you for that matter) decide that I can afford to simply ‘suck it up’? I still don’t agree with you. I DID NOT change my mind. If every store, everywhere (including food outlets (but not takeaway food/food to go) adopt this policy, no-one will buy from them for fear of not being able to put food on the table!

As I indicated, with a change of mind a retailer can chose to accept change in minds, and if they do, what terms apply when a change if mind occurs.

While you may not agree or willing to accept what was offered, unfortunately you have little choice to do otherwise. If you don’t accept what is offered, then this is also your choice in this case.

In some respects you are lucky the supermarket was willing to offer something, albeit not want you wanted, as they could refuse to offer any resolution in the case of a change of mind. Many retailers don’t allow change of minds due to various reasons, which they can also lawfully do.

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The explanation of change of mind is the legal definition from the ACCC. Whether or not you agree with it, that is what has been quoted. From the ACCC, bold added:

Consumers are not entitled to a repair, replacement or refund under the consumer guarantees if: they got what they asked for but simply changed their mind, found the product cheaper somewhere else, or decided they didn’t like the purchase or had no use for it.

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You bought something because you wanted it. You then decided that you didn’t want it and tried to return it. How is this not a change in mind?