What are my rights? - Harvey Norman Credit Note

Can anyone tell me what my rights are? I returned a product to Harvey Norman and the supplier ensured I was issued with a credit note for my local HN where it was purchased as it was within the warranty period. They have an archaic system so basically issued a paper receipt which I scanned in and finally went to use a few weeks ago. I was told it had been used by someone. Guarantee not us as they said it was for Samsung phone products. The local store (Taren Point) refuses to phone back or provide any proof of who used it. Given they did not issue anything secure (eg a card with a PIN) and my credit note would not have expired (issued late 2020 as Covid was in swing) what can I do? How can I be certain they just did not give it to a “friend” to clear it off their books?

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Hi @JMcK, welcome to the community.

From what you have posted…you returned a product to Harvey Norman and the supplier/manufacturer issued a credit for the product as it was under the manufacturer’s warranty. This happened about 2.5 years ago. Recently you tried to use the credit note but were told it had already been used by someone else. I hope this summary is correct.

A couple of questions:

  1. If you took the product back to HN, why didn’t HN give you a refund on the spot?

  2. Were you issued with a physical ‘credit note’ such as a printout or voucher?

  3. If you didn’t have a physical ‘credit note’ when you planned to use it, was one originally offered?

  4. Was there an expiry period for the 'credit note?

  5. Was the ‘credit note’ for a product with a major fault or for a product you were not happy with/change of mind after purchase?

It would be useful knowing the above to clarify a few things you have raised in your post.

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Hi PHB,

  1. HN wouldn’t give me a cash refund and only offered a credit note

2/3 Yes it was a printed docket (same register type that you get a receipt on when you purchase something but it does have a credit note reference number. I scanned it in at home as the type of paper it was on fades.

  1. There is no expiry date on the credit note that was issued that I can see but I vaguely think they told me 3 years. I had nothing else I needed to purchase so that is why we put it away planning to use it for new household items once we moved house. Which we attempted to do a few weeks ago and were told it had been used (and basically end of story as far as they were concerned). We asked them when and for what as we knew we had never used it and were not impressed by their subtle implication that we had given it to someone else or must have forgotten using it. We insisted they had not and they assured us the store manager would be given all the paperwork and would call us back…still not been contacted and I think they hope we have gone away.

  2. The equipment failed (modem/router) due to the suppliers software upgrade (known fault and hence why they agreed the warranty would cover us.

6 Amount in question is close to $400

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I would suggest you write the store owner/manager a formal letter outlining what has happened in a clear and concise objective format. Include that you were entitled to a refund for a known systemic major fault, but we’re not offered one.

At the end of the letter give them 5 working days to advise when you can come and claim your credit, or you will report the matter to your state’s fair trading/consumer affairs and the ACCC.

If you need an outline for writing the letter, search the Choice website for the writing a letter of complaint template.

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Just as a final update. I logged a complaint on the HN website last Friday and had advised that I would be taking the matter further if they could not assist. The store itself phoned back within about 4hours and said that the credit note would be honoured and that it had all been sorted. They apologised that nobody had phoned back in the three weeks that the matter had been with them. Thanks for input to those who responded.

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