Dear Consumer Ed:
I purchased a leather loveseat from a furniture store. Within the first week the leather started to fade. When I reported the problem to them, they said I could exchange it or get a store credit. I don’t want to buy any furniture from them because the quality of their products seems to be poor. I just want my money back. Can they refuse to refund my money?
Consumer Ed says:
Georgia law does not require businesses to provide a refund or accept returns or exchanges. This means that businesses can set their own return/refund policies. These policies may offer consumers a cash refund, store credit or exchange, or they may prohibit returns of any kind. Except in very limited circumstances, the law generally does not guarantee you the right to a refund or a three-day cancellation.
There are a few circumstances under which you might be entitled to a refund. First, while stores are not required to post their return policies, if they do post them, they must honor the terms of the policy. If the furniture store posted a return policy that provides for cash refunds, and if you abided by the terms of the policy, then the store should honor its policy by refunding your money. Another circumstance might be if you can prove that the retailer significantly misrepresented the quality of the loveseat, and that the representation was one of the reasons you decided to purchase it. Deceptive advertising and deliberate misrepresentations could be violations of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act (FBPA). If you believe that this retailer has violated the FBPA, you should file a complaint with the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 404-651-8600.
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