Consumer Rights Myths
Hopefully you’ve read our articles on your consumer rights in Spain, but even so many myths still exist. Make sure you know what you can expect and, sometimes more importantly, what you can’t.
Myth 1: All online purchases come with free returns
Most online purchases have a 14-day cooling off period, except for personalised goods, but that doesn’t mean you get free returns automatically. Some online stores will allow you to return items to a bricks and mortar store for free, but there are those that will even charge you for this.
The only way to be sure is by checking the terms and conditions, which can be difficult if your Spanish is not so good. Search for “devoluciones” (returns) or “cambios” (exchanges) and use Google Translate to get a rough idea of the T&Cs for each store.
Buying bulky items such as furniture may work out expensive to return, as you may be liable for the full cost of shipping.
Myth 2: If I buy in a physical store and later change my mind I can get a full refund
You have no automatic right in Spain to get a refund just because you’ve decided that you don’t like an item. Many high street retailers will offer a full refund, but smaller shops may not. Store policy may mean that you’re offered a gift voucher, in that case check when it expires.
Store policy must be clearly indicated in writing. You can normally see this at the till area – either on the wall or on the counter. Remember that refunds will be by the same payment method – if you paid by credit card then your card will be credited, you won’t get cash.
Myth 3: I’ve lost the receipt, there’s nothing I can do
This one is tricky as some stores now offer to email your receipt rather than provide it on paper. But if you need to return a purchase then having the receipt is the quickest and easiest way to prove when and where you bought the item.
You may think that your credit card statement is enough, but what if you bought several items and paid for them together?
If you’re thinking of trying to get a chargeback from your credit card company, take a look at our article.
Myth 4: Shops can decide whether I’m entitled to use an official complaints form
Wrong! You have a legal right to request a complaints form, regardless of what the employee may tell you. If you have any issues it’s usually enough to tell them that you’ll be back in 15 minutes accompanied by someone from the local Police Force.
Myth 5: You have no rights when you buy second hand items
Not true, however it is a lot harder to prove that the item was faulty when purchased. Take a look at our dedicated post on your rights).
Remember that specific faults pointed out at the time of purchase will not be covered by the second hand goods regulations, so it may be a good idea to take photos or note down defects.
Related Post: Know Your Consumer Rights