In Australia not all stores are relaxed about their refund policies. Some retailers may offer a credit instead of refund on a returned unused item, but credit card refund protection can change that.
Credit card refund protection provides the customer with cover when an Australian retailer is not willing to give a refund on an eligible item. Large retailer stores like Myers or David Jones will usually offer refunds, but other medium or smaller size retail stores will sometimes not.
There are two main points to consider when claiming credit card refund protection. First, the item must be deemed eligible and not an exclusion. And secondly, there must be proof of purchase and payment via the credit card.
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What is credit card refund protection?
When a retailer refuses to refund an item a customer had purchase within the last 90 days.
For items deemed eligible, the customer can request its credit card provider to reimburse the purchased amount.
Items will usually have a minimum purchase amount. For example, American Express's minimum purchase is $50 that is eligible for a refund protection.
Reimbursement amounts can be up to $500 and no more than $2,000 in any 365 day period.
How to find credit cards with refund protection online?
In the credit card market, the only provider that offers refund protection is American Express.
Eligible item for refund protection
Personal & unused item. Generally, items purchased must be for own personal use and unused.
Paid with credit card. Customer must make the purchase on their credit card with refund protection.
Purchased within 90 days. Item must be purchased from the retailer within the last 90 days.
Australian retailers only. Item must be purchased from an Australian retailer based inside Australia.
Above minimum amount. The minimum purchase is $50 and maximum reimbursement is $500.
Proof of purchase. Cardholder must supply a copy of the invoice and prove it was purchase on the credit card. The bank may also ask the customer to send the item or receipt as proof of mailing or shipping.
Common exclusions for refund protection
Faulty items. Eligible items that are faulty.
Retailer's return policy is better. When the retailer's return policy is the same or even better than the card's refund protection.
Refund is already valid under current laws. If under the existing consumer rights and laws the eligible item can be refunded by the retailer.
Unique items: Jewelry, rare collection items such as coins, stamps, antiques and artwork. Cash, traveller cheques, tickets. Smartphones, recorded media, books, animals, living plants (consumer or perishable goods). Healthcare items, refurbished items, closing down sale items, motor vehicles and parts. Land, building, items permanently fixed to home, office or vehicles.
How to make a claim on credit card refund protection
The claims process will begin by submitting a refund request to the provider's claims department.
Immediately submit your claim after the retailer has refused a refund. American Express for example, requires a claim to be submitted within 20 days of the occurrence.
Generally, you will have to provide a claim form, proof of purchase such as receipt or invoice.
Keep copies of all the documents.
After you’ve been proved entitled for reimbursement, your refund should arrive within approximately 1 month.
Other ways to get a refund on a valid request
Escalate your request. If you the store will not offer you a refund, then make a formal complaint to the retailers’ head office if there is one.
Chargeback. If the item you purchased is faulty or not what was agreed upon and the retailer will not offer you a refund, you can request a chargeback.
Consumer Commission. If you’ve been treated unfairly by the retailer and after you’ve exhausted all options, you submit a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
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