Website Returns Policy

Website Returns Policy

Protect your online business with a comprehensive policy that clearly communicates how you handle returns with your customers.

This do-it-yourself document generator helps you draft a Returns Policy that is tailored to you and your business and ready to upload to your site in minutes.
$ 499 incl GST
Website Returns Policy

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How does it work?

Our intuitive tool will guide you through the process step-by-step from start to finish. It’s quick, easy and simple to understand – just how legal documents ought to be.

The expert interview wizard will help you answer a few questions and prepare your document in the background. You’ll have your custom  Website Returns Policy in 10 minutes or less.

When you’re done, print or download a PDF version for you to review, customise or sign.

What is a Website Returns Policy?

A Website Returns Policy is a document that outlines an online company’s refund and return process. It is typically found on its own webpage on sites which sell physical or tangible goods.

Under Australian consumer law, customers have the right to choose either a refund or exchange if a product or service is faulty. 

We help you ensure all your legal obligations are covered and your Returns Policy adheres to consumer rights, but also lets you outline the instances where you won’t have to provide refunds or returns. In addition, the document allows you to detail your returns process and who will be liable for shipping costs.

When should I use a Website Returns Policy?

A Website Returns Policy should be used for when you want to inform your customers of your refund and returns process when they’re not satisfied with a product or service. Also when you want to ensure your business complies with Australian Consumer Law and the rights of customers

What topics does a Website Returns Policy cover?

  • Details of parties involved
  • Definitions
  • Australian Consumer Law 
  • Change of mind
  • Products damaged during delivery
  • Returns process
  • Shipping costs for returns
  • Governing law and jurisdiction

What are the main decisions I need to make in creating a Website Returns Policy?

  • Do you want to allow refunds before processing of the order has begun?
    This Returns Policy lets you choose whether or not refunds are available if the item is returned before processing of the order has begun.

    By default, if refunds are permitted where the item is returned before processing of the order has begun, this will include circumstances in which the customer simply changes his/her mind.
  • Do you want to allow returns for replacement or credit?
    This Returns Policy will give you the ability to choose between providing a replacement or store credit at their discretion.

    It also uses a clever fault-based approach to determining whether or not the customer is entitled to a replacement/credit, which gives you the ability to properly assess the circumstances in each case before making a decision.
  • Do you want to charge for return shipping?
    By default, the customer will need to pay the return shipping costs – however, if the vendor is at fault, then the customer will be reimbursed for the reasonable return shipping costs incurred by the customer.

What other names does a Website Returns Policy go by?

A Website Returns Policy is also known as: 

  • Refunds Policy
  • Returns and Exchanges Policy
  • Website Refunds Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

You would need this document when you sell or are about to sell goods through your website.

It is strongly recommended that you complete and sign off on the agreement before the website goes live or any online transactions are enabled. This is to ensure all customers are bound by your refund and returns process.

  • Website owner details
  • URL for Website Terms of Use
  • Refund policy
  • Responsibility for returns costs
  • Choice of Governing Law

Note: This Returns Policy does not include limitations of remedies. Remedy limitations are instead included in the package of disclaimers and limitations of liability in the Website Terms of Use.

The ability of businesses to refuse a refund is determined by whether a defect constitutes a ‘major fault’ or a ‘minor fault’.

  • A major fault is a defect that would have deterred the customer from purchasing the product in the first instance. 
  • Australian consumer law considers products to have major problems when they are:
    1. Unsafe
    2. Significantly different from the sample or description
    3. Do not perform according to representations made by your business

For major defects, the consumer can choose whether they want a full refund, replacement, or repair (if possible). The retailer cannot refuse their choice.

For minor defects, the retailer has the choice of remedy. Therefore, a customer must accept a repair offered by the retailer.

  • Businesses are under no obligation to provide a full refund when the customer cannot show that it was indeed them who entered into a transaction with your business. 
  • The most common way for customers to demonstrate proof-of-purchase is to provide an online receipt. However, when the customer has misplaced their receipt, they can demonstrate proof-of-purchase through either:
    1. Credit card statements, or
    2. Confirmation or order receipt email from online purchases
  • The customer has examined the product prior to purchase and did not discover the defects that they should have.
  • The business discloses the hidden defects prior to purchase.
  • The customer has consumed the item in an ‘abnormal’ way or has used the item for an unreasonable time frame (e.g. a very long time).

Under the Australian Consumer Law, goods/services that are valued at A$40,000 or less, or more than A$40,000 if normally bought for personal or household use, are subject to mandatory consumer guarantees. 

Consumer guarantees also apply to vehicles that are used mainly to transport goods.

These consumer guarantees include (in summary and without limitation):

  • for products – that they are of acceptable quality, match any descriptions/demonstrations, are fit for purpose, etc; and
  • for services – that they are provided with acceptable care and skill, are fit for purpose and will be delivered within a reasonable time.

These consumer guarantees cannot be excluded. 

However, it is possible to limit the remedies that are available for breach of the consumer guarantees; for example, to replacement, repair, etc.

If the customer has changed their mind

In the event that the customer decides the good or service does not meet their own personal expectations they will not be covered.

If the customer has mistreated the product

If the customer has mistreated or abused the products it won’t be covered by the guarantee.

If the customer bought the product knowing about the faults

If the customer bought a product that was already damaged but heavily discounted and too cheap to resist – they  wouldn’t be covered for that either. 

If the customer ignored advice/instructions from your website

If the customer failed to follow the instructions on a product resulting in the fault, then they won’t be compensated.

The item is above $40,000 and is used by a business for business purposes

If the customer is using the item for business purposes, and the value of the item is above $40,000, they will not be covered by the consumer guarantee.

No. Your Website Terms of Use should reference and link to this document. Your users and visitors then agree to be bound by this policy by using your website.

If you need any assistance please contact us directly, we would be happy to assist.

If you have any questions or are uncertain about any aspect of the document please do not sign it or use it, Please contact us directly and we would be happy to assist.

Absolutely! Get in touch with us and we can provide a fixed-fee price to review it.

Website Returns Policy
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Not quite right? Looking for something else?

What other documents might I need?

If you’re interested in a Website Returns Policy, you might also need to think about:

  • Website Terms of Use
    This document will help you set out the limitations to remedies available for breach of consumer guarantees as well as general conditions governing the use of your website.
  • Website Privacy Policy
    This policy can assist you in setting out how your customers data is managed and the steps that you want to take to keep their data private.

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