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Release: Consumers Reminded to Make Holiday Returns or Exchanges as Soon as Possible

Department sees significant increase in complaints in 2019

Friday, December 27th 2019 – The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is reminding consumers to make returns or exchanges of unwanted gifts as soon as possible to ensure they have the best chance of being successful. DCP typically receives about 500 complaints about refunds, credit, and exchanges each year, but received 714 in 2019.

“We’re encouraging consumers to handle any returns or exchanges as soon as they’re able,” said Consumer Protection Michelle H. Seagull, “That way, there’s a lower likelihood that they lose a receipt, or try to return something when they’re no longer able to according to a store’s return policy.”

Here’s what consumers should know:

  • In Connecticut, sellers can set their own refund or exchange policies, provided that they post the policy in a conspicuous place for customers to see.
  • If there is no policy posted, you may return any new, unused item to the store with a proof of purchase within seven (7) calendar days, and get a cash refund on a cash sale or a credit to your account on a credit sale.
  • You are not entitled to a refund on:
    • Food
    • Perishable items, including live plants
    • Custom-ordered or custom-made items
    • Items that were sold “as is” or as a “final sale”
    • Items with no proof of purchase
    • Used items
  • Stores may charge a "restocking fee," which covers its cost for returning your unwanted item to its warehouse. If this restocking fee is part of the store's refund and exchange policy, it must be posted in a conspicuous place for customers to see.
  • Tax law affects refunds. Retailers cannot issue a refund on the sales tax portion of your purchase without having your printed sales receipt, and after 90 days, no refunds of sales tax are allowed at all, even with a receipt.

If consumers have issues with a return or exchange, they are encouraged to file a complaint with DCP by emailing, or by visiting



Media Contact:

Lora Rae Anderson
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 247-8711 (cell)

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