I’m thinking about buying a new television in the sales. How easy will it be to get a refund if it doesn’t work?
During the rebaixes (as they're called in Catalan; rebajas in Castilian) retailers should be selling the same products as during non-sale periods, with the only difference being the price. All reduced goods have to have been on sale in the shop before, at an undiscounted price. Once the sales start, the price ticket should show both the original price and the lower, sale price.
As an extension of this, shops have to have the same returns policy they have as during non-sale times, so you should be able to ask for a refund or exchange in those places that normally offer one if your purchase is faulty. However, when buying something during the sales, it’s a good idea to check what the shop’s policy is on returns, because there are some that will offer a credit note instead of cash back. Another thing to watch out for is that they may try to give you a smaller discount if you pay by credit card or not accept credit cards at all, neither of which is lawful if they usually accept credit card payments. Note also that if you get home and realise that the orange leggings or 100-piece saucepan set was not such a good idea after all, shops are not obliged to let you return it simply because you’ve changed your mind. However, many establishments will do so.
If you do need to take something back, follow these steps (which also apply in non-sale times). Take the item along with the invoice or receipt to the shop, explain the problem and ask politely, but firmly, for an exchange, refund or credit note. If the shop refuses, you can ask to complete a full de reclamació (complaint form), which in itself may be enough to persuade the shop staff to change their mind. However, if it doesn’t, complete the form while you are still in the shop. It will be in three languages (Catalan, Castilian and English) and is made up of three sheets, one for the consumer, one for the shop and one for the official consumer organisation. Once done, leave the copy marked Example per l’Establiment at the shop and take the others with you. You then have 20 days to take the complaint form, along with supporting documentation (photocopies are accepted), to an Oficina Municipal d’Informació al Consumidor (OMIC), generally located in larger towns and cities. If you don’t have one of these where you live, you can go to an Oficina Comarcal d’Informació al Consumidor (OCIC), or alternatively you should get in touch with the Agencia Catalana del Consum. Once a complaint form is received, the administration will try to resolve the issue through mediation and if that doesn’t work, then arbitration will be sought.
Agència Catalana del Consum: www.consum.cat