Coles Declined Refund on Two Electric Toothbrushes

I got two electric toothbrushes from Coles at Coles but didn’t really needed them as they where not fit for use, went to Coles today and ask for refund or exchange and was refused?! Even the docket says keep receipt for refunds, any idea what I can do even a gift card was not offered, isn’t it illegal for them to do this under the fair trading?

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  • +22

    ..but didn’t really needed them as they where not fit for use

    Did you open BOTH of them before you decided they weren't "fit for use"?

    They can't exactly resell open toothbrushes if you change your mind.

    • No unopened.

      • +10

        Did they give you a reason why they didnt return them?

      • +60

        Your post is unclear.
        You claim you "didn't really needed them as they where not fit for use"
        So, which is it? Did you decide you just didn't need them, or were they unfit for use?
        And how can you decide they are unfit for use when you have not opened them?

        If you have simply changed your mind and the items as as intended, then you have no right to a return or refund.
        If the items are actually unfit for use, then you are entitled to a refund.

        • +2

          Toothbrush too big for OP's mouth

        • +23

          Teeth have since fallen out!

        • +19

          "Your post is unclear." Yes, there's a reason for that. Helps to make them look like they did "nothing" wrong.

        • Ops at best dosnt understand the law at worst is a clown.

      • +26

        Based on an interpretation of rhe ACCC guidelines, fit for it's common purpose is defined based on what the product was designed for and what Coles have sold it to you for. Ie. It is marketed as a toothbrush, sold as a toothbrush and functions as a toothbrush, therefore is fit for purpose. If you intended to use it to clean grout, then they can refuse a refund as it is still fit for it's intended purpose - cleaning teeth. It is not marketed for cleaning grout.

        Your refund claim may be classified as a change of mind/selection error depending on what you were planning on using it for, which is at the discretion of the retailer if they choose to refund or not.

        • +17

          Way too much common-sense for OP

        • +2

          And coles and woolworths recently updated their change of mind/selection policy following the irrational panic buying. Turns out they aren't responsible for you knowing their policies, only that they are public and easily accessible and they are public and easily accessible.

    • +5

      I wouldn't buy a random open toothbrush. Who knows where it's been

  • +3

    Were they opened or brand new? Is there a hygiene clause for refusing refunds? Tried another store?

  • +3

    are they in the original packaging?

  • +67

    same problem here, they wouldn't refund my used toothbrush heads. utter bastards!

    • +2

      Did you tell them you used them for a solid 3 months and so they are definitely no longer fit for purpose?

  • +12

    How were they not fit for use?

    • +16

      No teeth?

      Too many Coca Cola deals or…


      • +11

        You mean bickies. Too many TimTams.

    • +2

      did not vibrate

  • +100

    Coles are no longer doing refunds for change of mind.

    "From 13th March 2020, we will be temporarily suspending our change-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing. If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time."

    Unless there's something actually wrong with the toothbrush, you can't get a refund. Change of mind policies are at store discretion and they don't need to offer one by law.

    • -35

      I got stung something like this with Chemist Warehouse.

      Upon buying the wrong vitamin (wrong strength), I asked for a swap and it was swiftly declined.

      Be really careful with this but yes, for Coles, in your situation, it is an outrage provided you didn't open it.

      • +25

        I don't get why it is an outrage. Stores are under absolutely no obligation to do refunds or exchange for change of mind. The supermarkets have generally always gone above and beyond what they are legally required to do. What is so outrageous in them enforcing their current policy?

        • +4

          Back when I worked retail, I had someone buy a new electric toothbrush. The next day he came back trying to refund a faulty old electric toothbrush using the new receipt. He thought he would get away with it except it was easy to notice the discolouration on the handle and he also didn't bring the included brush heads. It's a common scam.

      • +8

        Why would they even risk accepting returns? Vitamins are things that you put inside your body. Some stranger has taken it home and store cant be sure if it has been tampered.

      • Wrong strength of vitamin?! OMG the horror.
        So it's like eating 2 apples in a day instead of 1. I wouldn't bother going back for that

      • +2

        I have worked at Chemist Warehouse.

        You don't get a refund because you bought the wrong item or changed your mind.

        I would not want your bottle of vitamin because:

        1. No idea how you've stored it.
        2. No idea whether you have COVID
    • +1

      I'll take your electric toothbrushes if you still don't want them OP!! donate them to me!!

  • +28

    Same thing at Woolies, no refunds unless the item is faulty.

    Buyers remorse is not considered a reason to receive a refund.

    • That's not true about woolies not refunding. I refunded something yesterday.

      • Because you changed your mind or another reason?

        • They didn't ask for a reason. Just said ok.

  • +4

    Coles cannot resell toothbrushes that have been used.

    Imagine if they also took back bedding and underwear.

    • +1


      Who has been wearing this underwear? ;)

      • +4

        but I wore it outside, like Superman.

      • +2

        Depending on who, it might actually increase in value ( I heard saying )

    • Target used to refund underwear and bedding, no questions asked. I imagine Big W and Kmart would be the same.

      If the person had a receipt or it was Target branded, it was accepted back. Didn't matter if tags were missing. Only time it wasn't accepted was where one could see that there were visibible marks from being used.

      If there's ever a reason one should wash their clothes/bedding before using them, it's this.

      • As an ex-H&M and Uniqlo employee, we never did refunds or exchanges for underwear or thermals. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some law that forced the same on the others.

        • That's the thing, aren't any laws around refusing refunds for health reasons as all refunds are covered under the consumer law. People aren't always entitled to a refund for a change of mind purchase, but that's at the discretion of the store. Uniqlo and H&M would be using this discretion for underwear and thermals. Same with Coles in OPs example here with the toothbrushes. There are health regulations and policies that may be state or store specific. I'm an ex-Target employee, I would attempt to refuse refunds under the guise of health regulations, but the Karens would always complain to a manager and get their way. It was frankly disgusting the number of them that would return underwear because "it's the wrong size".

          I don't know how reputible this site is, but apparently the ACC was cracking down on stores refusing refunds on clothing, including underwear:

  • +1

    Not for for use? They're toothbrushes..

    • +10

      OP doesn't have teeth.

      • +1

        Or morals

  • +40

    Hello Karen

  • +12

    isn’t it illegal for them to do this under the fair trading?


  • +5

    Coles are under no obligation to refund for change of mind (even more so on toothbrushes!). Sell them on marketplace if over a period of days all your teeth fell out and they are no longer fit for use.

  • +3

    Did you ask to speak to the manager op?

  • +2

    Did they explain why the refund was refused? I guess you are not entitled to a refund for a change in mind as others have suggested but just wondering if they explained the reason for the refusal?

    • "I bought something that I didn't need and want to waste their time and my own"

  • +3

    Lol. Try selling on marketplace

  • +12

    Do you want to tell us the whole story if you want a genuine answer from anyone here.

    • +15

      Reckon the OP failed the attitude test.

      • +1

        I think you're right on that one

  • +2

    Username checks out. Dafaq.

    • +1

      not sure if you're a broke english or you broke english

  • +3

    I had the same response trying to return light bulbs that were to big for the lamp.
    No sir you may be infected.

  • +7

    Hi OP, did you buy the toothbrushes to met your spend $XX for 4 weeks and received 10000 flybuys points ? lol. Good luck mate. just simply try other store until you get lucky

  • +17

    There are no laws requiring any business to give a refund for change-of-mind request.
    Coles and Woolies have always done it voluntarily out of good will, which means they can refuse anytime for any reason, even outside COVID19 season.
    They just did that and there is nothing you can do.

    • What you can do is shop at Aldi in future. Aldi restored their former returns policy from 19 May 2020:
      Doing that will reward the business with the better returns policy, and put competitive pressure on Woolies and Coles to restore their former change of mind policies, now that panic buying has passed.

      • +1

        Actually Woolies did it earlier, 11 May.

        • Ah, had not realized about Woolies, thank you. Well in that case it's just Coles that are holding out on restoring their change of mind policy. Their page still says "From 13th March 2020, we will be temporarily suspending our change-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing".

    • -4

      There are no laws requiring any business to give a refund for change-of-mind request.

      There are, but not in this case.

      • +2

        Actually no, you are in no circumstances entitled to a refund for change of mind.

        You can ask a business for your preference of a free repair, replacement or refund, but you are not always entitled to one. For example, the consumer guarantees do not apply if you got what you asked for but simply changed your mind, found it cheaper somewhere else, decided you did not like the purchase or had no use for it.

        • -1

          I'm talking about unsolicited consumer agreements.

          With unsolicited door to door or telemarketing, the ACL allows a 10-day cooling off period for consumers generally to change their mind and cancel the contract.

          • -1

            @happydude: Which has absolutely nothing to do with the OPs topic so I'm not sure why you would even mention that.

            • -1

              @Morphio25: Why would I bring up the change of mind laws on a topic about change of mind?

              The audacity of me bring clarity to your incorrect claims.

              Jog on.

  • +4

    Their website clearly says:

    "From 13th March 2020, we will be temporarily suspending our change-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing. If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time."

    And printing "keep receipt for refunds" on the docket in no way implies they will refund under any circumstances.

    • +2

      From my recent Coles shop receipt, they make it very clear there are no refunds or exchanges outside of statutory obligations.
      Woolies, on the other hand, don't have the same policy any more.

      I think Coles is doing the right thing due to COVID-19. Would you want to buy something that was returned by a previous customer?

      • I agree with you. I think at least all food items should be non refundable unless there's something wrong with the product. There's no way to check if the customer has stored the product in the right conditions before returning it. Like the product could have been left in a hot car before returning it. It's unfair to sell the product again to another customer.

  • +17

    Are they oral B toothbrushes? If they are , you're in luck:

    Try Oral-B for 180 days, starting from the day of purchase. If you are not 100% satisfied, receive a full refund via cheque. No questions asked. For a full refund, please return your product along with your name, address, contact phone number, and the original purchase receipt indicating purchase price and date to the address below:
    Oral-B Money Back Guarantee, PO Box 6303, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086, Australia

    • -1

      Yes they are thanks for the details I’ll give it a shot cheers mate

      • Looks like there's a form you need to fill out and you can only make 1 claim. Get a mate/SO to return the other one.

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