Refunds and Warranties - How to get and Use Them with and Without a Receipt

by wrylilt

People often don't expect an item to break and when it does, they don't always have the receipt. Here are some basic rules about what you need to get refunds and warranty claims.

If you bought an item that you don't need or that has been chipped, marked or broken, it's completely natural that you'd want to take it back for either a refund or exchange.
Especially if the item is relatively new and is still under warranty, you want to get what you paid for.
However it's not always that simple, especially if the item is old or if you don't have the docket.
So the important question is - do you need a docket? And secondly, why do you need a docket?
Below you'll find plenty of information about why stores need a docket, how to get another copy of your docket, warranties and more. This is a simple guide answering your questions on the subject.

It's important to keep your receipt if the item has a warranty.
It's important to keep your receipt i...


Most items that have a warranty have a set time limit in which you can claim. The only exceptions are life time warranties which still generally have an approximate claim time (generally about 50 years).

  • Proof of how old the item is - The reason you need a docket for a warranty claim is because this is your proof of purchase. Without your docket there is no way to prove that you did in fact buy the item when you claimed you did or that the item is still within warranty claim time. Without the docket you may have bought the item before or the decade before - there's often no way to tell.
  • Claiming money back from the manufacturer - The store that sold you the item also needs proof of purchase to send back to the company for your warranty claim. If they give you a refund or repair then they either need to claim that money back from the original creator of the product or pay it themselves. If they give you a $300 refund without a receipt, chances are the item will go in the trash, meaning the store is out of pocket $300.


You may be the most honest person in the world, who'd never consider stealing. However, the fact remains that many people steal items from stores then try and bring them back for a cash refund. So don't take it personally if you're refused a cash refund without some form of paperwork - staff have to ask for a receipt from the most honest and the most dodgy looking customer.
Many stores offer an in store exchange or credit for items without receipts - you won't get money back but you will be able to buy something else in store.

Generic Items

It's often easier to get a refund without a docket on an item that only that particular store sells. However if the item is sold in many local shops, there is no proof that you bought the item at that store. If you bought a cheap blender that broke and do not have the docket, the store won't want to put in all the work and repair bills unless they have proof you actually purchased it at their store.

How to get a Refund without a Docket

It may sound like the odds are against you when attempting to get a refund without a docket. However there are two options open to you:

  • Ask for a store exchange or credit. This allows you to buy something else of equal value in the store.
  • Bring proof of purchase such as a credit card statement. If you can prove to the store that you spent the said amount on that date, as well as name other items you purchased that day, they may be able to find it in their computer system or give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • Contact the manufacturer directly. Most manufacturers are more leniant than stores because they want a good reputation with customers. If the manufacturer contacts the store, the store is less likely to be out of pocket, and therefore more likely to exchange or refund the item.
Updated: 07/22/2011, wrylilt
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