The Gloucester County Office of Consumer Affairs performed random inspections at kiosks at the Deptford Mall on Wednesday, Dec. 10. The investigators spoke to each kiosk location manager or the employee on duty and explained the Refund Policy Disclosure Act under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, as well as merchandise pricing regulations.
The regulation specifies that every retail mercantile establishment shall conspicuously post its refund policy as to all merchandise on a sign in at least one location outlined in the law. The business could be cited for violations, including fines.
Any retail mercantile establishment that violates any part of this act is liable to the buyer, for at least 20 days after the sale, to offer the consumer a cash refund or a credit at the consumer’s option, considering that there has been no damage to the item.
The investigators inspected more than 20 kiosks throughout the mall and five were found not to be in compliance with the law and were given warnings and a copy of the regulation.
Consumers should also know that the posting by a retail store that “all sales are final” is a refund policy. Although the retail merchant does not offer refunds, the consumer is aware of this at the time of the sale. During the inspections the five kiosks that were in violation stated they did not know the policy was required to be posted. Many owners stated that the return policy was on the receipt. This is not sufficient notice to consumers prior to the sale. However, after learning of the law, several instantly agreed to have one posted as soon as possible.
If anyone has questions on this on any other consumer related matter, they are urged to contact consumer affairs at 856-384-6855.